White Paper: Harnessing Big Data to Grow Revenue

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90 percent of the world’s big data was created in the past two years alone. Despite the volume and scope of this data, however, businesses are often at a loss when it comes to effectively using it to …

90 percent of the world’s big data was created in the past two years alone. Despite the volume and scope of this data, however, businesses are often at a loss when it comes to effectively using it to drive user engagement and sales.


This white paper on social data discusses the following:

-How social data is captured, stored, and managed
-Best practices for collecting user data
-Ways social data can be used to deliver direct value

More in: Business , Technology
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  • 1. White Paper Harnessing BIG DATA Mtenodin g tGhe garp boetwween s ocial data and ROI.
  • 2. White Paper: Harnessing Big Data to Grow Revenue With the proliferation of large-scale social networks, there’s certainly no shortage of social data in the world today. Each time a user creates a new social profile or updates an existing one on a network like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, his or her personal information is stored in a secure database. Thus, social networks now have more insight than ever on their members’ backgrounds, interests, contact info, and more. What’s more, this well of data continues to expand and update in real-time as users interact more and more with websites, mobile apps, and other digital channels. Big data is so big, in fact, that 90% of it was created in the past two years alone. Source: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/bigdata/ In spite of this, businesses generally lack the knowledge and resources to fully leverage user data to increase user engagement, improve marketing performance, and discover actionable insights. By failing to take advantage of the opportunities that social data presents, businesses miss out on delivering value to consumers through personalized web experiences, which directly impacts users’ site activity and marketing campaign performance. Before social data can effectively be put to use, however, it’s important to understand how this information is collected, stored, and managed. This white paper will examine the following: • How social data is captured, stored, and managed • Best practices for collecting user data • Ways social data can be used to deliver direct value © 2013 GIGYA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. | 888-660-1469 | www.gigya.com | twitter.com/gigya | blog.gigya.com
  • 3. White Paper: Harnessing Big Data to Grow Revenue HOW SOCIAL DATA IS CAPTURED It’s commonly understood that social data is important, but how is it even collected in the first place? It all begins with social login. Social login allows users to register with and sign in to your business’s web properties using one or more of their social media accounts, also known as a social identity. Users who log in to a website using an existing social identity are essentially granting that website permission to access their first-party social data such as full name, interests, education, social connections, email address, location, and much more. © 2013 GIGYA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. | 888-660-1469 | www.gigya.com | twitter.com/gigya | blog.gigya.com Be a PRO at Collecting User Data As useful as social login is for extracting valuable user data, it’s even more crucial that businesses follow best practices when collecting personal information from customers online. Here are some tips for handling your users’ sensitive data like a PRO: Protection Protect users’ right to data privacy by being completely transparent and clear with just how their users’ information will be used before prompting social sign-in. By being upfront and honest about your data usage practices, businesses can establish trust with users that translates to positive brand perception and loyalty. Relevancy Assess your customer base and offer social sign-in for social networks that make sense for your properties. For instance, it probably would not make sense for an e-commerce site to offer LinkedIn as a sign-in option since most LinkedIn users do not share personal purchases with their professional networks. Options Present options to your users instead of limiting them to a single social network. Providing choices increases the likelihood of customers logging in to your web properties socially, giving your business more opportunities to capture helpful data.
