Getting Personal with Big Data

Posted by Prof M. Eric Johnson on February 15, 2013 | Comment (0)

Getting Personal with Big Data Photo

The last two weeks have been a Big Data fest for the Center.  Last week our Tech@Tuck conference brought executives to Tuck to discuss how big data was changing big brands.   This week our CIO Roundtable on Digital Strategies gathered in Phoenix to explore how big data should be fostered in managed.   We heard many diverse applications from improving internal operations—like using sensor data to improve the drilling process in oil exploration—to creating new service offerings based on data that typically been discarded.  But one theme spanned the diverse group of firms—using data to get more personal with customers, suppliers, and partners.    Data allows firms to treat customers as individuals rather than segments and that changes everything.  Yum Brand’s IT chief summarized it well with an analogy to the drive-up window of your favorite fast-food restaurant.  Simply punching a hole in the wall allowed stores to serve customers in a new way.  But that new service model changed everything from store siting and parking lot design to facility layout and process workflow.  It fundamentally changed the way chains ran their businesses.  Personalization is like punching a virtual hole in the enterprise wall, making a direct connection with customers.  Connecting that way with customer requires lots of accurate and timely data—data that has traditionally been walled up within the enterprise.  For Nordstrom, such personalization could help salesclerks make better client recommendations—not just on the website, but in traditional stores.  For MasterCard, it could take fraud detection to the next level shaving millions off annual losses while protecting customers.  And for Caesars, it could enhance the service experience at critical moments when customers might be close to walking across the street to a competitor.  Every one of those use cases is measurable, actionable, and linked to business value.  So thinking about big data in your business?  Get personal.


 


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