4 Practical Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Implement Big Data
There is continuous development in the collection of data and data science. This progress creates a huge opportunity for businesses to use data and improve their sales, increase market intelligence and enhance customer retention. But big data isn’t something you can decide to do in an afternoon. Before you get started, you should ask yourself the following questions:
1. Why do you want to use big data?
This may seem like an obvious question, but it is one that is too often forgotten. The pressure is on businesses to get into big data, but when they do they often fail to take a minute and decide why they should.
That is why it is important to take a step back and decide on the ways in which big data can benefit your organization. Do you want to use it as a tool to create targeted sales lists? Is it something that can help you improve your customer relations? Or can it provide you with the data you need to develop new products? If you do not determine what you want to achieve with big data before you get started, you are setting yourself up to fail.
2. What kind of data do you need?
Once you have established the goal you want to work towards, you need to determine the kind of data that will get you there. Big data can come from various sources, and not all of them will benefit your company in the same way. If you take on every type of data and have no clear idea on how to use it, you will waste a lot of time sifting through large datasets without getting much in return.
The best way to decide on the data you need, is by looking at the goal you’ve set. Are you an online store that is hoping to contact your customers with a personalized offer? Then you need the right insights into those people and their preferences. Do you want to sell your SEO services to those website owners that have low findability? Look for a dataset that includes websites and their SEO scores, so you can determine who to target.
3. Will you collect the data yourself, or use a service?
We’d love it if data just fell into our laps every day, but unfortunately it doesn’t. That is why you need to look at how you are going to collect the data you need.
There are ways in which you can collect data yourself. You can send your customers a link to a questionnaire, analyze information from transactions or set up a loyalty program and learn more about behavior. If you decide to go this way, do keep in mind that you will need the right people, the financial resources and the time to collect and structure this data.
Another option is the use of data collected by a company that specialized in it. The initial purchase of such data may seem like a big expense, but depending on the data you need it can be worth it in the long run. These businesses already have a vast amount of data and might even structure it for you. It gets you more data in a shorter period of time and leaves your team free to work on the goals you’ve set.
4.How will you keep this data safe?
It should be an important lesson from the recent hacks and cyber-attacks: data should be kept in a safe environment. If you decide to collect and store large amounts of information on your customers or potential prospects, you need to take responsibility for it.
If you decide to collect the data yourself, you need to put the right security measures in place to keep it safe from hackers. Are you working with a data supplier instead? Make sure that you ask them about the ways in which they protect their data.
Of course, these four steps aren’t the whole story when you want to use big data to improve or grow your business. We do hope, however, that they will put you on the right path and help you in your efforts to become a successful data-driven organization.
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