Posted by Alan Nazarelli ● Tue, Jan 23, 2024 @ 10:11 AM
“In God We Trust, ALL OTHERS BRING DATA”
The quote is attributed to Edward Deming, the "father" of the quality circles movement in manufacturing, who postulated early on that data was crucial in improving manufacturing quality. Deming's work with the Japanese car manufacturers was the first-time data played such a central role in business operations.
We have come a long way today in both our recognition of data's power and in our ability to harness it to improve various facets of business operations ranging from customer experience to fraud reduction to improving manufacturing quality.
However, according to our most recent poll of enterprise executives, things are not as ideal as they could be with data analytics within companies. Below are three use cases that represent yet-unresolved challenges that line-of-business executives articulated in our most recent research we conducted in December 2023.
- CIO Viewpoints: Disparity of data structures continues to be a major challenge. There are tons of data, but these are housed in silos and in different forms depending on the business unit where the data originated. Lack of unified underlying data structures is a problem. Tools to handle these different structures including the ability to handle structured and unstructured data have come a long way and are plentiful, but again, the disparity of data sets remains a barrier to leveraging these, despite investments that many companies have made in recent years in data warehousing and data lake initiatives, notably from providers such as Snowflake, AWS, Microsoft Azure etc. One CIO we interviewed using Azure Data Analytics is impressed with the tools enabling distributed analytics and the pay-per-use pricing model, but articulated the problem as an internal one quoting, "it's not the tools but the mess our internal data is in that is causing problems" Part of the problem in his case is that they are a large Fortune 100 company that has grown through a large number of acquisitions in recent years, bringing in data in various formats ranging from on-prem SQL to cloud-native.
- CMO Viewpoints: Things are a little more encouraging on the marketing side. CMO's report satisfaction with MarTech investments they have made in recent years and according to our recently published report "Shift Happens-The Changing Business landscape in 2024", they anticipate these investments to pay off in 2024. (If you did not get an email from me offering you a complimentary copy of the report for being part of our market analytics community, I have included a link below). The growth in CDP (Customer Data Platform) adoption in recent years from companies such as Action IQ, Treasure Data and Segment are cited as major game changers for marketing departments that have come a long way from days when they leaned more right-brained as entities managing campaigns from the creative agencies to becoming much more data-centric in their marketing operations. However, despite these advances, CMOs report two major challenges:
- The ability to better triangulate their first party data with external third-party data sources remains a challenge.
- Attribution, the establishment of A linkage between revenue generated back to the originating marketing activities that generated them remains challenging. To the end, a major obstacle is better integration with other systems, most notably sales systems that are the terminal point of the prospect-to-paying customer cycle. Another obstacle cited is the fact that for most, marketing campaigns are a combination of both digital and non-digital vehicles, with the latter being much more difficult to attribute. One HealthCare CMO we interviewed who uses a lot of billboard and mass-transit advertising is experimenting with QR codes on ads but results so far have been mixed.
- CRO Viewpoints: The last use case is from Chief Revenue Officers and Heads of Revenue Operations, who are seeking to use data as a uniting force bringing together teams under their umbrella for better inter-team collaboration to improve revenue results. CROs cite data-driven operations and decision making as critical success factors for 2024 and beyond, especially for sales teams they work with. And while there are lots of data being generated that can be mined for better customer and prospect outreach and communications, proficiency among salespeople to do so is cited is lacking. Third party providers such as ZoomInfo and Seamless.ai have evolved in recent years from being mere providers of contacts for lead list building to purveyors of powerful purchase intent data that is increasingly getting more sophisticated with the use of AI. Both CROs and Heads of Sales indicate their salespeople lack the requisite skills and sophistry to best harness these capabilities. Many sellers, especially long tenured ones, were hired for their interpersonal skills. This skill gap is therefore not surprising but needs to be closed.
To download your complimentary copy of "Shift Happens-The Changing Business landscape in 2024", click here "Shift Happens: The Changing Business Landscape in 2024"
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Alan Nazarelli is Founder & CEO of Silicon Valley Research Group. Based in San Jose, CA with offices in Seattle and New York, the company works with the world’s most innovative brands to provide timely and actionable market intelligence and strategic guidance to enable them to make well-informed decisions to positively impact revenues and profits and to achieve their growth targets. Connect with Al on Linked in
Topics: Market Research Best Practice