Big Data & The Long Tail: How Larger Data Sets Uncover Previously Inaccessible Opportunities

As is all too common with big data, many enterprises are failing to realize opportunities because they’re hidden in their information chains. Understanding the nuances of leveraging big data is hugely important, as are the economic repercussions.

Long-tail data, a concept introduced by Chris Anderson in 2004, suggests most customers are located away from the central part of the distribution curve. While every customer generates data, until recently this data was of little value. Advances in technology and analytics now afford a better view of the customer and in this post, we’ll discuss how your enterprise can uncover new opportunities with long-tail data.

What do we mean by “long tail” data?

Until recently, the Pareto Rule reigned supreme wherein 20% of customers supplied 80% of the actionable data. Developments in the customer marketing space now allow data analysis across seemingly dissonant points and there’s tremendous and often untapped value in these “long tails” of information from disjointed but wider audiences.

Long-tail data has many implications for enterprises, including:

  • Customer segmentation – enterprises can’t rely solely on “core” or “priority” customer segments anymore. All customers contribute more equally to sales and revenue.
  • Personalization – enterprises should ensure they're delivering seamless experiences to every individual customer given this more balanced contribution model.
  • Big data analysis – the rise of ‘big data’ tech has allowed the sort of detailed pattern analysis at scale that’s necessary to identify trends and anomalies in long-tail data. With improved processing power, it’s possible to iterate over large data sets many times to uncover interesting correlations or trends that can be used to increase sales, data monetization, etc. 

Long-tail data may be the key to uncovering long-existing patters that were invisible given our previous analytical capabilities.

Long tail data and the opportunities it can uncover for your enterprise

Let’s say your company relies on traditional marketing and analytics practices, as many do. You’re likely sitting on numerous data points from site visitors, existing clients, social media and more. With the right tools and strategy, your company can leverage this data to address all of its users.

Understanding every customer’s buyer’s journey means you can personalize offers specific to the individual by targeting specific preferences and behaviors and at every touchpoint.

What’s more, you can leverage an array of outlets, like social media and email, to better market to wider audiences for less money. Money spent on more traditional and costlier channels, like TV and radio, that applies blanket messaging can also be refocused for improved use.

Your enterprise can be more confident with what you’re spending on marketing and sales efforts but at the end of the day, these breakthroughs really come down to delivering better, more tailored experiences for your customers.

Overcoming challenges for long-tail data analysis

Big Data is somewhat of a double-edged sword. The more data you have, the more analysis it requires and sometimes this is beyond the capabilities of your employees. Thus, an awareness of the potential challenges you might encounter is important before getting started.

Integrating your channels

For many enterprises, the challenge of leveraging long-tail data rests on unifying data sources into a single platform. Considering the digital presence companies have today, and the amount of data they generate, this can be daunting.

Finding the right solution

With many big data solutions available, how do you decide which one is right for your enterprise? Should you go with customized solutions, or look for a third-party provider that can house big data for you? No matter what you choose, your enterprise will have to make a significant investment. That said, big data technology allows for economical processing over large blocks of ‘long tail’ data that previously was too time-consuming or too-expensive (or both) to do regularly.

Getting buy-in from your team

Years of following the same practices can make change especially difficult. Long-tail analysis requires buy-in from marketing, sales and IT, and it’s pretty impossible to accomplish this without major support from leadership.

So, what’s an enterprise that wants to address these challenges to do? Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch. Companies like Antuit are experts in developing customized solutions that meet your data analysis objectives and goals. We understand the challenges and pressures companies face today, and we harness your data to maintain customers and give you a competitive advantage.

What opportunities are hiding in your data?

Large data sets have untapped long-tail data opportunities that drive significant value, oftentimes outweighing initial investment costs. Are you ready to uncover the many long-tail opportunities hiding in your data? Contact Antuit today.

See how Antuit can help you uncover new opportunities with long-tail data.

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