Defining the origins & uses of big-data

What is big-data? Big-data has been described as the crude oil of the digital economy. It is a commonly used term for data that is intricate and has various capabilities. Although big-data is structured and unstructured, it is extremely difficult to process through traditional databases. Big-data demands a faster processing capacity than normal. However, it will ultimately benefit the business if you get it operating properly.

Digital technology is reconfiguring the world with advancements that have made our day-to-day lives more virtual and global. Smart devices now allow for always-connected interactions with others and anywhere/anytime communications.

Big-data is integrated with sophisticated algorithms and new modeling techniques. It’s combined with predictive analytics and can generate one-to-one personalized offers that can boost customer loyalty. This could generate a greater share of wallet or purse, as well as creating upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

Big-data is also providing breakthrough insights into the digital persona of customers that allow for the development of new offerings. It also functions to anticipate future customer needs, and ways to improve service.

Small companies, as well as large ones, can gain a distinct competitive advantage by using analytics to uncover new patterns of customer behavior. These insights allow for the development of marketing strategies that can lead to disruptive new products and services.

What big-data is doing is providing the most pertinent and important information in real time. It also allows access to the point of interaction or engagement with customers. By providing greater demographic and geospatial inputs never before available, big-data allows companies to gain, maintain, and grow their competitive advantage.

Utilizing analytical tools and smart algorithms, companies can gain valuable insights from disparate data sources, further enhancing their ability to develop more binding customer relationship models.

Steve Jobs was vastly successful with his keen insight into gauging future customer behaviors and needs. Big-data is allowing for a similar and predictable way to anticipate subtle and changing customer requirements—before they actually happen—so that modifications to products can continue to be developed to the delight of the customer.

In addition, leveraging the power of information can identify decision points that can allow for the development of a certain customized product. This is done by making it available at the right time in the adoption cycle in a specific contextual situation. It’ll be paired with the new mobile marketing technology and geolocation software. You’ll have the ability to make uniquely personalized offers to customers in motion.

This impressive technology offers a meaningful experience and reinforces customer loyalty much like Jobs accomplished with all of the Apple devices. The best example of this is a smartwatch vibrating on your wrist, alerting you to an offer. This predetermined interest that can be executed in a short period of time can be for a brick and mortar outlet—all done by the touch of your finger on your smartwatch or smartphone.

The full potential of this disruptive technology is yet to be realized, but there is already sufficient experience to demonstrate that our lives will continue to be disrupted for the better as the full potential of big-data unfolds.

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Robert Donnelly

Robert M. Donnelly is an author, educator and brand builder for businesses and individuals. His consultancy business is called His corporate life was spent in executive positions with IBM, Pfizer and EXXON and then as the CEO for several U.S. subsidiaries of foreign multinational firms. Professor Donnelly is on the faculty of Saint Peters University as well as Rushmore University, a global online university. His latest book is Personal Brand Planning for Life, available on Amazon. He also functions as an interim executive. You can contact him at or visit his website at

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