Data Geeks Unite!

By Carmen Vicelich, Data Insight CEO

A round-up of thoughts and top trends from the NZ Marketing Association’s ‘Smarter Data 2017’ conference.

When the top five companies in the world have all built their value on data – not products – there’s no doubting data is finally at the top table and being recognised as a key differentiator.

This was further reinforced at the Marketing Association’s sell-out ‘Smarter Data’ event which I had the privilege of chairing on the 11th April 2017.

With a great line up of speakers and some lively discussion on the use and future of data, it was exciting to spend the day with so many like-minded people, who are all passionate about data. Some key themes and take-outs from the day include:

Data is not just for selling: Think Steve Jobs ‘outside-in’ approach.  Companies, regardless of their size, need to look at what data can do for their customers. Some great examples of companies using data to benefit their customers included Air BNB’s ability to identify available accommodation, Uber’s identification of transport options and Amazon’s individually tailored recommendations for customers.

Think of your data and customers as assets: In today’s crowded world of messages, how can you use data to show your customers you love them? Now more than ever, businesses are measuring things like their Net Promoter scores alongside their P&L and balance sheets.  Your customers are fast realising their loyalty and data is now an asset to you!

Transparency: With more awareness from consumers that their data is important, expect more demand for transparency from them so that there are no surprises. In addition, it’s going to be even more important for businesses to disclose and follow best practice when it comes to data capture.

Align your data to your vision and brand: Make data insight a product, not a project! Everyone is on a journey and constantly evolving what’s possible with data. Netflix gave a great overview of how it builds value on speed and agility and being able to test and learn. It tests everything from visuals, to channel, to segment and refines, refines, refines!

Machine learning: The evolving volume of data means machine learning will be an imperative tool in order to compete with any speed and scale  – e.g. if your competitors are using it and you’re not you’re going to miss out!

Visualisation: This is something that has evolved and means data is for everybody – whether it’s for consumers, articulating facts or a particular viewpoint to the public i.e. election campaigns, or at board level to support investment and strategy, data helps tell the story.

Data-led organisations: It was exciting to hear some real-life examples of how data is helping create innovative, high-energy cultures in some of the world’s leading companies.  Netflix’s Director of Marketing & Originals Analytics and Engineering Betty Li discussed how, amongst other things, there are no rules around leave at Netflix because everyone loves working there and wants to be part of something that is making a difference. Imagine the possibilities of what more data-led companies in the future can do!

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the event. There has never been a more exciting time to be in data. This is my Tribe!

InsightsJustin Flitter