Analytics Providers Should Know the Audience
I know for a fact that not everyone is a fan of analytics. Sure, it is a cool buzzword now, but who really likes to look at all those numbers? Even when they are presented in nice charts and graphs, numbers and figures often induce headaches for many. OK, that bubble chart on the spiffy dashboard surely seems nice, but what are those five dimensions again?
Yet we, the geeky types, march on as if every decision-maker must appreciate and enjoy information overload. But I have been saying that “Big Data must get smaller” for a good reason. Basically, most people like simple answers, without even the remote possibility of having to go through lots of numbers; unless of course, they are about sports statistics.
There is a famous book called “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo. Anyone who was raised in the so-called civilized world must have at least heard about the book, or have actually read or seen versions of it. But the way people consume that classic book (too sappy for my taste, by the way), can be broken down into the following groups:
• Appreciate all 1,900 pages of the original “French” version
• Read the translated “full” version (in English, but still lots of words)
• Skim through CliffsNotes or Wikipedia
• Read the comic book or graphic novel version (yeah, pictures!)
• Attend the Broadway musical (no time to read anything – even with pictures – but willing and able to drop more than $100 per head for it while visiting New York City)
• Watch a TV series (requires a bit more commitment than watching a movie)
• Watch a 3-hour movie (though there is no good movie version of it yet)
• Scan through a one-paragraph summary of the movie
• Listen to someone else’s summary in a few sentences
Stephen H. Yu is a world-class database marketer. He has a proven track record in comprehensive strategic planning and tactical execution, effectively bridging the gap between the marketing and technology world with a balanced view obtained from more than 30 years of experience in best practices of database marketing. Currently, Yu is president and chief consultant at Willow Data Strategy. Previously, he was the head of analytics and insights at eClerx, and VP, Data Strategy & Analytics at Infogroup. Prior to that, Yu was the founding CTO of I-Behavior Inc., which pioneered the use of SKU-level behavioral data. “As a long-time data player with plenty of battle experiences, I would like to share my thoughts and knowledge that I obtained from being a bridge person between the marketing world and the technology world. In the end, data and analytics are just tools for decision-makers; let’s think about what we should be (or shouldn’t be) doing with them first. And the tools must be wielded properly to meet the goals, so let me share some useful tricks in database design, data refinement process and analytics.” Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.