Why data is not the solution to uncertainty | Rick Dronkers

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By Siobhan Solberg. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

What came first, the process or the insight? In an ideal world, a business’s processes would be informed by data, with teams seeking information to help them reach pre-established goals and objectives. But when it comes to data collection, can we really understand what we want to do with this information before we have it in front of us? And as clients become increasingly concerned about maintaining growth in a changing world, how do we convince them that collecting more data isn’t a business-saving silver bullet?

Join me, Siobhan Solberg, and my co-host Russell McAthy as we chat with Rick Dronkers, founder of Data to Value, about how to unf*ck marketing analytics. We get into how to get the most value out of our data, why people, not technology, are the answer to our problems, and the importance of learning to step back and embrace uncertainty. This episode is a fantastic look at the difficulties modern businesses face as technology evolves, even though we had a tech fail when we forgot to record the Zoom video (whoops).

In this episode:

  • The loop of turning data into actual value is often not completed as businesses don’t use what they collect to inform their actions.
  • Humans seek information to help control the uncontrollable, a desire that innovative technology firms selling insights-as-a-service appeal to.
  • Is there any truth to the idea that businesses should collect data on everything because it might be valuable in the future?
  • Why marketers should ask themselves what real-life action they’ll take when they collect specific data rather than letting the data guide their actions.
  • Businesses invest heavily in software because it’s perceived as a silver bullet solution, is an easier option than creating new processes, and is more controllable than people.
  • Do businesses rely too much on oversimplified, top-level data from dashboards to inform their decision-making?
  • To understand what data to collect, you must first understand your goals.
  • As economic outlooks change and growth starts to slow, CMOs should focus on prioritization and goal-setting to maintain upward momentum.
  • Data itself doesn’t improve conversion rates; instead, it provides insights that allow teams to make optimizations across processes that work together to generate growth.
  • Clients need to better differentiate between the metrics they should be monitoring and the results they view as success.
  • Why it’s impossible to hold a team accountable to an outcome metric and how to hold them responsible for practical output goals instead.
  • How do we support clients concerned about privacy, an issue which increases uncertainty?
  • Do marketers misunderstand the role of data analytics? Data is a tool to help businesses explore uncertain territories, optimize processes and answer questions.
  • What does the future of data collection and processing look like with the rise of machine learning?

Resources:
Rick’s Twitter

Rick’s LinkedIn

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