In January, as is typical at the beginning of a new year, there were a slew of articles that laid out “to-do lists” for marketers in 2014. An example of such an article is the one Jonathan Blaugrund of Possible Worldwide wrote for ClickZ, “2014 Digital Marketing Punch List: 7 Things You Should Be Doing But Are Not (Yet).” Blaugrund’s list was interesting to us because many of the items were related to data and marketing analytics but the one item that particularly caught our eye was the first one on the list…
- Put all your data in one place. If data is tucked into different silos, there’s no way to see one customer across channels and no way to improve response.
We love the notion of getting rid of all of the different data silos that have emerged in digital marketing, and we have written a lot on this topic. This problem is getting exacerbated as more digital marketing services are introduced into the market, giving marketers additional ways to reach their target audience. While it is good that marketers have more tools in their toolbox, monitoring the performance of the various marketing activities has become a challenge since data is spread out across the different services. And trying to do cross-channel analysis when data is distributed all over the place is pretty much impossible.
Getting rid of the data silos and putting all marketing data in one place to enable robust analytics is a great idea but making it happen is very difficult. Last month, we wrote about the variety of data that is found in marketing and how it makes marketing analytics tricky. The primary issue is the inconsistent manner in which data is defined by different services. “Apples to oranges” comparisons of similar data elements does not make for good decision making.
Here are some examples of how “time” – just to pick one important data element – can be handled inconsistently…
- Different services define the start of their “day” at different times so the definition of “today” varies.
- Some services store time based on GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and some don’t.
- When there is a transaction that involves multiple parties (an advertiser and a publisher, for example), there is no standard that defines which party’s time zone will be the baseline for a transaction.
There are other data elements that are not handled consistently. If these data inconsistency issues are not properly addressed as data is pulled together, then the quality of the data being analyzed is poor, and that could lead to uncertainty about decisions being made.
At Origami Logic, we feel this is an important issue and we are doing everything we can so that by the end of 2014, organizations will be able to place a checkmark next to “Put all your data in one place.”
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