Nowadays, most organisations are swimming in data. Transactional information, CRM data, operational metrics, employee performance and financial flows are just some of the internal sources of potential business intelligence available to the modern organisation.

So what does it all mean?

Much has been made of a new age of “big data analytics”, promising smart, evidence-driven insights, fuelled by this torrent of organisational data.

But does more abundant data with myriad ways to slice and dice it necessarily result in better answers to the biggest business problems? Not always.

External market insight derived from primary research will always have its place within the intelligent business. While big data analytics might be able to tell us about how different metrics correlate or drive each other, market research and consulting remains as the primary tool for answering questions around “how?” “why?” and “so what?”.

How has B2B International embraced this change?

Just as market research can help to provide context and structure to big data insights, there are several important ways in which B2B International is embracing this paradigm shift in business intelligence:

  • Mining existing customer / organisational data: We now regularly undertake audits of internal data for our clients to help with the initial diagnosis of their business challenges. For instance, in projects relating to customer losses, we can undertake a detailed analysis of behavioural and transactional data to provide clues as to the triggers that caused defection.
  • Advancing statistical approaches through data fusion: The foundation of big data is in its use of sophisticated statistical models to capture novel patterns from a morass of data. B2B International’s in-house statistical team is developing approaches that fuse survey responses, third-party information and corporate data to arrive at a more comprehensive view of how markets behave, and to make predictions about what they might look like in the future. The application of these modelling techniques has big implications for market research in areas such as product development, branding, customer loyalty and market sizing.
  • Smart targeting in b2b segmentation: Third-party b2b databases and media targeting platforms are rapidly becoming more detailed and specific. As a result, B2b segmentation approaches can now take advantage of a wide range of potential targeting criteria for accessing business-to-business decision makers. Consequently, we now design research programmes that incorporate these new dimensions from the start, allowing for segmentation schemes that are more powerful and actionable.
  • Combining “big data” with “big judgement”: For all the data and analytics in the world, there’s often no substitute for a wise head taking stock and making sense of things. With over 40 years of business-to-business market intelligence heritage, B2B International’s researchers have the intuition to avoid the blind alleys and to pursue the promising avenues when it comes to data analysis and interpretation.