Discussions of big data and analytics have crept into everyday business conversations. No longer relegated to just major marketing businesses, the value of big data and analyzing it for a variety of business applications has become obvious across all parts of organizations. Facebook and Amazon are famously analyzing customer data to target customer interests, but a wide variety of companies are now finding out how to use analytics in successful ways.
Two Major Analytics Success Stories: Facebook and Amazon
Facebook and Amazon have become household names, but part of their fiscal success is the use of big data and analytics. Customers provide the social media giant and the online retail giant with all the data needed to analyze habits and interests. The resulting information is then used to deliver targeted messages back to each individual.
Facebook uses its vast quantities of personal information to return specific ads to user pages. The data is mined from the millions of user comments, “likes,” and locations or products posted willingly on its network each day.
Amazon also delivers targeted ads, but the company uses analytics to shape customer shopping experiences as well. The company offers suggestions for purchase based on customer wish lists and purchase history. The data is analyzed to provide special sales offers and useful product ideas while giving the customer a feeling of browsing through products. Each product happens to be predicted by analytics as something the customer likely wants or needs.
How Other Companies Are Harnessing the Power of Big Data
Big data has transformed the online retail portion of other companies besides Amazon, helping get customers into the stores with targeted coupons or sales offers. However, the power of analytics has also been recognized outside of retail or online consumers such as those browsing Facebook. Organizations as varied as travel services, car companies, and political groups are using analytics to influence their policies and audiences:
- Airlines such as British Airways are using analytics to track passenger preferences and target appropriate travel messages.
- Travel websites such as Travelocity use big data to calculate supply and demand for pricing and suggestions for hotel and car services.
- Car companies such as Volvo and Nissan analyze data from localized customer websites to provide advertising based on regional preferences for purchasing vehicles.
Some organizations are not using analytics to shape consumer purchases. The Obama/Biden political campaign is another successful use of big data. Campaign managers analyzed trends in political discussions and returned speeches with those talking points in mind.
More Success Stories to Come
Big data success stories will become more common as organizations find even more innovative ways to use analytics. Analytics and Hadoop solutions providers such as Treasure Data are working with an increasing number of companies interested in harnessing the power of big data.