May 12, 2015

How does big data become smart data?

Gun-Marie Rinaldo

Customer Executive, Tieto

Today it has been 27 so far, and yesterday it was 31. It has been like this for a long time now. You must be thinking, what has been like this? Let me start by pointing out something I am sure some of you recognize but very few actually appreciate. I am referring to the sheer volume of daily offers in your inbox. My mail system excludes some of these emails as spam, but the rest go directly into my private mail.....and I'm not very happy about it!

Some retailers master the skill of personalized offerings, but others are just a disaster. First of all, as a female I am not interested in razors for men (as I am a woman), I am not interested in a miracle anti-age body lotion and I am certainly not interested in investing in the most wonderful apartment in Marbella as offered by 'Anders the dream house agent'.

We all leave many electronic footprints when we surf the internet. Our information is spread, and we generally have no clue about where it goes. That's how it works today, and you have to accept it if you want to be online.

These footprints reveal a lot about our behavior. When I use my credit card, the cash receipt is saved in an obscure database and becomes part of so-called "big data". Sometimes I think this is more aptly described as "confused data" and the way towards smart data is long and crooked. If companies really want to transform their data from confused and big into smart, more action should be taken. Some companies know more about me than my mother does: how much milk I buy, what shampoo I prefer or that my favorite chocolate flavor is chili. This information may be irrelevant to my mother, but it says a lot about her daughter.

I am sure that the total amount of e-commerce would increase with better customer experiences and more personalized engagement. Today, just 1% of all food is bought online in Sweden. The UK boasts a 4,4% market share. What are UK firms doing differently, or do UK customers behave differently? Maybe we can learn from them?!

IIn order to sort through all this customer data, step-by-step strategies must be adopted. These steps will let big data permeate the whole organization, including business, IT, security and integrity. The bright future of e-commerce goes hand in hand with digitalization and this data is a treasure chest that your company should dig into. Find the diamonds and the golden data among all the less valuable information. I foresee that companies that utilize their big data treasure chests in smart ways (for example, by extending customized and personalized offers) will have bright futures with increased sales and increased customer loyalty.

Hey, wait! Before I go, let's check my inbox. How many offerings have arrived in the last hour? The answer is 5, and I deleted each without even opening them. There was yet another try from 'Anders the dream house agent'. Sorry Anders, it didn't work this time either.

Please read more about the topic in our retail outlook study!

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