Netflix: using data for purpose

Rachel - 29 th May 2015

With the mass of ‘big data’ that brands now have access to, it’s not surprising that businesses are finding it difficult to understand how it all works together in a way that aids decision-making and benefits their operation.

There has been a lot of debate in the Brand Vista office of late about how brands use data for the greater good of the customer.  

Netflix is an example of a brand that seems to have got it right. It has received lots of praise for its algorithm which it uses to drive recommendations and thus create a better user experience.

Even more impressive is how Netflix uses its data to understand what sort of content it should produce, based on what it knows its customers will love.

Using this, it has drawn in millions of international users with its high-quality, original programming.

How Netflix used data to ensure House of Cards would be a hit:

Netflix ran the data on a number of factors. It looked at director David Fincher and the type of work he had previously produced (such as the films Fight Club and The Social Network), and researched the reaction to the original House of Cards series, which was released in 1990.

They also analysed the online audience's taste for political drama, and also looked at whether they liked the actors and actresses playing the lead roles.

The result? An award-winning success.

This was the first time a programme had been developed with the assistance of big data algorithms. It has certainly shown other businesses the benefits of big data and how to use it to aid effective, customer-driven decision-making.

Netflix have now turned their interest to buying programming that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers, by using mass of data they have collected on international viewing habits.