Big Data Analytics and why I started this blog
The reason I started this blog is that I want you to participate in my journey to the discovery of the power of big data analytics. But don’t worry, I will also share other thoughts and stuff I find interesting here.
Beforehand a short introduction about me: my name is Konstantin, as you might have guessed from this blog’s name. I currently live in Rome, but I was born and raised in Germany. Six years back, I joined an upcoming start-up in my hometown and I got really interested in marketing, particularly more technical things such as Analytics, SEO and SEM. Also I am writing my thesis about Digital Marketing at LUISS University in Rome, and that’s why I wanted to let you join the ride towards big data enlightenment.
Why am I interested in Big Data?
During my first days at the forementioned start-up I have encountered Google Analytics. If you’re reading this, chances are you already have heard about it. Google Analytics is a free web tracking and analytics suite made by Google and it is widely used throughout the internet to track a variety of metrics, such as visitors and page spent on your own page.
I was really fascinated when I first discovered this powerful tool and have been ever since. Even though I have come to see its limitations. Back in time, when everything was analog, a shop owner would be able to watch what their clients were doing in his store. He was able to interact and talk to them, asking about their needs and getting to know their personalities.
Once E-Commerce was invented, one was in consequence robbed of this possibility. Web analytics software gave a small junk of this seemingly normal activity back to you. You could track where your visitors came from, what they clicked at, what they read and many other things. This is just a small part of the data and analytics story, some would say that this is rather “small” than “big” data, but let me come back to this later.
The world of big data is a world of sheer endless possibilities. There are possible applications everywhere you look. Cities are tracking the traffic activities and can set the traffic lights in a way, that everything goes more smoothly during rush hours. Power plants can optimize their output according to date and time, hours of sunshine and upcoming events such as the football world cup. In marketing you combine a lot of information about your customer in order to have the right product in place at the right time. Dating websites optimize their coupling mechanisms based on the data they get. So consequently you could say, that there are people on this planet who were born because of the power that big data gave to those dating sites. This thought ( I first read about it in a book by Christian Rudder, called Dataclysm) is one of my favorite thoughts because it describes so well that Big Data can do good, and it is not just an instrument for marketers to sell more.
So what the heck is Big Data and why should I care ?
My professor gave me a couple of books to read about Big Data. One recurring definition was the one of the three V’s by Doug Laney. Namely they are: Variety, Volume and Velocity. Damn. That’s sticky, right? To be honest, there’s not much more that I am able to offer you now ( it’s just the beginning of the journey, you remember?). But I can tell you that Big Data is something that you shouldn’t be afraid of, just because it is composed out of “big” and “data”. “Big” also seems kind of intimidating, doesn’t it? But you should never let something stop you, just because it seems humongous. Data can be, if processed in the right way, so much more than just a couple of numbers and percentages. Data can be beautiful, because data means insights and insights are sometimes beautiful.
If used in the right way. But that’s another question.
Let this be the first blogpost and an outlook to what we can discover together. If anyone is interested, the books I have read so far about the topic are the following:
Dataclysm by Christian Rudder
Big Data: Using SMART Big Data, Analytics and Metrics To Make Better Decisions and Improve Performance by Bernard Marr
Predictive Analytics, Data Mining and Big Data (Business in the Digital Economy) by Steven Finlay
so long and stay frosty