Let Big Data Predict Customer Behavior For You

by HBR Blog Network

customer behaviorBig Data provides insights into customer behavior at any given moment in time in a way that staid, outdated market research never could.

Jeffrey F. Rayport, business advisor and former faculty member at Harvard Business School, writes that Big Data can go a long way toward predicting the future – especially when it comes to customer behavior. “Big Data applications,”  Rayport says, “can process Web-based text, digital images, and online video” while also gleaning “intelligence from the exploding social media sphere, whether it consists of blogs, chat forums, Twitter trends, or Facebook commentary.”

The real-time nature of Big Data gives it an advantage over traditional market research that relies on “unnatural acts, such as surveys, mail-intercept interviews, and focus groups.” As businesses learn to include Big Data in their analysis, “they’re able to achieve greater intimacy” with customer behavior than ever before and can “deliver services and marketing with unprecedented precision and accuracy.”