Big Data. It’s the catchphrase of the day. We all have access to it, but how do we use it? More importantly, how can we visualize Big Data to make it easier for us to understand?
But like most buzz-words, Big Data often gets overused (I’m looking at you Engagement and Transparency!), not used in the proper context, and often comes out sounding like just another jargon word we drop into conversation to make us sound like we know what the heck we’re talking about.
Ok, fine. I’ll admit it. I’m guilty of the above. From time to time I like to drop a phrase like “The more transparent we are, the more engaging we become to our audience which in turn will allow us to obtain a high quality sample of Big Data that we can process in our Commodore 64 thingumabob”.
This may come as a shocking revelation, but when it comes to Big Data, I’m no statistician and could never create the advanced algorithms that large companies use to analyze the buying habits of their customers in order to market to them in an uber-targeted way (If you haven’t heard the story of how Target can accurately predict if a customer is pregnant, I suggest you check it out after you read the rest of this post).
So if I’m not a statistician, and I’m not a Big Data expert, what am I doing here? I’m here because I have a secret I want to share. I found a great way to visualize the Big Data that I do have access to. I’m more than willing to pass this info along to you and I promise, that once this is presented to you in a visual manner, you literally look at Big Data in a whole new way.
It all starts on a handy web-site I discovered a few years ago called BatchGeo, which let’s you upload location data to be displayed on an interactive Google Map.
Not only are you able to see your desired data set on a Google Map, you have the flexibility to edit and adapt that data as needed.
By using maps I created on BatchGeo, I’ve been able to help my Sales Managers, Service Managers & BDC Managers gain insights in the shopping habits of their customers.
In the example below, I’ve uploaded a dummy set of data points to illustrate how you can use your data to visually see where your customers are coming from, by lead type, in proximity to your competition.
There are so many different ways you can use BatchGeo to display your data. I’ve used it to show:
- Where sold & unsold internet leads are coming from
- 30 day, unsold internet leads in relation to competitive dealerships
- The effectiveness of direct mail campaigns based on zip code
- Calculate average distance service and/or sales customers drive to our dealership
- All other dealerships or in your area
The list can go on and on and on and is a great tool to have in your toolbox. By examining this data in a visual way, I truly believe that you will become a better marketer and gain a better understanding of how YOU can use the Big Data in your Dealership.
Now before you get all excited and start putting together your own Big Data to visualize. A couple words of caution.
First off, BatchGeo is Free for up to 250 data points and for most cases, this is sufficient. If you need to process more records than that on a regular basis, they do offer a pro version for $99 a month. I’ve been doing just fine with the free version although I did try out the pro version for a month because they offer a no-risk 30 day refund guarantee.
Secondly, any time you are dealing with personal data, Big or otherwise, you have to be very cautious with what you do with that data. When you create a map with BatchGeo, make sure you select the “private map” option so your map is only accessible to you and those you wish to share it with.
So there you go folks! Are you ready to take your first steps into the Big Data landscape today? I’d love to know the cool and useful ways you end up visualizing the Big Data in your Dealership. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!