Savvy marketers know that the right data can get them to insights that can help solve their biggest challenges. But advanced analytics requires specialized expertise. And enough data to make results reliable and actionable.
Wanting advanced analytics is like wanting to bake a cake. And too many marketers start the process without a recipe, throwing in too many ingredients. The results are rarely what they expect. Success depends on planning and preparation: deciding what kind of “cake” you want, using a recipe, and gathering all the quality ingredients you’ll need.
Here is our recipe for analytics success.
Phase 1: Planning
- Defining what challenge you are solving for, determining what your data inputs will be, identifying who owns those data inputs and what formats they are in, and mapping this all out in an organized fashion.
Phase 2: Data Preparation
- Collecting and cleaning up the data so a database can be developed.
Phase 3: Discovery
- Building data visualizations and examining different views in order to uncover insights.
Phase 4: Advanced Analytics
- Running statistical analysis in order to formulate hypothesis or predictive models
Phase 5: Testing
- Testing your hypothesis to determine the degree to which you were correct and utilizing the results to refine your modeling.
Planning and data preparation are the most under-appreciated and overlooked aspects of advanced analytics – and they’re essential to your success. Resign yourself to the fact that it will probably be harder, more complicated, and more time-consuming than you expected. But that up-front investment is the only thing that will ultimately get you to the best results.