Thursday, April 21, 2016

Big Data

Today we are all giving off huge quantities of data with our every breath.  It's tracked on our Fit Bits, phones, computers, cars, tablets, the affinity clubs we've joined, the social media we use, and all the cameras we pass through all over the place.  We can open our GPS apps and see exactly how fast traffic is moving on nearly any street in the country, and it's done by tracking the movement of every cell phone on the street.  We can see so much and are able to store so much of it that the term Big Data is really an gross understatement - it's way bigger than big.  I don't think Carl Sagan could find a word to do it justice.    

On the other side of this picture we have many who are studying all of this data to see if they can find the 'needle in the haystack' or the 'golden nugget' that launches a new product or allows you to direct all your marketing and distribution systems to hitting the consumer target right between the eyes - with 'super smart bomb messages.'  

We have tons and tons of data.  Yes, more than we can put to any real use.  So much that it often points in multiple directions with equal conviction.  

While all this data grows and accumulates are we just making huge piles of big data or are we actually finding new answers to human behavior or new ways to reaching them in marketing or messaging?  

One thing to keep in mind.  Just having lots of data is not the answer - we have to be able to understand and find real ways to use the data and that comes from finding a balance between the 'Art' and the 'Science'.   We have tons of 'Science/Data' here.  To make progress with all this data we will need to develop the 'Art' of building messages and having a full understanding of the audience.  

Just having piles of data is not enough.