Welcome to the World of Big Feedback Data

By: Clarabridge Team

April 17, 2014

By: Jason Schneider

DATAI woke up this morning to a friend’s email asking about why we, Clarabridge, propagate the concept of Big Data in our marketing.  The answer could have been easy, but, that wouldn’t be fun and it got me to thinking.  The easy part is that we process billions of records annually for our customer base, with 1 single customer processing over 1 billion records per year.  While many customers and prospects aren’t close to that size, this concept of “Big Data” is still important to them.

In the purest sense big data is exabytes, petabytes, etc.  The data is coming at you from everywhere and you need to dig into it quickly.  Our friends at Teradata/Neteeza can help with this.  The stories continue about how “in the last 5 hours we produced more new data than from 1950-1985”.  But isn’t big data relative to you and your business role?  To me, big data is once it gets overwhelming.  That moment in time that your current systems, people and processes can’t handle it anymore.  That sounds BIG to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I know big data is real, but too many people use the term these days so I thought I would take a second to clarify what I believe is a realistic view of big data in the world of CX or CEM (however you acronym it).

Welcome to the world of big “feedback data”. It’s big, it’s getting bigger and it is coming at you rapidly from everywhere.  We don’t speak in exbaytes (normally), and for you referees out there it may not “officially” be big data, but  it is exploding and it is complex.  Companies are investing millions in their infrastructure to understand this very unique set of data.  Companies that I talk to want to listen to it, store it, analyze it, act on it and measure their actions – from all listening posts.  They view this as a strategic initiative to get closer and more intimate with their customers.  That seems pretty “Big” to me.  Still, some companies haven’t gotten quite that far and others still live in a survey-only world – which is less than 5% of your overall feedback data.  I was in Ireland last month and stayed in an old world hotel.  Even they had a feedback card for me to write on.  That was an LOL moment for me.

True customer experience leaders have been and continue to lay the infrastructure to be able to adapt in this ever changing world of feedback.   Listening posts are popping up everywhere, companies are figuring out new and better ways to communicate with customers; social is blowing up and becoming useful and the next Twitter could be here in the next 5 hours. While we don’t have to speak in petabytes we still need to break down every byte and tell your business users what they should care about.  The companies that choose not to lay this infrastructure and processes now will lose – period.

So it seems to me that this is “big” and it is “data” but more importantly it is STRATEGIC and VALUABLE for companies to become more intimate with their customers and truly tackle the last line in their ability to differentiate themselves.

I would venture to guess that the amount of feedback data produced in the world over the last 5 hours is more than was produced from 1950-1985.  Welcome to the world of Big Feedback Data –  how are you getting value out of your big data?