build a national big data superhighway

According to me, data is the most valuable asset now for every sector. I believe, to enhance any business; I must know my consumer fully. And to know more about my customers I need nothing more than big data and an analytical tool to process them. Hence, companies are expanding their data sources, by integrating their systems with platforms of other businesses as well as implementing analytical platforms and applications. By analyzing relevant data, meaningful insights can be drawn out of them, which in turn can help me with the decision to improve my business functions or offerings. But getting more data, doesn’t mean violating consumer’s trust on us. I have seen consumers changing brands just because the companies were disturbing their customers with unwanted service or product information at irrelevant moments.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry companies, might have the big data capabilities aligned to their business processes, but one should always know where and when to be active with the insights you gain, and above all companies should crosscheck if those insights are relevant to their business process or not.

I have seen personalized promotions being huge success across consumers, as people like to be treated as a person, rather than numbers. But the same must be presented to the consumers in a way which might not freak the customer out, rather delightfully surprise them.

The Big Data come in many different variants as per their area of use and functionalities they provide. So, what guidelines should companies follow to gain customers than frighten them away?

  • For starters, every companies should adhere to certain standards and regulations while collecting useful data from their customers: For instance, the practice should be known to the consumers, and the companies must explain them, why the data is being collected. When the consumer consents to the same, only then the companies should further process it, rather than stealing it from the consumers without their knowledge. This enhances customer trust for the particular brand too.
  • Secondly, understand concept of meaningful and relevant offering: Let’s say, I have called an Uber to ride to a popular shopping destination. Now this piece of information can be utilised to send me certain promotional offers given by certain shops situated in that particular area. The promotional offers can be more personalized and made relevant to me, if its coupled by insights from what items I have been purchasing from these brands and around what time. May be, it’s a friend’s birthday that is coming, and the same thing can be reminded to me, by a push notification or a message while I am shopping. Now, these product offering information is a welcome message for me. I will not delete it to clean out my inbox off junk messages.
  • Third, let’s talk about micro moments: Now while I am shopping, my banking app understands that I had swiped my card many times, and it has been a while that I am there. The app sends me a notification alerting that how much I have spent and if I am exceeding my monthly budget for shopping. This is kind of data analytics which serves as a boon for people like me. Or, using data on my restaurant orders and spending, certain brands can analyse which cuisine do I like, and send me notifications about some new cuisine I would prefer or discounts going on in a restaurant nearby my shopping area. Or else, my utility app reminding me of the necessities I had to buy in that particular area.

All of these touchpoint and notifications are enabled by apps which in turn are enabled by data regarding me and my behaviour. I really cannot be pissed about my GPS location sensed by Uber app, as the data sharing is through my consent and initiation. The apps that are sending me the notifications has been allowed by me. But the responsible thing that the brands did in this scenario is, notified me about relevant information and at right time in a right place. This is what matters. Through data proliferation, banks calling for credit cards and loans, is definitely a creepy use of big data analytics. Using my publically visible calendar data, travel companies sending me information on discounted vacation is surely a thankful big data analytics application.

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