About data, Big Data and People

I will never pretend that data is not an important thing, on the contrary. I we did not have information (data) in our lives, we would not know how much money we have at the bank, students would never know if they pass or not their final test, we would not know how fast a car can be, etc…

I am not pretending to make a paper on data or Data or Big Data… there are many experts who would. What I would want to share with you is” what is not data!”.

During my morning readings from various trusted forums and social networks, there were a few interesting papers covering how using Data was a key of success to promote and drag consumers to purchase a specific product.

It has been known and observed that regardless of many researches, studies and data analysis some campaigns to promote and sell specific products have failed thus leading to loss of huge budgets and all what we may imagine in terms of drawbacks for the company, the staff, etc.

During the post-mortem and the lessons processes, very often we fall into the classical trap: what went wrong? and who was responsible for this failure? There is always a must find who is responsible! The question is seldom directed to the real causes, experts tend to dissect these causes using data, statistics, figures, trends, etc. They seldom address this analytical activity from the core: people, consumers…


Image credits: How to (not) get smart about Big Data

I was discussing with a marketing expert about this issue, he replied that people were “included” in the data…! I didn’t feel the need to continue this conversation. My interlocutor did not see the source of the problem and the key of the solution: people!

How many times do analysts and experts make time to ask people in person? How many times do they observe  the behaviour of potential consumers?

Data and Big Data are important, these are vital information, but worth what only they represent. Observing people’s behaviour whether it is at the supermarket or at any store, may be the revealing behaviour that would lead strategic experts to come up with a winning hit for their client’s products. These aren’t theories, there are so many examples where major firms did use this approach to promote and win their challenge to engage both profits and consumer satisfaction. Yes data was used, but people behaviours contributed to the real success!

Our mindset needs a refresher, that refresher would remind us we, too, behave as consumers!

Big or not, data is to sustain our human behaviour and not the opposite!

Michel – July 5, 2014


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