There are about 2 million Google searches performed every minute. We’re creating more content per day than we can possibly ever consume.
Big data allows entrepreneurs to sort through the noise and make sense of what is being said, what is being unsaid, and how this information can tell a compelling narrative.
Volume, variety and velocity are the markers of big data, and social media is leading the way by providing large sets of numbers for big data to crunch. So it’s no wonder a 2013 survey by NewVantage Partners discovered 91 percent of executives have a big-data initiative planned or in progress.
For entrepreneurs looking to turn big data into big stories, here are three types of data to look for:
1. Curated data. This information is culled from pre-existing studies and reports floating around the web. These studies could come from organizations, government agencies or even academic institutions.
Entrepreneurs can use these sources, combine them, and turn the information provided into valuable and compelling narratives. When dealing with curated data, it’s important to look at the information in new and creative ways.
2. Proprietary data. This information comes from in-house numbers, technology, surveys or an internal user base. It doesn’t live anywhere else on the web, making the information much more unique than curated data. The key is to find a compelling story within the data.
3. Commissioned data. If something more unique than curated data is desired but there isn’t a story in the proprietary information at the company’s disposal, it might be time to think about commissioned data. This information is generated through partnerships with third parties, such as market-research companies, polls and customer surveys. The key is to ask the right questions to drive the narrative.
Using data for story generation is great, but there are more ways entrepreneurs can utilize big data in PR efforts:
1. Getting to know the target market. There is now more information than ever before about consumers and their behavior. Smart entrepreneurs will consider this information to better and more fully understand the company’s target audience. Once the audiences’ needs are more fully understood, it becomes easy to isolate the stories that would be of interest to the target market.
2. Crisis prediction. Using vast amounts of data, entrepreneurs can see how satisfied customers and users are, and can pinpoint potential pain points before they arise. Entrepreneurs can also keep tabs on the competition to help stay ahead of the pack.
3. Watch market trends. Using information crunched by big data, entrepreneurs can stay ahead of the trends, instead of trailing behind. This can be accomplished with a combination of old-fashioned creativity and inspiration and the top-notch information provided by big-data computing.