These are just a couple of the questions that have been plaguing industries and enterprises worldwide since the “Big Data” phenomenon surfaced. By now, most of us have heard this buzzword/phrase that has been penetrating the minds of IT and analytics professionals alike. However, many organizations are still unsure how to effectively analyze and gain new insights from it. Luckily, there are expert specialists in this field who are eager to join and guide them through their journey.
What is “Big Data?”
I’ll spare you the formal definition and put it simply: “Big Data” is everything, and it’s everywhere. “Big Data” is defined by (at least) three ‘Vs’: Volume, Velocity and Variety. And you might even hear about a fourth ‘V’ depending on which “Big Data” solution provider you’re talking to.
- zettabytes = as much information as there are grains of sands on all the world’s beaches
- Veracity (IBM) — Accurate, truthful and trustworthy data
- Variability (SAS) — Data flows that may be unpredictable, inconsistent and anomalous
Now that we have a better grasp of what exactly “Big Data” is, I’d like to explore some of the complexities and challenges companies face because of it, as well, as the opportunities it presents.
Challenges & Complexities
The size, requirements, boundaries and resources of an organization, as well as the industry it’s in, can dictate the adoption of “Big Data” in addition to which obstacles will prevent them from extracting high-value impact and gaining new business insights that were previously unattainable.
However, there are a few common challenges despite the nature of the business:
- An abundance and variety of data sources and the information collected
- Inherent complexity in processing, management and aggregation
I intentionally left out a fundamental part of the “Big Data” definition when I talked about the three or four ‘Vs’ of this concept, but this is a perfect place to sneak it in.
IDC’s definition of “Big Data” embraces the hardware, services and software that integrate, organize, manage, analyze and present the data that is characterized by the ‘Vs’ discussed at the beginning of this post.
This is why new technologies and architectures, advanced tools and platforms are needed and are continuing to be developed. These appliances will allow enterprises to leverage “Big Data” and (you guessed it) analytics.
- Technical: Data scientists with an unparalleled level of skill to understand the interactions of a new class of technologies
- Analytics: Data mining; statistics; business analytics; problem solving; creativity
Although there are some hindrances to enterprises fully embracing this new era of “Big Data” and analytics, there are evolving approaches to conquer them. For example, the Google Analytics Premium and BigQuery integration that will be taking place toward the end of this year was just announced at the Google I/O a couple weeks ago. If you’re a GA Premium user, I’ll venture to guess that this made you smile — even if you’re not 100% sure what it’s going to mean for your business.
Check back next week when I’ll discuss what value, advantages, opportunities and possible use cases can arise from utilizing more advanced technologies, solutions, and analytics strategies such as the “Big Data” movement. Stay tuned!
Both online retailers and shoppers wait with great anticipation for these sacred two days to roll around, and for very good reason; Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest online shopping days of the year and as a retailer, you do not want to disappoint! On the flip side, as a shopper, you do not want to be disappointed! The expectations are huge. What kind of promotions have you got up your sleeve? How will you compete with all of the retailers who will be aggressively marketing their websites? The answer is really simple: By advertising offers that are too good to pass up! Below are just a few of the most popular tried and true offers that statistically perform well year after year.
HINT: Be sure to include coupon codes in your ad copy. They work wonders in terms of tracking which ads/offers performed best.
Exclusive Time Sensitive Promos. Sort of like an “early bird gets the worm” deal. For example: 6 am to noon special savings. Most retailers make these the biggest offers of the day. Be sure to specify time zones.
Free Shipping. This one is a biggie, perhaps the biggest and shoppers have come to expect it. If you do not offer it year round you should definitely do so for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sales will likely be lost otherwise.
Site Wide Discounts. Also a big one and very common. It gives your shoppers the freedom to purchase whatever they want and receive a nice savings.
Free Gift with Purchase. A great incentive – especially around the holidays. Shoppers are getting another gift they can either keep for themselves (if they are greedy, ha ha) or give to someone else.
Free Gift Wrap. Shoppers love this. Gift wrapping can be tedious and cumbersome and many wait until the night before to get it all done. This way — they get their gift shipped and wrapped. What could be better?
Take advantage of these two huge shopping days and capitalize on the increase in traffic and sales. Happy Holidays!
Seriously. Why? At the risk of sounding pushy, I can not see any valid reason for not “reaching out” to the visitors who arrived at your site, but failed to take whichever action step you were hoping for. As an example, ecommerce websites obviously want their visitors to complete a sale; while the goal of a lead generation website is for visitors to request more information (i.e. download a whitepaper or sign up for a newsletter) and ultimately capture an email address.
You have more than likely been remarketed to many times and have not even realized. Case in point: it is no mistake that you searched for a portable DVD player and then later that same day (and the entire week thereafter) kept seeing random banner ads from the very same online store you visited that day. If this online retailer is playing their cards right, the banners actually show a DVD player and even better, an enticing discount to lure you back to the site and complete your transaction.
There are so many reasons why visitors do not convert on their first visit. Perhaps they are on their lunch break and ran out of time before they were able to complete their transaction. Maybe they just want to shop around and make sure they are getting the best possible deal. Sometimes it’s as simple as they got distracted and forgot to finish filling out the form on your site or buying the DVD Player and all they need is a friendly reminder (hence remarketing) to visit your site again.
Whatever your online marketing strategy may already include, if you have not engaged in a Remarketing Campaign, you are missing out on great deal opportunities, especially with the holiday season fast approaching.