Big Data startup Tresata is doing a private beta test of a new analytics service designed to determine customer intent so that companies can design products and services based on what customers really want rather than on guesswork. Big Data futurist and Tresata Founder and Tresata CEO Abhi Mehta revealed the test of the revolutionary service, that allows companies to combine SKU data on their products and services with social media data from Facebook, publicly for the first time in an interview with Wikibon’s David Vellante and SiliconAngle’s John Furrier in the Cube at Strata + Hadoop World 2012 on October 25.
“Social data is a really big revolution that will absolutely change how companies understand what customers want and deliver products and services as customer advocates, not trying to make them pay for things they shouldn’t be paying for,” he said.
Analysis that could show companies what their customers really want, what new products or improvements to old products will drive sales and increase customer loyalty, would revolutionize markets. Too often companies have instead resorted to expensive advertising to try to convince customer that the company’s products are what those customers want, even if they do not fill customer needs.
The potential power of this information is demonstrated by the history of Apple Computer in the last decade. By any measure Apple was in deep trouble a decade ago when Steve Jobs introduced the iPod, the first of a series of insightful products, including the iPhone and iPad, that have revolutionized consumer computing and transformed Apple into a financial and technology powerhouse.
It is important enough to be one of Mehta’s three A’s that he predicts will be the major keys to the next phase of Big Data development. These are:
- As-a-Service: “It is refreshing to see both Oracle and IBM come out and say that ‘as-a-service’ is a business model that’s not going away,” he said. “I think it is no longer a choice or an option, it’s a necessity.” Business services delivered over the Internet, and Big-Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS) in particular, allows companies to redesign their infrastructures to take advantage of Big Data and related advanced technologies and create new products and services with no upfront investment costs. That gives leading companies a major advantage in their markets. “It’s going to differentiate the winners from the losers.”
- Actionable Insight: The important thing about Big Data is not technologies like Hadoop and Map Reduce but the actionable insights companies can extract from the data. “It’s all about business value, answering the questions that couldn’t be answered before,” he said. Going forward people will be talking less about the technologies and more about how the actionable insights they derive from the analysis are changing their business.
- Assigning Intent, the new AI: Chief among those insights is the ability to assign intent. “If you have the ability through an analytics engine and platform to assign intent at the individual level, it will help you to influence customer behavior.”
Tresata’s new venture, Mehta says, is “a very interesting project to look at SKU-level information, the actual SKU-level data, and attach to that social data amassing from Facebook. I do believe Facebook data changes fundamentally the way we drive, design, and offer products and services to customers.”
If things go according to plan, he said, “We will announce the first commercial use of Facebook data against SKU data to show how you can drive sales through Facebook in the Cube at Hadoop Summit” in mid-June in San Jose, Calif.