Executives and business owners have long been enamored with the goal of having a “360 degree view of the customer”— the Holy Grail of customer analytics, a vessel that would magically enable business decisions, transform marketing models, and drive profits. In recent years, the quest for “whole customer” data has given way to an even more powerful sounding treasure — the use of “big data” to unlock the deepest, darkest secrets of consumer behavior, secrets so deep that no human could hope to discern them without powerful computers and even more powerful algorithms. This quest is so hot right now that Gartner reports that 64% of all businesses will launch or have launched a “big data” initiative by 2015.
Amazing numbers, but there are two problems:
The same Gartner report cites that 56% of respondents indicated that…