David Brooks 02.02.2017
It seems that data is now becoming BIG DATA.
Wow. So what's this all about then? According to Wikipedia "Big data is a term for data sets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate to deal with them." It seems so much data is acquired, particularly from Internet transactions, that the sheer volume of stuff makes it difficult to deal with. Big Data offers the promise of gaining a competitive edge for companies that can analyse the data, turn this into information and then tactically apply this insight.
PrintWeeK meantime in a story headlined "Deceased mail rates on the rise" cites a report that "The number of pieces of direct mail sent to deceased people annually is set to cross the 200 million mark for the first time in 2017." So 200 million mail items predicted to be sent this year to dead people.
During many years working with clients, I don't recall any really having their databases in good order. Generally what had happened is that address details had been collected, not necessarily to the same parameters or content and had not been regularly maintained. Often someone had bought some expensive sales management software which was not understood by people that were required to use it, or had they received training in its use. Typically databases had grown to tens of thousands a huge amount of which was out of date. Not just dead people, bad as that is, but a mass of irrelevant contacts too.
So it is little surprise the deceased receive such a deluge of mailings - pretty big data itself. Perhaps, before embracing Big Data, businesses would do well to get their customer and prospect databases up to scratch first. Good luck with big data!
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