big is great but smart is better – a big data discussion

I have recently had the chance to listen to a presentation by Phil Winters at the CRM Expo in Stuttgart. Phil is an active advocate of big data theories and a very lively presenter (can only recommend to sit in if you have the chance). Anyway, one of Phil’s slides caught my attention particularly.  A slide about a very basic but yet, as it seems, mostly ignored principle about big data.


In other words, BIG DATA – NON-IDENTIFIABLE DATA SOURCES = SMART DATA. The grid used to present this is about as easy as it gets but holds all the value a smart marketer needs to step into the big data discussion.

1) Visualise your customers purchasing decision making process (or the funnel if you want)

2) Identify touchpoints (this alone is a great exercise for most marketers and even more for internal service providers – customer centricity is the key – not what you want)

3) Assess data availability per touchpoint (is data readily available, in which form, when, from whom etc)

4) Assess smart data options (can you make sense of the data or identify user groups or even single users out of a specific data set)

5) Identify the data creator (is it a customer, potential customer, noise etc)

6) Smart Data entry (can you make sense of underlying values, behaviours or motives – in other words, can you interpret the data gathered at this level)

More from Phil Winters here – enjoy the read and happy smart data mining (I am a big advocate of logical naming conventions and from that point of view, big data is a misleading term, we don’t need big data but smart data; think about it!)

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