Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

U2 provides the succinct summary this morning of some research published by the folks at Lynchpin and Econsultancy.

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Those two concerns examined how companies are using and learning from analytics and their Online Measurement and Strategy Report brings us back to a theme we’ve explored previously here on the screed.  In brief, companies are finding out more and learning less.  What I mean, and what the report shows, is that companies have more data than ever about consumer behavior and yet because of a number of factors they find the data less useful and without context.

Here are a few findings:

A majority of marketers worldwide say that less than half of all the analytics data they collect is actually useful for decision-making. Just one in 10 companies thought a strong majority of analytics data was helpful, and less than a third said somewhere between half and three-quarters of all data was useful.

While finding the right staff has been also highlighted as a limiting factor in the report, one other issue that emerges after looking into the responses is that organizational issues are another common frustration.  These demonstrate themselves in ways such as :

There is one team in charge of web analytics – not a marketing team – so for the marketing colleagues it is a fight to try to extract data from the analytics team.

Huge and siloed organisations, complexity of aged infrastructure and sites, legal policies

Getting management agreement on goals.

Education of senior management in understanding the benefit of an integrated digital performance management process.

Once again we find that a lot of data isn’t necessarily a lot of information.  For that to appear we need to formulate actionable business questions that are concerns of as many stakeholders as we can involve and then seek out the appropriate data to answer them.  The more we know the less we understand, apparently, and many businesses still haven’t found what they’re looking for despite drowning in data.   I think that’s kind of amazing and a bit sad.  What do you think?

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Filed under digital media, Reality checks

2 responses to “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

  1. I suspect this is also part of the maturation process of business in the digital age. Large organizations tend to shift about as fast as cruise ships change direction, yet the changes in the available data are coming rapid fire. By the time an organization figures out the really important data, the digital world has moved on to something else.

    • I agree with you up to a point. We’re way beyond the point of these being “experiments.” Digital marketing is a primary medium (hopefully I’m not being myopic) for many companies and most of the marketers I know wouldn’t tolerate the same kind of blindness in any other medium. Unlike those, as you correctly point out, digital is constantly changing. That said, the data reflects those changes – it’s the people on the receiving end who need to do a better, more integrated job in sorting it all out.

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