Big Data is a valuable resource for increasing a business’ effectiveness. However, the sheer scope of Big Data necessitates the correct tools to take that data and turn it into something that a marketing department can use. That’s where data integration comes in. We’re taking a look here at how data integration provides the means to take advantage of Big Data, and provides a business with a competitive edge over their rivals.
What Constitutes Big Data and Data Integration?
Big Data is the term to describe large quantities of information gathered from traditional and modern methods, and made available in both structured and unstructured forms. Big is not just a description of the amount of data, but also how fast and how easy it’s accessed.
Data integration, on the other hand, is a term for tools and processes that take Big Data style information, clean it up, organize it, and present it in a manner that’s actually useful to businesses. The article How Data Integration Tools Can Turbocharge Your Marketing puts is another way: “Without data integration tools, valuable existing data remains locked up in silos, the flow of actionable data is slower, and a company’s competitive edge can erode. But when companies use data integration tools, the insights gained help them improve customer satisfaction and increase sales.”
Here are some advantages to using data integration tools for your marketing purposes.
With more data finding its way into cloud storage, it becomes vital for a business to be able to mine that data and use it intelligently. Otherwise, the cloud becomes simply another container of information that’s overlooked. Data integration tools can extract that data stored in the cloud and integrate it with existing data store on-site.
Integrating data gathered from comment cards, e-mails, surveys, and other means of consumer contact can help show where customers are experiencing difficulties in doing business with your company. Performing changes to everything from merchandise inventory levels to your location’s physical floor plan and flow-through can be guided by data that’s packaged by integration platforms.
Big Data distilled through data integration can help a business customize e-mails campaigns into a more personalized experiencing, targeting the appropriate audience that has the greater likelihood of conversion, and skipping those users who would simply be irritated at getting irrelevant e-mails (e.g. happily married individuals are not looking for hot singles in their areas, nor are 90-year old men searching for maternity clothes). This form of information helps businesses to make their advertising budgets go further by eliminating wasteful practices.
A Question Of Geography
Gathering data via GPS technology or social media platforms like FourSquare can help a business create promotions that are focused on a limited geographical area. Perhaps the data shows that the bars and taverns in the Boston area show a major jump when the Red Sox are in playoff contention. If you own a chain of bars/restaurants across the country, you could gear your promotions for the Boston area during those times. Come to think of it, since many pro sports teams seem to have pockets of fans outside of their home turf, integrated Big Data can show you where they’re located!
How Can You Make Sense Of Big Data?
Big Data is all well and good, and it’s likely that everyone knows how useful it can be. But so what? How do you do the data integration gig? First of all, you could get a data processing platform like Hadoop, and tackle the job in-house.
Otherwise, you can hire the services of a company that specializes in making sense of Big Data and presenting it in a useful format. Put it in the hands of professionals, and forget about doing the heavy lifting. Sure, it’s another expense, but it’s better to think of it as an investment.
Use It Or Lose It
In this case, the header refers to either you using Big Data and data integration, or losing that race with your competitors for customer loyalty. More businesses are using Big Data to better understand their customers, and availing yourself of data integration tools helps you make sense of the big picture, which results in a stronger and more effective marketing department.