  • 4. White Paper: Harnessing Big Data to Grow Revenue HOW SOCIAL DATA IS STORED AND MANAGED © 2013 GIGYA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. | 888-660-1469 Why are scalability and elasticity important for data management? Scalability refers to a system’s ability to accommodate larger workloads by quickly and easily adding more resources. Elasticity refers to a system’s ability to adapt to fluctuating workload sizes. Like a rubber band, elastic systems stretch when handling large data loads and retain their original shape to meet decreased capacity requirements. | www.gigya.com | twitter.com/gigya | blog.gigya.com The 2 C’s of Data Storage 1. Cloud Storage for Elasticity and Scalability With the total volume of big data across the globe already in the zettabytes, the need for efficient, dynamic storage systems is greater than ever before. When it comes to storing big data, traditional IT infrastructures lack the elasticity and scalability of cloud storage systems. In other words, cloud storage models allow easy access to data by multiple users and are equipped to handle massive amounts of data. 2. Centralized Storage for Unification Businesses with more than one web property (i.e. a website and mobile app), or multiple locations for collecting user data, can allow stored data to be accessed easily by keeping it in a centralized location. Unifying data this way makes it easier to scale marketing efforts and reach the right users at the right time. How Big Data is Managed Historically, data is managed in a traditional database, also known as a relational database, which is made up of a fields organized in a grid-like fashion. Because of the dynamic, unstructured nature of social data, though, it needs a database equipped to handle large volumes of varied information, such as profile photos, interests, behaviors, and social graph connections. This database structure is known as a schemaless database, and it enables sites and apps to store all types of social and behavioral data without any constraints.
  • 5. White Paper: Harnessing Big Data to Grow Revenue © 2013 GIGYA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. | 888-660-1469 | www.gigya.com | twitter.com/gigya | blog.gigya.com 3 Key Characteristics of Schemaless Databases To give you a better handle on what a schemaless database is and how it works, below are a few key characteristics: 1. Scale Schemaless databases are equipped to handle large, growing data sets. This ability to manage and grow in accordance with the data is known as horizontal scaling, or scaling out. 2. Structure Schemaless databases provide structure to unstructured data that relational databases would otherwise not know how to manage by indexing data, or making it searchable. 3. Speed Schemaless databases speed up data management processes by allowing businesses to automate data capture and access, search, and export data quickly. BEST PRACTICES FOR COLLECTING SOCIAL DATA Now that we understand what social data is, it’s important to know how it’s collected. Choose Data Points Wisely We discussed earlier how social login is used to facilitate the collection of social data. By encouraging users to register for your website or application socially, businesses can easily and quickly collect up-to-date, accurate information on users’ backgrounds, habits, and preferences while providing an efficient, simple registration and login process for online audiences. The social login registration process requires the user to authorize the corresponding web property to extract data from his or her social media profile. In essence, users must give a virtual agreement before businesses can collect their personal data. To encourage account creation with social login, businesses need to discern which permissions, or data points, to extract from its users. The sum of user data stored in social media sites is vast; and, quite frankly, your business probably doesn’t need all of it. In fact, studies show that requiring more permissions from users results in lower registration conversions. By asking for more permissions and thus increasing the time and effort it takes for users to register, businesses risk missing out on valuable opportunities to understand their users better.
  • 6. White Paper: Harnessing Big Data to Grow Revenue As a general rule of thumb, we recommend that businesses implementing social login carefully choose two to four data points that are absolutely critical to their marketing efforts and ask for those only. Requesting too many permissions at the outset may discourage user trust and prevent first-time users from registering. Furthermore, businesses can collect more user data after the registration process by offering incentives for users who share more information and measuring site activity. Below is an example of a permissions request that a user receives after selecting Facebook as a social login provider: This permissions dialog demonstrates discernment by only requesting a few data points--public profile information, birthday, and location. Automate Data Capture Social data is constantly changing. For a real life example of just how dynamic social data is, consider how populated your Facebook News Feed gets each minute with new updates from your friends. Each of these updates represents a new data point that needs to be changed within a social database. Social data can only be utilized at its full potential when it’s kept up to date at all times. To streamline this process, it’s advisable for businesses to automate data capturing to ensure that their database is accurate at all times. © 2013 GIGYA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. | 888-660-1469 | www.gigya.com | twitter.com/gigya | blog.gigya.com
