Help! My data has a size complex!


Big data: it’s not the size that counts, it’s what you do with it.

Big data will solve all your problems! You have some big data right? Out the back? I think it’s in that box under Sarah’s desk.

First thing first, “Big Data” isn’t a thing most of us have to worry about, but what we do have is “data”. Y’know, like that spreadsheet you have, or that list of orders in your admin system. That is your big data or if you are rational, “data”.

The size of your data isn’t really that important, what is important is that it’s YOUR data, specific to YOU and YOUR company. It’s not some aggregated numbers you read in a newspaper, it’s specific just to you, so now the real question is not, “how big is your data” it’s What will you do with that data? and what will you discover?


Data doesn’t magically stand up and shout business changing awesomeness at you, you have to ask it questions.


Be smart, get some lost customers back…

Have you ever received those Tesco clubcard vouchers that give you offers on products you’ve bought recently? It’s not by coincidence. They are doing this to get you back in to their store, but this trick isn’t just for supermarkets, you can do it too!

So you have a list of your customers and all the things they’ve ever ordered from you. Maybe a good question to ask is, What products have people repeatedly ordered in the past, but haven’t bought much of lately?

If you then run that report, find your top 10 products, compare your pricing or value add to those of your competitors, then make a better offer, send an email out to everyone that has bought these products in the past but haven’t purchased them recently (maybe they switched supplier) and get those customers back and some more orders! The customer won’t mind getting this email because A) it’s targeted to them B) you might save them some money!


Or use your data to make smarter marketing decisions…

Ok, how about a few Web Analytics examples too. That’s “big data” right?

Optimise landing pages

If your site has some Goals or Ecommerce set up (your site has Goals and Ecommerce set up, right?!) take a look at your landing pages and how they convert in to Goal conversions or sales. The handy “Weighted sort” option in Google Analytics can help you find under-performing landing pages. Then you take those pages and do some CRO testing on them, test your call-to-actions, test the images, the content, the design. It’s great to bring these under-performing pages up to scratch and see a visible ROI from your CRO tests. You could have picked a random page to test, but using data to find the weaker pages seems like a much smarter idea.

Write useful content

People search for the weirdest phrases on the Internet, and sometimes your site shows up. Have a look in your Google Analytics account for strange (but relevant) search terms that you are getting traffic for, if you don’t have great content to offer that traffic, then write some, specifically on that subject! My favourite is searching for terms that are asking questions “how to”, “can I” etc, that way you can explicitly answer a question and give out some free advice people will actually find useful… It’s better than guessing what people want!

So to conclude. Use the data you have, segment it, ask questions of it, use the insights you gather to inform decisions, and seriously, stop worrying about it’s size.

As always, if you have any questions about how you can use your data to make smarter decisions, get in touch!



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