Each one of us have a minimum of 2 email ids, 1 Facebook Account and 1 Linkedin account. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and what not? Statistics say that 2.7 Zetabytes of data exist in the digital universe today. Suffice it to say, we generate huge amounts of data everyday.
Most of this data is unstructured such as texts, images, likes, shares, comments and much more. Hence making sense of this data can be daunting and time consuming. Unless we collate data and analyze the information it contains, Big Data is just Big Noise.
Big data can be analyzed for insights only when there is a structure to it. So to structure and organize your unstructured data effectively, follow these simple steps
1. What are you looking for?
As the famous quote goes, “Torture the data and it will confess to anything”. We want to find the tune of the data and not let it sing our tune. The first step will be to jot down what you want to know about your business/service. Now it gets easier for you to look at your data and see where this particular topic is residing. Is it in Twitter Tweets or YouTube Videos or blogs or Facebook Posts?
2. Divide and Decipher
Once you have isolated the topic and the place where it sits, the next step would be to divide the data in to manageable chunks. The division can be based on time frame, place of origin, gender, age groups, language. etc. The division is also based on what you are looking for from your data. If you are looking for the feedback on your latest product launch in India, then you should isolate based on the location for the time period your product has been on the market. But to derive useful insights, you need to move a step ahead.
3. Analyze with Analytics
With manageable segments of data, analytics can help you make sense out of it and pull insights for you. Analytics can be used to find who has been the most influential for your brand, catch the sentiment towards a promotion or product, biggest influencer on a particular platform, etc. Knowing that you have 10 lakh tweets makes no sense for your business but knowing that your business has been mentioned 2 lakh times positively by posts from UK but negatively 2 lakh times by posts from India is definitely very informative.
4. Insights to Action
Monitoring sentiment towards your brand across various social media platforms can help you isolate the source of negativity in times of crisis and help minimize the damage. On-the-go Product Promotions can be rolled out, tweeked and adjusted based on the public response. Insights can help you get your ads to the people who are more likely to be interested in the offer, thus saving money and effort.
5. Connected Data
Sometimes data from different devices when connected together for analysis could give depict a more accurate picture than on a stand-alone basis. Data from wearable devices, home assistants, GPS could provide a very detailed picture to enable you to understand your customer better and plan your business around them.
Data is rarely useful in its raw state. But when you cut, trim and shape in to a pleasing structure, it can become smart data and provide you insights to help in decision making and improving customer experience.