Last October, Facebook announced that 49 percent of advertising revenue comes from its mobile platform. The percentage was up from zero just 18 months before. How did the company manage that? With big data, of course. The social media site used data analysis to determine how many ads should be featured, and how a user would react to a particular ad before placing it in the news feed.
Facebook is just one example of how big data and the rise of mobile technology are influencing each other. Mobile data is a big source of the rising volume of data known as big data that companies can use to understand their customers better. At the same time, mobile developers use big data to help them develop their product and cater to their audience, and sometimes data is the product mobile developers are offering to their consumers. Let’s look at this partnership in action.
Water is a precious resource in India, which means water is only available for about four hours every three to five days. Since the water is released at odd times, consumers are left waiting by their taps for hours, so they can collect the water they need to survive. A startup company called NextDrop saw this problem and decided to create a mobile app that would alert consumers when they would have water next, so they could be prepared without being stuck in their homes.
The service works by collecting data on how much water is in the reservoirs every day. NextDrop sends this data to engineers who determine which areas will get water at certain times. This information is then sent to the valvemen, who actually release the water, so they can let their customers know when water will be available.
The service has been welcomed by customers and utility companies alike that have essentially been operating with no data or coordination until now. NextDrop first piloted the program in Hubli-Dharwad, charging INR10 (USD 0.16), and so far has 25,000 subscribers.
Mobile game developers were one of the early adopters of big data technology such as offered by Qubole. These developers, such as Zynga, frequently use player analytics to track why users are abandoning a game, identify users at risk of abandonment and develop retention strategies in real time. Similar to Facebook, developers also use data analytics to optimize advertising as well as virtual sales by identifying which players are more likely to purchase certain goods or click on an ad, and are catering to those customers through data-based segmentation. Finally, data analytics is used to combat game fraud, so players can be removed who are engaged in fraudulent behavior.
The weather is a factor that has a universal impact. It can delay product shipments, affect the success of advertising and either serve as a huge advantage or a big disruption. The Weather Company is using big data to better predict weather conditions, and it provides that data to businesses, so they can not only prepare for it but take advantage of it. From the mobile perspective, knowing that a cold spell is coming could prompt developers to switch their advertisements from ice cream to soup in order to boost sales.
These are just three examples of how big data and mobile technology can partner up to be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses. How do you see mobile and big data influencing each other in the future?