How Gamification Feeds Big Data

June 27, 2013

big data gamification

In the coming years, data compiled within a company’s big database will change the way organizations and societies are operated and managed. Much of this data will, in the future, come from gamification. The gamification of business is not just for effective marketing campaigns. Gamification will change the way organizations connect with consumers and it will provide extremely valuable big data that can enhance a company’s big database.

What Is Gamification?

Let’s first look at what gamification exactly is. Gamification is the use of game elements in non-game contexts. It can be used externally, to interact with customers and improve marketing efforts that lead to increased sales. Gamification is also used internally, where it can lead to increased employee productivity as well as internal crowd sourcing activities. Finally, gamification can be used to change the behavior of consumers. A great example of this is the quantified-self movement that get people to engage and change their behavior.

A game designer will use elements like points, challenges, awards, leader boards, levels, avatars and badges. As such, gamification can motivate users to perform certain tasks. Moreover, it can be used to learn something, to achieve something, to stimulate personal development  and personal health. The goal is to make real life experiences better and make people more willing to do something. It must be clear that gamification is not a game; it is merely game elements used in a different context.

What Kind of Data Does Gamification Give You?

Because of the many different aspects that are generally built in a gamification context, gamification provides a lot of data that can be analyzed. Users can be compared to see how they perform and why some groups are performing better or worse than the other group. Especially when users have to sign-in via the social graph, a lot of public data can be added to provide context around the gamification data.  Apart from the different elements that provide direct viewable insights, gamification can also be used to better understand how consumers behave and perform the tasks at hand. For example, a game designer can program it to track how long different groups take to achieve a certain challenge or how they use certain products. This information can be used to improve products and services. Gamification is all about motivating people to act as well as to motivate them to share the right information in the right context. In fact, gamification should be viewed as a catalyst to share and the more engaged users are, the more they are willing to share. Thereby resulting in more attention to the company.

The success of a gamification concept depends on the quality and speed of the information that is returned to the user. The better this content reflects the user’s interest, the more involved the user will be. This personalized content can be created using big data. Clicking behavior, time needed to perform certain challenges, interaction levels at the platform with others can be combined with public data such as tweets or posts shared on social networks as well as the profiles of those users on those social network. When properly stored, analyzed and visualized, this will generate a lot of insights. However, users do expect instant feedback and results. Thus real-time processing, analyzing and visualizing of the data are extremely important.

Gamification has the potential to become more and more integrated with our lives. When gamification becomes an integral part of our lives, even more data will be generated. Just think of the massive amounts of data that can be formatted into a big database, it will generate and the new insights this can provide to organizations. This will lead to an increase in demand for people with strong analytical skills to decipher the data and figure out exactly what it means.

Click here to take a free analytical skills quiz and find out what kind of thinker you are.

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About The Author

Mark van Rijmenam is the founder of, the number one big data knowledge platform. Mark is a strategist who advises organizations on how to develop their big data strategies. As such, he is a well sought after speaker on this topic. He is aware of the latest trends in the world. Next to blogging on BigData-Startups, he also blogs on, which is a platform with the world's best thinkers on big data. As such, he is a well sought after speaker on this topic. He is co-founder of 'Data Donderdag' a bi-monthly (networking) event in The Netherlands on big data to help organizations better understand big data. His book Think Bigger is a great essential resource for big data strategy.

One Comment »

  1. avatar

    Who moved my Chi? Not sure what all this means – I don’t use the computer enough for any of that to happen… or do I?

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