Seeing Is Believing

November 24, 2008
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As Teradata’s CMO, I realize I can probably wrap my arms around the technical aspects of data warehousing (DW) more easily than CMOs in other industries. After all, concepts like scalability and ETL can be a lot to absorb, especially when you’re focusing on market share and lead qualification.

But there are some DW tools that pertain to the marketer as much as to the analyst. In fact, a few are worth “going techie”

As Teradata’s CMO, I realize I can probably wrap my arms around the technical aspects of data warehousing (DW) more easily than CMOs in other industries. After all, concepts like scalability and ETL can be a lot to absorb, especially when you’re focusing on market share and lead qualification.

But there are some DW tools that pertain to the marketer as much as to the analyst. In fact, a few are worth “going techie” for since they can make us marketers look really good. Take data visualization, where the ultimate goal is to communicate clearly and quickly. Sounds like marketing, doesn’t it?

Data visualization makes it easy to see the big picture that’s buried in complex data, with all of the relevant info blended to create a single dashboard or map. Just what we need to keep our efforts on the right track – or move forward on new tracks. And since 70% of our perceptions are visual, this tool helps us promote our ideas across the organization. You get the picture.

Visualization tools also give us display choices so we can spot trends and determine the most actionable conclusions. In fact, they’ve been known to answer questions you haven’t even thought to ask yet. Now that’s powerful stuff. 

Take this Tableau visualization, which analyzes revenue.  The thickness of (as well as the label on) each bar represents the average order size for that segment of the business.  If you look at the grand total, you can see that most sales are from accounts classified as new business but that the largest orders tend to come from add-on business.  With such an analysis of data from a CRM system, management can determine next action steps and explain it as well.    

Data visualization gurus Stephen Few of Perceptual Edge and Edward Tufte (the “da Vinci of Data”) are influencing data warehousing and marketing with advances in this field. Teradata is fortunate that some of our partners are keeping us at the top of the hot visualization space, which includes our traditional Enterprise BI partners as well as independent visualization companies.  These partners include SAS, SAP’s Business Objects, Oracle, MicroStrategy, Microsoft, and IBM’s Cognos as well as Tibco’s Spotfire, Tableau Software, BIS2, Bally Technologies and ADVIZOR Solutions.
 
I’ll keep you posted as this eye-opening technology continues to make its mark on our field.

Darryl McDonald
CMO, Teradata

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