Contrary to what you might think, big data isn’t a substitute for quality market research. While it is easy to assume that the information that big data affords can replace the singular data sets that come from an organization’s own research efforts, the fact remains that market research will always be needed to create context around the problem being addressed. Big data can provide a raw and general overview, but accurate data applicability will depend on market research answering the questions that big data reveals for each unique situation it strives to depict.
What is Big Data?
Big data is basically a large amount of information that is gathered across various platforms and in various formats. It is simultaneously collected and stored in real-time (or nearly real-time), making it a valuable and cheap resource for businesses wanting a lot of data in a short amount of time. It can highlight online traffic patterns, track customer purchases, monitor social media banter and much, much more.
How Does it Inform Big Data Market Research?
For businesses, big data can relieve some of the initial research steps, enabling them to focus only on the research measures that will address the most pertinent issues at hand. Functioning much like exploratory research, big data can expose the critical issues that need further clarification in subsequent research projects, making it easier and quicker for companies to address competition, identify opportunities and improve consumer experiences.
Big data market research also better highlights customer behavior because it taps into a nearly limitless data store that is more transparent, objective and reliable than a simple survey could ever be. Think about it: doesn’t it make sense? A survey requires a respondent to interpret and/or label his or her actions, but big data records it objectively, often without a respondent even knowing it’s being done. It can identify and predict patterns of behavior that even the most self-aware consumer wouldn’t know or think to report by simply noting when and where and how he engages with a company or market. These things enable businesses to understand consumer motivations and market conditions and shape their marketing materials, as well as future research projects, in ways that best attract and address the concerns of the right people in the right ways.
Want More Information?
To learn more about the ways big data market research can produce better quality results for your business, contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR). We can help you harness big data systems and make meaning with their limitless potential.