How retailers can convert big data into smart data

The internet has allowed retailers today to collect as much data as possible. Coupled with the beneficial systems such as cloud services, retailers can also store this data on a system that is virtually infinite. Plus, they even have the computing power now to actually process this data.

However, all that data is useless if retailers don’t organize it. Big data is useful only when its smart data and for that to happen, retailers need to organize and break down the data to its finer parts.

So, how can that be done? Well, here are a few tips.


Data comes in from sources such as social media or emails. The first step you need to take is to look for specific topics within the accumulated data. So, begin by searching for particular keywords with assistance from your social data analytics platform. However, mind you, the results will be voluminous and not really insightful. For you to move to the insightful phase, you need to implement the next step.

Breaking down the data

In order to narrow it down to what you really want, you will have to employ the use of filters. The filters here could include date or time. This can be used to get results from the last hour, for instance. However, you need to be sure to use the right filters.

Apart from date or time, you can narrow it down further by including filters such as channels or mentions. This will allow you to determine where all the data is coming from. Maybe it’s a bunch of blogs or YouTube. You can also narrow it down according to “region” to determine which country is mentioning your brand the most.

As you can see, just adding the right filters provides you with the relevancy you are looking for. Now you know which country mentions you the most and which channel your customers prefer to use. This insight alone will boost your targeting strategies.


The next step is to analyze the data. This must be done if you want the data to be manageable and offer comprehensive insights. The analysis allows us to see themes that are present within the data. For instance, you’ll know whether most of your mentions are positive or negative.

You can also identify which customer of yours is the influencer here by determining how their posts or tweets impact your brand. The list is endless.

However, one thing is for sure, the moment you start analyzing the data, your data becomes useful. It provides context and that can help you find direction as to what the next big step is.

So, remember – search, breakdown and analyze! These are the three steps to converting big data into smart data.

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