Data is the new oil.  Every marketer, consultant, agency and solution provider generates the stuff and all of them want their hands on everyone elses.  It provides insight, it underpins decisions, it drives businesses.  However, the complexity of the consumer decision making process (mostly attributed to digital) is generating data at unprecedented volumes and velocity.  The very nature of this development has coined the phrase Big Data.

The marketing rationale behind the concept of Big Data is to correlate all influencing data sets, to make sense of the consumers world and therefore make informed investments -more informed than your competitor.  But is this a realistic ambition and can we actually stitch together data to uncover an end-to-end perspective on the purchase funnel?

The technology people will say yes -at a cost. The analysts will doubt the mathematical models -even the most robust algorithms. The marketers will question the real value -unless it spells a step-change in performance. Two or three years ago stars would have needed to align before you could have truly realised the concept. But times are a changin and the convergence of technology is advancing at breakneck speed. The major players in this space -Google, Adobe, comScore -are acquiring and developing in a race to own the problem the Single Customer View (SCV) from media touchpoint to repeat purchase.

So the conundrum is; do you back one of these thoroughbreds (its practically impossible to back them all), or do you develop your own stables and train multiple race horses, i.e. build a platform and remain technology neutral? Nobody has a crystal ball, but the latter option already exists! The huge challenge is simply that every business and client is different, and therefore each solution requires serious thought leadership and strategic direction -not to mention extensive collaboration across many organisational borders. But I am a believer -it can be done!

Leveraging the power of Big Data will be game changing for all major businesses that get it right -and there is no use sitting on the fence -this stuff is happening and you need to talk to us if you dont already have a clear roadmap.