Data Driven: Digital Marxism

An example of the kind of metrics that can be measured affordably, in real time today.

Anyone can create value with the right data

All that’s necessary to create value now is the time to learn the new tools and keep up with programming enhancements that arrive almost daily. It’s safe to say a single person can now deliver 80 percent of the value of a full-scale relational database investment. It also is a good bet that 80 percent is enough to provide all of the data and analytics most businesses have the bandwidth to act on at any given point in time.

During the next year, this column will explore this new world of opportunity that is unfolding in real time. We will look more in detail at:

  1. Handling offline analytics in a new query and reporting environment.
  2. Corralling Web data into a more useful tool chest.
  3. Salesforce data and how those elements may be enhanced to drive more meaningful relationships.
  4. Integrating point of service (POS) data in a more useful manner, without slowing down the register.
  5. Bringing all these media analytics into a common arena for discovery and actionable strategies.

At the end of the day, it’s all about using analytical tools to create value from data, what the cost and ROI is on that process and how well actionable tactics are developed to create success. Let’s look at an example.

The CEO is looking for a 10 percent increase in profitable sales next quarter, and calls the team together to develop a plan for this to happen. The first step for any business, small or large, is to get all of the data from the prior quarter into a single view and look for strategic levers to pull. That’s right, it’s the analytical team that all eyes are focused on right out of the gate. The team would dive into their databases and reporting practices, which probably include a number of people, tools and resources. There are as many variables of these practices out there as there are people reading this column. Returning to management a while later with prior season data and recommendations would be followed by a back-and-forth process during the next couple of weeks, and a strategy would be finalized.

Geoff Wolf is EVP of client strategy at the Mission, Kan.-based direct marketing agency J. Schmid & Associates.
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