Find the Big Number
Most companies have too much data available to them. These data may not all be used, but if all data and information are put together, they represent in most cases an enormous amount of numbers and other facts. If a company has 100,000 customers and each customer buys 10 items 10 times per year, that in itself will generate 100,000 10 10 ¼ 10,000,000 records. And most companies have much more than that.
Analysis paralysis is often the result of data overflow. It has been alleged that one UK retailer has an analysis team of 40 top analysts working with the customer data generated by a customer card; they do not achieve any useful insights as the perfect, allencompassing data model is very difficult to handle.
The answer to this problem is to look for the main opportunity, and the way to do this is to search for the 'Big Number' – a concept we have introduced to make strategy based on customer data effective. This chapter is an introduction to the subject.
Business and marketing strategy is not a mathematical science. It is, as explained earlier, 'grey'. That is why the concept of a Big Number is so useful as it simplifies the 'numbers game', it pulls out what is really important and allows everyone to forget about the rest. The danger is that, with vast amounts of data, there is