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Marketing's big data revolution depends on technology innovation

There's no doubt that big data will garner competitive advantages. The challenge is gathering the disparate data generated by disruptive technologies.

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"Marketers need to get data for analytics without having to wait for IT to reinvent the wheel every time."

—Laura Wang, vice president, Marketing Operations, at Informatica

There’s no underestimating the potential of big data. Large-scale data analytics are already helping manufacturers anticipate machine failures, credit card companies crack down on fraud, and retailers target shoppers the precise moment they step into a store. At the same time, disruptive technologies such as mobile, cloud, and social media are enabling chief marketing officers (CMOs) to harness data in novel ways.

But as marketers launch into high gear, many IT organizations are struggling to keep pace with data-driven innovation. Real-time social media, web click-stream, and transactional data present enormous opportunities for marketers to innovate and break into new markets. In fact, a recent McKinsey & Company study1 estimates that these technological disruptions will generate between USD$14 trillion and USD$33 trillion of economic value by 2025.

Time is money

Marketers need data integrated on any given platform in record time. However, rolling out new analytics platforms requires IT to manually configure, rebuild, recode, and retrain employees. These are labor-intensive activities for resource-strapped IT departments.

Not surprisingly, according to a survey2 from Kapow Software, in partnership with IDG Research Services, IT’s inability to automate structured and unstructured data quickly and effectively is one of the biggest challenges, with 60 percent of respondents noting that big data projects typically take at least 18 months to complete.

Marketers are analyzing information from multiple sources—from cookies that track web-browsing habits to Twitter feeds tracking customer opinions. Facing an increasing number of data sources and widely varying platforms, smart CMOs need:

  • Solutions from IT that cut down the redundancies inherent in data-driven processes
  • An IT architecture designed for rapid adoption of new data sources and technologies
  • Self-service tools to access and integrate data directly in order to keep up with the needs of the business

Enabling integration

By standardizing and implementing an information platform as part of your marketing IT architecture, you can freely share information across different applications and technology platforms. More specifically, your information platform should enable a wide variety of applications and technologies to use raw data. And it should do so without the need for manual reconfiguration as underlying data and technologies change.

"The notion of being able to ‘map once, deploy anywhere’ means that IT can instantly plug in new data sources at any point in time to the existing data infrastructure," says Laura Wang, vice president, Marketing Operations, at Informatica. "At the end of the day, marketers need to get data for analytics without having to wait for IT to reinvent the wheel every time."

Of course, it is only a matter of time before marketers discover a new source of data to leverage. CMOs can be confident that technology can support new use cases, new data sources, new ways of processing data, and new channels for consuming data without unnecessary delays.

Find out more on how to put your business first by protecting your data and your technology investments.

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