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.