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03 December 2007

Empowering Marketing Intelligence

How are analytics industry experts handling the explosion of data?
What's the best way to support and empower marketing intelligence?
By not focusing on the data!

Focus on the business, the process, the insight, the customer.

These were my key takeaways from the Canadian Marketing Association's "Managing the Data Explosion Roundtable: Empowering Marketing Intelligence", which I had the opportunity to moderate on November 27 here in Toronto. Over 60 people registered to attend the event, which was organized by the CMA's Marketing Technology and Database Intelligence Council.

As described in an earlier post, the panel was to delve into and discuss the challenges marketers are facing with the explosion of data analytics and constantly emerging technologies:

  • How do we handle the increasing volume of information available from digital marketing?
  • How do we marry measurement and marketing process with technology as we wrestle with the complexity of analyzing cross-channel marketing that includes the Internet?
  • What new forms of analysis do we need to evaluate emerging arenas such as social media activity?
The CMA will be posting the presentations on their website, and I'll link to them here when they're up. However, in the meantime, here's a bit about each panelist's presentation:

Greg Doufas, Rogers Cable, is continuously testing the applicability of new analytical methods. As the analysis matures, it "grows up" and integrates into their business intelligence toolset. Each tool has its proper use and it's important to know where to draw the line. Knowing where to draw the line comes with experience. However, they don't focus on the data. They provide a continuous narrative about customers, working continuously to surface insights, not data.

Alioscha Leon, Microsoft Canada, is part of a global analytics network striving to implement re-usable modules of analytics know-how, processes and technologies. They don't have one end-to-end solution that satisfies all countries. Instead, they have designed a business logic layer that facilitates the sharing of best practices and a data consumption portal with analytics and visualization tools.

Daymond Ling, CIBC, stressed the importance of helping those who seeking answers from analytics to ask really good questions, questions that the data can help answer. Business questions are often vague. Help the business re-phrase the question so that you can peel the answer back layer by layer. Don't fuss over tools or let tools be the focus. Produce what's useful, not what's interesting.

Rob Armstrong, Teradata, emphasized that integrated operational and strategic data management processes are key. Business users have to own data cleanliness, not IT. IT manages the process of moving the data around (they're plumbers, managing the pipes, the infrastructure) but business has to be the one who cares about data quality and cleanliness. The problems you are resolving should drive prioritization of analytics work, as well as what you're going to do with it. Therefore...
     "If you're not going to make decisions,
          stop asking questions.
     "If you're not going to take action,
          stop making decisions.
     "If you're not measuring results,
          stop taking action."

Great session!

June Li
ClickInsight

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