By Ryan Warren, Vice President of Marketing
Big data is a big topic these days. With more companies jumping on the business intelligence bandwagon, one common misconception is you can’t integrate big data analytics into your business monitoring system. Now, more sales professionals may have become aware of data analytics in the past year, but that does not mean it is an entirely new development and is incompatible with CRM systems. In fact, placing data into your tracking software is exactly what you want to do. Investing in BI and market intelligence go hand in hand, and big data is a critical component of each. Being able to extract usable information from the data pile is a great way for sales and marketing reps to ensure they drive business and, in turn, revenue.
The Epic Confusion Over Big Data
Many sales professionals understand the importance of customer and business intelligence, and know analytics is part of how it all works together. Yet many reps continue to misunderstand how important big data really is to their success. Some are even unsure if they really need it. And with the infinite amount of intelligence out there, you need it, because you just cannot possibly get through all of the information without some help.
Adam Binnie, global vice president for SAP, told Forbes the process of sifting through all of the collected intelligence is a means to an end for optimizing your investment.
“While we talk a lot about the data and the impact of that data, at the end of the day […] analytics is about giving people information so that those people can have an impact on the success of an organization,” he said.
In a recent article for Business News Daily, Elizabeth Palermo broke down how big data helps professionals sort through the vast amounts of accumulated insights. Palermo, a technology professional, said most software involves three data tools: extraction, architecture and query development. These basic features are there for a reason – they select only certain parts of the data pool and bring them to your attention, then, many times, the data can be stored for future use. It’s wonderfully efficient.
But much of the confusion results from how messy big data can get when you don’t have the right tools to figure out what you actually need. In his blog for TechRepublic, Toby Wolpe said this is where one of big data’s big myths came into existence. Analytics become easier to decipher if you have the right BI platform. Wolpe also advised professionals to remember that when you have a great customer and business intelligence tool, using big data is easy.
And many agree with him, including Paul O’Leary, CTO for BI firm Quantivo, who told Forbes all of the mess results from not using an appropriate platform to get the proper information.
“The big challenge in big data visualization is going from lots of raw data and turning it into a form where you’ve done the calculations,” O’Leary said. “It becomes very easy to visualize once you’ve done the heavy lifting.”
When you have a system that can do that heavy lifting for you, you’re most of the way there. The right platform should give you context to the data, be able to give you information right as it’s happening and give you everything your customers need to be successful. Investing in the right tool can make a world of difference when industries like sales and marketing change every day.