Understanding how marketing influences business is a complex game with many factors at play. The first step in beginning to understand that influence starts with data. However, as you many know, this is not as simple as it sounds.
Besides taking into account the usual suspects such as sales, pricing, promotions, channels, and distribution, we must also consider everything outside our influence – factors such as seasonality, the macro environment and even the weather all come into play! You should also collect meta-data to both help contextualize results and findings and support a live planning framework. Whilst modelling is a look-back, by providing a context based on available “live” data, we can support a scenario planning and reporting tool that is real-time.
Within these broad buckets of data, info is stored in different structures and places. It could be held by agencies or vendors, captured monthly or quarterly, available through the past 30 days, or the past 5 years – the list goes on.
The more disparate your data, the harder it becomes to analyze thoughtfully. Analytics attempts to harmonize these differences in breadth, depth, frequency, and granularity of data into something that is readable, useful, and of course, actionable.
To get a stronger grasp on your data, use these 5 tips for better data organization:
Have a Data Strategy: It’s easy to become ambitious and capture unnecessary data that you either don’t need or don’t know how to use. Having a strategy behind how you support business decisions with data will ensure you’re being deliberate with your data and help you uncover more meaningful results.
Campaign Taxonomy: By organizing the thousands of campaigns deployed over the course of a brand’s life with a meaningful taxonomy, you set yourself up for success down the road to better inform decision making and action. This goes beyond simply measuring campaign performance – it goes towards informing the key question ‘what’s next’.
Control Gaps in Data: Switching between vendors and agencies is a natural path for a company; losing the data during those switches is not. Before the switch, ensure all data has been accounted for, and successfully transferred.
Enforce Consistency Across the Organization: There are many ways to code, track, and analyze data, but making sure everyone at your organization is coding, tracking, and analyzing in the same way can help solve a lot of data headaches. Having a “rule book” for how work should be done is a simple and effective way to harmonize data.
Ensure Team Capabilities: Building a robust data infrastructure that enables transformational analytics is not trivial, and frequently involves multi-disciplinary skillsets coming together. Make sure your organization has the available capabilities to put your data strategy into action, and that the team is empowered to move quickly and collaborate across the organization.