Big Data need storytellers

Wim Andréa Blog Leave a Comment

The need is almost tangible in boardrooms: companies need white ravens who combine BATS:Business sense, Analytics, Technology and Storytelling. Today that is hard to find in one person, so teams are formed that are expected to rise the BATS-ability of the company. Not seldom these teams are staffed with (former) sales/marketing and IT people.

This is a sensible effort in the transformation of many a company towards being able to execute marketing in a digital age. Fortunately we are no longer talking about digital marketing. Do we?

The thoughts about ‘what comes first’ are rather wide spread. Some marketers think it all begins with stating targets and using data to find out how these targets can be fulfilled. Other think that the opportunities will rise from the data and that targets should be called metrics that are monitored via (other) datasets. In practice both approaches can work. And both can fail. There is no silver bullet.

The common denominator in failure is often a halfheartedly approach towards data within the company. And towards the technology that -with data as an important ingredient- can be beneficial in reaching the set goals. And, while the tech is already able to deliver, the parties offering the solutions often seems like salesmen of machine guns to people who are still busy tying their bows-and-arrows together. This situation can often been observed in innovative markets.

The crux of the situation is that leadership of the company often is unable to see and/or understand how data can bring insights. And how these insights can bring clear actions and results. This rather logical hop-skip-and-jump is mentally and operational hard to grasp. Today also because of the mentioned talent gap: there is a lack of powerful missionaries with the mandate to bring change in motion.

Also: a too restrictive focus on tech and data will not lead to the sought after insights. This is the often seen technocratic situation that is rather detached from the daily operation and customer’s reality. At the same time: data and qualified analytics will become a commodity in the coming 10 years. A necessity in order to be able to have time-to-market and expected service-levels. Now companies like Google, Zynga, FAB and Groupon still have an advantage. But real distinctive capital will be enclosed in the support of the data driven insights by strong stories, concepts and meaningful communication.

Crucial is that data will deliver insights that can be used by smart operated technological tools and strong stories in order to gain durable economic results. The interaction with clients will deliver (new) data that… Et cetera. Putting your first foot forward towards a situation in which business, analytics, technology and storytelling will be integrated is hard. CRUX is more than willing to help.

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