Home  › Marketing › Strategies

Data-Driven Leadership Is Your Organization's Future

  |  November 6, 2012   |  Comments

Organizations skilled in data analysis optimize marketing and sales results like a well-oiled machine.

Harvard Business Review recently declared data scientist the "sexiest job of the 21st century." Gartner predicts by 2015 big data demand will reach 4.4 million jobs globally. The New York Times recently ran a story referencing a study of 179 large companies and found that those adopting "data-driven decision making" achieved productivity gains that were 5 to 6 percent higher than other factors could explain. These items point to a larger trend that's been creeping over the world for several decades, but even faster over the last few years: the importance of mastery over data.

We know data has become ubiquitous. Unstructured data now being processed lets us understand how a global workforce functions by monitoring metrics like emails sent or meetings scheduled. It lets us create effective marketing campaigns by analyzing digital analytics and understanding social. Through operational intelligence of this data, we can gain real-time insights that enable brands to do previously difficult things like spot and fix server problems in a large cluster before they cause issues. Concurrently, we're using structured data to improve our customer service, run our sales organizations, and a whole lot more.

Data permeates and provides insight into all layers of an organization: from marketing to sales to IT to operations and basically everything in between. Buzzwords like "big data" aside, it's a big opportunity because while the technology to analyze it is here, it's not yet being used to its potential. Avinash Kaushik, Google's digital marketing evangelist advises the ideal resource breakdown for an organization looks approximately like this: 15 percent data capture, 20 percent data reporting, 65 percent data analysis. The issue is that right now it's flipped: most organizations spend a majority of their time capturing and reporting data but don't yet analyze and act on it properly. Companies have the tools, software, and pretty reports, but lack analysis and action.

In most cases this is the result of a leadership still learning to embrace a data-driven world. An organization's top executives must be fully on board to successfully invest the resources as well as build and train a team to take advantage of the seas of data we swim in. To do this, leaders must be equal parts technical and business-oriented. Whether this manifests in the form of a chief data scientist, CIO, or digitally-savvy CMO isn't the point. The title doesn't matter, the leadership and push from the top does.

The benefits are numerous. Organizations skilled in data analysis optimize marketing and sales results like a well-oiled machine. They bust bureaucracy and focus resources on the things that matter. They fix most IT problems before workers ever experience them, improving productivity. Their team members own their results through hard numbers as opposed to "gut feel." Currently, most of the companies living this are still in the minority outside of places like Silicon Valley, and we live in a business world that's greater parts emotion than logic-driven. But that's not the future. The future is data-driven leadership and teams.

Data chops can no longer be locked away in pockets of your organization. It needs to be a part of a company's culture from the top-down. It needs ongoing reinvestment and education to understand how to use new data sources, what opportunities they unlock, as well as best use of the tools and technologies available. It's a big step, but one companies need to take to become digital-first and unlock the invisible opportunities they currently miss daily.


ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Early Bird Rates expire May 29. Register today and save!


Adam Singer

Adam Singer is Analytics Advocate at Google, a marketing, media and PR industry speaker, startup adviser and blogger. He previously was digital director for a 300+ person global consulting team and over the course of his career has provided online marketing strategy for B2B & B2C brands in a variety of industries including marketing technology, healthcare, manufacturing, advertising/subscription-based web startups, and much in between. Singer and his campaigns have been cited by top media outlets such as TechCrunch, AdWeek, NY Times and more for creative use of digital marketing and PR. Singer blogs at The Future Buzz - an award-winning blog with more than 25K subscribers and frequently-referenced source of what's new in digital marketing.

Connect with Adam on Google+ or Twitter.


COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!



Featured White Papers

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

Paid Search in the Mobile Era

Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.




    • SEO Specialist
      SEO Specialist (HeBS Digital) - NEW YORK                             ...
    • GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator
      GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator (British Consulate-General, New York) - New YorkThe GREAT Britain Campaign is seeking an energetic and creative...
    • Paid Search Senior Account Manager
      Paid Search Senior Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring a strategic Paid Search Senior Account Manager...