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How to Identify Pockets of Big Data for Competitive Intelligence

To start using analytics to make sense of big data for your competitive intelligence, identify pockets of big data that you may be able to access and that hold the promise of producing valuable insights. To start locating pockets of data that are ripe for harvesting analytics, consider the following sources:

  • Your organization’s website and other online properties: You can use analytics on your website to track customer visits and overall traffic, determine where traffic is coming from, measure the effectiveness of pay-per-click advertising campaigns, and study user behavior on your site in order to improve navigation and calls to action.

  • Pockets of large data within your organization: You should already have pockets of large data within your organization, including sales, product, SKU, customer orders, and numbers related to other revenue and expense activities.

  • Pockets of large data outside your organization: External data include Twitter feeds, blogs, and other web-based media and data about companies, technologies, geographical locations, and other important information that may be emerging on a daily basis or may be stored in public databases.

After you identify pockets of large data, ask yourself if you’re getting all the information out of the data that’s obtainable. In other words, if you could hire 1,000 people to analyze the data, would you be able to derive a significant benefit from the output? If your answer is yes, then your organization could certainly benefit from the use of analytics.

Instead of hiring 1,000 people, however, you can use technology, which is significantly more efficient and effective and costs a whole lot less. If the answer is no, then the data probably won’t benefit from analytics because no amount of effort would be able to convert it into valuable intel.

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