Don’t Get Buried in the Big Data Movement: Make It Work for You

“Big Data” is a term you hear everywhere these days. Massive amounts of data are growing exponentially every second. According to an article in the Jan. 30, 2012 issue of Time magazine, more video is uploaded to YouTube every month than has been broadcast by the three big TV networks in the past 60 years. Transactional data, Internet searches, Facebook data, information from retail packaging and countless other sources continue to fill data warehouses to the rafters.

But what, exactly, do these trillions of gigabytes mean for your business?

Big Data combines two data types: the mountains (indeed, entire mountain ranges) of sales transaction data that retailers already have, overlaid with the psychographic and demographic data available on almost every household. It offers even more and better opportunities to obtain the best-possible, most actionable information for predictive modeling and decision-making.  

If it sounds daunting, it’s not. If you operate a loyalty program, you’re already collecting data. You just may not be fully utilizing it. Tracking customer behavior in-store and with social media helps build an analytics platform — which becomes more robust when you combine it with household-level lifestyle data.

Our finding? The more data our clients can feed us, the better. It enables us to keep everything fresh. We get monthly client data feeds to refresh the data being visualized in SCOUT. That ultimately provides clients more real-time knowledge for better-informed decision-making.

While Big Data is a trendy term, it feeds an analytics process we at Buxton have espoused for 17 years. Watch what Bill Stinneford, our head of retail, says about Big Data’s advantages for retailers in an interview.

Journey Awareness Persona C-Suite/Finance Retail