Gamification: The Killer App for Achieving the Promise of Big Data

Published September 13, 2013   |   
Kris Duggan

Each day 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data are generated around the world-from tweets and Facebook posts to comments and blogs to data being collected constantly on mobile phones and connected devices, this nearly incomprehensible mountain of information is accumulating at a blinding accelerated pace.

As marketers, we know that hidden among this overwhelming dearth of data are valuable insights about our customers-their needs, wants, desires, opinions, turn-ons and turn-offs. The challenge is, the sheer volume of data turns the process of uncovering these actionable insights into the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack searchonly in this case, the haystack is the size of Dodger Stadium.

As a result, devising a smart strategy based on Big Data is extremely difficult, as it’s nearly impossible to understand the connections between the myriad disjointed bits of information, especially when so many more bits (actually centillions of bits) are added every day. And, despite our instincts, gathering more data doesn’t really help us make good decisions, it just adds to the pile. Complicating the situation even further, Big Data only provides us with a historical snapshot-a look at past activities-leaving us to draw our own assumptions and conclusions about how our customers might behave in the future.

The Advantages of Gamification: Real-Time, Influential and Transparent

Enter gamification. By its very nature, gamification provides a closed-loop system and fills three of the biggest gaps in Big Data: real-time analysis, the ability to actually influence future behavior, and transparency. Beyond just measuring and capturing historic data about what customers have done, gamification platforms provide real-time insight into what works, and what doesn’t, to drive customer behavior. By creating gamified tasks, challenges and missions, and rewarding users for completion, we can actually guide them down the desired path, influencing their behavior to take the action we want them to take and move them further up the funnel.

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