Future Now — an introduction to Big Data

The US election is being called the Big Data election. In fact Big Data is now seen as the deadly weapon in both the Brexit and US election results. Sophisticated data science has played a major part in both victories and one UK data science firm, Cambridge Analytica, has even claimed to play a vital role in winning the election for the reality TV candidate.

So it seems this is a good time to revisit an introduction to Big Data for branding and design I wrote some time back. Design and data are essentially democratic tools, open to everyone, and now’s a good time for you to understand some of the thinking behind a Big Data approach to branding and marketing your business. It’s designed to help you start to make your brand and design decisions with a Big Data informed mind-set.

Essentially Big Data is about finding meaning in what you can measure about your business performance.

Google, Facebook and Amazon are essentially Big Data companies, so you’re probably using at least some of the tools they offer every day. Google search, for example, is a Big Data tool that everyone can use — the trick is to turn it into a tool that works for you and your business. But let’s look at Big Data and what it is.

Essentially Big Data is about finding meaning in what you can measure about your business performance and you may have already come across data mining tools that measure specific business areas such as social media.

A Big Data approach allows business owners and managers to see the future before it happens, to see the meaning and the patterns in what they are doing now that can tell them what will happen to them and their business tomorrow.

In other words it gives you a better, more reliable view of your own performance and customer behaviour and takes a lot of the gut feeling out of business strategy by giving fast, reliable, real-time insights.

A metaphor we use sees Big Data as a Cubist approach to managing your brand.

A metaphor we use sees Big Data as a Cubist approach to managing your brand. If you consider how you normally measure your customers, or even your social media engagement, you probably gather information from a single fixed viewpoint, such as the number of sales in a given period, or the number of Twitter followers. But what happens if you take a Cubist mind-set, realizing that your users, your customers and your potential business targets are dynamic, fluid, and changeable?

If Big Data sounds like a nice theory that’s of little practical value, then think about this. I’ve found that our clients’ businesses are growing as they’re gathering new insights and making new data and technology-driven connections that more traditional companies normally miss out on. It’s an approach that’s helping them grow and develop in new and often unexpected ways.

Knowing more and knowing it faster, seeing your business and your clients and future clients from a range of different viewpoints, gives you a very valuable business advantage.

A Big Data approach to branding can let you see the future of your brand’s performance before it happens — it can let you see your future now. And that’s quite a competitive advantage for you and your business in what has become and ever more competitive world.

Eugene Burns

Download ‘Future Now — an introduction to Big Data. For more details on our Future Now project and to get involved email eugene@brandlogik.com