Big Data And Marketing – Three Mistakes To Avoid

Big Data analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) revolutions are having a big impact on the marketing world. But in all too many cases, IT is not giving marketing teams the information they really need. The result? CMOs are often resorting to building their own shadow IT organizations in order to get the answers they are looking for from Big Data. To avoid this needless duplication, CIOs need to structure Big Data to answer the questions that CMOs are asking.

Nowhere is the potential of Big Data analytics more immediate for businesses than in marketing. From customer loyalty program results to social media messages, a wealth of richly granular data about consumer wants and needs is being generated. For marketing it all offers the possibility of precision targeting.

But as Thor Olavsrud reports at CIO, much of this potential is being lost because IT doesn’t provide the specific, actionable information that marketing needs. Jennifer Zeszut, co-founder of of social media specialist Scout Labs, sees three specific ways in which IT is missing the marketing target.

First, IT tends to work from the bottom up. Their idea, says Zeszut, seems to be to gather vast amounts of whatever data is easiest to collect, then respond to questions by querying the database. Which is a natural way for IT to work. But it turns BI into “an after-the-fact exploration of data,” when it should be forward-looking.

Second, IT collects the easy data, instead of the important data. Again, this is natural from IT’s own perspective: Go where the straightforward data is. But much critical marketing-related data, according to Zeszut, ends up in PDF documents or Excel spreadsheets, where it is not so easy to collect.

Finally (and again quite naturally) IT loves to devise massive infrastructure projects that won’t be ready for years – when marketers need the information now.

The result of this mismatch? CMOs resist involving IT, and instead set up their own information structures. They re-invent the wheel because IT isn’t building it for them. Which means that CIOs need to focus first on the critical questions that the CMOs need answered.

Don’t re-invent the wheel. GRT Corporation brings 17 years of technology experience to the challenge of helping data specialists and data customers to communicate with each other.

Big Data and related technologies – from data warehousing to analytics and business intelligence (BI) – are transforming the business world. Big Data is not simply big: Gartner defines it as “high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets.” Managing these assets to generate the fourth “V” – value – is a challenge. Many excellent solutions are on the market, but they must be matched to specific needs. At GRT Corporation our focus is on providing value to the business customer.

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