Obama win: big data plus local insight about how people and technology actually work

The Obama win is being hailed as a
victory for Big Data by Time magazine
while Marc Thiessen at Washington Post
why the highly competent Romney team with equal if not more
high quality analytics resources had 30,000 Republican volunteers in Colorado
confused because of glitches in forwarding the https directions to an http
address which is what mobile phones do by default. The Obama team was on the
ground and had local insights about how people and technology actually work.
And here is what businesses can learn:

  1. People first:
    This is the old qualitative research, get a ground feel for the problem first. Don't assume that you know the big
    data questions before you start lining up databases undertake factor
    analysis or come up with sophisticated regression models. An example is missing a
    qualitative understanding of customer behavior around stopping JCPenney Coupons.
  2. Technology and Big Data second: Technology and Big Data is easily and simply available.
    And it should be second on your marketing list. How is data so available?
    One might ask. Just take your website and your Google AdWords
    campaign where you have set up Google Analytics. You know exactly how your
    web traffic arrives on your website, how long visitors stay, where they
    navigate and what seems to drive them away from your "buy" page.
    Looking at your "buy page" data you will also know exactly the previous
    steps each buyer took, where exactly they came from and on. All this
    sounds pretty cool provided the rest of your people processes are in place
    and work. So people are last too!
  3. People last:
    Sounds like a cliché but people both first and last if technology and big
    data is to work. For example, you have an effective i.e. low cost high
    clicks Google AdWords local campaign that brings visitors to your contact
    page and a phone number. If someone calls, you must have people to take
    that call, convert it into a lead and populate your CRM/Sales Force
    Automation (SFA) database. Amazingly, businesses including some very big
    ones seem to just miss this simple people process. You call and you might
    get into a long "press 1, press 2" routine, at which point- you
    just call someone else. After all, it's just a few seconds of Internet
    search that gives you other options.

Just as the Moneyball analyst Peter Brand understood baseball
before analyzing data and brought victory to Billy Beane's Oakland Athletics,
campaigns need to understand the game first. In political campaigns you have
voters to convince and staffers including large numbers of volunteer folks who
must be mobilized for the ground game. The same with
business that involves understanding your own people, processes and
understanding your customers and those who might be your advocates in social
media, the equivalent of political campaign volunteers. Contact StratoServe.