With all of your business intelligence data sitting at your fingertips, the biggest challenge for marketers is figuring out how to consume the data and translate it into better decisions. I want to talk briefly about five very specific steps to developing a business intelligence engine designed to serve marketers:
1. Know Why You Need Data
Knowing why you need data is the most basic—and most often skipped—step in building a marketing intelligence engine. Once you have a specific goal in mind (e.g., how does web traffic correlate with social media, or how does billboard marketing impact point of sale month-over-month) then you are ready to set measurable goals and key performance indicators.
2. Know What You Want to Measure
Measuring total sales or web traffic is not enough—but measuring keywords, demographics, search engines, location, browser, spend, cost per lead, conversion elements and other highly detailed points will likely get you closer to your goal. Each metric must be tied directly to an end purpose or goal.
This question is the litmus test to determine if a metric is going to help you achieve business goals: “What do I want to be able to do as a result of this metric?”
3. Make Sure You Really Are Measuring It
Nothing stings quite like figuring out that your CRM is not configured to capture a key component of your cost per lead, web traffic data, or any other KPI. Even if your data sources are configured for the data you need, human error, late reports and doctored numbers always have a way of working themselves in to muddy up the data.
You need all of your data in one place if you’re ever going to keep your focus, your accuracy, and your sanity.
4. Choose the Right Technology
Here are three ways to identify the kind of solution that puts a data-driven CMO at ease:
- Choose technology that allows you to consolidate all your existing data sources. Many offerings only capture data from a finite or fixed number of sources; that’s not going to serve all your needs now, and it certainly won’t scale into next year or the year after that.
- Choose a solution that enables you to add new data sources quickly and without significant cost (if any). Any time you have to code data source connections and design dashboards to match, you’re introducing significant costs to a project.
- Choose a solution that lets you combine data from different sources into a single chart or graph. The beauty of combined data sources is that they can help you consume trends and relational information exponentially faster than you could if they remain separate.
5. Share the Love through Data Democracy
Practical business intelligence is centered in letting everyone else in on the secret. Marketers sure could use information from operations on what kind of inventory is on your hands, or data from sales to measure the impact of six different campaigns. Even data from finance and HR could make your job easier.
To that end, consider the broader application of your dashboard technology. Is it easy to share your data throughout the company? Does it have role-based permissions? Can it really provide “one version of the truth” for all interested parties? Few options have these valuable attributes; be sure that yours does.
The Final Word
Business intelligence can—and should—be the most practical thing about your data. The right kind of technology can be the most valuable way to reach your business goals.
If you’re ready to see all your marketing data in real time through a mobile-friendly dashboard-like view, give Domo a call. Our executive management platform will transform the way you manage business.