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The success of advertising has and always will be directly tied to a company’s ability to target the right people with the right message. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t, but thanks to big data analytics, most companies are getting higher and more consistent returns on their investments than they ever did in the past.

How Big Data is Changing Advertising

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, professional baseball scouts thought they had it all figured out. In order to find talented baseball players, they sought out certain physical attributes like big biceps, broad shoulders, high pitch velocity, and even good looks. Then Billy Beane came along and changed the way professional baseball looked at scouting.

Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics from 1998 to 2016, was severely limited in what he could spend on players. So, instead of looking for the same surface level factors that other teams were seeking, he decided to dig deeper and let data, algorithms, and complex mathematical formulas guide his decision making.

Pretty soon, the A’s were flush with talent. They went from averaging 60- and 70-win seasons in the 1990’s to an average of 95 wins per year over a seven-year stretch …

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