Business Magazine

Does Retail Marketing Really Qualify as Big Data?

Posted on the 23 February 2012 by Tchu @UpStreamMPM

big dataAccording to Wikipedia, Big Data "consists of datasets that grow so large that they become awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools. Difficulties include capture, storage, search, sharing, analytics, and visualizing." Does Marketing data really fall into this category?

Marketing data adds up quickly if you store:

  • Every click to the website
  • Every page view on the website
  • Every ad impression purchased/served
  • Every email ever sent
  • Every direct mail piece ever sent
  • Every order ever taken

For one large retailer, the marketing touchpoints alone – not including the orders taken or website page views – contained billions of records in just one year. How big is a billion? If you were to stack a billion pennies in a single pile, the stack would reach nearly one thousand miles high. It’s pretty safe to say that this is Big Data.

At UpStream we’ve confronted three major Big Data challenges:

  1. Statisticians adapted techniques to model event data of this size
  2. Engineers and statisticians had to collaborate to shape data into modeling use
  3. Engineers had to design a scoring system that could handle dozens of models per client

We’ve repeatedly asked ourselves: Is there a business payoff for all this complexity? You can guess the answer if we’re writing about it. :)


Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog