Defining Big Data:

There is a lot of information floating around right now about Big Data, its benefits, how it can be dangerous to use, how it’s completely useless after all, etc.  Most of these articles barely define Big Data, or stray away completely from the subject despite telling you how “Big Data Can Benefit Your Business.” We’re here to clear things up a bit, and help you decide whether or not to incorporate Big Data into your marketing strategy.


Big Data is basically any system that processes/analyzes large sets of data -platforms such as Google Analytics, and even Google’s search engine itself (after all, Google is the original Big Data company, according to Search Engine Watch).  Google’s search engine gathers key words from content around the web, which influences your findings when you type a phrase into the search engine.  This is why content with strong SEO is essential if you want your business to rank in Google’s “social value” scale.  The stronger SEO content you have, the more visible you are, and the more traffic your site and business will get.


Benefits and Challenges

Big Data can come from pretty much anywhere – mobile devices and computers across the world.  The information comes in large quantities, across multiple channels, at a speed where basic technology would not be able to process it as quickly as platforms intended to sort through Big Data.  According to 360i, “Marketers who successfully measure what matters within this influx of data will realize greater marketing efficiency and ROI, and identify opportunities to advance their brands’ offerings and positioning.”  So as long as you know how to break down and analyze the data, you can use it to your benefit.  The challenge is knowing what information is useful, and what information you can throw away.  Big Data can enable brand marketers to understand and measure the impact of their online efforts, effectively target the brand’s audience based on an analysis of the data (location, gender, age, interests, time spent on different channels), and correctly allocate brand marketing dollars to effective social media initiatives, leading to a greater ROI (Business Insider).


Big Data clearly has a lot of benefits to the business side of things, but beware of the hidden dangers.  Mashable points out that consumers’ personal information can become part of the Big Data collection, which leads to issues surrounding consumer trust, which is essential to good business.  As Big Data becomes more effective, privacy and data security are being called into question.  Therefore, if your business wishes to use Big Data, having a strong safeguard for the information is important for maintaining a strong business to consumer relationship.


Ultimately, Knowledge is Power, and if you know how to harness it, Big Data can be an extremely valuable marketing tool for your business – just be careful to use it for Good, not Evil and your brand can be successful while maintaining strong client relationships.




By Jess Spar