Big data de­Ploy­meNt Strate­gieS for SmeS

Low­er­ing tech costs and in­creas­ing num­ber of tools to record and an­a­lyze data and their ad­vanced ca­pa­bil­i­ties has set the field right for smaller or­gan­i­sa­tions to de­ploy Big Data tech­nolo­gies


ig Data’ is one of the most mal­treated words in an­a­lyt­ics and mar­ket­ing these days. We have been glean­ing user and be­hav­iour data of thou­sands of our clients across mo­bile apps and web­sites. Gate­keep­ing such in­cred­i­ble amount of data ac­quainted us with one of the press­ing prob­lems of Small and Medium Busi­nesses (SMBs) - which is, SMBs are sim­ply obliv­i­ous to the amount of data they are sit­ting on. Given the vol­ume and na­ture of the data, it is al­most im­pos­si­ble to make sense of it for a small busi­ness.

Ev­ery­thing, right from a web click to a so­cial share, con­sti­tutes data with hid­den in­sights. To­day, ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing is all about putting this data to use for just-in-time mes­sag­ing. A Novem­ber 2014 re­search by a Big Data firm - Ter­a­data re­vealed that nearly two in five mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tives around the world were al­ready gen­er­at­ing ‘sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness rev­enues’ by act­ing on their data, while an­other 37% were tak­ing ma­jor steps to gather and an­a­lyze the in­for­ma­tion they had.

A sig­nif­i­cant pop­u­la­tion of cur­rent tech force is not ca­pa­ble of mak­ing sense of the big data for the sim­ple rea­son that it is a Big Data - in­com­pre­hen­si­ble to an av­er­age hu­man be­ing. Un­til re­cently, the term Big Data has been in­vari­ably as­so­ci­ated with data so­lu­tions of­fered to large en­ter­prises and the mid­mar­ket and be­low mostly re­lied on ledgers or the semi-prim­i­tive

Too much data Lack of ex­per­tise

- Avlesh Singh, CEO and Co-Founder of We­bEn­gage tools which could read only a sin­gle data­base. Mid-mar­ket and small busi­nesses could hardly af­ford such so­lu­tions. Most data so­lu­tion com­pa­nies have mod­elled their busi­nesses around large key cus­tomers - an SMB is usu­ally not their cus­tomer.

But the low­er­ing tech costs and in­creas­ing a num­ber of tools to record and an­a­lyze your data and their ad­vanc­ing ca­pac­ity has set the field for smaller play­ers. Other than the cost as­pect of it, there are a few other chal­lenges to mak­ing it work for the smaller busi­nesses. A large part of data col­lec­tion re­volves around col­lect­ing sig­nals. E.g an av­er­age mo­tor in­sur­ance buyer would usu­ally visit 3-4 providers and a few ag­gre­ga­tors on­line be­fore tak­ing a pur­chase de­ci­sion. Dur­ing her on­line jour­ney on these ser­vice providers, she leaves a trail of sig­nals. Most com­pa­nies strug­gle to make sense of that trail and de­vice a strat­egy to con­vert this user into a buyer based on that trail of in­for­ma­tion. One of the key rea­sons why they fail to do so is to iden­tify and record these sig­nals. Record­ing sig­nals are one thing. Act­ing on it is an­other. Most SMBs lack that ex­per­tise to de­vice com­mu­ni­ca­tion strate­gies which are rel­e­vant and just in time. Big Data so­lu­tions, all these years, have re­mained fo­cused on pro­vid­ing an­a­lyt­ics and po­ten­tial seg­ments of users that may con­vert. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and en­gage­ment have con­tin­ued to be an af­ter­thought for en­ter­prises. Com­pa­nies which get this right per­form way bet­ter than the com­pe­ti­tion. A large of this abil­ity re­volves around the skills to an­a­lyze this data and putting the right set of tools to au­to­mate en­gage­ment on top of that data.

The multi-de­vice prob­lem

Cur­rent day users are mo­bile. Ac­cord­ing to a Pew Re­search Cen­tre re­port, 46% of smart­phone own­ers ‘couldn’t live with­out’ a re­la­tion­ship with their smart­phone. Users now ac­cess your web­site/app from mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions and de­vices. While that is great, it leaves you with a larger prob­lem. The vol­ume of data that an av­er­age en­ter­prise has to deal with has al­most dou­bled. This is a huge prob­lem. It is a dif­fi­cult task to iden­tify a user across de­vices and tag their dig­i­tal foot­prints to the same user. This leaves a lesser so­phis­ti­cated mid­mar­ket com­pany with a dis­torted view of their cus­tomers, which in turn shows in their com­mu­ni­ca­tion and en­gage­ment with the user.

Large en­ter­prises have ded­i­cated re­sources and bud­gets to find an­swers to the prob­lems listed above. While there’s no sin­gle so­lu­tion to these prob­lems, small busi­nesses would find it al­most im­pos­si­ble to ac­knowl­edge these in the first place - let alone look­ing for a so­lu­tion. Thank­fully, mid­mar­ket com­pa­nies are in­creas­ing their sen­si­tive­ness to data and there are cer­tain user en­gage­ment plat­forms which will hope­fully change the way smaller busi­nesses will look at data drove user en­gage­ment in times to come.

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