Saturday, July 29, 2017

Think critically about building your data capes

As consumer data becomes more and more accessible, and the tools to develop insights from data are more prolific, more and more companies are beginning to harvest data to drive their marketing campaigns. This article focuses on publishers using data, but the key takeaways are helpful for most people building a data capability.

There are several big challenges with sourcing the right data as each decision you make comes with a cost.

First - what is the right data to acquire? Acquiring data represents a cost- whether it's a direct cost of purchasing someone else's data, or the costs of harvesting data through lead generation efforts, or building software capabilities to track users and potential customers. The article suggests users start with understanding the goals of the company and work backwards from the goals. By asking a series of questions around the goals, you can help determine what types of data would help your company achieve its goals.

The article then suggests that before you build your data capability, you think about aggregation and storage. Oftentimes you'll be sourcing data from a number of different locations and being able to combine all that data can represent a significant hurdle. Chose your sourcing methods and storage capabilities carefully (when able) to ensure they are compatible.

Finally, data capabilities and usage is an iterative process. This is something you need to plan for ahead of time. How are you going to design your system to ensure you can evolve and innovate. If you build your systems with too narrow of a scope, you may have to undertake a costly redesign in the near future. Think about what your data needs in the short, intermediate, and longer term will be as you make decisions around how you acquire and build your data capability.

With Data, Is More Always Better?

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