I attended an IDM knowledge and networking event recently to listen to Edwina Dunn. Edwina and her husband Clive were among the pioneers in making sense of big data. Most notable among their successes were the loyalty schemes for Tesco in the UK and Kroger in the US.
We know that both B2C and B2B businesses have increasing volumes of customer data available to them. While many of these data sets are useful when layered with each other, most are of limited use. However there are some key types of data that are very useful.
Edwina pointed to five types of customer data that are inherently useful: retail data, population data, mobile usage data, credit card data, and social media data. Each of these brings unique features and rich insights to business. When used together, these datasets can reveal opportunity and provide strong direction.
Still wondering why Facebook acquired What's App? They have married social media data and mobile usage data, two of these key five data sets. With the International Telecommunications Union reporting that 5.2 billion of the world's 6.8 billion mobile phones are in the developing world, this is a powerful combination, reinforcing Facebook's position as the leader in social media with potential to grow further, particularly in Africa and Asia.