Marketers still feel like they are unable to harness Big Data, but self-service data preparation might make that change.
Big Data has always been a promise seems out of reach to marketers. For years we have heard how Big Data will change marketing by enabling marketers to be better at their jobs, but I rarely (if ever) hear examples of that actually happening. I am a firm believer in the power of Big Data, so I was curious—do marketers really care? Are they using their data, and if so, how?
Yesterday, I hosted a webinar titled “Unlocking Big Data for Marketing.” During my presentation, I discussed the methods marketers should implement to leverage Big Data and the emergence of self-serve data preparation. This democratizing force will be like rocket fuel, greatly increasing access to data and speeding up the time it takes to turn that data into insights.
Though our audience probably wasn’t a representative sample of all marketers, my curiosity got the best of me. During the webinar, I polled the attendees and learned a little bit about the relationship between marketing and Big Data. The three poll questions were:
The results revealed a lot about the chasm that is still separating Big Data and marketing.
Big Data for marketing remains a hot topic, but when I ask random marketers at a conference if they know what Big Data means, I’m usually met with confused looks. While marketers don’t need to be technical to understand what Big Data is, having a basic understanding is important for individuals or organizations trying to capitalize on it.
Do you understand what Big Data means?
I was pleased to see the majority of the responding attendees (80%) claimed to have an understanding of Big Data. That being said, this isn’t surprising given the amount of press and coverage given to the topic.
I’ve read often wonder if this is true beyond large organizations. While my poll doesn’t account for the size of the organization, it can give us a good idea about the accuracy of those reports.
Is Big Data currently part of your marketing strategy?
The response was a resounding “No.” As you can see, only 11% of respondents are currently using Big Data as part of their marketing strategy. Given that the majority of the respondents had an understanding of Big Data, we can assume that there are still barriers for marketing professionals.
Finally, I asked the audience how they can or will make Big Data real. We provided four choices:
How are you working with Big Data?
Looking at the results, we see there is a variety of ways marketers work with Big Data. Surprisingly, 33% said that they are not working with Big Data at all! Unfortunately, I didn’t have a fourth question but given the opportunity, I would ask what is preventing those not working with Big Data from doing so.
The biggest pain when using Big Data is the process of getting your data into a form that is useful no matter your end goal or end format. All marketers are looking to incorporate Big Data into their efforts. Unfortunately, this usually requires some level of technical skill to accomplish. Based on my poll results, marketers seem to understand Big Data, but don’t have a good way to enter the “Era of Big Data” there is so much buzz about. I believe self-service data preparation is the solution these professionals are looking for.
Self-service data preparation solutions like Progress® Easyl™ are designed with a non-technical audience in mind. By combining a simple, graphical UI, connectivity to a variety of data sources and a view of your data throughout the process, Easyl lets marketers get the data they need when they need it without having to go through IT first. Once you get data into the hands of marketing professionals, they are able to get a more complete view of their audience, make decisions faster, and base those decisions on more accurate data.
I want to invite you to check out the full webinar where I go more in-depth on this topic. Then, when you’re ready to upgrade your marketing process with self-service data preparation, give Easyl a try! You can find a free trial of Easyl on our website right now, or if you would prefer, you can join our open beta of the next version of Easyl which will make self-service data preparation even easier. Plus, joining the beta will give you an opportunity to help us build the tool you really need and a chance to pick up some free stuff as a thank you!
After spending 10+ years in the digital marketing industry in various different roles, Chris re-joined Progress because he saw how Progress Easyl could solve problems he experienced throughout his career. With a passion for technology and marketing, Chris leverages experience of 8 years at Microsoft, various start-up and mid-sized companies to focus on bringing fantastic products to market. In his spare time, Chris cheers for his hometown Saints and spends time chasing around his young son.
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