Corporate Eye

Breaking Down the Data Behind Big Data for Brand Marketing

big data spreadsheetBig data has been a hot topic for a couple of years, and brands are finally finding ways to tap into big data and leverage it to drive revenue. We’re still a long way from getting everything out of big data that it has to offer, but with companies creating positions like Data Architect and Chief Data Officer, the importance of collecting and using big data should continue to grow well into the future.

As Gian Fulgoni of comScore reports, big data is one of the “top ten burning issues in digital,” and when you take a closer look at the data behind big data, you can see why this statement is so accurate. Gian shared the following statistics on the comScore blog that put things into perspective (you can follow the preceding link to read all of the details from Gian):

  • The smartphones we use today would have been the most powerful computers in the world in 1985.
  • 120 million people in the United States own smartphones, which is up by 30 million in the past year alone.
  • For just $600 you can buy a disk that can store all of the music in the world.
  • 30+ billion pieces of data are added to Facebook every month.
  • 72 hours of video are added to YouTube every minute.
  • ComScore was capturing 1.4 trillion digital interactions per month at the end of 2012.
  • 92% of the world’s data was created in only the past two years.

While I always caution against falling victim to data paralysis, which happens when you have access to so much data that you can’t make a decision or move forward. Too much data without a clear reason for collecting it, analyzing it, and using it, amounts to noise and clutter. Always use data with purpose and avoid the ease of massaging data to fit agendas.

The power of big data comes from the trends and truths it uncovers. Picking and choosing the data you focus on, present to executives, and use to make decisions might work in the short-term, but the truths of data will make themselves known in the long-term. Instead, review the data, question the data, and learn when to believe in it. Only then can it help you make the right marketing decisions.

The best marketing team has both analytical minds and creative minds working together to interpret and use big data. It’s that human element that turns big data into big business opportunities and results.

What do you think?

Image: Lustfish

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.