“Big data is where cloud computing was 5 years ago…”
Quoted from a recent conversation with an executive at a major cloud infrastructure company. That statement strikes us as a bit surprising because some large enterprises are still trying to get comfortable with the notion cloud-based computing in the first place. Trust us, we’ve heard it. But Big Data is truly a big deal, at least in our neck of the woods (Cambridge, Massachusetts) where local government, industry and academic institutions have partnered to “further position the state at the epicenter of the global big data revolution” see: MassTLC. Scores of start-ups have emerged with various solutions and two big areas of early opportunity seem to be in the healthcare industry and visualization applications. Yet as we know about emerging technology, the exciting part is how it rapidly proliferates into many other spaces. By the way, a great resource of mapping/tracking the big picture of big data is the Whats the Big Data blog.
How does this relate to pricing? Pricing is a natural big data challenge. Huge amounts of structured data (e.g., transactions, costs, competitor pricing, CRM etc) and unstructured data (sales channel insights, customer feedback, etc) pulled together to make value-based strategic decisions regarding not just pricing, but product development, market segmentation and sales. In fact pricing software providers have recently begun to position themselves as big data solutions, notably PROS and Vistaar.
How does this relate to LeveragePoint? Our cloud-based solution has critical pieces of big data functionality, for example:
- Integration with structured databases, both internal and external
- Capture of various unstructured data: insights from cross-functional teams and feedback from customers
- Emphasis of visualization modeling for differentiation, price sensitivity, value selling
Clearly we are in the early stages of big data solutions for pricing and there is always the possibility of an entirely new software player dominating the pricing function from an adjacent space. B2B companies who invest as early adopters of cloud/big data pricing will be positioned to seize a tremendous competitive advantage.