Wednesday, May 13, 2015

CMOs: 3 Steps Your Company Should Follow Facing Big Data Era

“Big data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it.” This is a famous post said by Dan Ariely in January 2013. I deleted the latter part of the original sentence - “Everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.” - Because I think after two years exploration, it’s not really the case now in 2015.

It’s true that there are still a lot of companies don’t know how to do it. But I do see a fair amount of companies are properly using big data and making brilliant business decisions based on it. As a master student in Integrated Marketing Communications, specialized in data analytics, I found two articles that provided a wholesome picture on what companies should do in the inevitable big data era.

Brad Brown, director of McKinsey's New York office, shared in the article Views from the Front Lines of the Data-Analytics Revolution that the most cutting-edge views from the most experienced executives from the leading companies which are adept in data analytics field. They addressed the opportunities as well as the underlying problems companies are facing. They also provided suggestions concerning the effort companies should make both internally and externally.

Matt Ariker, the chief operating officer of McKinsey's Consumer Marketing Analytics Center, discussed in the article How to Get the Most from Data that what kind of talents you need to help accomplish the challenges mentioned above. Depending on the nature of your business, you would emphasize on different human resources. If your company relies heavily on data and technology, say Amazon, you may want to focus your effort on hunting for data scientists who can build reliable models and optimize the algorithm system. However if your company is a consulting firm which provide business strategy for clients, you may want to find someone has both analytics and business background to understand the business environment supported by solid quantitative evidence.

Based with my experiences in data analytics field, I would like to suggest three calls to actions for CMOs who already have a sense of urgency concerning data analytics but don’t have a clear path in mind:
  1. Arm your company with data analytics talents. Translating the data from nonsense to valuable insights require adept skills in manipulating data as well as strategic mindset of incorporating data into business context. The intersected talents in both areas will lead your company to a prosper future.
  2. Clearly define your data analytics strategy. Simply collecting data will not enable you to unleash its potential value. As companies are developing their media strategy, content strategy and so forth, it is wise to take into account data analytics strategy as well. Without a strategic approach of digesting BIG data, you’ll be overwhelmed as opposed to have a clear clue about what’s going on.
  3. Get the most out of data to optimize your business decisions. Through these actions, you will possibly secure a static spot in the stormy red ocean.

Ci Yuchian had 2-year experience in Social Marketing and Public Relations. Now she's majoring in Integrated Marketing Communication at Northwestern University. She has a focus in data analytics as well as hands-on experience in entrepreneurship of analytics field.

Contact her through Twitter @Yuchian_Ci or LinkedIn

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