The fast rate at which invaluable data about prospects and customers is streaming into companies forces them to swiftly change the traditional ways of doing business. They have to be able to exploit big data or get left behind by their more nimble competitors.
That’s the finding of Brian Hopkins, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. “Big data is undergoing big change, but most companies are missing it or just grasping at the edges,” he notes in a blog post. “Savvy businesses find ways to turn more data into a competitive advantage. If your firm doesn’t get this, it won’t be pretty – starting in the not too distant future.”
For example, he notes that recent research has found that leading-edge companies are using “more diverse, messier, and larger” data sets to effectively stave off the competition. This can be seen across a number of different industries: a consumer goods company that allocates marketing dollars based on flu predictions; and oil and gas companies that use weather data to predict iceberg flow and extend the time available for drilling.
Instead of focusing on the volume and diversity of data, companies should set their sights on building data-driven cultures, putting into place the competencies needed for managing diverse data. They also need to ensure that they possess the right technical capabilities to generate actionable insights for customers and employees.
Hopkins offers an example of how some companies are moving away from the traditional business model of separating digital, mobile engagement, customer analytics, and business strategy into distinct silos. Instead, these companies are combining all these former silos into “systems of insight” to serve up better mobile customer experience.
“These go far beyond traditional analytics or big data approaches to gather, analyze, and operationalize all the data to deliver great mobile moments,” Hopkins notes. “These companies are different. They take a systematic approach to linking mobile data to big data analytics technology, staff, and operations. This lets them take advantage of mobile data to improve customer experiences and their business.”
These disruptors are molding systems of insight by enabling companies to: