Businesses know more and more about consumers. They have an almost infinite amount of data and can predict many of the decisions or needs that consumers will face. Saying that no one knows you better than your mother may have finally found its expiration date, because now no one may know you better than your favorite e-commerce store, your internet search engine (actually Google) or that the Lebanon Mobile Database supermarket where you shop every day. Companies have been hunting for data, which is what can make a difference, and this wealth of information, big data, has become the new favorite tool for companies to make business decisions.
Las soluciones informáticas toman esas inmensas bases de datos, esas minuciosas colecciones de información, y permiten establecer patrones, respuestas a preguntas y predicciones a futuro para estar preparado para lo que pueda pasar.
There is the ever-recurring example of Walmart, which received Hurricane Katrina better prepared than the American civil service. While all public services failed miserably, Walmart remained a safe haven for citizens, offering just the products everyone needed at the time and without stock problems. The difference between one answer and the other was in the use of big data. The supermarket chain was one of the pioneers in the use of data to predict consumer trends. The cross between the data offered on the hurricane and the history of consumer behavior in similar situations made it clear to them before others what their customers would need.
Big data is very effective, but where do companies get all this information? That is, how have they managed to read, analyze and study their clients (clients who may not really be aware of everything they are saying about themselves) to know what they want or what they will need? Social networks are one of the usual responses of analysts to find out more about the world. But social media is third-party and does not allow more than what each social network reveals. The secret, the true flow of data, is in what the companies themselves control.
The ereader reads to the reader
Changing consumption patterns has made it much easier to know what consumers really care about. Reading is a clear example of this. Until the e-book boom, data on reading patterns was associated with what was bought and what readers said they liked. To predict a trend you had to stick with the charts. That the top ten best-selling books was full of Scandinavian crime books indicated that readers were going to want to read more Scandinavian crime books. But that no longer happens now.
Reading is electronic and is done on electronic devices. In the end, it is so easy to know what is read – and what is finished reading, what is reread, what is skipped because it is boring? – such as the browsing history of consumers. The ereaders are actually reading the reader while he reads the ebook. It is not only that the online bookstore knows what the reader has bought, but also that it is possible to know what it is that he reads later. In the case of media associated with a specific bookstore, such as the Amazon Kindle, the data is even more extensive. And, as cloud reading grows, with solutions like Oyster (a sort of Spotify for ebooks), there are more sources from which to extract data on reading patterns.
Firms in the ebook market have repeatedly assured that all this information collection is anonymous, although not all have explained exactly what their Brother Cell Phone List do with that data. Its applications can be very high: publishers’ marketing campaigns could be segmented to points of almost proven effectiveness (because they will know, for example, what specific readers really like, be it romantic novels or period mysteries, and not what the gallery shows that you buy) But the marketing of the product could change to suit what is really effective, from the character who dies to the title.
Books are the most surprising point of information gathering, but not the only one. You just have to think about the way you watch movies now or listen to music to see the parallels.