Big Data: Actionable Insights and Real Business Value

Big data projects can deliver competitive advantage to match the buzz. This is especially true when the initial strategy is focused on using the right combination of internal and external data sources and making sure that the data leads to desired market outcomes in a timely fashion.

Big Insights, Faster

The first mistake companies can make is only using their data that, in essence, gives them tunnel vision—the inability to seein more than one direction. When Capto approaches a big data project, we seek nontraditional data from third-party resources to augment a client’s data assets and pinpoint those leave-your-competitor-in-the-dust insights. Supplementing third-party data sets with existing data gives a company a different perspective and set of insights that are not possible using only internal, traditional or overly curated data sets. This merger of information provides new insights, adds relevance and advances outcomes in the way big data is intended to be leveraged but rarely is. 

For example, Capto recently helped a client mix its existing data with external macroeconomic, social and weather data to improve their predictive churn models, ensuring that customers likely to churn receive incentives, and those unlikely to churn do not. The combination of existing and new information, analyzed in new ways, affected the client’s ability to incentivize customers it wanted to keep: those that paid their bill on time, bought additional services and had competitive alternatives. At the same time, the client did not want to incentivize customers without alternatives or who otherwise underperform. Knowing how to hyper-target high-value customers made the client’s retention program more efficient and profitable. Overall, that shift in focus would lead to improved the company’s already industry-leading performance by three basis points.

Making the Business Case

This is only one way to strategically use big data to develop quick, informed business solutions. Using case studies like this and developing your own forecast for the positive impacts on your organization are all part of building a business case. Your chief marketing officer or marketing leader is most often the champion for effective data investments, and it is incumbent upon that person to sell the idea up and down the organization.

Often that means enlisting outside resources to answer key big data project questions like:

  • What will, or should, this cost, and what is the best way to quickly bring capabilities to my business?

  • What people and skills are required to be successful?

  • How long will, or should, it take?

Answering questions such as those requires a blended skillset of financial, marketing and technical expertise. This is where Capto can help. Our background in M&A allows us to quickly assess business opportunities, and as a result of our years of technical expertise, we can realistically determine what can be done, when it can be done and how much it will cost to do it. With those answers, the chief marketing officer or marketing leader can make a strong case to the chief information officer and the rest of the C-Suite to gain buy-in and drive execution.

Once you have buy-in, finding the right supplemental data sets is key. Stay tuned for our next post on determining key data sets for profitable and fast big data projects.