"In order for businesses to become truly data-driven in their marketing initiatives, they need the right tools gathering the data and the right people we call "data scientists" deciphering the intelligence. One of the most important elements to the success and effectiveness of SEAL missions is the intelligence gathered and interpreted by our "intel" support teams. We would have been nothing without them."

In Brent Gleeson’s October 10th column in Forbes magazine, he cites the growing need to effectively collect and glean information that is mission critical to any given company. As a US Navy SEAL he was tasked with assignments, that without proper intel, would not have been successful and possibly detrimental to those involved. He argues, however, that we’re in an age in which data technology is coming along so fast, that we have almost any tool we need to make effective strategic decisions.

In order to make those decisions, those in charge need to ask themselves certain questions:

"What is the intelligence telling us?" "How accurate do we feel that the information is?" "How current is the information?" and "How can we decipher this information to help us make more intelligent decisions?"

As companies become more "digitized", as Gleeson puts it, they realize just how important it is to utilize every piece of data with which they come into contact. Be it performance of landing pages, banners, PPC campaigns, videos, social media, and blogs, or user behavior, this must all be examined and deciphered.

The use of big data analytics tools lets the business do just that. Instead of making guesses from the gut, use tools like Google Analytics. It analyzes content, conversion rates, advertising channels, mobile, and more.

We’re no longer in a time where just analyzing the "closer funnel" will suffice. The use of multi-attribute analytics tools will take on the performance of media, as well as user behavior to give businesses a real-time snapshot of what they’re doing right, and how to do it better.

He then cites Google Analytics as a tool that uses cookies to track user behavior, and explains that even though for most businesses it will suffice, there are much stronger tools out there. Namely ones that utilize fingerprint-based technology. The pluses of this are that unlike cookies, you can’t delete a fingerprint. There is also the fingerprint’s ability to be tracked over multiple devices and marketing channels. Something that is becoming more and more important with each passing day. All of this lets the business to make a well informed decision, allowing it to get a complete picture of the efficacy of their marketing and advertising budgets.

"When we would plan and execute our assault missions, we were always acting on the most recent intelligence available. Unfortunately, we didn’t have digital algorithms and analytics telling us where the bad guys were and how "hot" our potential targets would be."

Well now you have them. All you have to do is use them properly, and failure is no longer an option.

Read more about how big data affects other industries:

Big Data and Law Enforcement

Big Data and the Food Industry

Big Data and Sports