In our increasingly networked and digital environment, human activities – how people behave, think and feel – are being recorded in ever greater detail. This development provides opportunities but there are also risks involved. The complexity and the volume of information on people that is being collected – Big Data – certainly offers remarkable potential for those interested in analysing consumers. But how can Big Data be employed to generate benefits for customers? For what exactly can Big Data be used? What are the possible dangers to individual consumers and society as a whole that arise in connection with the use of Big Data? What are the limitations of Big Data?
With the help of Big Data, it is possible to obtain a detailed picture of the decision-making behaviour and usage patterns of consumers; but businesses face major challenges in connection with Big Data. These challenges begin with the need to be able to analyse Big Data and end with the requirement to develop the capacity to employ the insights provided by analysis in practice. As a trustworthy organisation, we have the know-how to be able to help our partners analyse Big Data, recognise patterns in data, identify and assess opportunities and risks and employ results in operational practice.
Roche: The ‘digital pill’
Thanks to technological progress, it is now possible to provide individualised healthcare services to patients that are not dependent on temporal or spatial factors. We see considerable potential in eHealth applications and believe that customers are prepared to pay for this. We are currently working with Roche on the development and marketing of eHealth solutions; our input consists of analyses of Big Data, controlled studies and in-depth literature analyses.
Audi: Making use of digital footprints
Decision-making by individuals is influenced significantly by contextual factors. The aim of this research project is to use information on online touchpoints of customers as the basis for modelling subsequent decision-making behaviour. Audi will be able to use the results of this project to identify specific customers, directly address them and to incorporate information- and configuration-related elements on its website that take into account individual user process paths. This will make it easy for customers to reach the right decision because relevant user information will be integrated in the corresponding forms of customer communication.
How the weather influences decision-making
Many of the decision-making processes of humans are influenced by contextual factors. The same applies to consumers; not just the time of day, but even the weather can influence what decisions they make. In this project conducted in collaboration with Ricardo, the objective was to determine what effect sunshine has on bidders in auctions. The results show that sunshine has a very positive effect on the prices that bidders are willing to offer – the effect can be further enhanced by the type of product and its attractiveness. The corresponding project publication is currently at the review stage; it will appear in the Journal of Marketing.