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December 02, 2016

Big Data and the Holidays

Christmas is just around the corner and internet habits are starting to change with the season. Over the past decade, individuals from around the world have increased their data usage throughout the entire year, especially during the holidays. People are shopping more and sharing more. According to a recent article, 20% of all sales occur during the holidays and data collected by Facebook revealed that people shared on average 26% more posts, photos and videos from November 1st through January 1st last year. Below are some of the changes that occur in the data landscape as the year draws to a close.

Inundated Inboxes
Email marketing spikes in the last quarter of the year with online and brick and mortar merchants ramping up their email campaigns to tell their subscribers about holiday sales and specials. According to, consumers are also more likely to open emails from businesses during the fourth quarter. Furthermore, more and more retailers are offering digital transaction receipts, offering shoppers the ability to choose an email receipt over a printed copy.

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays
While car travel still outranks all other methods of holiday travel, Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the busiest times for airlines. Airlines for America projects that 27.3 million people will fly during the Thanksgiving holiday alone. Travel data usage skyrockets during this period as each flight generates reservation records, confirmation emails, security protocols, luggage tracking and digital boarding passes.

Searching for the Perfect Gift
Consumers are turning to the Internet for help when determining what they should buy to put under the tree. According to a study by SearchMetrics, users are using search engines, social media and online retail websites to find product descriptions, reviews and price comparisons. Furthermore, once their searches are complete, Facebook says reveals consumers are completing purchases on smartphones and tablets more often, with the mobile share of ecommerce growing to 33% last year.

Sharing the Holiday Spirit
According to a survey conducted by RadiumOne, 72% of consumers will share some type of holiday content on social media, with photos being most popular, followed by videos, gift-ideas, sales and recipes. These types of posts use more data since photo and video files require more storage and computing power that plain text posts.

Less Daylight, More Data
Lastly, earlier sunsets lead to more indoor activity, like watching television. Consumers spend more time consuming Streaming Video on Demand (SVOD) programming in the fourth and first quarters. According to a media analysis from nScreenMedia, “In winter, people stay home and watch TV, and in the summer they head out doors forgetting about television in the process.”

All of this newly-created data puts a strain on companies' existing data infrastructure. One solution to this seasonal swell is to implement a cloud data solution in conjunction with an existing in-house or colocated data center. This allows data capacity to quickly scale up as demand increases. To learn more about how QTS can meet your company's data needs, contact us online or call 877.QTS.DATA.