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Considering the exponential rise in the use of smartphones and tablets over the last few years, it would not be surprising to know the degree of far-reaching impact and influence it has had over the users’ lives. Looking at people’s propensity to use the internet for handling more and more of their needs, you are sure to be amazed by the sheer amount of data that is spewed daily by these devices.
Marketers crunch numbers and study data, but it is getting more difficult with each passing day to make accurate market predictions about customers and businesses, and to use those predictions to strategize. Many companies remain bottlenecked with concepts which are based on what they think customers will do, instead of working with real-time insight about their behavioral patterns. To succeed in this scenario as a business, what you need is large volumes of real-time data. Big Data is a concept which has come out of a real, palpable business need, and many businesses are currently in the pursuit of harvesting Big Data for detailed analytics.
A recent study shows that businesses that do not have a strategy in place to leverage Big Data analytics as part of their business plan run the risk of stunting their growth. Big Data has impacted businesses worldwide and is actively changing the competitive landscape of industries as a whole. To help businesses service this need effectively, many companies are providing innovative DaaS packages. DaaS services providers offer data aggregation services like web scraping and data crawling, providing supplement for the data-driven future of the internet businesses.
DaaS – What it is and why you should care
For most marketers and businesses, the methods of sourcing data are still quite primitive. Via the usual channels of collection, it is no longer possible to source enough relevant data and to use the same to glean insights. This is where the concept of Big Data becomes so compelling. It provides companies immense opportunity to refine operational and strategic decisions. In the interesting yet dynamic world of Big Data, information can be used in real time and leveraged to take businesses to an entirely different level. This is precisely where DaaS comes in. Touted to be the most sought-after service to emerge in recent times, DaaS has taken the marketing world by storm and is proving to be a major success differentiator for businesses worldwide.
DaaS or Data-as-a-Service is basically a service approach where DaaS service providers provide businesses and marketers with unique and hard-to-find data. Data assets are sourced from multiple locations, structured and organized, and delivered as an endless stream of qualified, potential prospects. Buying lists is no longer enough, and the DaaS approach is a living, thriving and highly customized asset compared to the stale, disconnected and single-use prospect lists. For internet marketers and e-commerce businesses, DaaS represent pure marketing gold.
How you can utilize the proficiency of a DaaS provider
Harnessing the expertise of a DaaS provider offers value at many levels –
- For your business, it is important to have constant access to in-market customers and businesses who would be interested in your products and services.
- If you provide e-commerce services and are looking for competition analysis and customer analysis, you would need a DaaS provider to crawl product data feeds, extract product information and collate insightful data points from websites on a daily basis.
- If you are interested in marketing opportunities, you can use data aggregation services to find the perfect target market for your business and to leverage the relevant data to create evolving and robust marketing strategies.
There are many ways in which your business can benefit from DaaS. To understand these in-depth, you need to take a look at the different kind of data which DaaS providers furnish you with –
Foundational Data – Gathered from hundreds of Big Data sources, these include first party data combined with third party and hard-to-find data. These are highly customized and specialized data that provide base-level insight.
Onboarded Data – Onboarding can provide new opportunities to reach customers and prospects. In essence, this is offline data which has been transitioned into palpable, addressable online entities. For e-commerce services, for example, this kind of data can be used to target key groups of customers to sell and cross-sell.
Fast Data – An aggregation of real-time events and behavior driven data which would help you determine intent to purchase as and when it occurs, and even forecast future intent across customer groups. This behavioral data is sourced from social and business plat-forms, and provides you unique insight into customer behavior.
How DaaS Helps You
For businesses, it is important to have a deep understanding about data sources. If you are looking to strengthen your marketing efforts or trying to fine-tune your e-commerce venture, you need to find the right places to collect data from. For example, you might want to crawl product data from e-commerce websites for competition analysis, or crawl social platforms for getting viable customer profiles. Data collection and management presents challenges that you can overcome with DaaS.
Here are some of the important kinds of information, broken down by source or purpose that can be generated through a DaaS service provider –
Web Mining – Collection of data by crawling the open web, including the collection and processing of information obtained directly from web servers and documents. Information can be scraped from website content, structure, link structure, browser activity and server log records.
Search Info – This kind of data comes from browser activity tracking, and can be an accurate pointer for customer intent and behavior. Search information is also a great way to identify digital audiences by onboarding.
Social Platforms – A goldmine of preferences and user choices which can accurately pinpoint intent and behavioral patterns. From a detailed study of people’s activity on social platforms, you can get a clear picture regarding their preferences.
Mobile – An ever-growing sphere is that of mobile data. It is not limited to being a factor of smartphone penetration, but can also include data from apps and mobile services which work in the background.
Transactions – Includes data that is generated when companies and individuals conduct business. Data can include purchases, requests, claims, deposits, withdrawals, reservation, credit and much more. Both financial and logistical processes are covered under this domain.
Crowdsourcing – Covers the gathering of collective intelligence from the public. Through forums, polls, surveys and questionnaires, highly sophisticated and relevant data can be generated.
These are the data sources that are available to you once you start using the immense potential of DaaS. DaaS providers can leverage every single one of these data locations and harvest highly customized data assets which you can use constructively to give direction and purpose to your marketing and e-commerce efforts.
Going Forward with DaaS
In the year 2015, DaaS is poised to become the next big thing in the world of online marketing and e-commerce. Making projections and planning strategies based on old and outmoded principles is something that does not add value to companies trying to make it big here and now. DaaS provides you with the perfect opportunity to mine relevant data and find the right use for it. Since you can opt to enlist the help of DaaS service providers, you get all the data you need and can reserve your time and resources towards integrating that data into your existing business workflow.
For your ecommerce business to become a success, you need comprehensive insight into customer behavior. Tastes and preferences of customers need to be classified, organized and categorized on the basis of differentiating factors like gender, age, demographics and income groups. With this highly relevant, customized information coming from DaaS, you can make decisions based not on projections, but a real-time view of customers’ preferences. The immediacy of the data that you receive will hold you in good stead once you start using this data to devise your strategies.
With DaaS services acting as a backbone for your e-commerce and internet marketing efforts, you have the following palpable advantages –
Gain meaningful insights – You have a concrete idea about customer needs and intent, and can base your business decision making around this insight. Targeted e-commerce and marketing efforts become easier in the process.
Data Integration – You have integrated and consolidated data from multiple entry points and multiple systems of record. This allows you to look into different systems of engaging potential customers by looking at data source breakdowns and making informed decisions.
Business Intelligence – Not only does DaaS help you gather valuable business intelligence, it helps you gather it in real time. You can seamlessly work with data from multiple domains and be informed of changes in the data spectrum as they occur, leaving you in a great position to change your own plans.
Information Delivery – You can also deliver better, more engaging and more relevant information to customers owing to your superior knowledge about their preferences. Delivering real-time information to your customers via channels like mobile apps, social media and official websites becomes much less of a hassle.
Efficiency and Scalability – Last but not the least, you have a scalable, elastic and highly efficient method of collecting relevant data for your business. For online marketers and e-commerce ventures, this can be a real difference-maker.