Making big data answers matter to marketing

Build a massive infrastructure, keep everything in a vacuum and begin with the easiest task.

These are the three common flawed approaches that information technology teams take when undertaking big data and business information projects, according to Jennifer Zeszut.

Zeszut, is the former CEO and co-founder of Scout Labs a social media monitoring firm acquired by Lithium Technologies three years ago. She is now CEO and co-founder of software-as-a-service company, Beckon.

She said these three approaches create a bottleneck and complexity which slowdown or doom most projects.

Typically, the results are complaints from user that IT persists on providing them with reports that have no bearing on their business, said Zeszut. And ironically, the information marketing teams need is often locked away in data that is difficult to access even if user need them now and not in six months or a year.

The three approaches mentioned above illustrate, IT instinctual behaviours, Zeszut said, but in order to avoid the situation users need to resist common default attitude of

To avoid this situation, Zeszut recommend that users resist the common default attitude of “leaving everything to IT or the analytics department.”

Marketers seeking to determine from big data the impact of their projects to business need to grab control and become the “storytellers of their own success,” she said.

Just as finance teams tag, structure and organize data as they come in to be able to tell at a moment’s notice where their business is, marketing teams need to tag data as it comes in so that marketing has the information at its fingertips.

Chief information officers can help chief marketing officers get this degree of visibility into data by changing its approach.

For example, IT must start with the critical question that its client, the marketer, has to know the answer to.

“If you start there, it makes it super clear what data sources matter and which don’t,” said Zeszut. And it also tells IT how to pull that data and how to structure it.

Marketers often talk about the marketing funnel. For instance, awareness-generating activities take place in the top funnel and purchases at the bottom funnel with other function occurring in different portions of the funnel.

Top of funnel activities include: advertising on TV, billboards, radio and magazine. This is data that’s difficult for IT to access – the data warehouse doesn’t have anything labeled TOFU (top of the funnel) or MOFU (middle of the funnel) or BOFU (bottom of the funnel), said Zeszut.

IT must strive to have data appropriately tagged as it comes in so that BI analysts do not have to conduct time sucking data forensics, she said.

Read the whole story here

Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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