What exactly is Big Data and how is it changing our world?


Figure 4 Monnappa 2018

Firstly, what is BIG DATA:

Now, let me introduce the general background of big data. Gartner IT Glossary (n.d.) define Big data as “high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making”.

Put simply, big data is a large and complex data set that cannot be captured, managed and processed using a traditional database, hardware and software with an endurable timeframe because the size of it is too large (Chen et al., 2014). In today’s digital age, almost every digital action we take leaves a digital footprint. Our data is generated whenever we go online, such as when we carry our smartphones with GPS, when we shop online with our login user name and password, when we communicate with friends and family via social media platforms as well as when we swipe our Medicare card after we visit the doctors or use a Flybuys card to collect points after shopping in Coles.

A “3Vs” model has been used to define big data and this definition had been widely used by big research departments, such as Microsoft and IBM for ten years since 2001 (Laney, 2001). Big data has one of the following characteristics – high-volume, high-velocity or high-variety.

Chen et al. (2014) refer volume to the size and the scale of big data. The amount of data that is being collected and generated by the latest advances of information technology as well as the rapid growth of cloud computing just keeps growing. By 2020 the amount of digital data that we will need to store will have grown from 5 zettabytes today to 50 zettabytes (Marr, 2018).

Velocity refers to the speed with which the data is generated, analysed and reprocessed. (Chen et al., 2014, p.173). Let’s take WordPress as an example. We publish a post on WordPress and it has to handle numerous photos, images, text and video every day. It has to ingest it all, process it, categorise it, file it and label it to be able to retrieve it.

Gandomi & Haider (2015) refer to variety as “the structural heterogeneity in a dataset”. Put simply, it refers to different data types and data sources. There are three types of data, they are structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. Data from spreadsheets and relational databases are called tabular data and it is structured data. Unstructured data examples are text, images, audio and video. Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an example of semi-structured data.

Value has emerged over the past few years. The 4Vs definition model was introduced by NIST and widely recognised since finding value in big data is a discovery process that add assets to businesses (Chen et al. 2014, p.174).

1Figure 5 Chen et al. 2014

In addition, veracity has been added to define big data (Marr, 2015). It refers to “the messiness or trustworthiness of the data”. How truthful is the data that business collected and how much can you rely on it will determine the data’s value.

Big Data is changing our world completely, an overwhelming amount of data provides evolutionary insight and opportunity to all businesses across every industry. Businesses can accurately predict consumers’ shopping patterns of particular products or services, however, it also raises concerns such as data privacy and security. Should we worry about how organisations take advantage of data?


Chen, M, Mao, S & Liu, Y 2014, ‘Big data: a survey.’ Mobile Networks and Applications, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 171-209.

Gandomi, A & Haider, H 2015, ‘Beyond the hype: Big data concepts, methods, and analytics’, International Journal of Information Management, vol. 35, no.2, pp. 137-144.

Laney, D 2001, ‘3-d data management: controlling data volume, velocity and variety’, META Group Research Note, 2001, viewed 19 September 2018, https://blogs.gartner.com/doug-laney/files/2012/01/ad949-3D-Data-Management-Controlling-Data-Volume-Velocity-and-Variety.pdf

Marr, B 2018, ‘What is big data? a super simple explanation for everyone’. Bernard Marr & Co. viewed 19 September 2018, https://www.bernardmarr.com/default.asp?contentID=766

Marr, B 2015, ‘Why only one of the 5 Vs of big data really matters’ IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub, web log post, 19 March, viewed 19 September 2018, https://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/blog/why-only-one-5-vs-big-data-really-matters

Monnappa, A 2018, ‘Data Science vs. Big Data vs. Data Analytics’, image, viewed 19 September 2018, https://www.simplilearn.com/data-science-vs-big-data-vs-data-analytics-article

World Economic Forum, 2016, What is big data? video recording, YouTube, viewed 19 September 2018, https://youtu.be/eVSfJhssXUA



Social Media Marketing Strategy

This week’s blog post is based on a scenario that I have been given. My friend Mike is about to launch an online store for sporting gear. He wanted some recommendations of some social media marketing tactics that are suitable for his product line. He currently has an official website and a Facebook account for his business. I will start with defining what Social Media Marketing is and why business should use it.

What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

Roberts & Zahay (2013) define Social Media Marketing (SMM) as an activity in which businesses and organisations interact with their customers through selected social media platforms in order to communicate and collaborate in ways that lead to achievement of marketing and business goals. We live in a society where we have been connected and influenced by social media. The evolving environment of social media is becoming an increasing part of companies’ marketing communication. Businesses use social media as communication to enhance customer relationships, support sales and build their brands.


