Beyond Big Data: Why Human Interpretation Still Counts

Published May 12, 2014   |   
Nicole Fallon

Many companies boast that they are “data driven,” and rely heavily on customer information gathered from a variety of sources. But if you blindly follow that data, you’ll miss the motivations behind it — the human emotions and factors that drive customers to make the decisions they do. This is where intuition and interpretation come into play, a concept that online marketing firm Wpromote calls “intuitive search intelligence.”

“Data can tell you that this ad is better than that one, but human intuition asks why,” said Mike Mothner, CEO of Wpromote. “You need to ask what to improve and why. A machine can’t inherently answer this.”

The key to a successful, data-driven marketing strategy is finding the perfect intersection between technology and human expertise, Mothner said. Powerful tech tools should support and guide, not carry your operations.

“Humans will always need to play a role in analyzing data,” added John Huehn, founder and CEO of social media solutions provider In the Chat. “But using solutions like text-mining algorithms and Natural Language Processing minimizes the need for humans to categorize data, enabling them to spend time on the more important component, which is analyzing the data and identifying trends. Technology does the tedious work of pulling the data apart and categorizing it, so humans can spend time truly deriving insights and taking action.”

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