IBM spearhead an industry-wide effort to solve big data problem

The explosion of big data has changed the way we do business, and this is particularly true for online commerce. With 2.4 billion Internet users worldwide, millions of transactions are taking place on a daily basis resulting in a wealth of data about consumers and their desires. Thanks to advanced digital analytics and marketing technologies, businesses have the ability to analyse and capture this data to create personalised online experiences for their customers.

But gaining actionable insights from those users is not an easy task. Businesses rely on a wide variety of marketing and analytics technology from a large number of vendors to make personalisation come to life. However, until now, there has been no standardised way to collect data about the interactions with customers across multiple technology platforms.

To make personalised marketing easier, IBM spearheaded an industry-wide effort to solve this big data problem. Today, a group of more than 20 companies announced that they’re developing the Customer Experience Digital Data standard. Through a standardised approach of collecting and managing data, this standard removes the barrier to innovation giving businesses the ability to rapidly adopt new digital marketing tools and services. This makes it easier for new digital vendors to succeed and spurs innovation for the industry as a whole.

The initiative began last year when IBM led the formation of a group with the goal of creating a standard format for capturing and reporting interactions. With their long history of developing and supporting open standards, they recognised that this was a classic situation where an industry-standard approach would help simplify the process and make it easier for retailers to deploy more services to improve the customer experience.

Over the past several months, the initiative has gained significant momentum, and many of the major web analytics, marketing technology companies and online retailers such as Adobe and Google have given their support. The standard is expected to be formalised later this year when the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) releases final specifications for it.

With this new data format layer, digital marketers will be able to more easily deploy new digital services and quickly integrate them into their systems. It will also reduce the need for on-going data maintenance and auditing, freeing resources for more valuable work such as diving into analytics to develop insights and actions that help retailers better connect with customers.