All Available Data is not the same as All Data!

How much data is enough data?

The advertising and marketing industries have been making great strides in recent years to improve their ability to provide personalised and relevant adverts to you as an individual, particularly when you are on the internet.

By collecting and collating as much browsing and personal information about you as they can (do you see all those “this site collects cookies” messages? Do you remember all the times you put name, age, and address details on online registration forms?) and referencing it with known attributes (did you know 50 year old suburban house owners in North London are less likely to be swayed by perfume adverts than 30 year old city dwellers in Liverpool?) they are able to select adverts they believe are most likely to tickle your fancy.

But if it is so scientifically selected, why does it appear so hit and miss?

The problem is they can only collect ‘event’ data this way- they miss out on ‘intent’ and ‘sentiment’ data. All Available Data is not the same as All Data.

To illustrate: my Amazon recommendations are populated wholly with Star Wars memorabilia. Star Wars is ok, but it’s not my prime interest. However my American cousin loves it, and as we’ve just been through Christmas I have had a look for gifts for him- not for me. And Christmas is over, so I won’t want to see another Star Wars product until next Christmas. Amazon have recorded the event- but not the intention. As a result it now populates its advertising space with items I definitely will not be buying, rather than anything I may be interested in.

When you move into the conceptual space of Big Data there is a risk you think because you collect all available data that means you are collecting all data- you aren’t.

My Facebook page is littered with adverts for dating sites because I haven’t ticked the “I’m in a relationship” button. Google pushes mobile phones, holidays and finance packages because my age segmentation and browsing history tells them I’m more likely to be interested in these products. I’m really not.

It is great that companies are realising the power of personal data analytics, but this is still an activity in its infancy. If you get it right it can be hugely powerful- but if you get it wrong you run the risk of alienating the very people you are looking to attract.

My wonderful wife buys me wonderful Christmas presents because she knows me. She knows what I do (events), why I do them (intents) and how I feel about it all (sentiment). Amazon? No, they don’t know me.

If you would like to know more about how Sentiment and Intent monitors can be added to your Event Tracking activities, or if you would like to know how we at Prosperity 24.7 can help you progress your business in other ways please give us a call on+44 (0) 1534 877247 or send us an e-mail at