Many marketing experts making 2013 predictions slated "Analytics" as the next big thing. Analytics is a broad term. Relating it to marketing and customer intelligence requires some understanding of the many types or purposes of Analytics, like those listed below:
Social Media Analytics
Not only is there an army of software vendors for each of the above categories, there are several conferences for each. The Supply/Demand curve appears to be exploding.
Just when we've settled on accepting the reality of 'Big Data', we must embrace Analytics to survive and grow with it. Overwhelming! If Analytics is the next big thing (it is), learn to love it, embrace it, use it to grow the business and crush the competition.
How? Analytics is an Elephant.
Start with some goals, addressing the highest priority, most critical areas that can be immediately improved with Analytics. Then, develop a plan, including finding expert help, then execute. It's hard work.
Paradigm shifts caused by brilliant new and rapid changes in the technology landscape become an equalizer for the smaller, capital constrained companies. The agile can understand, plan, move quickly and adopt new technologies and services that are within their reach because of these new paradigms. Enjoy the advantage!