Figure 1 Lindlle 2018

Why businesses are using SMM?

There are some significant benefits that social media brings to businesses, such as cost efficiency, broad visibility, narrow visibility, Pulse of the market, increased trust, self-made community and increased revenue (Miletsky 2010, p81-81).

A successful SMM is not only a carefully planned strategy but also integrated into the firm’s business strategy. There are many opinions on this topic, a framework (Robert & Zahay 2013) will be used to analyse this scenario.


Figure 2 Robert & Zahay 2013

Step 1: Listening to the target audience

Marketers and business owners must listen to their customers to identify the social habits of their defined target market. Knowing the target audience and how to make connection with them is the key to creating content that they will like, share or comment on. In Mike’s case, both women and men are sports fans these days. The key segment element here is lifestyle and interests, not demographics (Robert & Zahay 2013, p. 230).


Figure 3 Cain 2017

Step 2: Setting SMART goals that aligns with marketing communication strategies

This step wasn’t in the original frame work, however, we have established in a post (week 3 blog entry) that organisations have no way to measure the social media performance without setting a SMART goal, they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound (LePage & Newberry 2018) similarly, York (2018) also believes that goal setting is a crucial and fundamental element of business strategy. Take my friend Mike’s case, one of his goals is: increasing brand awareness by 10% before 20th October 2018 on Instagram.

Step 3: Communicating with your audience in social space

Target audiences are likely to interact with a business if it communicates in ways that meet their needs and expectations. Johnson (2018) states that creating high-quality content is always important. I recommend Mike keeps an eye on how many users are tweeting or hashtaging his competitors’ brand name to understand what’s expected by consumers in his industry and use this way to communicate with them. By doing this, he can also discover some opportunities. For example, maybe one of his competitors is dominant on Instagram, but only put a little effort into Facebook or Twitter. In this case he should try to win fans from the platform where his target audiences are not fully served. He will need to change one of his goals if he decides to change his approach and use different social media channels.

Step 4: Engaging your audience

Communication needs to be engaging to be effective.  As a new business in a saturated market, Mike’s business should pick an extra two (he already has a FB account) platforms and do them well instead of trying to take all social space because social media promotion it is hard to succeed with either too many or only one channel (Robert & Zahay 2013, p.234). I suggested Mike use Instagram, Facebook and YouTube to reinforce the content, particularly, using relationships with external partners who can guide the conversation, such as personal recommendations from influencers or celebrities. They will refer directly to a particular product because fitness is a visual industry, we suggested that he distribute his products to some influencers who are suitable for this brand and ask them to post pictures on their Instagram feed using #brandname.

Step 5: Collaborating with the brand

Businesses need to be responsive, put consistent effort and attention with honesty to lead consumers to collaborate with businesses in a dialog. Fitness is a virtual industry, using Videos and Ephemeral content such as creating Instagram and Facebook stories will provide the best engagement rate to collaborate with consumers. Wade (2018) states that 80% of all online consumer internet traffic will be taken over by video by 2020.

Digital marketing tools and the associated technology platforms change regularly, a great social media strategy needs to evaluate and adjust regularly to be able to optimise for any products and business.



Cain, A 2017, ‘Strategic Planning: Step 1 – Build SMART Goals’, image viewed 19 September 2018, https://naviant.com/blog/strategic-plan-smart-goals/

Johnson, Z 2018, ‘4 Strategies For Explosive Social Media Growth In 2018’, Forbes, viewed 18 September 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2018/05/11/4-strategies-for-explosive-social-media-growth-in-2018/#791a1e5e34f4b

Lepage, E & Newberry, C 2018, ‘How to create a social media strategy’, Hootsuite blog, web log post, 15 May, viewed 19 September 2018, https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-marketing-plan/

Lindle, L 2018, ‘Free webinar: Building Local Communities with Social Media’ image, viewed 19 September 2018, https://www.districtdispatch.org/2018/02/free-webinar-building-local-communities-social-media/

Miletsky, J 2010, Principles of Internet marketing: new tools and methods for web, Cengage Learning, Boston.

Robert, M & Zahay, D 2013, Internet Marketing: integrating online and offline strategy, 3th end, Cengage Learning, Mason

Wade, J 2018, ‘ Social Media Marketing Trends 2018, Smart Insights’, viewed 18 September 2018,https://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-marketing-trends-2018/

York, A 2018, ‘7 Steps in Creating a Winning Social Media Marketing Strategy in 2018’ Sprout Social Blog, web log post, 19 February, viewed 19 September 2018, https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-marketing-strategy/