Everyone is racing for a bite of the Big Data pie; they want to gain the benefits of “nowcasting” – real time insights from the instream analysis of data.

How are Organisations using Big Data?

Organisations from not for profits to the largest corporations as well as government are all seeking to gain the benefits of the insights that big data analytics can provide.

ADMA’s recently published Best Practice Guideline: Big Data (Big Data Guideline) which I worked on contains a range of examples of Big Data in action both for  marketing and non-marketing purposes and I’ve set out some of these below.

For instance, The Google Dengue Trends research is a non-marketing example. It shows how aggregated search query trends provided an “accurate, reliable model of real-world phenomena, such as outbreak of Dengue fever” [1].

Marketing related examples of Big Data in action include:

(1) Website customisation using third-party data[2]. This occurs after cookies are served on a user’s device so that an organisation can identify the visitor; simultaneously retrieve their profile and automatically customise the website to reflect the profile and increase engagement and chances of a sale. For example if you want to buy a car and visit an insurance company’s website for a quote, the insurer can retrieve your profile from search activity data and web behaviour data held by its partners. Based on your profile, the insurer can serve you relevant content and an offer to match your favourite car.

(2) Customer loyalty programs[3]. The Big Data Guidelines look at the Woolworths Everyday Rewards which generates enormous amounts of data from over six million members. As well as member data, Woolworths generates data from serving around 28 million customers a week. Currently the rewards program is based largely on structured transaction data but Woolworth’s analytical scope is broadening.  Some examples are by use of a customer mobile app which produces location data and by collecting data from Woolworth’s own social networking sites and website.  Then there is the power to harness customer behaviour data to drive media spend and to conduct media attribution analysis.

How are Governments using Big Data?

The Australian Government is ambitious in its vision to be “a world leader in the use of big data analytics to drive efficiency, collaboration and innovation in the public sector”. It has recently released its Big Data Strategy and the ATO has established the Whole of Government Data Analytics Centre of Excellence (WofG Data Analytics CoE).

Government agencies hold or have access to an ever increasing wealth of data including spatial and location data and data collected from and by citizens. Experience suggests that one use for such data is to transform service design and delivery to provide personalised and streamlined services that accurately and specifically meet individuals’ needs in a timely manner.

Improved service delivery could cover areas as diverse as remote medical diagnostics, major infrastructure management, personalised social security benefits delivery, improved first responder and emergency services, reduction of fraudulent or criminal activity across both government and private sectors, and the development of innovative new services as the growth and availability of Public Sector Information (PSI) becomes more prevalent.

The opportunities from Big Data in action are great but with those opportunities comes responsibility. In the next blog in our Demystifying Big Data series we will look at how organisations can employ responsible Big Data business practices.

In the meantime if you have any questions concerning Big Data in the context of your organisation please contact me: lawyers@saintylaw.com.au or 02 9660 9630

[1] Best Practice Guideline: Big Data, ADMA, Sydney, Pg 9
[2] Ibid, Pg 14
[3] Ibid, Pg 15