Domo recently updated their Data Never Sleeps infographic, which catalogs how much data is created every minute. The statistics are mind boggling (which is the intent, of course) and somewhat numbing. The infographic is referring, of course, to all the data generated by all of the websites and devices all over the world. Much of which is irrelevant to most of us and to the companies we work for.

Data Never Sleeps

However, it is indicative of the fact that data is being generated at an increasingly accelerated pace and many companies are bewildered by what it is they can and should do with all of this information.

To answer this question, it helps to break down the question into a few smaller ones. What exactly do you want to get out of the data? Given that we at Quaero are in the customer management/marketing business, I will restrict myself to the kind of questions we ask our clients. More customers? Better customers? Greater engagement? Higher responses to marketing messages? More traffic? More repeat traffic? Higher revenues? Lower costs? All of the above? It is probably one or more of these. If it is the last, perhaps the first thing you need is a strategy before you even think about data.

Why start with questions when all this data can provide all kinds of answers? Well, if you don’t know you are looking for a needle you can and will chew through several hay stacks and never find anything but a lot of hay.

Maximizing the value of this data and paying for the considerable expense of harnessing it requires collaboration. In the customer context, that often means collaboration between the CMO and the CIO as well as with external partners that can work with both marketing and the CIO’s organization effectively bridging the gaps and seamlessly bringing data together to serve business interests. That is what we do at Quaero and we love doing it. So while your data is working hard, you can still get some much needed and well-earned sleep!On the other hand, it is also critical to understand what data you do have (sounds simple, it is not). The sources and the detailed fields, including what they contain, can be hard to catalog and wrap your head around. Most data is noise, very little is signal. And, what might be signal for solving one kind of problem, say an operational issue, can be noise for solving another kind of problem in marketing. Understanding the problem you want to solve (see above) can help you pick out the potential signal elements from all the noise. Once you’ve sorted this out, there is a still a lot of work to be done to make the data clean, useful, insightful and actionable. These tasks are best executed by the CIO’s organization or by an external partner working with them.

Infographic courtesy of Domo: http://www.domo.com/learn/data-never-sleeps-2

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