DEMAND GENERATION: Does ‘big data’ mean better data?

Apparently businesses have reached the frontier of ‘big data’. But what is this supposed new landscape and should marketers be hurrying to stake their claim? 

In May 2011, McKinsey coined the phrase ‘big data’. It was one of those phrases that captured the imagination. It encapsulated an idea whose time had come. Moreover it promised a solution to the age-old marketing problem of data. It was an idea that made marketers throughout the world sit up and take notice.

The findings of the report, entitled Big Data – the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity were genuinely startling. For example, the authors claimed that a retailer using big data to the full could increase its operating margin by more than 60 per cent. It claimed that if the US healthcare industry was to use big data creatively and effectively, the sector could create more than $300 billion in value every year.