Data must be collected, stored, controlled, and analyzed properly before it can be put to use in real-time action.
Data must be collected, stored, controlled, and analyzed properly before it can be put to use in real-time action.

How do you turn Big Data into smarter and actionable data?” De Persgroep’s business manager of consumer relations, Dirk Milbou, posed this question to delegates at INMA’s Big Data for Media conference at Google London on Friday.

In response, he provided audience members five easy steps to create data coherence across three different domains: audience, editorial, and advertising.

First, companies must collect the right consumer data. This requires going from the anonymous to the social by looking at user information, operational data, and brand interaction.

Steps two and three work jointly: Companies must store and control the quality of the data, which can be done in many ways. These include external sources, operational systems, offline interactions, and online interactions.

The fourth step is to analyse the data to derive insights. Think about what has already been attained and what is still needed. There are different ways to model the data. What’s the difference between active and churn? “There’s much power to be found in the churn model,” Milbou noted.

Companies can also use an acquisition model: Who subscribes? Who doesn’t? In general, the more interaction readers have with the brand, the more likely they are to subscribe.

Finally, turn the data into real-time action. “Build reach and create relevance,” Milbou said. “Go from one-size-fits-all to segmented offers.”

Of course this isn’t easy. Using Big Data effectively never is. But understanding the relationship between better customer data management and a better business is a critical first step.