I have read a few articles on DATA as the new oil, true. I have however fairly frequently wondered if DATA is the new oil , air or king. Which ever you decide, the fact remains that data is and will remain a valuable part of our personal and business life.
What exactly is data? According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, Data is : ‘factual information (as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation’
I was however asked by a reader based on my last article BIG DATA & Small people, “ What is BIG DATA? How will i know BIG DATA if it hits me in the face? ” From the definition above, you can infer that BIG DATA is the abundance of factual information.
Oranges, BIG Oranges
Apples, BIG Apples
Data, BIG Data
While its obviously not as simple as the above, Big data is basically tons and tons of data in various forms and formats.
For example, If you were to run for 1km daily for a week, I can decide to capture the following information and statistics about your daily run.
Scenario A – I can capture your name, dates, time, duration and route you run. This will fit nicely in a simple table . However today we capture much more, runners can see their heart rate, steps, active minutes etc. Imagine if you capture even more information about your run.
Scenario B – Scenario A + heart rate, steps, blood pressure, wind direction & speed, sensors on your body that capture how every part of your body moves while running, the sound of each breath you take, pictures & videos of your run. Now picture what scenario A & B will look like as data stored. Scenario B will offer BIGGER Data about your run.
If you were to make an informed decision regarding how you run, scenario B will give you more information and patterns to see and answer questions you may not have even asked. For example, what is your heart rate and beat in response to a credit alert? If it does at all. Can we compare the way your heart responds to running and the way it responds to a credit alert? could multiple credit alerts keep you healthy and fit the way a weekly run will? With the abundance of data you can ponder beyond limits and you can ask any question however silly it may seem.
Now as a business owner, you have to ask your self, do you have all the possible information available to you and considered them before making a decision. If all you know about your customer is what they tell you, then you may not know your customer that well. You KYC, but do you RRKYC ( Really Really Know your Customer )
Below are three points you may wish to consider:
Can I use Big data to know my customers better.
Yes. Try to connect the dots using Big data. Bring the two kings together, customer and data. Be iterative, objective and consistent in using data to know your customer because the customer you knew yesterday may not be the customer you know today.
He knows me, he knows me NOT.
What does it feel like when someone seems to know you well? knows what you like to do, where you like to go and how you think. For most people you feel important, it inspires trust and loyalty. What business will not want a trusting and loyal customer?
What do we expect tomorrow.
No body knows for sure, but analysing past data is a starting point.