3 Buckets of Customer Data [Infographic]

All hail the humble bucket. Buckets may not be fancy, but they’re useful, flexible and practical. We should all be so lucky.

Buckets also are ubiquitous: The paint on our walls and some of the food on our plates likely spent time in a bucket. Golfers relax at the driving range with a bucket of balls. Bikers, skiers and skaters affectionately call their helmets “brain buckets.” Coders use bucket sort to get numbers in sequence. We contemplate our future by compiling a bucket list.

Data-driven marketers can  use buckets, too, at least in a metaphorical way. That’s because customer-related data for Big Data marketing projects can be imagined as coming in three buckets:

  • Transactional data. This comes from “classic” data sources, such as CRM systems and data warehouses. This data is typically internal to your organization.
  • Online data. This is data generated by customers themselves, such as when they express preferences or create profiles. It’s external data that complements transactional data.
  • Social and mobile data. These new sources of data rely on social monitoring and listening. Text processing and sentiment analysis help marketers give sense and context to this conversational data.

A Big Data marketing program needs to blend data from all three buckets to succeed, according to Allen Bonde, Vice President, Product Marketing at Actuate. Bonde’s observations about buckets of data (and much more) are available in a free briefing paper.


The infographic above presents just a small sample of the insights – a drop in the bucket, you might say – that Bonde has gathered over two-plus decades as a developer, analyst, and technology marketer. Bonde is sharing his knowledge and advice on data-driven marketing and customer experience in webinars this month.

Two webinars were hosted by SD Times and Data Science Central, and are available for free replay. You can also catch Bonde live, speaking with Forrester Research analyst Andrew Bartels about how to Leverage Cloud Computing to Deliver the Next Wave of Customer Experience, on Thursday, May 29, at 2 p.m. EDT (11:00 a.m. PDT).

We think you’ll find these webinars deliver useful, flexible and practical information by the bucketful.

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OpenText is the leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM). Our EIM products enable businesses to grow faster, lower operational costs, and reduce information governance and security risks by improving business insight, impact and process speed.

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