Korean businesses are starting to utilize big data in Korea more than ever before. Now, collecting, storing, and, most importantly, analyzing data has become standard practice for most corporations in Korea. Not only have Samsung, LG, and the other big corporations noticed, but so have the up-and-coming Korean Tech Startups. This is because digital marketing today has changed a lot in less than a decade. Technology has advanced so far just in the last five years that companies now have information that was unimaginable thanks to big data.

Big corporations and startups in America have already taken advantage of this new information. It is time for Korea to use this information to make the right decisions for their company. South Korea’s National Information Society Agency studies have shown that only 5% of Korean startups implement big data into their business. That is six times less than global startups. Big data has proven to increase profits for companies. A recent survey shows the use of big data has increased earnings by 8-10%.

Why Big Data in Korea is so Important

Big Data in Korea

Big data is crucial to understanding your customers and learning how to serve them best. It is being commoditized faster than we know it. In 2022, we gathered more data than all the years of human history combined. The same will be said for 2023. The more impressive part is that it is estimated that over 80% of that data is never utilized. It is just stored…waiting to be used. Therefore there is an excellent opportunity for Korean startups to find new creative ways to use this data. The key to effectively consuming information is to clearly stipulate what you are trying to accomplish and how you’ll define success.

Information gathering takes a lot of time and technical skills. Most Korean startups don’t have both. Others say they feel no natural business need for using big data and do not see its value. However, big companies like Samsung or Coupang see many benefits in big data. They have the resources to dedicate a team for data analysis. They understand the importance of Big Data. Korean startups need to understand as well. This is why even if startups in Korea might not use data now, they will need it in the future as their company grows. With the data collected, startups can start to think about personalization to make their product or service more attractive to their customers. This can’t be done in the early stage; therefore, just collecting and storing the data should be the startups’ focus.

Big Data in Korea Helped Fight COVID-19

Big Data in healthcare came into reality during COVID-19. Before the omicron outbreak in South Korea, which saw over 300,000 cases a day, South Korea got a lot of recognition from around the world in 2020/2021 for flattening the coronavirus curve. The primary reason for this was the use of big healthcare data. Korea responded quickly and efficiently because the NHIS (National Health Insurance Service) already had a massive amount of health data on their citizens. This was in the form of health insurance and administrative data. This information is now being used to determine who should get the COVID-19 vaccines first. When you add this form of big data to Korea’s already IT-based solid infrastructure, you can get the most accurate data regarding COVID.

Big Data to Increase Advertising Sales 

For startups in Korea, once you are ready to use the data, the best place to start is to predict which products your consumers are likely to buy. Amazon is great at this by showing your recommended products you are interested in. Amazon is using big data to find that perfect recommendation. What data points does Amazon use? Simple. They have data on what customers buy, how they rate products, and what consumers with similar buying habits are buying.

Knowing your customer’s buying patterns is critical when advertising to them. Data can analyze every action your visitor has made on your landing page. Hotjar is an excellent site to help you see your visitor’s behavior. You will know the average time spent on your site and where their attention goes on your site. You will see the customer’s keystrokes and even how they move their mouse. With this data, you can give your customers what they want. These are just a few examples of how big data can be used to market to your customers.

Coupang invests in Big Data

Coupang has been spending a lot of time and money on logistics to offer the best delivery service for its e-commerce platform. Big data is vital in creating the best solution to logistics problems. Samsung also has been focusing on data analysis. Many years ago, they bought San Francisco-based startup Joyent, which is a cloud computing company. Their computing power and remote servers have helped Samsung’s efforts to increase intelligence and personalization in their devices. These big corporations in Korea have also been aggressive in hiring data scientists. Data scientists not only have strong computational skills but also have a strong knowledge of the Korean market. Therefore these companies don’t just focus on technical skills but also look for data scientists with solid business acumen.

big data

Big Data in Korea for 2023 and beyond

Now in 2023, big data is no longer a luxury but a requirement even for startups if they want to compete. It can simply be studying market trends and developing the right business strategies. Numbers don’t lie; as technology continues to grow, so does the required technology to crunch the numbers. Big Data solutions have gotten cheaper each year and could soon become automated. Yes, in 2022, you won’t need to hire a data analyst; instead, implement a computerized system that studies the numbers 24/7. This would mean 24/7 market trend reports that can lead to improving their products or services.

It is mostly about finding the key customers and then finding what they want. What makes them buy certain products and services is very valuable for businesses. Then once you get the customer, the data can be used to find out what makes them stay and leave. This can overall improve customer satisfaction and increase sales. Market trends tend to change frequently, so it is always essential to crunch the numbers. Therefore data can help startups in Korea make well-informed decisions that are relevant to the market.

Tips to Help Korean Startups

Use Naver Trends

Naver Trends for Korean Startups

Naver Trends is a great tool, just like Google Trends. You will need to know how to read and write Korean to use this, but it is a great place to find a focused idea of the keywords that apply to your business. Since Naver is South Korea’s biggest search engine, it is essential to have a tool to analyze seasonal or event-based traffic data of specific keywords. This can go a long way in improving SEO on Naver and doing marketing campaigns.

Hiring a Data Scientist

Actual Data Scientists are expensive. Therefore, a tip might be to hire someone great with research, numbers, and experiments. You can hire a part-time data scientist or an intern focused on carrying out data science tasks. There are many sites like Udemy that offer courses regarding data science. Have them spend around 40 hours learning the fundamentals of data science and have them explain it to the team. That should be enough to create your data science team.

Use BDaaS (Big Data as a Service)

AWSThere are many reporting tools out there that Korean startups can utilize. The most famous, of course, is AWS (Amazon Web Service). They offer cloud storage that is both affordable and scalable. We would recommend using the Amazon Elastic File System. Not familiar with AWS?  There are online courses for that. Or you can check out my article on how to pass the AWS Solutions Architect Exam.

Research Competitor Data

The more established companies in your field will often release industry data. Gather as much content from as many competitors as possible. There are many SEO tools online that allow you to research your competitors. Some of these SEO tools include SEMRush and Ahrefs. Picking one of these tools will give you a massive leg up on your competitors and provide you with crucial data related to backlinks, traffic, and content. In addition, the Korean government also provides a lot of information and data that is free. However, just know that most of this content will be in Korean.


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