Big Data

How the right uses of big data can help your business flourish

Michael Hiskey, CMO of Semarchy, explained why the big data era opens up new and profound opportunities for SMBs and startups.

Michael Hiskey, CMO of master data management software provider Semarchy, talked with TechRepublic's Dan Patterson about how businesses can use data to their advantage:

Patterson: How do I look then downstream and say, whether my customer's a consumer or whether my customer's another business, that I have made decisions that will be helpful to them, of course, but also helpful to me as a business? How can data be used to help my business?

SEE: Turning Big Data into Business Insights (ZDNet special feature) | Download as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Hiskey: There's so many uses to make better use of data that you have. I think chief among them is, again, customer upsell and cross-sell. Amazon makes an amazing percentage of their profit off of those "customers who bought this also liked that." That's a preference engine. Retail institutions that have online ecommerce sites make a great deal of upsell/cross-sell with add-on items, so, "Don't forget the batteries." The proverbial "Do you want fries with that?" gives me a lot of information, but the next level of complexity, when you can dig deeper into what's really going on here ... When I have a customer in a buying position, what can I do to maximize the profitability of that shopping cart? When I say make the right decisions, it's, "Sure. I can add batteries when you're buying a remote control car, but maybe, at the same time, there's a completely orthogonal idea that I can sell another very profitable item in that same shopping cart and both make the consumer happy and add to my bottom line."

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Image: iStock/Sitthiphong

About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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