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The big data elephant in the room

Big Data Server

There are many reasons why big data might be eligible for the ‘too hard’ pile.

Yet another new technology, whose role as a value driver remains undefined? It’s just another BI reporting solution and we have plenty of these, so why do I need another one? It demands large-scale grid computing and high levels of capital expense. It calls for new skills and resources such as Hadoop specialists and data scientists to build and maintain a platform. We have enough trouble keeping our data sources consistent and relevant, the last thing we need is a data lake to maintain.

I could go on, but there is no wonder that big data gets branded as hype for the ‘too hard’ pile. What we seem to miss is that big data is not about business intelligence reporting, it’s about real time micro market intelligence. It enables your website and CRM interactions to make compelling personal customer experience decisions in real time.

Chances are that your branch, online and telephone delivery services are all separate business channels that find it hard to speak to each other. Most likely a branch assistant would not know that the customer who just walked in the door called head office to complain yesterday.

So, how impressed would your customer be if they entered the branch to buy something and the branch assistant knew to ask if they were happy with the results of their call to head office yesterday? How impressed would your customer be if your website offered products and services that captured their personal imagination because the website knew about the visit to the branch, as well as what they googled or even tweeted yesterday? What if you were aware that one of your customer service channels was in difficulty because thousands of people were tweeting about it? What if you could dynamically add more resources to your website in response to someone famous being one of those who tweeted a link to your site?

Clearly the upsell, cross-sell and churn reduction potential is enormous and the value would quite simply dwarf the cost of delivery, especially if you delivered the entire business outcome with a pay-as-you-go service from the cloud.

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