6 Ways to Prevent Big Data From Damaging Your Business

4. Mind the internal store. In addition to consumer data, in the next few years, companies will be dealing with larger amounts of internally generated data, particularly from manufacturing facilities. In many organizations, however, information is still siloed in different departments—accounting, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, IT, etc.—preventing sharing of useful information with each other. Companies that figure out how to operate more transparently and collaboratively will have a future competitive advantage.

The Solution: Hire tech staff with data experience that matches your company’s needs. Invest in education and training of data-management personnel. This will pay huge dividends down the road.

“Hire tech staff with data experience that matches your company’s needs and invest in education and training of data-management personnel.”

5. Listen to the machine. As organizations evolve, there inevitably comes a time when the data suggests that big internal changes need to be made, such as what portfolio strategy should an investment firm adopt, how should store staffing be allocated, what advertisements should be offered up when someone lands on our website. As more and more decisions are dictated by data-driven analytics, one of the hardest things for people to do will be to let go and let the data decide.

The Solution: Listen to what the data is telling you, and try to use it intelligently. Don’t abandon your instincts or intuition—but do use all the information available to inform your gut decision. Otherwise, your gut might betray you.

6. Respond proactively to customers’ instant dissatisfaction. Customers today have, in the palm of their hands, the means to let the world know how unsatisfied they are, and they rather enjoy using that power. And as every marketer knows, one angry customer can cause a lot of damage.

The Solution: Every disgruntled customer can, with the right response, be converted into a brand champion. The same technology that allows customers to register their dissatisfaction quickly also allows companies to address issues and concerns just as fast. The more instantaneous the response, the better for everyone.

Big Data may be the domain of your IT and marketing departments, but it’s critical that CEOs know their company’s data strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge, which is a journey, not a destination, will prove invaluable in leading your team in how to utilize your customer data to the company’s best advantage.

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Owen Shapiro
Owen Shapiro is the author of Brand Shift: The Future of Brands and Marketing. Shapiro is a market researcher, strategist and speaker and spent more than 30 years in customer insights and market strategy. He has a career-long interest in helping launch innovative startup companies, several of which have become well-known brands, including Staples, PetSmart, Sports Authority, Ulta and Five Below.