How Good is Your Data?
- AUTHOR Jay Jennison
- January 10, 2014
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I read a blog post recently that made the interesting distinction between analytics and insight. I thought this was particularly insightful because all too often these two terms become used interchangeably when in reality they have two very different connotations.
While analytics delivers you data on your performance, insight instead allows you to make actionable and intelligent decisions. Thinking about this in the context of common B2B marketing analytics, all to often we have analytics, but no insight. I speak to people in marketing roles on a daily basis about their reporting and visibility challenges, and the most common trend is not a lack of data, but more often a distrust of the existing data. In many cases sales and marketing operations roles are tasked with the challenge of delivering these metrics, but are unfortunately forced to do much of this work within platforms outside of where that data is actually located such as Excel. Therefore, there is not only a concern about the integrity of the data sets that were imported from Salesforce or a marketing automation platform, but also a concern for the logic, and formulas used to derive final metrics.
In other cases, I speak to marketers who distrust and fail to act on their data due to the concern that their sales and business processes (ie. usage of salesforce.com) are limiting their data or skewing the existing data sets. The point being, while we may have “analytics”, they may not offer actual “insight”. I challenge everyone to take the new year as an opportunity to take a step back and investigate your process and your usage of analytics.
Are you in fact confident in your data and are you actually making decisions based on that data that is driving performance? As analytics begin to emerge further as a “need”, and no longer a “nice to have”, I think it is prudent to begin by understanding how much of your data you use to drive decision making and why.
Leave no stone unturned!