OK, what is analytics, anyway? It is the study of information that yields meaningful, valuable insight into constituent activity and behavior. Analytics can be extremely useful to identify segments of risk (donors who are not likely to give again) and segments of opportunity (donors who are most likely to be a major gift donor).
But what does big data have to do with it? We already get wealth screening.
Big data is far beyond wealth screening. This recent blog post offers a good example of how art museums capture big data from their visitors. Big data are composed of the electronic fingerprints we leave everywhere we go with credit card purchases, cell phone geo-tracking, and online interactions. Big data tells us when, where, how much and what occurred.
Organizations can collect big data by installing sensors (how many people enter the campus book store and in what places do they linger?), acquiring data from existing monitoring devices (bedside vital sign measurement equipment in hospitals), or producing an app for constituents to download on their smart phones, for personalized interaction (and data collection, of course).
This is where marketing is already going. Those of us in nonprofit development services must maintain an awareness of information trends that are driving advances in society and business. To see the full infographic (from NEC) click on either of the images above.