8 tips for data analytics success from Data Strategy Symposium

Brands and big data experts share their advice on how you can improve your organisation's use of data to inform business strategy and drive success

6.Unite data with experience

According to AMEX vice-president of consumer acquisition and customer loyalty, Dean Chadwick, brands should be combining data with creativity to become part of a customer’s real-time context. He explained the financial services company is bringing together art and science in order to interact better with customers in real-time, and putting data at the heart of commerce.

“There’s no point having a great set of data that drives a recommendation if there isn’t an awesome experience that’s connected with an audience on top of that,” Chadwick said. “We need to move away from random acts of marketing, and have data drive those contextual experiences… delivering real-time value to people on an ongoing basis.”

One of the ways AMEX is achieving this is by investing in data-driven resources and bringing together data scientists, engineers and marketers. It’s also using data to inform a number of new products and programs. To do this, Chadwick said it’s important to look at nodes of data, as well as the edges connecting these nodes together.

These can be defined in three ways: Stated nodes, such as where a customer lives; triggered nodes, or the event or action that has occurred; and inferred nodes, which are based on data marketers have on customers, such as an interest in fashion based on purchase history.

Related: How AMEX is using data and creative to tap into customer contexts

“What we’re aiming for are new concepts that are customer-centred, but with an overlay of good product design and good data science, that delivers an awesome experience,” Chadwick added. “We try to get products out to the market place quickly. We don’t always get it right, but we always learn from it.”

7. Create a social data map

Lighthouse3’s Dand also advised organisations to have a holistic approach to social data. One of the biggest problems is that companies still retain highly siloed business functions. Yet social is not only marketing’s responsibility, it’s also about customer care, IT, product development, innovation and more. In fact, Dand claimed 13 different departments on average will be engaging in social media in one organisation.

This also means marketers need to ensure buy-in for their social strategy from across the organisation.

Read more: Functional silos are stopping marketers from capitalising on social data

Dand suggested using Altimeter Group’s social data maturity map as a way of finetuning social success. The maturity map based on several key components that add up to the desired strategic outcome: Scope, strategy, context, governance, metrics and data.

A holistic and ideal strategy will stretch across the enterprise (scope), with all social metrics mapped to business outcomes (strategy), Dand explained. Benchmarks established and shared (context), governance will be entirely programmatic and integrated into established workflows, and metrics will be clearly defined with shared KPIs across the business.

Most importantly, social data will be just one part of an integrated data strategy where all customer-oriented data sets sit together.

8. Test, test and test

Throughout all presentations over the three-day conference, the importance of testing and learning using data for insight and measurement was emphasised repeatedly. In fact, Data@Ogilvy’s Kuba Tymula claimed that if 70 per cent of your tests aren’t failing, you’re not doing enough of them.

As Reckitt Benckiser head of digital, Andrew Wong, put it, be prepared to fail, but do it quickly. The FMCG company is looking at a timeframe of 90 days or less to develop an idea, because any longer means “you’re overthinking it”, he claimed.

“Our mantra is to fail fast – you need to be brave, innovate quickly and fail fast, but ensure you learn from your mistakes,” he said.

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