Market Research Trends 2013: Big Data

Big Data has been on trends list for at least a couple of years now.  It continues as a trend for 2013.  Since the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012, we can safely assume that there will only be MORE data and not less.  And hence, what we do with Big Data matters.

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What is Big Data and do I really need to pay attention to it?

The phrase “Big Data” has become this catch-all phrase to encompass gobs and gobs of data.  It’s Google’s analysis of trending terms, it’s the myriad interactions on any computer and mobile device — it’s the collection of data sets so large and complex that it simply can’t be analyzed with traditional business analysis tools.

I ran into an interesting conversation about big data in an article about Data Management where Erik Sherman from Inc. Magazine says it’s a 2013 trend you should ignore and Pete Godin from the Data Storage and Management Report says it’s foolish to ignore it.

It would be easy to ignore Big Data simply because we don’t have the tools, the mechanisms to processes it all but chances are good that your next opportunity for differentiating yourself or heading into a new market is hiding in plain site.

So, for 2013, if you haven’t put Big Data on your radar, this is the time to at the very least, create a Google Alert on the phrase and start reading up on it.

QuestionPro has stepped into the Big Data trend a couple of years ago.  We’ve introduced SecondPrism, a mobile graphic data visualisation tool that will take public data sets and allow you to manipulate and filter them based on your interests.  Another great data visualization tool launched this year was our Infographic Reporting feature.

The best way to stick your toe in the Big Data pool is to start with visualization reporting tools and infographics that allow you to take basic data that you have access to or large publicly available data sets and start analyzing them and developing strategic opportunities around them.

Even your Google Analytics dashboard is a data visualization tool.  It takes the millions of views, clicks and traffic sources and synthesizes that data into something that will ultimately help you make decisions about your web site design and content — based on the feedback you get from your visitors.

What kind of Big Data are you looking at and how are you managing it?