You probably know about big data. It has been heralded as a game-changing tool and has already transformed many aspects of many industries. According to Forbes, big data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis. There are different types of big data and it’s not just the realms of the digital world that count – offline interactions happening in large volumes also count. Forbes splits the field into 2 major areas – unstructured and multi-structured data. The former cannot easily be organized or interpreted by algorithms or databases (think social media posts), and the latter refers to interactions between people and machines (a wide range of interactions including web apps and social networks). But what does all this mean for advertising?
With more data at our disposal and better ways of storing and analyzing what we have, big data looks set to be a game changer for advertising. So what is changing? Well it’s not necessarily how we advertise that will change, but rather the insights informing advertising decisions will be stronger and smarter. Big data can help us get better at understanding customers. This means better honing messages with predictive analytics and gaining new insights on the way customers interact with advertising. Big data isn’t the next generation of advertising, but rather a tool that can help us do things better.
Big data is quite possibly the hottest trend in technology, and allows insights into almost every field of life. It is a powerful tool that allows us to extrapolate and put together conclusions from vast quantities of data that were previously impossible to analyze or event collect. Big data has been hailed as a major breakthrough for many industries but the flip side is that it raises a slew of privacy and social concerns and pries into all our habits and behaviors. Harvard Business Review has hailed this new wave of tech as data-enabled disruption, which has the power to fundamentally change the way we use and understand almost everything.
When it comes to businesses, there is almost no end to the types of insights that big data can provide. One of the more actionable and useful applications is that it allows businesses to build better customer profiles through a greater knowledge of customer behavior. This makes it much easier to understand different users and to evaluate the lifetime value of a user. The bottom line is that every company in today’s world has masses of data, and finding a way to leverage and gain insights from such data can transform the way each business works.
The online applications of big data (like the offline ones) are therefore endless. But one area where they are particularly interesting is in the arena of user-generated content or UGC. This is a form of content that has overtaken traditional advertising in many ways. And in the online world of publishing or e-stores, customer feedback, comments and reviews are a goldmine of data that provide some of the most detailed information available on users.
While most online systems remain text based, new forms of media are becoming increasingly important in the way we understand users and best utilize big data. Audio, for example, is an arena where valuable customer insights can be gained. And with ongoing improvements in machine-learning, and acoustic processing, audio is another goldmine of big data (albeit one that has seen less of the limelight thus far).
Reports show that in 2013, of the almost 200 billion interactions between a company and its customers, 60% of them were voice interactions. Voice is therefore at the forefront of customer interactions and should be top of mind when it comes to online data harvesting. Yet, when we look at comments and reviews the leading platforms are still text-based. And while they allow website owners to interact with customers and learn from the data of these interactions, a lot of the nuance of voice is lost.
What’s interesting to note is that there is a new wave of comments and reviews platforms and that they are utilizing non-text based media forms such as visuals and audio. These channels have huge potential implications for big data as they allow website owners to better understand their customers. Reports show that voice is a far more personal way of communicating and that it is still very much central to the way we carry out business and interact with fellow humans. The future of big data in this arena is an interesting one, and is sure to yield even better insights about the way we live, interact and do business.
Heyoya is a unique comment and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
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