Big data analytics is one of the hottest topics in modern marketing. In the online age, every webpage we open, every product review we read, every item we purchase leaves a trail of digital breadcrumbs. The sheer scale of this data is hard to conceive – “big” is as good a word as any, but it barely does it justice.
When we talk about big data, it is usually in connection with the investment dollars that businesses are prepared to plough into making sense of it all and using it to deliver strategic insights. That’s the “analytics” part of the equation. Clearly, those insights can benefit the businesses in question. But they do so by also benefiting their customers. Let’s find out how.
Improving the customer experience
Why do you buy your coffee from a particular café or get your car serviced at a specific garage? There are a dozen possible reasons, but the most common is because you’ve had a good experience there before. Likewise, one bad experience can be enough for you to mentally blacklist a seller for good. Often, we act on this kind of bias almost subconsciously.
The point is that in these examples and most others, we have a choice of suppliers, so mediocre customer service will just not cut it. Big data allows sellers to improve customer service by giving access to feedback on multiple channels – not just reviews but also comments on social media, brand mentions on blogs, even bounce rates on websites. It spells out how companies can improve experience of customers, and that benefits everyone.
Developing better online products and comparison services
All that data also provides insights into how consumers are using a product or service. This makes it easier to develop an effective system of continuous improvement. For example, casino affiliate sites like CasinoSenpai.com gather data to make their top lists to provide customers with the best info about online casinos.
Big data helps them understand what sort of information matters most to their readers, whether it’s the categories of casino games they can play, the size of the free bonuses on offer or the types of payment methods they can use to deposit money into their gambling accounts and to withdraw any winnings.
Following on directly from the above, around two thirds of today’s consumers say they expect personalized communications from the companies with which they do business. This might be in the form of marketing communications, product suggestions, special offers and promotions – essentially every communication needs to speak directly to the buyer.
Getting this right presents a win/win. First and foremost, customers are receiving information and offers that are of genuine interest and value to them. When that happens, ROI has the potential to go through the roof and the sales cycle can be shortened significantly. It all adds up to increased satisfaction for the buyer and a healthier bottom line for the seller, but it can only be achieved by collecting and interpreting client data in order to understand and meet expectations.
In this online age, it’s easy to get caught up on the topic of the global community and how it transcends distances and international borders. It’s important to look through the telescope from both ends, as in the real world, we still live in localized communities.
Big data can provide unprecedented access to what is happening in a specific neighborhood, whether it is where someone is living right now or, even more pertinently, when they are considering relocating. Insights are practically limitless but they include local spending habits, crime rates and even trends in property prices.
Reducing cyber-crime and improving web security
There’s an old saying in risk management circles that smoke alarms are better than fire extinguishers. To stretch the metaphor, big data is able to identify the first hint of smouldering. The fact is, when it comes to cyber-crime, big data can often predict attacks before they happen.
With any type of crime, the perpetrators are constantly changing their methods to stay one step ahead of the authorities. Big data effectively puts the boot on the other foot and allows organizations to anticipate and prevent instead of reacting and trying to limit damage. Again, that benefits the organization but also its customers, with whose data it is entrusted. Michelle Moore wrote more about this subject on SanDiego.edu
One specific application of big data has a benefit to everyday consumers that could not be more direct. This is when it is applied to healthcare and specifically, to making medical diagnoses. Suppose you go to a doctor with a specific set of symptoms. He will consult two or three medical texts, and might look through half a dozen case histories of people with similar symptoms.
That’s probably a couple of hours’ work. Big data, especially when combined with AI, can consult thousands of records and cross reference your notes in a matter of seconds. Not only does it lead to faster, better diagnoses, it also frees up time for medical professionals to spend treating patients instead of poring over data.
These steps forward in the medical sector are rapidly spreading into the closely related area of insurance claims. The latest insurtech innovations use a similar blend of big data analytics and machine learning and have shown how insurance claim processing times can be slashed from weeks to hours. Whether it relates to a medical emergency, a car accident or a home invasion, anyone filling in an insurance claim is inevitably going through a stressful experience. Anything that speeds up the process can only be a power for good.
Related technology is also being trailed to identify fraudulent claims. A little like the medical diagnoses, it is all done through analyzing vast amounts of data and identifying patterns that would be almost impossible for a human analyst to discern manually. Cutting fraud reduces losses for insurance companies and means reduced premium payments for genuine customers.