Tuesday Big Data Series

Endless Data, Endless Opportunities

With the kind of volume and variety of data that is available in the world today, it becomes important that we analyze this data irrespective of its source and format and also decide which of the elements of the data would be helpful in creating an effective marketing solution.


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In this age of digitization, data can be collected from multiple sources. Let us go through some real life scenarios and see what data is collected from which sources and how it can be used for targeting.

  1. Personal Information

This information is collected when a user signs up on any website. A typical registration page may ask for personal information such as First Name, Last Name, Telephone Number, Address, City, Zip Code, Date of Birth, Email Address, Gender, and Place of Work etc. Though, some of the fields may be marked as optional, this data can be used to uniquely identify a user.

2. Social Network

Social Media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest etc. are one of the major sources of data today. Apart from personal information (captured during the registration process), it gives out information about user’s behavior and activity.

For example, the “checked-in” feature on Facebook can be used to target users who would like to visit places of similar interest. Another way to reach customers is through ads by using their personal information. If you are a woman and have mentioned that in the gender section during the registration process, then you will be displayed ads related to shopping, makeup, shoes etc. You may also be targeted with itemized recommendations based on your recent activity/search. For instance, if you have recently visited a bakery page, you will receive recommendations for similar pages that deal in baking.

3. Internet searches

Everything you search on Google is tracked and can be used to provide recommendations to potential customers. Interactions with websites like clicks, opens, product purchases, product abandonments, etc. are logged and can be used to analyze user activity and interest

4. Geographical locations

The country you are originally from or the country you currently reside in and are accessing the Internet from can lead to target users based on their location.

5. Device Use and Usage

Information such as the type of device a person uses (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile phone), its brand and make, its operating system etc. can be captured and analyzed. This data, for example, can give insights on the number of hits a website gets from a desktop as compared to a mobile device.

These are just some of the ways how data is captured and logged based on information shared by the user or by tracking his/her activity and behavior. As this data comes from multiple sources, it is important that we store it as it comes (without modifying its original format) and extract information from it.

Unlike the traditional databases, which need data to be fed in a particular format or structure (or schema), Big Data solutions like Hadoop allow data to be stored in their raw format. Hadoop has the ability to store structured as well as unstructured data together and use this heterogeneous data easily to extract meaningful information.

Today, Marketers have endless data at their disposal. With proper research, data analysis and marketing strategies, all applied together, it is a world with endless opportunities for him to achieve his targets and reach his goals. And, there’s no stopping him!

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