Thursday, February 18, 2016

CEOs: 3 Steps to Embrace Big Data Analysis

   As a CEO, you realize the world of marketing is rapidly changing and big data is becoming the best way to grow your business. As a master candidate at Medill IMC, Northwestern University with a specialization in marketing analytics, I have found two insightful articles that describe the bright prospect of big data analysis and give simple instructions on how to best use big data in your own business.

“Big Data and the Future of Business” (MIT technology view https://www.technologyreview.com/s/538916/big-data-and-the-future-of-business/) written by Kenneth Cukier describes the future of big data. It clarifies that the basis of commercial enterprise is always information and big data is no more than a fancy tool to better harness information. However, the quantitative shift in terms of data leads to a qualitative shift for business management. Big Data’s “more” has not just been more of the same, it has been “new”, “better” and “different” in many industries. In general, big data will change business, and business will change society.


Big data in the real world: how to move from buzzword to strategy? (Computerworld UK http://www.computerworlduk.com/applications/big-data-in-real-world-3607784/)Written by John Sidhu gives step-by-step instructions on how to apply big data analysis to business management. It claims that big data gives businesses the power to solve problems that were previously hard to tackle. Big data facilitates the communications between business and customers by precise matching. The business has to work closely with data scientists to really understand what their data is telling them. After adopting big data analysis, businesses should create a structure to measure its success.



As a graduate student with a close interest in marketing analytics at Medill Northwestern, here are three steps that any traditional business should take to embrace big data analysis:


  • Think Big Data – Understand how big data help make better assessments by handling critical information all the time.


  •  Collaborate with data-scientists - Business should work closely with the data scientists to really understand what their data is telling them. 

  • Measure Success - Businesses should create a structure to measure success of big data analysis and a target path that allows for inevitable change.

These 3 steps gives you a general idea of big data analysis. Next time when your business seek for disruptive innovation, go for big data!


Yuan Zhao is a master candidate in the Integrated Marketing Communication program at Medill – Northwestern University. He has worked as a social media manager in China and full understand the difference between China and English-speaking countries. Now he specializes in marketing analytics and would like to pursue a career in data analysis after graduation in Dec 16.

Follow Yuan on Twitter or connect through LinkedIn.



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