  • 7. White Paper: Harnessing Big Data to Grow Revenue By employing a schemaless database to manage social data, your business sets the parameters for automated data capturing. In other words, automated data capture keeps users’ information up to date as the schemaless database equips the system to manage data points in ways that can be easily sorted and used. Increase User Engagement to Collect More Data Agents Social login is the first step to collecting user data, but it shouldn’t end there. As users engage with your web properties through social plugins through commenting, sharing, writing reviews, and more, your business can turn these actions into valuable user behavior insights. Collecting data on these engagement points requires an automated system for capturing data in real-time and a schemaless database for storing it. These different systems work together to capture and manage the large amount of data that can be accumulated through capturing user engagement insight. HOW BUSINESSES CAN USE SOCIAL DATA TO DELIVER VALUE Let’s examine some best practices that businesses can follow to reap social data’s full benefits. Find or Build a Web-Based Dashboard for Holistic View of Data As important as the data collection process is, having access to social data is only as useful as your ability to make sense of it. In order for your business to harness social data to gain a more comprehensive view of your users, data needs to be accessed and managed in a way that makes sense to the end users that are analyzing it. Traditionally, user databases are managed by IT departments. Thus, accessing this data requires marketers to first submit a request to IT to generate a report that presents the data in a digestible format. Not only is this method extremely time-consuming, but it’s also a drain on IT resources and a difficult process to sustain over the long term. Instead of relying on IT resources to interpret social data, businesses need a marketer-friendly, web-based dashboard that enables marketers to access user data, define their audience segments, and apply these findings directly to their marketing strategies. This grants marketers full control over their marketing efforts, allowing them to work with the data themselves to glean new insights on their user base and turn these insights into measurable actions. © 2013 GIGYA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. | 888-660-1469 | www.gigya.com | twitter.com/gigya | blog.gigya.com
  • 8. White Paper: Harnessing Big Data to Grow Revenue Integrate Data with Third-Party Marketing Platforms Now that we’ve established the importance of collecting data for user analysis purposes, it’s crucial to understand how this information can be leveraged to deliver direct value to your business. When utilized properly, social data can be leveraged to personalize user experiences and drive revenue for businesses. One way to leverage social data for targeted marketing is to integrate this information into third-party marketing platforms such as email marketing systems, advertising services, recommendation engines, and more. By implementing existing data with third-party © 2013 GIGYA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. | 888-660-1469 | www.gigya.com | twitter.com/gigya | blog.gigya.com marketing platforms, businesses can personalize marketing efforts and create more meaningful user experiences. The panel to the right outlines some ways that social data can integrate with third-party platforms to accomplish user engagement and marketing goals. FIVE STEPS TO SUCCESS: Third-Party Marketing Platforms that Work with Social Data 1. Email marketing services can use social data to personalize email marketing campaigns. Examples: MailChimp, Responsys, ExactTarget 2. Advertising services can use social data to curate and display tailored ads to site viewers. Examples: Google DoubleClick, Lotame, ADTECH 3. Recommendation engines can use social data to provide unique content and product recommendations to users. Examples: RichRelevance, Certona, MyBuys 4. Web analytics can integrate with social data to provide a more comprehensive view of users’ site activity and engagement. Examples: Google Analytics, Omniture, KISSmetrics 5. Data management platforms can turn social data into measurable, actionable insights. Examples: Bluekai, Adobe AudienceManager, Core Audience Step 1: Find a schemaless, secure, cloud-based database solution to store and manage social and behavioral data Step 2: Implement social login Step 3: Maintain accuracy of data through automated data capture Step 4: Acquire more data through user engagement Step 5: Transfer data to third-party marketing platforms
  • 9. White Paper: Harnessing Big Data to Grow Revenue ABOUT GIGYA: Gigya's Customer Identity Management Platform helps companies build better customer relationships by turning unknown visitors into known, loyal and engaged customers. With Gigya’s technology, businesses increase registrations and identify customers across devices, consolidate data into rich customer profiles, and provide better service, products and experiences by integrating data into marketing and service applications. Gigya's platform was designed from the ground up for social identities, mobile devices, consumer privacy and modern marketing. Gigya provides developers with the APIs they need to easily build and maintain secure and scalable registration, authentication, profile management, data analytics and third-party integrations. More than 700 of the world’s leading businesses such as Fox, Forbes, and Verizon rely on Gigya to build identity-driven relationships and to provide scalable, secure Customer Identity Management. © 2013 GIGYA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. | 888-660-1469 | www.gigya.com | twitter.com/gigya | blog.gigya.com