Top Five Misconceptions About Big Data

By | Wednesday October 23rd, 2013

I’ve been talking about the data hairball quite a bit recently, and over the past few months, I’ve noticed something: Sometimes, the conversations around big data can grow just as unwieldy as big data itself. Not only are marketers working hard to embrace the technology and rationale behind data-driven marketing; they’re also scrambling to make sense of all the hype that now surrounds the issue.

But does it need to be like this?

At Teradata Applications, we’re confident that data-driven marketing is the key to success in today’s complicated and challenging marketing environment. It empowers marketers to bring together data from across their organizations, analyze it and take immediate action on those insights — without all the stress.

However, if you’ve bought into the (intimidating!) confusion around big data, you might be a bit of a skeptic about its potential. That’s understandable . . .

. . . and it’s exactly why we’ve put together a handy infographic to de-bunk the top five myths about big data and help you understand how you can put data-driven marketing to work for the benefit of your marketing organization.

The Top Five Misconceptions About Big Data:

1. Big data is just for the folks in IT.  They’re the ones who get it first, and the only ones who know how to deal with it, right?

The TRUTH: 45 percent of big data deployments are for marketing. That means big data is for you! Big data can be illuminating and actionable, if you’re willing to dig in on the marketing side.

2. It’s just hype; why invest in a passing fad? There’s always some big trend waiting to “revolutionize” marketing, and big data is just another on of these “shiny objects.”

The TRUTH: In the next two years, 73 percent of marketers plan to have a big data analytics solution implemented. That’s what makes big data a “game-changer.” Make no mistake about it: Marketers are putting their money where the data is.

3. Big data is unstructured, so it’s too hard to use. Who has time to sort through all that stuff?

The TRUTH: Data-driven marketing provides a framework to take insights from many data inputs and apply them to present, relevant and timely messages to customers consistently. Once our customers start using data-driven marketing, they’re able to focus more on marketing and less on IT-related work, reducing IT spend in the process. Ultimately, our customers are finding they’re able to create more effective marketing campaigns with lower overall cost of ownership and faster time to market.

4. I control my data. I’m in charge of what comes in about my customers and prospects.

The TRUTH: Just 50 percent of marketers control their data. Letting someone else engage in the conversations means you play by their SLA’s. Will that work for agile marketing operations? No way!

5. Big data will answer all my problems. If I know everything, I can fix everything . . . can’t I?

The TRUTH: 42 percent of marketers struggle to leverage insights in campaigns due to a lack of process. If you don’t have the right steps in place to make sense of big data, you’re just creating more problems to solve.

Ready to handle the truth about big data? Here are three fundamental steps to get you on the right track:

  1. Define the data you need. Start with a business challenge or customer issue, and determine exactly what types of information can get you to a solution. By defining exactly what you need, you’ll avoid getting stuck on data points you don’t.
  2. Create an implementation plan. As marketers, we’re used to trusting our gut and experience, but when it comes to data, you need to shift gears. Learn to rely on intentional, planned analysis to maximize your results. Listen to what the information has to tell you, instead of what you think it might say.
  3. Analyze and adjust. As with all things marketing, this isn’t about “set it and forget it.” Monitor carefully, and then go back and tweak your plans and processes to identify new opportunities—and potential hurdles in your path.

Once you get past the hype, I’m sure you’ll see what all successful marketers are coming to realize: Big data is more of a friend than a foe. Dig into our big data infographic to learn more new ways to maximize all your marketing efforts.