In the News: Better Strategies Built on Data

We’re pleased to introduce “In the News”, a new weekly blog series in which we’ll break down some of the week’s interesting news stories from the big data industry.

A variety of stories from this week’s industry news show the many ways data, predictive analytics and machine learning can improve business functions. Effective customer engagement, successful sales strategies and more productive marketing campaigns can all be achieved through better use of data. These stories highlight how impactful big data can be to a company’s bottom line if it is equipped with the right tools.

Machine Learning Makes the Most of Bad Marketing Campaigns

Most modern marketing tactics are put through the tedious process of A/B testing to determine the best course of action. Campaigns with lesser initial results are usually abandoned, despite their potential success with a hyper-targeted audience. That’s where machine learning comes in, according to Huffington Post. In lieu of dedicating countless man hours to analysis, analytical tools with machine learning capabilities can check results against unique attributes of audience members to find the subsets of a general audience that respond positively to the less popular campaign. Machine learning directed to campaign optimization can grant marketers both better results and a low-risk means of experimentation.

High-Performance Sales Teams Rely on Predictive Analytics

According to new research by Salesforce, covered by Forbes, high performing sales teams are four times as likely to utilize predictive analytics. While just a third of sales teams are currently using predictive analytics tools, adoption is expected to increase by more than 150 percent in the next 12-18 months. The Salesforce report also details spikes in efficacy caused by different data tools, making the overarching theme clear: sales teams with data and analytical tools are the most efficient.

Microsoft, Zeta Interactive and Workday Act on the Machine Learning Curve

Proving its momentum, we saw a series of announcements this week from big businesses building on the potential of machine learning. Microsoft released its Cortana Analytics Suite, which rolls machine learning, big data and analytics solutions into one package according to TechCrunch. Zeta Interactive, a former Apple CEO’s big data-based marketing service, raised funds to acquire companies with complementary machine learning capabilities, according to Bloomberg. Finance and human resources software provider Workday also launched Workday Ventures to invest in up to a dozen enterprise machine learning and data science startups before the end of the year, VentureBeat reports.

Master Data Management is Key to Mastering Customer Experiences

Despite the fact that companies have an unprecedented amount of social, location and transactional data, most companies haven’t been able to leverage it to improve the customer experience. The reason, quite simply, is because that’s a lot of data to analyze and most companies aren’t equipped to do so. A post on Computerworld highlights the importance of Master Data Management (MDM), which allows organizations to link all of its critical reference data into one file so that it can seamlessly apply an individual customer’s data to that customer’s experience. For example, employees at a retail store can use MDM to familiarize themselves with a customer’s online shopping habits, empowering them to make data-driven item suggestions that will impact in-store purchases.