The adoption of plans in organizations for Big Data currently and predominantly covers the theme of social data: the customer side, inspired in particular by the social network activity of Web 2.0. But, if we take the concept of ‘social’ in a broader sense, an increasing amount of Big Data potential is released. This is more or less the route we have followed since the early nineties: first with Web Analytics, then with Social Analytics and now with Next-Generation Analytics. In this age of Big Data, further development is progressing toward Total Data Analytics and Total Data Management.
An important part of the discussion revolves around the extent to which organizations should embrace Big Social Data. The answer is: only on the basis of a wellgrounded policy. Smart entrepreneurship in the growing dataflow is the key to capturing the raisins from the pie, so to speak. The question as to whether or not an organization initially is working with real Big Data (sets) is actually irrelevant. Scaling up will occur organically, and a good number of privacy issues are closely attached to this situation. We deal with these comprehensively in our third research report. Number four is devoted to a Big Data roadmap, perceived and approached from various angles.
Modern Social Analytics applications enable organizations to understand the rhythms of human activity, to attach predictions to them, and to plan and implement corresponding actions: Understand, Predict & Act. The possibilities of personalization and hypertargeting are steadily increasing, and the toolbox is bursting at the seams.
But do customers want that? It gives many of us a somewhat uncomfortable feeling to realize what commercial organizations know about individuals and groups. The organization of privacy and the guarantee of our personal integrity is perhaps therefore the domain par excellence to which attention should be paid. Big Data, Big Social and Big Brother are not worlds apart — certainly not in our human perception.