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Prepare Your Data for Easy Analytics

Prepare Your Data for Easy Analytics

February 24, 2015 0 Comments

To prepare for analysis, remember that the details matter.

One of the things I’m known for is making a mean chili. It's so good that a co-worker dubbed me "Fire Pots.” When I'm in the kitchen whipping up another fire breathing batch of chili or concocting some other culinary masterpiece, I'm attempting to create a masterpiece of taste bud delight!

Masterpiece chili is a big commitment, so it’s not for every day meals. Even so, I endeavor to make be prepared for that as well. I always have the freshest ingredients and an array of spices available. That way the whole family is prepared to make just about anything—from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to four- course dinners.

Details are Tomorrow's Assets

So what does cooking have to do with data analytics? Being prepared for any kind of analysis is pretty much like being prepared for any kind of meal: the details matter.

When it comes to business, data is key to a company's success. How you treat your data has a direct impact on how your business performs. So it's very important that you standardize and normalize your data so it’s ready for the big show: quarterly and annual reports, reviews of business performance and the like.

It is equally important that you have analytical tools at hand for when you need to create a small snack, like a quick report on a small segment of your data for an immediate need. In marketing and sales, such a report “snack” might include campaign performance over a certain period, calls to leads to closes from a certain asset, and so on.

The Cost of Bad Assumptions          

In the recently released results of its annual data quality study, Experian found that businesses in the US, UK and Europe believe 12 percent of revenue is lost to poor information quality. This percentage assessment has not changed since 2007, despite the fact that 89 percent of companies now use use their data to make strategic business decisions. This adds up to what the Data Warehousing Institute estimates costs US companies over $600 billion a year.

Now imagine how that poor data relates to your organization and your marketing strategy. Depending on the size of your company and its marketing organization, the amount of decisions made by people in that organization could number in the hundreds of thousands. How do you empower those employees to perform better analysis, so that every campaign, every asset, every web page performs as well as possible?

Making Analytics More Accessible

Companies have increasingly become aware of the value of information technology, business intelligence, data integration as well as the value of data as an enterprise asset. It's imperative to have a C-level person who is responsible for constructing and implementing data strategies, standards, procedures, and accountability policies at the enterprise level.

However, line of business employees need access to the data at a level where they can gain insight on it and report up the chain as necessary to act quickly on key daily, mutable functions like marketing and sales campaign results, customer responses and more. A tool like Progress Easyl can be made available to those analysts to search and find the spicy additions that can inject real, differential flavor into your company’s products and services. Your bottom line can only improve—and that deserves a big bowl of “Fire Pots” chili.

Britt Dyer

Britt has over fifteen years marketing experience and five years working with marketing automation suite Eloqua. During this time, he’s seen it all, fads that come and go as well as innovative trends that are here to stay. Knowing that content is king, Britt looks for new ways to deliver valuable information in our very online society. Online videos, social media, and live streaming are just a few models that have proven they are here to stay. How we leverage their growing presence – ahhhhh, that’s the challenge

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