Big data flows in 2018 are rapid and high volume, causing real issues in the workplace.
Even more so, when the amount of data available is increasing every day. Businesses are struggling to turn it into actionable, smart insights that will influence decisions.
In this article, we review what’s really working for agencies looking to improve their processes, and how you can leverage data analytics to grow and work better as an organisation.
Big data is noisy and volatile but provides crucial insights for agencies. It can reduce targeting risk, but is also helpful to streamline company processes and improve the scope of work and estimates. In fact, it’s been touted as the future of advertising. So why is it being used incorrectly?
Storage capacity and the struggle to cut through the noise. Most businesses – agencies included – still rely on in-memory databases and servers. Customer insight is the very lifeblood of successful advertising, and big data means that this information is flowing in at an unprecedented pace. Agency databases are struggling with the volume.
For businesses, especially agencies wanting to tame and utilise big data in 2018, full adoption of cloud storage is the ideal option. Those who haven’t already implemented this strategy are most likely in the transition to cloud-only operations.
The problem with current data storage?
The ‘volume, velocity and variety of data being generated’ says expert Nima Neghaban, is both a blessing and a curse for businesses. Because of this rapid growth, businesses need to step up and manage it in a way that makes it accessible and usable.
Ken Auletta’s coming book, “Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else)”, which was featured recently in The New Yorker, notes that advertisers now have access to data as a marketing tool like never before. With mobile usage, we can see individualised data about consumers covering their everyday habits – when they wake, when they’re online, their travel and shopping preferences, and so on. This allows agencies to create multiple permutations of the same ad to target different demographics – but the data volumes involved in such an operation are daunting.
Up to this point, for many agencies, traditional ways of storing and analysing data have worked on a superficial level – but they are now maxing out.
On top of this, on-premises memory and data collection is costly, inflexible and lacks certain security elements. The inevitable decision by companies is to move fully to the cloud. This will save not only time and money but give decision makers peace of mind that their data is as secure as it can possibly be.
Why does the amount of data make a difference?
When the amount of data flows is large, it’s nearly impossible to extract all information and vital information can be missed by those working on it. To keep on top of this and eliminate any blank spots in data, more and more companies are increasing real-time data analytics – and they need a cloud system that can take the influx of new information.
A More Advanced Option
But, what if we told you there is something better than cloud first technology?
Insert: Edge Data.
Edge Data works on solving the problem that comes from using multiple devices that require immediate and high volume processing of data. Edge Data will allow you to connect information, that you thought impossible before. Think of cloud computing as a supporting technology and Edge the technology that makes it happen smoothly. Using the two together is going to make your business work more efficiently, ‘by laying out a solid infrastructure of data analysis’ (Mark Barrenechea, the CEO and CTO, of OpenText).
Wait, how will this help my business, now?
First off, you need to change your data analysing mindset. If you’re still seeing data as something you pluck from a dataset and insert into your google sheets, then you need to flip it.
This year, it’s VITAL for you to see data as flowing, rather than static. Using data flows will help you to capture important business information as it happens. This creates a foundation to build an even bigger, highly functional large-scale data flow system, one that will move in sync with an ever-changing ‘database’.
Using processing tools will boost your data analysis. Live data processing platforms like Apache Flink are rapidly being developed – they are able to give a larger variety of data sets and richer insights in real time. Products like this, will over time, improve business agility and performance.
Companies are already appearing, which use big data to help agencies – big and small – improve their own processes, and get better results. Take, for example, Scope, which allows agencies to improve their revenue and productivity by creating more accurate project scope of work, using big data. Scope takes live, anonymised data from over 4 million projects, from more than 800 agencies of different sizes across the globe. By crunching the numbers, Scope can provide model estimates and predictions for different deliverables, allowing agencies to then tailor their own estimates without ever touching an Excel sheet.
And if it’s inspiration you’re looking for, you can now try The Work, the big data-driven resource from Cannes Lions. This online repository is designed to help creatives draw ideas from the very best work out there, to improve collaboration, share ideas, and even ‘crack that uncrackable brief’.
How can I use Edge Data?
Companies in 2017 started to translate data into graphs and images. The benefit of this was more effective information coordination and an improved customer experience.
The same concept applies for Edge First, in fact, some of the world’s largest organisations use real-time data graphs already. These include; VISA, Wish.com and SoftBank.
GroupM, boasting global operations such as Mindshare, Essence and Wavemaker, is said to have 40,000 personally identifiable attributes which it plans to retain on 200 million Americans. Known as its ‘special sauce’, this live data allows GroupM agencies to predict and influence customer behaviour, removing much of the risk in customer targeting. The result: A more effective product, created with less drain on resources.
Agencies should start to implement cloud computing and tools to analyse edge data. It’s essential if you want to continue to thrive in the ever moving data race.
To make it easier, using one vendor that truly understands your needs and can solve multiple challenges in your business is preferable for managing this data.
Simply put – 2018 into 2019 is the time for smart data and full cloud adoption. Will 2019 be the year for Edge Data? Be an early adopter, try it out now.