Turns out big data isn’t a big thing.

October 25, 2015

So says a bunch of highly respected techie people at some of the UK’s leading companies. So we did some research on behalf of a tech company recently, part of it was us asking CTOs/VPs and other techy leaders (from various verticals) the importance of a Big Data Strategies for their business.

Oddly, only 47% said it was important.

And none said it was critical. But here’s the thing, clearly it was/is important.
When prodded and probed further (and we’re talking about 13 interviews here) they eloquently articulated the urgent and critical need for their businesses to do a number of key initiatives, including:

  • Integrating large datasets
  • Delivering an omni-channel strategy
  • Real time analytics / decision making
  • Creating predictive models
  • Developing event triggered systems
  • Developing hyper-personalisation

They were all ‘data professionals’ of sorts, all figuring out how to manage and leverage the vast amounts of data flowing into their organisations. They could all see the importance (often critical) for delivering:

  1. Revenue maximisation
  2. Operational Efficiency
  3. Compliance


There is a message here we need to heed, especially those of us working the marketing space at tech companies.

Jumping on the buzz-phrase bandwagon might well do more damage than good to your marketing efforts

Clearly those interviewed had a need for big data cloudy type stuff, but they didn’t necessarily relate their day to day challenges to this all encompassing ubiquitous phrase. Maybe big data is too big a concept? Maybe they’re just saturated with the phrase so much they just switch off from it. Maybe we’ve all used it so much that it doesn’t mean anything any more?

Sometimes there can be an overwhelming urge to fit in, be part of the in crowd. Say the right things, use the right phrases. Rinse and repeat what everyone else is saying. The danger is you just end up sounding like everyone else. A ‘me too’ syndrome. Surely we need to make sure you stand out from the crowd and don’t get lost in it?

Talk to Protocol about your audience research and messaging strategy

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