On Tuesday I went to the BDA Conference on Big Data Analytics. Conferences like these are always interesting to see at a high-level how analytics and its uses are evolving. This conference was no different and some of the trends that came through the various sessions suggest where future opportunities will be to leverage analytics:
- A big challenge, and opportunity, is integrating data from multiple sources to get a more complete picture of your customers. Until recently, analyzing data in your product was the primary way to understand users (and play patterns in games) but now there is valuable data available from multiple sources. Data from social media (what people are saying about you and your product, sentiment, etc), data from beacons and other sensors, data from user acquisition, etc. When you integrate this data, you get a more complete understanding of your users and their motivations.
- Data is connecting people and things, expanding the universe of data. There is now extensive data on how people interact with their surroundings and this will grow.
- Using data is moving from the province of data scientists and analysts to everyone in the organization. This trend is driven by easier to use and manipulate tools, not by increased training. Designers and product managers and marketers are not becoming data experts but the tools now allow easy visualization, point and click charts, swipe and pinch access.
- Top companies are now using the various data sources to understand holistically the customer journey and then driving activities to increase the value from the customer during their journey. The critical change is that you are using different data sources to pick up the user at different points (think of a race with cameras along the course and how the telecast switches between cameras).
- People are now using, and expecting, data on a real time basis. Increasingly everyone in the organization has real time access to data and can drive actions based on this information. No longer are people waiting for the charts on yesterday’s activity.
- The universe of data is exploding, with multiple data sources and good analytics now blends this data to provide a complete picture of the customer.
- Data is no longer being controlled by a few people in BI (business intelligence), user-friendly tools are allowing everyone in the organization to access and control data easily to enhance their decision-making
- Data allows companies to see the entire customer journey, with different data sources filling in different parts of the journey.