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When marketers talk about Big Data, they mean the massive amounts of structured and unstructured data accumulated from online activity. Structured data is organized data that can come from databases or spreadsheets; unstructured data from a wide range of sources, including email, video, audio, search information, web sales, customer contact, and similar. The question has been what to do with all of this data, and how to begin to untangle and analyze it.
The promise of all the information within big data is the insight it can offer, enabling marketers to make more informed decisions on which to base their strategies. In order to create smarter strategies and make better decisions, information needs to be acquired, transformed, and analyzed – to create useable market intelligence. 60% of CIOs cite big data analytics security as the top driver for IT spending in 2016-2017 (Forbes).
New technology is now enabling marketers to do much more with data; new software specifically for this purpose has become much easier to find online. Apache Hadoop has been a forerunner in the big data field, as it can process huge amounts of data at low cost, be it structured or unstructured. The Adobe Digital Price Index (DPI) collects anonymous information on over 15 billion websites and 22 million sales, and could be called the successor, or at least a valuable complement to the traditional Consumer Price Index.
Other examples of what technology can accomplish with big data include predictive analysis tools, which make predictions based on data patterns, such as IBM’s predictive analytics platform and KnowledgeTree. Data visualization tools create graphs and charts to clarify data, such as Google Charts and Microsoft Power BI. Data management platforms – ”warehouses” that retrieve, store, and interpret data in a way which is useful – include Adobe Audience Manager and Oracle’s BlueKai.
The new marketing technology enabling the practical application of big data (there are many choices out there) has allowed marketers to access and use it to obtain more accurate information, which in turn gives your company many options, depending on your needs and goals.
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