The keys to smarter data analytics

Panellists at IBM's Smarter Analytics conference share their tips for improving your data intelligence

During the IBM Smarter Analytics conference in Sydney this month, four of its key session speakers –Australia Post manager of business systems, Armand Mizan; IBM’s senior consultant for advanced analytics and optimisation, Tim Higgins; Telstra’s director of one-to-one marketing, Nick Adams; and American Express’ manager of marketing development for Global Corporate Payments, Simon Taranto – closed off the day by outlining their top tips for improving your approach to data analytics.

What shined through was the business intelligence behind the technology. While there are a range of technology solutions available giving marketers the ability to process vast amounts of customer and market data, any attempts to undertake them must be done with a clear alignment to business value.

After all, there’s no point in creating a model to analyse customer behaviour without first identifying the parameters and pain points you’re trying to overcome. This includes acknowledging the business concerns and opportunities the rest of the company and executive team is focused on.

“You have to get the buy-in and sponsorship of c-level management. It’s essential,” Mizan said. “This ensures all analytics projects align to the strategic objective. Whatever initiative you embark upon, understand the business requirements and pain points being experienced. If you misunderstand those requirements, you won’t get great take-up.”

For Higgins, companies that employ analytics as a core function to answering questions within their organisation will do well. “What I’d also recommend is that your analytics environment is flexible and responsive to suit the timeframe of the business executives,” he said.


The panel at IBM Smarter Analytics in Sydney (from left): Australia Post's Armand Mizan, IBM's Tim Higgins, Telstra's Nick Adams and AMEX's Simon Taranto

Analytics people are not always great at articulating the value of their insights to the rest of the business, which is another hurdle all leaders need to be aware of, Adams continued. “You need to build a new brand of people on your team who can work with the other business executives to show your analytics projects as powerful business experiences,” he said.

There must also be partnership between the analytical and creative marketers, Taranto said. “The analytics model needs to be governed and aligned with your go-to market plans if it’s going to work,” he added.

“You also need to modify expectations should the analytics suggest something different to what you anticipated. Your analytics initiatives should also be positioned in terms of incremental knowledge, and not replicate what’s being done elsewhere. The low hanging fruit is probably already being dealt with.”

The panel were also asked their views on how a company can get started on the smarter analytics path. For Mizan, ownership plays a significant role. “You must take ownership of hierarchies, the quality of the data, testing, communication, accountability and so on because without ownership it’s hard to get a model that meets all the expectations,” he said.

Earning the respect of the creative marketing team is worth paying attention to, Adams said. In a bid to overcome the scepticism of analytics, Telstra has brought in mathematics tutors to tutor its 90-strong team in analytics, block models and solving problems statistically.

Taranto meanwhile, said the best way to get started is to pick one problem, get it to a point of maturity and go to market. “Once you have proven the analytics work well, you’ll see the requests coming through,” he said.

And don’t forget having access to appropriate data in the first place is key, Higgins said. “Eighty per cent of the job is getting the data into shape,” he added.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia or take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Data has the power to build or burn brands

A brand can be severely wounded by use or misuse of any of its assets and you could say data has the greatest power of all to inflict damage.

Lucy Acheson

Head of data strategy and customer experience, LIDA

Totto and your inorganic future

At Cannes Lions this year we’ve been treated to many artificial intelligence (AI) insights. It’s one of the major discourses of our time.

Richard Brett

CEO, opr

Personas of one and the rise of ‘always there’ marketing

I’ve got some bad news. The ‘always on’ marketing approach that many companies have only just fully implemented is already out of date.

Nigel Roberts

Founding partner and strategy lead, Yell

I read you post full. It's really good .

Yusuf

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Promotion is difficult. You should be able to do it. Sometimes it turns out bad, and when you turn to professionals, it turns out well - ...

Jordan Samuil

Village Roadshow partners with Lion for pourage rights and promotional partnership

Read more

This is very good news for Australian SMEs as ActiveCampaign is an very powerful marketing automation / email marketing tool that costs a...

Lawrence

SMB marketing automation provider sets up Asia Pac HQ in Sydney

Read more

Completely agree! For the best commercial properties in Mumbai, visit our website - Jagaha!

Gizelle

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Carisoprodol is used for treatment of pain.so it has some amount of drug use it carefully . Get its complete usage and prescription from ...

jensons henry

CMO profile: The strategy behind Cash Converters brand and customer experience reboot

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in