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Why Spending on Big Data Isn't a Waste (Infographic) Companies that harness big data for their marketing efforts show increases in both productivity and profit.

By Brian Patrick Eha

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The power of big data is enormous, but so is the stress of trying to tap it for all it's worth. We now produce data in staggering amounts, and marketers aren't always sure what to do with it or how to sift through the resulting mass of information.

Visual.ly, a self-described marketplace for visual content, has created an infographic with McKinsey that shows marketers can harness big data to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns and improve their companies' bottom lines. That's good news because, as the infographic reports, 72 percent of chief executives say marketers are rarely able to explain how much business the money they spend will generate.

Related: IBM to Open Up Jeopardy Winner Watson's 'Brain' for Everyone

Consumers today produce most of the data that marketers need. For example, 42 percent of European consumers conduct web searches on their mobile devices while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. And 61 percent of consumers worldwide use digital tools as part of their "purchase journey" -- whether it be for research, comparison shopping, buying, reviewing or discussing their purchase on social media after the fact. A 10-year study of companies across multiple industries showed that harnessing this data led to a 5 percent increase in productivity and a 6 percent increase in profits.

But there's a long way to go. In a survey, chief marketing officers said 63 percent of projects do not use marketing analytics to inform decisions.

Check out the infographic below and stay ahead of the pack.

Click to Enlarge+

Why Spending on Big Data Isn't a Waste (Infographic)

Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.

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