Editor’s Note: This was posted to the EndeavorCPQ blog today.
Big Data – it’s all the rage these days. Millions of dollars of marketing budgets are dedicated to. Top engineers and researchers spend their days digging into the science of it. Even open source is building solutions for coping with. But are we solving the right problems?
You can’t start this discussion without touching on the fact that there is no formal definition on what big data is, leading people into overinvesting into infrastructure that’s not really needed. The vast majority of data sets don’t really hit that big data point, but heck, it never hurts to oversell yourself.
But I think the real fallacy of big data is that it’s a business probelm. Yes, in terms of cost and infrastructure it is (after all, who will pay for this giant cluster), but the real problems are technical ones. Where do we stick all this data? How do we index and access it? The beauty here is that dealing with data is nothing new, and lots of people are tackling this problem. As daunting as it sounds, this is the easy part. The hard part is what to do wiht this pile of bits.
This is what I’d like to call…..the little data problem.
If you look at the article I linked to previously, I think there’s one part at the very end that sticks out to me. “The important thing is gathering the right data, not gathering some arbitrary quantity of it.” This is the key, you need that data which will help you make the right decisions and give you the best advice. And you need it at the right moment in the sales process; there nothing more frustrating than getting off the call with a customer and missing the opportunity to make that connection, that difference, which takes a deal from good to great. It’s no wonder why the mantra we use here at SugarCRM is “Every customer, every user, every time.” With how busy our lives are, optimizing every interaction is crucial in today’s business world.
EndeavorCPQ gets this just as well. Having the right data during the quoting process opens up all sorts of possibilities. It’s not just the proverbial “up-sell” either; what if you know you are quoting one item that needs another to work? Or maybe even the product isn’t the best for the customer, where another option may fit them better? Having the big data behind the scenes to give you this intelligence is the key technical piece, but not having it at the right time is the little data problem… and in the end a business problem.
Salespersons today know hitting their quota isn’t a matter of working harder, but smarter. Maximizing the value of each interaction is the key, and the way to make that happen is having the right “little data” for them at the right time to make that connection count.