Big Data – The Gold You Are Sitting On

Image courtesy of eWeek Europe

2005 was a VERY busy hurricane season in Florida.  The area I live in Tampa sustained relatively little damage other than power lines and tree limbs.  While on the surface things looked good, there was another problem that we faced that nobody thought of until it became a problem…gasoline.  What was the problem?  You could not get any.  Why…without power, you could not get to it, and THAT was the problem!  We knew what was down there and that it would be good to get it.  We just didn’t have the method.  What does that have to do with Business Intelligence and Big Data in general?  A lot!

At least once per week I talk to a customer looking at gaining more knowledge about the data they are getting from the various transactions (web surfing, shopping patterns, etc.) on the Internet, in physical stores and in reality, everywhere you are.  They are looking for patterns of behavior that will allow them to take advantage of what people are already doing, and then using these behaviors, market to you in a way that you will respond.  In short, they want you to capitalize on the data that is right there in front of them.  Just the other day I read an article on how CVS is going to have kiosks for you to scan your loyalty card as you walk in the door of their stores, and it will print you coupons right there, based on your shopping history.  The hope is that you’ll buy something you didn’t plan on buying when you walked in.

Last week I had someone who works in Business Intelligence tell me that there are places that are now scanning your face as you shop to see the expressions you display as you look at various areas of the store.  The goal…to see if you like what you see, and if you buy it, based on your facial responses.  Pretty scary huh?  But when you think about it, we’ve been giving this data away for years.  It wasn’t until recently that companies had the ability to use what was right under their feet.  Through Data Analytics companies are able to get at all of this rich data and really mine it for what makes customers do the things they do.  I hear it all the time…people wondering why they have certain ads on their Facebook or Google pages.  The answer is simple…they are marketing the goods and services you appear to like, based on your profile, your activities, your friends and their likes.  You are giving them everything they need to know, and through the use of products such as Dell’s AsterCloud, and coming soon, our Data Analytics solution based on Hadoop.

When you look at your organization, what would you do if you knew where your customers came from online, how long they stayed on a site and what they were clicking on while on your site?  Think of the wealth of information that would give you.  Now…take that a step further and really mine and massage that data…real-time.  What would that enable your business to do?

Organizations of all sizes are looking for more and more ways to drive revenues.  The best way to do that is to see who their customers are, and what they are looking at, and what they spend their money on.  When you can finally use that data that is sitting right under your feet, it is amazing what it can do for your business.

To learn more about Business Intelligence and how Dell can help you gain the upper hand in your business, contact your Dell representative today!

Until next time, I’ll see you in the Cloud!

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