Big Data remains a hot-button topic for many business leaders. As 1to1 Media Senior Writer Cynthia Clark notes in a new article on the topic, one of the greatest challenges executives face is being able to glean actionable insights from the mountains of data that are available. This includes the difficulty in using unstructured data such as customer emails and social media sentiment that often doesn't fit into pre-defined data models or with relational databases. This is part of the benefit that data scientists and data analysts bring to the table (in addition to helping business leaders to identifying trends and correlations represented in data sets that executives might otherwise miss). But it's not just data scientists who can help the modern marketing organization.It's been well-documented that demand for data scientists, data analysts, and other types of data experts will outstrip demand in coming years. Recruiting and developing the next generation of data professionals will pose serious challenges to employers and universities. But as Samuel Greengard notes in a recent post for CIO Insight, it will also necessary for companies and other entities to attract specialists in sociology, psychographics, cultural anthropology and other disciplines who can add fresh perspectives to help businesses attack their most pressing challenges creatively. This includes utilizing sociologists who not only understand customers but the impact of society on customer behavior. Meanwhile, cultural anthropologists are able to evaluate how and why people behave the way they do.
Making sense of the massive volumes of data available about customers - including their behaviors, transactions, attitudes, and interests -- will be critical for companies that want to provide customers with relevant and personalized experiences. But it's also important to understand the factors that shape human behavior, including societal shifts and changes in consumer attitudes.