Big Data and Company Goals vs. Customer Needs

Web analysts frequently gripe that they are ignored and that their stakeholders ask them to do things that add no value. Big data just might provide a solution to that complaint. This is because big data, by its nature, puts company goals in the proper context of customer needs.

Customer-Centric Data

The argument in favor of big data is that it allows companies to understand their customers more completely. It gives analysts the tools to see the whole customer experience. Big data should naturally be customer-centric. It gives clearer insight into why customers do things instead of just what they do. A careful analysis of what customers need and want will help a company to see where they are disconnected from their customers. They can identify areas where they are trying to force customers to do things they don't want to do. Big data enables web analysts to be champions of the customer.

Democratizing Data

Adopting big data hastens the embrace of web analytics practices by the entire company. Showing how disparate company initiatives complement or conflict helps stakeholders adopt the right perspective toward data. One major reason analysts feel undervalued is because they understand how to use data and how to think about it, but few stakeholders do.

Analysts see a nuanced picture in the data. It reveals a complicated discussion with customers. Without the company realizing it, it sends multiple signals to customers, who interpret them as if they came from a unified body. As this intricate process is clarified, stakeholders within the company will naturally adopt a more accurate perspective about what the data represents and how it can benefit them. They will also realize where they should be coordinating efforts instead of unwittingly competing.

Attribution Models

Looking at the company from the customer's perspective, it's easier to see when the company is doing something nonsensical. Big data can measure the value of each interaction in the context of the customer lifecycle. Focusing on microconversions allows a company to see that it's not a question of whether to use banner ads or email campaigns. Instead, the company can clearly see that they should only do email campaigns at a certain point with certain messages, and that banner ads complement those initiatives only when they are used in the right way. Today's debates about attribution models using first-click or last-click or some combination are all asking the wrong question. Big data helps us to see what the reality is.

This is part 4 of a five-part series on big data and web analytics.

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