Marketers See Value in Big Data Analytics, But Face Hurdles

Feeling the pressure to become more data-driven, marketers agree that big data analytics will be an integral part of their organizations going forward. But a lack of data analytics skills and antiquated business processes are hampering their efforts.

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Fri, August 09, 2013

CIO — Marketers overwhelmingly agree that big data analytics will become a major component of their business over the next several years—71 percent say they plan to implement big data analytics within the next two years—but most have a long way to go before they're ready to untangle the "data hairball" they're holding.

That's according to the recently released Teradata Data Driven Marketing Survey 2013, conducted through a blind survey of 2,200 marketers worldwide in March and May this year.

Teradata defines data-driven marketing as the combination of collecting and connecting large amounts of data, rapidly analyzing it and gaining insights, and then bringing those insights to market via marketing interactions tailored to what's relevant for each customer.

"The concept of marketing being data-driven is not new," says Wes Moore, vice president at Teradata Applications. "That's probably existed since the beginning of marketing. But the channels and the expectations of the consumer are changing. The need for marketers to be more data-driven is bubbling to the top."

That's not to say marketers don't already leverage data. Moore notes that most marketers rely on a number of common and easily accessible forms of data to drive their marketing initiatives. For instance, more than 75 percent of those surveyed said they use customer service data, customer satisfaction data, digital interaction data and demographic data. More than 50 percent of marketers say they've taken a further step and use data including customer engagement, transactional or ecommerce data.

Data-Driven Marketing Requires Untangling the Unstructured Data

But taking it to the next level requires more. It requires the capability to collect and analyze massive amounts of complicated, unstructured data—what Teradata calls the "data hairball." In other words, marketers need to combine the traditional data their companies have collected with interaction data (like data pulled from social media), integrating both online and offline data sources to create a single view of their customer.

"It's about really understanding that customer from an online and offline perspective; a 360 degree view," Moore says. "Marketers are struggling to stitch that view together. You have to have that in place first before you can do other elements. First you've got to get that insight."

Marketers Say Data Is the Organization's Most Underutilized Asset

Many marketers are currently pessimistic about their ability to leverage data. Teradata found that nearly 50 percent of marketers feel data is the most underutilized asset in their organization, and less than 10 percent of respondents felt their organization currently uses the data they already have in a systematic way. Only 18 percent of marketers say they have a single, integrated view of customer actions.

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