Data, Data Everywhere (Part 2)

Yesterday I discussed finding a couple of articles that didn’t make sense in the context of one another.

Image representing IBM as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

The first was about a lack of data from digital media and how that medium needs to be more accountable.  Today’s article is about a study conducted by IBM.  As they said in their release:

The study, entitled “Stepping up to the challenge: How CMOs can start to close the aspirational gap,” is based on findings from face-to-face conversations with more than 500 CMOs from 56 countries and 19 industries worldwide. Conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV), the study reveals that 94 percent of CMOs believe advanced analytics will play a significant role in helping them reach their goals. However, an increased number of CMOs say their organizations are underprepared to capitalize on the data explosion – 82 percent compared to 71 percent three years before.

In other words, there is already too much information crossing the desks of the folks in marketing and the people in charge can’t make sense of what they have now.  It’s only going to get worse as the marketing information generated from mobile and social continue to grow.  Is digital media not accountable as claimed by the head of the ANA or is it TOO accountable and overwhelming as found by this study?

These two pieces taken together point out the reality of marketing these days.  We are awash in an ocean of data and it’s no longer about “do we have the information?” but “can we find the right information among all of the data we have?”  I’ve had clients who told me they had little transparency into what was going on with their customers but because they didn’t have a thorough understanding of data systems they already had in place – web analytics, social media measures, etc. – they were wrong.

The claim that digital isn’t accountable and lacks data is a negotiating position, similar in my mind to the dance that goes on each year before the networks begin to sell in their upfront season.  If anything, the fault with digital is that it’s still relatively new and old ways of thinking about media and data are changing (or should be).  So yes, to paraphrase the Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, there’s data data everywhere but I think there’s plenty to drink. Maybe even too much. What’s your take?

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