This is the third year that I have worked with Econsultancy on a report all about Predictive Analytics. Of course, as Head of Insight, it is my passion, but I have really enjoyed hearing what marketers across many industries think about it and how it is working for them.
In this blog I wanted to wrap up some of the key themes for you, then if you want to find out more you can download your copy of the report here.
As we launch the third edition of the Predictive Analytics report with Econsultancy, the main change that we have really seen is the wide acceptance and push for advanced analytics. There is a real impetus to drive value from data and data is seen as an increasingly valuable asset.
Barriers are being broken
We saw in the previous edition of the report that organisations recognise that they potentially don’t have the best data or don’t have data in the format needed for analysis. The main change seen this year is that this is no longer a barrier to data analytics. Organisations are using what they have, in the best available format, while constantly working on improving the data for future use.
This push to get the most value out of our data has also resulted in conversations happening across an organisation rather than in silos. This has highlighted the part played by individuals in a world predominantly led by machines. Individuals at all levels of an organisation need to be involved in conversations around data. There needs to be the right pool of analysts and scientists available to answer the questions being asked about the data.
Lack of talent in the industry
The lack of talent in analytics is a struggle highlighted by quite a few respondents in this year’s report. The talent shortage has also resulted in an increased wage bill for the talent that is available, which adds to the total being spent on driving value from data. Data driven models in themselves take time to reach peak performance and for some organisations, they don’t justify the large upfront setup costs.
The human factor
Two more human elements have been highlighted in this year’s report. The first is the marketer who needs to drive the actions based on the insights. The time spent on data driven campaigns by a marketer is not included in most analytics work streams, even now.
The second is the end customer. With new regulations in place (such as the GDPR), people are realising the value of their data. This has forced businesses to focus on value and experience. A customer now knows how much they share and there needs to be an equal value exchange that is clearly communicated. There is a marked change in approach from the businesses in tying up customer service with data. Newer data platforms only make this easier, so data will remain the driving force for some time.
It’s all about the money
The main takeaway from this year’s report has been cost. On their own, data acquisition, retention, analysis and marketing actions using this data are expensive, let alone when the cost of the individuals needed is added on top of this. However, data needs to start showing the level of return to justify the investments being made across the board and in the long run help deliver exceptional customer experiences.