Steve Phelps wants to get into the heads of racing fans.

He’s chief marketing officer (CMO) of NASCAR and described several business scenarios at HP Dicover 2013 this week. For instance, predictive techniques, such as sentiment analysis, have been used at NASCAR to determine the prevailing mindset of NASCAR fans.

Big Data would be ecstatic that its new master, the CMO, was on stage to detail the business benefits of applying sentiment analysis techniques, using tools such as Autonomy.

Let’s take a closer look at the NASCAR scenarios:

Scenario 1. When GM tried out a new Chevrolet model, NASCAR applied sentiment analysis techniques to social media interactions generated at the rate of 60,000 social interactions per minute through their Fan and Media Engagement Center. The insight extracted was communicated back to GM, who could take appropriate actions based upon this data.

Scenario 2. During one of the races, torrential rains resulted in the tracks being soaked. NASCAR applied innovative technologies, using air-tighteners to dry up the ground in about 90 minutes. Social media interactions from the fans were more focused on this technology than the race itself until it began. NASCAR had an opportunity to act upon this insight to keep their fans engaged while they continued to focus on getting the ground dry to get ready for the next race.

NASCAR sets a good example for enterprises to go social to learn what their customers want. Even better, enterprises should ask themselves if they are at least as social as their customersBig Data defines the competitive enterprises of the future – the topic for a panel discussion at HP Discover.

However, it is not just about getting the intelligence from the brontobytes of Big Data generated acrossSystems of Engagement and existing in Systems of Record.  It is about turning this into actionable insight using solutions, such as HAVEn. This is best done when CIOs engage with the CMOs to get direct insight into what the customers want.

So, I ask you again. What other scenarios come to your mind? Do the NASCAR scenarios trigger any new thoughts? After presenting here and interacting with other attendees and having good discussions on Big Data, I have reached the conclusion that there is really no limit to the possibilities here. Wherever human beings interact, Systems of Engagement exist, and Big Data will be generated. Big Data is here to stay. It is a big world for Big Data all right – definitely in Las Vegas. The call-to-action for enterprises is to do what NASCAR did. Who knows — enterprises that do it right might even share their experience in the keynote at the next conference!

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