Every check-in, every like, every comment, every search query, every purchase, even every click is usually logged. There are even sites that record mouse movements. Every service and every website collects data, even if it is usually not clear what exactly is to be checked in the end. Now it's a matter of getting to grips with the seemingly immeasurable amount of data and facing up to this new challenge, even as a market researcher.
Big Data is being treated as the next big topic in marketing. Forbes estimates that the Big Data market will be worth USD 50 billion in 2017. Even if one can argue about the reliability of such a prognosis, it is certain that almost immeasurable amounts of data exist today and will take on a much larger scale in the future. And with that, there will also be the task of extracting meaningful knowledge from this data. This basic task has existed since data has existed. However, the sheer volume of data and the speed at which it is becoming available are new sets of issues that need to be understood.
There are two challenges here: The technical management of the masses of data and the professional expertise needed to analyze and understand the new nature of the data. We see the task of market research as clearly positioning itself and claiming both fields for itself - after all, answering questions using data has always been the core competence of our industry. For decades, we have been able to gather a great deal of experience and are usually asked to provide answers. Despite this advantage in terms of trust from our customers, we have to develop new processes that do justice to the new data on offer if we want to retain this comfortable position. And this is not always easy, because innovative spirit and creative flexibility are not always the market researcher's strong points.
Nevertheless, our sobriety and conservative attitude can be an advantage, particularly here. Especially when dealing with such a hype topic. A cool head can help to clear the fog quickly and make it clear where exactly success is to be found in the big data. Because there is no doubt that there are some treasures to be found in the sea of data.
Published on Marktforschung.de
Herbert Höckel is a managing partner here at moweb research GmbH. He has been a market researcher for more than 25 years. In 2004 he founded moweb GmbH, which he is still the owner today. moweb from Düsseldorf operates internationally and is one of the first German market research institutes specializing in digital processes.