At one time, data were most often used only by accountants and financial managers. However, as computers have evolved, data play an increased role in a variety of different industries. Data are used by public relations practitioners, marketers, and political campaigners to analyze their strategies and develop unique methods to position a company or individual.
Companies are beginning to realize that in order to measure their strategies, they must use all the options available to them. There are different strategies for obtaining data, including using tools provided by Google and Facebook to analyze the number of site visits and the methods that people use to find your site.
Facebook has been under fire in the past due to its privacy restrictions and the amount of data that is obtained when logged on to a particular site. However, the data can provide companies with the number of visitors to its individual pages and the strengths or weaknesses of its posts based upon the number of “likes.”
In a recent New York Times article, the author described how more organizations are hiring people to analyze data in order to get ahead in their industry. A professor at Cornell described how data have changed the world of social media and the amount of measurable data that can be obtained from these resources.
“I look for hot spots in the data, an outbreak of activity that I need to understand,” says Jon Kleinberg, a professor at Cornell. “It’s something you can only do with Big Data.”
According to the article, big data is a wide ranging field where people will take details from all reaches of available data and convert them into usable information so that organizations can create customizable operations for today’s growing culture. People can analyze Twitter hashtags, Facebook posts, and Google searches to determine currently interests and direct tailored information to a particular online segment.
Public relations practitioners can use this new influx of data to their advantage. The data will allow PR practitioners to capture measurable statistics to show their clients about the results of a new campaign. In addition, the data collected will allow PR professionals to provide their client with relevant advice about the current sentiments of society — measures that the client can use to increase its clientele and investors.
Overall, data harvesting is becoming an important aspect of today’s culture. People in all fields need to understand the importance and relevance that data can have on their company’s success. How do you feel about this explosion of data and the ability of corporations to track their data?