Big Data vs Business Intelligence

Nowadays the most important tool for Marketing and Business is Big Data and every company should have it, however it was Business Intelligence a couple of years ago.

Does Big Data replace Business Intelligence? Is Big Data an evolution of Business Intelligence? Are they the same? Are they really different? I think we wonder many questions about these tools and sometimes we are confused and, even though I’m not a technique, I can help you clarify these concepts easily.

Both are tools for collecting, storing, interrelating, analysing and visualizing data to help us make decisions for our business. But they have differences related to 3 concepts, the three Vs: volume, variety and velocity.

Volume: Business Intelligence acts in the Data Warehouse, which usually is in a company server. But when we speak about Big Data, we speak about a data volume higher than usual, it means a treatment in Terabytes or even Petabytes, and this usually needs to have a part of data stored in the Cloud.

Variety: here we find the most important difference. Both include the first-party data, data provided by the company (from company websites, CRM, ERP or mobile web or apps). Nevertheless, Big Data can also include second-party data and third-party data. The second-party data is information or data that we take directly from another source (for example a partner data-base). The third-party data is generated on other platforms and often aggregated from other websites and usually, you have to pay for it.

Another question related to variety is that Business Intelligence manages only structured data and Big Data manages all kinds of information (structured, semi-structured and unstructured). For example, unstructured information can be a client’s opinion in Facebook, a tweet, a comment in Tryp Advisor or the online reputation of our company. Most of Internet data is unstructured. At this point is where Big Data finds its biggest challenge and the greatest advantage.

working in Big Data means getting data in real time, this is a “must” in this tool, in exchange the Data Warehouse doesn’t sometimes have this speed.

Maybe, you don’t need a Big Data for your company, because the implementation of this tool depends on your business complexity and your difficulties to get data. If your business is small and easy, with a Business Intelligence tool is quite enough.

In any case, it doesn’t matter Business Intelligence or Big Data, we must have truthful data with a real value for the company to make decisions, we can’t forget data is only a tool to build a strategy to improve our business, because:

“Without data, you are just another person with an opinion”.
W. Edwards Deming


What’s the difference? Multichannel, Omnichannel, or Customer Experience.

We often read different meanings for each of these words but there is something rather more important in common.

Multichannel refers to strategy through multiple channels to engage or to impact clients. Companies with this vision are using different media to communicate new products (e.g. website, email, social media…) or different devices to sell their products (e.g. smartphones, tablets and laptops). But this strategy is not necessarily focused on delivering a consistent message in all channels. They want only to offer several possibilities for the client. Multichannel mainly arises from the Communications department.

Nevertheless, Omnichannel consists in offering a complementary experience for the customer from every company channel. This strategy is based on two concepts: consistency policy and focus on client interactions. An advertising campaign can be multichannel, but never Omnichannel. Conversely, a Customer Care department based on offering service through all channels and several languages listening to the client’s needs with the same message is Omnichannel. It’s more complex, so it arises from the Board of Direction.

So, in an Omnichannel strategy it’s not possible to have, for example, different refund policies for their channels, because clients could buy by web and refund at store, it’s not logical, Omnichannel is a matter of common sense. Common sense to offer the same customer experience wherever and whenever clients are. So, here we have another term.

What is Customer Experience? It’s created to improve the interaction with the client in order to give him a great experience during his relationship with our brand. This interaction includes customer's attraction, awareness, discovery, cultivation, advocacy and purchase, use of a service and post-service. And it’s global, no matter where the client is or when he is interacting with us. It’s an attitude inside the company, from CEO to Sales Assistant.

In conclusion, in all these terms the common point is the client and offering more consistent interactions improving client’s engagement. The client is global, today he lives in New York and tomorrow in Singapore. And interactions between eCommerce and Stores are imaginable: to search by Internet and to buy at store, to look at store and to buy by web, to buy at store and to ask for something by chat on line… The goal is client’s satisfaction. 

So, it doesn’t work anymore:

- A CRM for eCommerce and another one for Stores.

- A different Loyalty Program for each country. I live between Madrid and Paris, and I have 2 loyalty cards from each country for a retail beauty company. That’s not possible.

- Different policies: of contact, refund… It’s true that legal aspects can personalize our strategy depending on the country or state.

- Customize by country. We should personalize by person, not by country. Why do we decide that a client who lives in London wants the communications in English? Maybe, he is from another country and he wants an email in his native language.

So, ask and listen to your clients, be consistent and offer a great experience. I strongly think it’s the key to success.


5 tips to keep in mind before developing a new mobile application

We already know almost companies have a mobile application, actually, there are so many of them that this is basic for their business strategy, but how many of them are a success? So, there are some questions that we can ask ourselves before developing a mobile application in order to become successful. So, I’m going to give you 5 tips to consider:

1) Be sure about your goals.

We must be clear why we are going to develop a mobile application: to sell, to build loyalty or to make branding. It depends on your business, the moment of the company… People determine the mission, vision and objectives when they create a business, why don’t we do that every time we create a service or something as important as an app?

2) What is your app about?

Is it an e-store, a tool, a game… ? If your goal is to engage your clients, maybe the best way to achieve it, is through a tool to make all the interactions with your company better. But if your goal is creating a big network you must considerer a viral game.

3) Have a consistent business model for the long term.

And what is your business plan? If the app is key for your business, you have to know how you are going to get incomes: by advertisement, by licence, by user fees… maybe at the beginning you want to offer your app for free but you have to think about the future, or maybe it’s better to develop a free version and afterwards sell an upgrade… There are a lot of possibilities but you must have a plan. Don’t think only about short term, the strategy is king.

4) The most important thing is your target.

What is your target? An enterprise, distributors, the final consumer… Maybe your business is B2B but it would be very interesting to develop an app for final consumers in order to engage them and to make a stickiness for your client. It’s absolutely important to know our client:

- Language, functionalities and image will be different depending on the age.
- Where are they? Do we need the app in different languages?
- Does your app need a registration? Do you need some data from your client? Be careful about legal aspects!!

5) Don’t forget technical aspects and the impacts in the rest of the company’s departments.

It would be appreciated by your IT partner if you are clear from the begging that you’re either going to develop your app in iOS or Android. Maybe you want to do 2 steps, first in iOS and after in Android, but you must consider that. My advice is to know as many functionalities as you can (dispositive, camera, gps, notifications, alerts… ), in this case, your IT partner would work better. And please, if you are going to develop an app to book a taxi or a hotel or to do something at any time, don’t forget to have a customer service department with a large range of hours. An app is like a web, it opens 24 by 7.

These tips are easy to work with, but sometimes we forget to keep them in mind.