Product development gurus have been trying to find out what customers truly want since Paleolithic man started sharing arrowheads, and savvy marketers have spent fortunes on traditional market research to figure out how to best present a company’s offerings to target customers. But figuring out how to convert raw consumer data into actionable intelligence for market-facing teams is the ongoing challenge. A new ebooklet, Be a Big Data Marketing Hero, can help you understand what enterprise CMOs need in order to leverage market data and then deliver insights that will make you a hero in your field.

ImageIf you’re like most analysts, you have a natural love for creating intricate graphs, startling charts and data-stuffed dashboards. The stumbling block is finding a way to convey the story of data so that marketers, operations managers and other company leaders can develop products, processes and messaging that improve business.

“People are inundated with data,” explains Melinda Spaulding, president of Practical Insights, a market intelligence firm that specializes in the notoriously data-heavy field of pharmaceuticals and healthcare. “So they tend to ignore the information on hand and just go with what they know. Or they go collect more data — because existing data is presumably too old.“ 

To improve the value of consumer data that companies already have, Spaulding is not spending her time developing better statistical tools; she’s devoting her efforts to learning how to tell better stories that resonate with implementers. “Because ultimately,” she points out, “if you can’t tell marketing executives what the data means or how it can help them reach and motivate customers, then it’s useless.”

That’s why Spaulding said her next hire won’t be an analyst; her focus is pivoting to designers and creative experts who know how to present information in compelling ways that leverage audio, visual and audience engagement technology. For some, this is an unexpected turn, particularly for a firm that provides high-demand data analysis services to some of the world’s leading organizations struggling to reign in big data. 

“People are multitasking creatures,” she says. “Once I was able to break out of the PowerPoint mindset and started using multidimensional presentation tools that allow people to synthesize information in different formats and make connections on their own, I witnessed a profound change in how audiences respond to data. Suddenly, it’s easier for market-facing teams to see what’s going on — how various data points relate to each other, what themes are visible in the data and how the information applies to the real-world work they’re doing on a daily basis.”

Helping CMOs, COOs, CFOs and employees throughout a company make strong data-driven business decisions is the ultimate follow-through of big data analysis. So while most analysts are comfortable with statistics and trend analysis, table development and charts, those who can articulate the actual implications of data and provide reliable recommendations are emerging as the difference-makers in today’s big business.