For Many Brands, Big Data Is Too Big

Big Data may be the buzz phrase of the moment (along with a few others like integrated marketing solutions) but new research from the World Federation of Advertisers shows that many big global brands don’t know what to do with all the data flowing through their systems. 

The WFA survey polled 47 multinational brands that account for $35 billion in marketing spend annually. 

According to findings, 74% of respondents said they were unprepared to take advantage of the opportunities of Big Data. 

A major part of the problem, per the survey, is finding people with the right skill sets to work with the data, make sense of it and then take action based on it. About half of respondents said that was the case. A little over half said the sheer volume of data generated was overwhelming and a “struggle to cope with.” 

The vast majority -- 88% -- said they believed that using Big Data effectively was “vital for current and future business decision-making.” The primary reason for investing in Big Data management is “improved understanding to ROI,” according to 70% of respondents. 

WFA conducted the survey in conjunction with UK-based management consultant The Customer Framework. They conclude that companies need to clearly define the purpose of whatever Big Data efforts they engage in and must have the right talent to produce actionable insights. Also, “ignore the hype around Big Data and start small.”

"Data Funnel" photo from Shutterstock.

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3 comments about "For Many Brands, Big Data Is Too Big".
  1. Miriam Bookey from Mind Over Media, LLC , January 31, 2014 at 5:31 p.m.
    Great companion piece to this article: Little Data Makes Big Data More Powerful http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/05/little-data-makes-big-data-mor/ Combining what "Big Data" can do for organizations and what "Little Data" can do for its consumers makes all that data work for the brand in a much more meaningful way.
  2. John Grono from GAP Research , January 31, 2014 at 6:38 p.m.
    The principle of Occam's Razor. The delicious irony is that William of Ockham realised this back in the 14th century. Everything old is new again.
  3. Chrissy Wissinger from Prosper , February 3, 2014 at 3:40 p.m.
    We are finding that Big Data is turning into a big headache for many. Our CEO recently wrote a Forbes post on it, which I think makes another great companion piece: http://www.forbes.com/sites/prospernow/2014/01/16/big-data-equals-big-headache-for-executives/