What have we been talking about so far in 2015:
Turning Real time data into actionable insights for decision makers.
It is difficult to avoid the common theme of organisations wanting deeper insight on their customers. However, even more common is the lack of strategic thought placed towards the ‘why’ do we want or ‘what’ we are going to do with this data?
For example, iBeacons has been a hot topic over the last 12 months and the press have informed us that many brands are trialling the technology. As the barriers to entry are so low, namely that of a developer and inexpensive hardware. A hoard of eager IT departments have bypassed marketing or data strategists and as a result the potential demonstrated is limited.
The question I have to pose is what business challenge is iBeacons or BLE (bluetooth low-energy) hardware looking to solve?
Technology should follow strategy and not the other way around. And if insight is the primary objective then organisations must think about maximising the use of this data. This is a challenge most companies face and the advent of new technology is causing big data to get even bigger. Strengthened by the introduction of the Apple Watch and its imminent launch, real-time tracking and its arcane presence in the digital space, has created the need for instant updates and this information has put further pressure on technology to work harder.
With all focus now based on combining new data with activity history and purchasing behavior, the original objective of deeper customer insight has paved the way for prediction and knowing the customers next move before they do .
With this, the aggregation of data from multiple sources is inherently complex. To make sense of this information for all persons from boardroom to shop floor requires advanced algorithms to provide relevant meaning. Of which visualised data, is designed to separate the signal from the noise. Ultimately, serving as the key piece of information for marketeer to unlock and tailor relevant communications to customers, making each interaction personal.
But there is more: ‘Immediacy’ is my word for 2015. Processing huge volumes and variety of data to infer patterns and trends is powerful but now not enough. Big data now needs to be fast data. Immediacy in this context is how does real time insight allow us to react and respond immediately. As such Stream Processing is designed to act and analyse this process.Think algorithms on steroids; robust architectures are now needed to be scalable to handle this high real time volume as there is no slowing down in the collation of ubiquitous data.
But what does this real time insight hold. Well, location is being explored further in store through Bluetooth Low Energy solutions, with the premise to understand as much detail of a customer’s journey in store. All of which is designed to enhance the customer experience in both the online, and offline world. In turn causing marketers and developers to get ever closer to fuse both on and offline. A collation of stream data through human activities, machine data, sensors data and multiple sources, will be the secret to reaching the 360 customer view. And brands who adopt this view sooner will rise very quickly to the top of their sector. Wanting to understand all interests and behaviours of your customers outside of your immediate brand environment is one thing. Collating this information is another. But the reality is making insight actionable.