To those of us who work in anything remotely related to technology, the next sentence should not be news. The digital era is changing how businesses function across every piece of their operation. Analytics platforms are giving us more access to data about our customers and potential customers than ever before at extremely affordable prices.
While the above is quite obvious, let’s take this a step further. How can we re-imagine data as a tool across an organization? Can we use Google Analytics data to inform more than just the marketing team? Could product analytics inform finance? Not only are data based decisions the present and the future, but proper data application will make any business more efficient and thus more profitable.
In order for us to understand the data flow, we must first understand some basic terminology:
- 1st Party Data: YOUR data. The best stuff. This can include data from behaviors, actions or interests demonstrated across your website(s); data you have in your customer retention management system (CRM); subscription data; social data; or cross-platform data from mobile web or apps.
- 2nd Party Data: Someone else’s 1st party data. Really good stuff. Many times this is data from a publishing partner you are working very closely with and you ask for their user data to optimize different pieces of your company.
- 3rd Party Data: Data you purchase from an outside source. Good stuff. Some of the most recognizable names in data leasing are Lotame, BlueKai, Experian, Nielsen, and there are a whole lot more.
- DMP or UDMP: (Unified) Data Management Platform. Essentially, where you collect, store, and integrate all of the data you are collecting across all of your different analytics and CRM platforms.
You’ll notice that none of the data structures received a low grade. This is an extremely important point. Any 1st, 2nd, or 3rd party data you are going to get is going to be very useful to you in some way or another. Data is going to be the core building block that helps you make important decisions across your business. It will help you identify pain points, opportunities, bottlenecks, and other ways to optimize your company’s performance.
The ability to use data as an informant across company sectors is something that will be a continuous theme here. This is the age of Agile Analytics. We, as companies, must have the flexibility, communication structure, and open minds to recognize the power that data can have on our organizations. However, leaders must open the minds of their department heads to enact these changes and ensure that the data we are using comes from an accurate, functional, and statistically relevant source.
So, as we progress through this series, we will look at the different ways major companies are already using Agile Analytics, different functions across different verticals, and hopefully map the way for your company to jump onto the Agile Analytics bandwagon. The next article in this series will focus on data structures from the advent of digital analytics and how those structures will evolve over the next ten years.