Where does "Big Data" come from?
Lots of discussion these days about "Big Data." A technical term that made its way fairly rapidly into the daily discourse. Simply put, big data is the result of the increasing velocity, variety and volume of information being generated as we act like cyborgs. A recent NYT article describes how we got here and what the opportunities might hold for businesses.
On the one side of the real are the half-empties who worry that the term 'big' is another nefarious character who wants to control our lives - brother, government, and oil come to mind. This is the central argument around behavioral targeting - too much data is a bad thing. For the half-full's amongst us, big data allows for some interesting concepts for marketers, not only in terms of relevance but also in terms of incentive.
One current idea being tested is the creation of personalized pricing where everything that is known, inferred or surmised about an individual is used to set the prices a specific customer sees. These price differences may be in flyers, coupons, or at the shelf. And since smart phones are the new decision support platform prices could be different in and out of the store.
The mantra of delivering relevant content to the right person at the right time in the right place means context matters.
And thus it is context, and the need to understand it in real time, that drives big data.