We widely use the term big data for years. To define it simply, we can say that data stands for information collected about clients due to a digital interaction. In order to improve a customer service, a company should gather information such as :
• How my website is used ? How could we optimize it ?
• How my mobile app is used ?
• What is the behavior of my clients within my shops ?
So if data stands for information, what about big data ? Big means that the interactions between men and machines (we can call it user interface or UI) are so developed that we have too many datas. For instance, did you know that Google has so much information about us that they will stop scanning the content of our emails ?
This is just the beginning of this trend. Nowadays, we have much more user interfaces : more than 50% of web traffic comes through mobile, a growth regarding the Internet of Things (a.k.a. IoT) which represent 40% of the patent applications (2014), omnicanal strategies enabling companies to gather much more compatible information about clients, etc.
The biggest actors in this market are Google, Facebook and Microsoft but we can also name IBM, Amazon or Oracle. No surprise when we know that the overall value of the data economy, just in the EU, is estimated at about € 255 billion in 2014, meaning 1,8% of the EU GDP (sources : Big Data guide 2016-2017 from Big Data Paris).
If you start thinking about implementing or improving your data strategy, you should focus on 3 important values :
• Variety : information is coming from numerous channels (website, app, social media …). This value is especially important with an omnicanal strategy;
• Volume : the mass of data to manage is growing so be specific about which data you really need;
• Speed : which is the real competitive advantage these days. You need to collect and exploit data in real time.
The impact on business nowadays is huge : more data means more information, it means a better understanding of the customer needs, therefore a big competitive advantage !
To validate this competitive advantage, the information has to spread out in all the departments of the company. This strategic position is the best way to involve every employee and give them an undeniable asset about their work.
We are now touching the sensitive point of the smart datas : How to optimize the using of these data? What is the impact on the organization ? Do we share enough information with our employees ?
If you believe that you just need to hire a Chief Digital Officer to switch from big to smart, you are wrong ! This is first and foremost a mindset that startups around the world understand in order to survive. This capacity to share and use critical information explains partly the growth and the ability to attract/retain young talents. We are entering into a new era where segmentation is less and less tolerated. Moreover, this contradiction between big and smart data shows the importance to be more specific nowadays because a client does not tolerate anymore a non targeted message.