By this stage of the big data game, I think we can all agree on four things:

1. Leveraging big data to personalize the digital experience is critical to the future success of any transactional business;
2. Most organizations have an analytics team that has been collecting and storing customer data;
3. Most of that data is sitting in a warehouse, unused and unactionable; and
4. Big data has proven to be a big conundrum for marketers, and they are scrambling to figure out how to leverage the data ahead of the competition.

What Insight and Action Through Data Used to Mean (and still means to some marketers)

In a recent survey by Monetate and Econsultancy, 94% of all marketers reported that personalization is “critical to current and future success” of their businesses, yet three in four admitted that they are not using their data effectively.

So what is the disconnect? Time, people, and resources.

Let’s walk down the path that a marketer has traditionally taken in order to make big data actionable:

1. Seek out the analytics team and find out if they’ve uncovered any interesting patterns in the customer data they are collecting;
2. Take the insights, hypothesize around how to act on them, and develop a campaign brief;
3. Mock up the campaign creative and have the graphics team design the campaign;
4. Queue up the campaign in IT; and
5. Try to determine if the campaign was effective.

Sound about right? And since the process likely takes weeks or even months to cycle through, there’s a chance that the original insights are no longer valid for the business. But doing nothing to personalize through big data is not an option.

So what’s next? Like the retailer who came to the Monetate booth at IRCE and compared new big data technologies to the introduction of Microsoft Windows in the ‘90s—when suddenly, everyone could experience the personal computer through a graphical user interface instead of navigating clunky DOS commands—we can declare that the democratization of big data is here! Marketers can now leverage big data through an interface without even having to look at the backend data.

Actionable Big Data Through the Cloud: Are We Talking About Big-Data-as-a-Service?

Maybe! Techopedia describes big-data-as-a-service(BDaaS) as: “term typically used to refer to services that offer analysis of large or complex data sets, usually over the Internet, as cloud hosted services.”

Here at Monetate, we would add to that definition, because just delivering the analysis of the data only takes the marketer halfway to where they need to go. Rather, an effective BDaaS solution should capture and store a brand’s customer data and analyze deep data sets—and include an interface that’s tied to the brand’s website, allowing the marketer to act on the insights immediately through the BDaaS solution.

In other words, business users leverage and act on big data insights without ever seeing the big data. It means taking the five arduous steps outlined above and compressing the turnaround from months to hours, using one system. And so the bottom line is that big relief from big data is here.

Young Businessman on the Cloud image courtesy of Shutterstock.