Big Data Evolution: Why Thai businesses should start collecting data

Economy April 16, 2014 00:00

By Maas Virajoti
Group Head, St

7,016 Viewed

Marketers around the world are now shifting their focus on utilisation of big data. Anyone following the news would have seen that many industries around the globe are trying to grab a piece of this big data revolution.

Many businesses have taken a serious look at data to understand both their business and consumers better. This data can help shape many things including a deeper understanding of consumer patterns, and ultimately how companies can improve their products and services to serve consumers.

With this much demand, working with big data is becoming more accessible to everyone. New tools and services on big data utilisation have popped up in the past couple of years, offering services that gather and mine this data at a reasonable price.

This is a good indication of how important big data has become to everyone and how much simpler it is to absorb including for Thai companies. This article will look at how big data can benefit Thai companies.

According to search engine giant Google, the term "big data" only surfaced a few years back. In that time, big data was transformed from having a "relationship" with consumers to giving them their desired better "experience".

That is one of the main reasons why big data utilisation is the new global sensation, as it enables the power to go beyond understanding consumers.

A good example of a company that has successfully utilised big data is Walmart. The US-based company was one of the first well-known businesses to shift its business paradigm, going from a slow moving retail giant to a data driven warrior.

Walmart integrated the usage of big data to improve less popular brick and mortar stores in the midst of the e-commerce age. With big data, Walmart was able to pre-empt exactly what consumers wanted, needed, and eventually craved.

This was based on patterns mined from the data Walmart had collected over the years. The results after Walmart utilised big data were phenomenal.

Its online store increased revenue by 15%, which was incredible considering that the Walmart’s online business is worth US$1 billion.

However, the act of collecting big data by giants like Walmart has a downside. By collecting this data, businesses are stepping into the territory of meddling with consumer privacy. Most people in western countries despise being "tracked" or "collected".

This is where it becomes fun, especially for markets like Thailand.

Thai consumers have a different mindset than western consumers. According to 48,000 global samples taken in the Wave 7 study by IPG Mediabrands’ Universal McCann division, collecting big data in Thailand should be increased because Thais are very open when it comes to their personal information being collected by companies.

The study revealed that Thais have an index of 122 compared to the global standard when it comes to having no concerns about data privacy. This means Thais are 22% above the global average in welcoming data collection by brands and companies.

The US, the UK and Singapore are between 20%-30% below the global norm when it comes to appreciating the collection of privacy data.

The marketing and media industries in Thailand are excellent examples of sectors that have profited from big data utilisation. There are lots of players, ranging from content makers to marketers, with a large stake in both industries. Big data utilisation can be a knight in shining armour for these players.

Japanese social applications like LINE App from NAVER Corp are utilising big data. Earlier this year, LINE organised flash sales for different product categories in its sales channel with 5.5 million subscribers. The products sold within five minutes for categories like food and beverage while other categories like luxury skincare also gained high profits.

As for the media industry, there is a gigantic opportunity to utilise big data. Given Thais by and large do not mind being tracked, TV ratings data-collection methods should be revamped in order to capture richer data to help determine many new findings and approaches.

With the permission of consumers, set top boxes will be a media company’s best friend as it will collect and track meaningful viewing patterns and behaviour.

If you are a content creator, the findings from big data will let you know exactly what consumers are watching, when they are watching, and what they want to watch next. For marketers, this type of data will help them formulate a better investment plan.

This is the prediction of a way forward for the media industry. Other industries will also have new and surprising results if data is collected and mined just right.

Thailand is heaven for big data collection for international and local companies. But do not be a follower and grab on to a piece of data revolution.

Take Walmart for example. It was able to overcome the struggle to emerge from the old ways and once again triumph.

Thais are open to having their data collected. So start collecting.