As is well documented through numerous credible sources, there’s a lot of data out there and it’s BIG, really BIG apparently. A recent c...



As is well documented through numerous credible sources, there’s a lot of data out there and it’s BIG, really BIG apparently. A recent comparison I saw was that there’s enough data for 1 MacBook Air for each person on the planet – that’s 6,973,738,433 MacBook Airs!

However all this data serves no purpose unless we can collect, analyse and use it effectively to drive business value.  However although data is the powerhouse of business it gets a bad press in terms of being geeky and un-cool. So this got me thinking about how can we better use and promote data in a more creative way.

The masters of this are of course Levitt and Dubner who co-wroteFreakonomics. Fundamentally this book analysed data in a creative and useful way and for a moment in time made data become interesting and cool – prostitutes, Hush Puppies and cocaine dealers.

The recent phenomenon of infographics also illustrates how even the most mundane data can be repurposed in an interesting way  or for the more open minded.

Data analysis deriving insight in driving business value is nothing new to marketers, we’ve been doing to differing degrees of effectiveness for sometime. However this has often been the remit of the planning department with the analysts and planners presenting numerous spreadsheets and slides interpreting data into actionable insights (or not as is sometimes the case).

However as marketing evolves and we communicate with consumers at pace, and the dashboards and tools become more accessible and user-friendly we need the insights more quickly and that means the people at the coalface need to embrace data more readily.

The community managers need to be able to quickly identify which posts best deliver engagement, the digital producer needs to speedily be able to review analytics on websites and make changes that improve engagement and the CRM manager needs to be able to analyse and react to responses in real time. But how do we make this SEXY? It's not easy and I may not have the answer here however it's about reframing peoples views on what is and isn't sexy in marketing, for instance...

Seeing consumers react positively and share a piece of content 10's of thousands of times - SEXY.
Converting consumers from passive web browsing to purchase - SEXY.
Identifying a significant purchase uplift from consumers on the database compared to a control -SEXY.

Surely all the above are are SEXIER than a print ad, 1m impressions or OTS. They're about real consumer behaviour changes and business impact - now to me that's SEXY.

So if developers are the new rock stars, then the data analysts and planners should be heralded at the new super hero’s – quietly going about their business making significant impact. Super Hero's are SEXY right ?

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