Few topics have created as much buzz recently as big data.
As a marketing professional, are you confident in your understanding of the communication implications of big data? Have you clearly defined your role in advising clients and executives on how to use data responsibly?
If you haven’t been paying attention, now’s the time—before armies of data analysts, statisticians and software vendors lock the doors to the C-suite boardroom behind them.
In case you have missed the major selling point of big data, to executives it spells big profits. According to a KPMG study last August, almost two-thirds of CFOs and CIOs in the Americas admitted they had changed their business strategy because of big data and analytics. The results were nearly the same in Asia/Pacific.
What’s the big deal? Certainly data points, and lots of them, have been around a long time. That part is not new. The difference is that we are now able to collect tons of even more data, and new, relatively inexpensive software can slice and dice information in ways undreamed of just a few years ago.
Cheap and plentiful data resources
Data, in the form of little computerized blips of activity, is everywhere. Its widespread availability is sparking the greatest information feeding frenzy since the invention of the Internet itself. Data is flowing from our smartphones, our credit card transactions, our cars and airline flights, our Fitbits, our Netflix viewing habits and more. It’s harvested from our social media and web clickstreams, from server logs, sensors and geolocation devices.
And data collection is relatively cheap. About US$375,000 will buy a Petarack server, capable of holding a petabyte’s worth of data. How much is that, you ask? Well, one petabyte equals 1,073,741,824 megabytes (that’s over a billion). To put that in simpler terms, there...
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