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When it comes to retailers, big data is perhaps a little too big.

Half of retailers can’t aggregate all their data in one place to make detailed reports and conclusions. 45 percent don’t use available data to personalize marketing communications, and another 42 can’t link data together at the individual customer level.

That is perhaps understandable, because 90 percent of the data that’s ever been created has been created in the last two years, and the rate of data growing is increasing quickly.

But it is also a problem, because big data is the key to knowing your customers, and knowing your customers is the key to being able to sell effectively to them. Big data also has its creepy side, as when Target famously used it to figure out that a girl was pregnant before her father knew.

But many retailers are not effectively pulling together tweets, likes and reviews and matching them against customer lists, transactions, loyalty club memberships, and prospects — which means they are using old dumb marketing techniques in a new smart world.

And missing out on sales.

So online marketing optimization company Monetate, which has access to a huge amount of ecommerce information, has put together the following quick guide for retailers using big data:

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc