Big-data tips for small businesses from eBay’s head of data

Zoher Karu is Vice President of Global Customer Optimization and Data at eBay, where he works to use data, analytics, and insights to drive growth across all customer interactions, with both buyers and sellers.

In this article he asks and answers the question so many of us have heard from our clients who are not yet taking advantage of Big Data, where to start?  Zoher says what I hope we all understand, put the customer at the center.  Here's the beginning of his blog and the full article can be seen here.

After more than 15 years developing analytic solutions to enable companies to understand and act on customer behavior, I still see businesses of all sizes struggle with how they can use an understanding of their customers to accelerate their business.

Despite the buzz around “customer-centricity” and “big data,” the reality is that most companies do not take full advantage of everything they know about their customers or their relationship with them. The questions are typically, “Where do I start?” or, “How much will it cost?”

While the scale and resources of a large company can be advantageous, the idea that only giants can leverage data analytics and draw on actionable insights from their customers to grow their business is false. While outsourcing your customer insights is an option, it is not always a best practice. Every company should understand the analysis rather than be completely divorced from it. So whether you have the resources to tackle customer development and data analysis on your own or you prefer to work with a partner, here are five basic principles for any business to ensure it will be effective in achieving your business goals.

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