According to Gartner, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are expected to spend more on IT than Chief Information Officers (CIOs) by 2017. At first, this seems a little unbelievable. However, when you factor in the increase in high tech marketing budgets and the emergence of big data — it starts making sense.

By understanding and identifying trends in large data sets, today’s marketers have access to a wealth of information useful in shaping business and sales strategy (from email, web behavior, and social profiles, to demographic and geo-location data).

Here are some reasons why big data matters and how marketing professionals can benefit from understanding large data sets:·



  • Understanding trends in user behavior can help you upsell to existing customers (At one point, Amazon.com credited 35% of sales to its suggestion engine!)
  • With detailed analytics you can bolster prospecting for your business. Integrate large-scale demographics, such as age and geography, with user preference and behavior data, so that your business can increase its relevancy and precision when targeting leads
  • Detailed analytics can also support and inform targeted advertising campaigns based on up-to-date geo-location, search history, product preferences, and data
  • By becoming a data wizard you’ll learn to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns –analyzing data on clicks, conversions, and social actions to better understand marketing ROI and shape future strategy
  • For CMOs, who are increasingly managing IT budgets and working with technical teams, having a firm grasp on data structures is crucial for efficient communication and project management


For marketers interested in learning more about working with large data sets, free online tutorials are a great way to start coding. There are also different open-source tools available for working with big data. Perhaps most notably, the Apache Hadoop project is an open-source software for scalable and distributed computing designed. Apache Hadoop is designed to scale up from single servers to large clusters, providing local computation and storage over thousands of machines. MySQL is a leading open-source for web-based and cloud-based applications.