Five tips for managing mobile data collection with a business focus

By Elisa Silverman

The world will contain 40 zettabytes of data by 2020, reports TechTarget. Now that mobile usage surpasses desktop, according to TechCrunch, mobile data collection accounts for a significant part of all information that businesses gather each day. Even better, mobile users provide the most varied and telling collection of consumer data.

Mobile users are no longer tethered to a desk. They share with companies the where, what, why and how of their lives, along with what interests or concerns them. This says nothing of the “data exhaust,” or data byproduct, they create as well.

Companies have seemingly limitless opportunities to transform this data into business intelligence. Yet, the predictable business challenges, such as budget constraints and skills gaps, still apply. Now, however, they face big data’s own difficulties as well.

The CIO as an In-House Adviser

The role of the CIO is changing in the mobile, cloud and big data era. They’re no longer infrastructure and data stewards. Rather, the new CIO must become a business intelligence adviser. The first hurdle is likely embracing this changing role.

Everyone understands that raw data isn’t insight, and extracting insights from mobile data collection is the real goal. Thus, the brave new CIO will need to focus on managing the data layer to realize the bottom-line potential of analytics.

The good news is that CIOs needn’t do this alone. In fact, they shouldn’t. CIOs and IT departments need to partner with other business units. Together, they’ll uncover the actionable patterns in consumer data and create new opportunities.

5 Tips for Big Data Management

  1. Identify core consumer data. Each stakeholder should see the same view of any given customer. The master customer data set holds the most critical information from the most trusted sources. This foundation serves as the single source of truth, which links and synchronizes data from other sources. Master data management solutions can help maintain the core consumer information.
  2. Prioritize data sources and pools. Map the customer journey and the data that’s collected along the way. This will highlight the most pertinent and actionable information based on stated business goals.
  3. Address unstructured data. According to TechTarget, 85 percent of the data collected is unstructured. There is no big data management without the tools and strategies to reconcile and validate this information against the core consumer data.
  4. Accommodate data velocity. Timeliness is one of the key benefits of mobile data collection. It gives businesses the opportunity to react to relevant consumer data in real time. For example, a store’s door sensor acknowledges that a specific customer has entered. A real-time analysis of that person’s preferences and habits triggers notifications with personalized discounts. This is important because the consumer will usually only act upon deals if they’re properly targeted.
  5. Push data ownership and analysis to the separate business units. Each business unit is accountable for reaching its own goals. All departments and IT need to work together to model data and processes in creative and goal-oriented ways. IT shouldn’t be a bottleneck for analysis. The end users, or the business units, are closest to the data’s business value and can react quickly. Therefore, IT should advise them and refine the data based upon departments’ needs.

New Skills and Challenges

The CIO isn’t the only role that’s changing in response to the new data landscape. Businesses need to develop new IT roles and skills to get the most from mobile data collection. CIOs must also consider what new hires and training the department will need to be successful.

Nowadays, users have sky-high expectations. Failures will happen; it’s inevitable. However, it’s still important to start off strong. A new app and mobile data collection can lead to the most controllable beta-test environment possible, and increase chances of an early win.

Written By

Elisa Silverman

Technology Writer

Elisa Silverman is a freelance writer, with a professional background in law and technology. She writes for technology companies and professional service firms. In addition, Elisa writes other types of B2B marketing content that help them establish authority and foster relationships…

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