Powering Consumers With Big Data

Steven Ramirez, CEO, Beyond The Arc
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What significant changes did Big Data segment witness in 2013? What did these changes mean to vendors and customers?

We think the most fascinating developments in Big Data have been with unstructured data. Based on the continued adoption of social media among today’s consumers, the growth and importance of big data has grown in tandem over the past 12 months. Whether through platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, or customer complaints and open data, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) consumer complaint database, businesses essentially had to hand over the keys to their reputation to their customers as consumers share positive and negative brand experiences.

Because the business world has undergone such a large shift toward a more transparent view into the customer experience, companies have had no choice but to reevaluate their focus on the customer in order to ensure a positive reputation for their business. This is where the widespread availability of big data truly comes in handy. By consistently monitoring and analyzing customer conversations about their organization, businesses have been able to uncover key issues impacting customers and determine a strategy to address them before it’s too late.

What are some of the changes you had anticipated would happen in 2013 but did not happen?

We expected companies to unleash the power of their data by deploying advanced analytics at scale, across their entire enterprise.  Companies have struggled with how to extract value from their data. What problems should they tackle?  Which analyses should they start first?  We’ve been energized by these strategic discussions and our clients have clarified their roadmaps. In 2014, they’ll be primed to launch new initiatives and begin to capture ROI from their Big Data investments.

Can you paint us the picture of how the landscape for this industry segment will change in 2014?

While the expanded availability of big data has driven many organizations to begin proactively monitoring and addressing conversations about their business online, in order to be successful in 2014 they will need to take it a step further. By tapping into advanced forms of analytics, such as Predictive and Text Analytics, businesses can not only monitor their customer’s experiences, but also turn the data they collect into actionable insights that will better the future of their company. As all industries begin moving toward a more digital way of operation internally and with the customers they serve, 2014 looks to be “The Year of the Consumer” and will provide even greater proof of the business value of data.

What are some of the broader trends you are closely watching?

There is new momentum behind predictive analytics, text analytics, and social media analytics to generate new and actionable customer insights. We think these forces can help companies to differentiate themselves in the market, and create sustainable competitive advantages.

How would customer spend change in 2014 for Big Data segment? What makes you think customers will be buying more/ less?

Companies will be investing more in Big Data and analytics in 2014; they have to!  Do you want to risk the chance that your competitor will create new insights into consumer wants and needs, enabling them to grab market share?  In fiercely competitive markets, companies just can’t afford to take that risk.

What's in store for your company in 2014?

While Beyond the Arc’s specialty has traditionally focused on the financial services industry, in 2014 we will continue expanding our services into new markets, such as utilities, media and technology, to shed light on how these industries can also leverage big data. We think that mobile will continue to disrupt industries, and data and analytics are key to the insights that can help you create the most effective digital customer experiences.

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