The 2013 Philly ETE conference was a packed house of the latest and greatest technology trends for the enterprise. Within the Business track, I got to speak to a room full of a mix of developers and business unit owners about how to “go big” with Big Data, one step at a time. (View the presentation slides) This talk grew out of a set of observations I’ve had lately.
- Is “big data” really all that new? Haven’t we had data since the beginning of time?
- “Big data” is really in the eye of the beholder. What is big to one company’s set of people resources, infrastructure, business needs, etc. is small to another.
- There really is no correlation between size of company, its industry, and its facility with big data and analytics. I’ve seen multibillion dollar companies struggle to understand what Organic traffic is, and seed-stage startups have the most interesting data schemas out there.
- There is no glory in having lots of data. The point is what you do with that data. If you could raise your customer LTV by 20% using 3 points of data, wouldn’t you rather do that than have 3 Terabytes of it?
This all leads me to a final observation: all this talk of “Big Data” is a bit anxiety-inducing to folks in companies large and small, tech and non-tech who are trying to move their numbers along. Smart individual contributors that see patterns in existing data get stifled by higher-ups who want to buy shiny new data tools. General Managers or P&L owners lack a clear picture of what the data is telling them about their business and users due to an overcommunication of information.
I’ve written in the past that there’s no silver bullet within online marketing, and that our work is an ongoing cycle of coming up with actionable tactics and measurable results. So this talk was really an attempt to calm some of that anxiety by giving some clear steps and approaches to using data to move KPIs. That’s really what all this data is for.
I’m following up on this talk during Philly Tech Week at the Women in Tech Summit. And I’m pretty excited. At Delphic, I have worked with enough large clients where I see patterns around data facility, integrity, and the need for having an iterative and well-planned analytics approach.
There are a lot of budding data geeks at the large companies here in Philly that need some help with advocating for a more data-driven culture, and then actually implementing it. What are the right tools, the right staff, the right approaches, etc.?
There’s no blanket solution that’s right for everyone, but we can talk about how to figure that out, and what’s worked for my clients in the past. Get your tickets now for the Women in Tech Summit. See you there!
Anita Garimella Andrews is a passionate data geek who believes things that can be tested and measured ought not to be discussed ad nauseum. She’s also our General Manager of Analytics & Optimization.