Analytics helps marketing efforts

As data scientists develop analytics tools capable of working with new inputs, the scope of business intelligence efforts is set to expand. The technology can power a wide variety of initiatives including, powerful marketing efforts, according to Businessweek contributor Steve McKee. He explained that the advent of big data processing has turned metrics like website feedback into wellsprings of insight.

Marketers gain new tool
McKee has direct experience with marketing companies through his consultancy. He explained that one particular firm boosted its media use efficiency by 9 percent by analyzing the common links between several information areas. Customer behavior both on the company's website and other methods of communication were collated and combined with transactional information to make a composite picture of shopper demand.

According to McKee, companies can use new analytics technology to predict future performance. He stated that desire for a personalized picture of customers has changed the way firms think about social media. Early in the life cycle of web tools like Twitter and Facebook, marketers thought of them as methods to speak directly to customers. While that is still, true, McKee noted that data scientists are now taking conversations with shoppers into account when making decisions.

Big data could take some of the "gut" and intuition out of business decisions. While companies may once have sent employees poring over customer reaction data, McKee noted that companies can turn social media contacts into fuel for automated analytics systems. The results from these systems can be far more precise than opinions offered by single employees and take massive amounts of information into account.

Catching the leaders
Firms in more industries have taken to combining siloed information to create a single view of the situation at hand. Such tactics can provide a powerful snapshot of a market and help firms plan ahead. Of course, this is out of step with old ways of managing data and some companies are still behind the curve.

A recent CompTIA survey found several companies still struggling to make big data analytics a meaningful part of their offerings. According to the source, data remaining in silos was one of the most persistent problems. To draw effective insights with many information sources combined, firms must find a way to feed all of those figures into one program. Some firms, CompTIA reported, simply have poor internal knowledge of their information storage usage.

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