Adults Only: Making the Case for Big Data in 2016

The holidays are almost here. Behind my leather notebook and very serious work face, my inner child is skipping around the office in footie PJs. This game face belies the chorus of elves in my head who are singing at the top of their lungs.

Anybody with me? Anybody else running a mental countdown until vacation?

Fast forward a little bit. Give me a couple pounds of pie and a few straight days of a cuddly, PJ-clad Netflix binge and that holiday glee will transform into an iron-willed resolution to kick butt and take names in 2016.

I think I’m in good company, so this blog post is for all of you ambitious go-getters of 2016. I’m going to ignore the sugar-besotted empty gaze of adult children running around (including that especially attractive one staring at me in the mirror) and leave this blog post RIGHT HERE. It’s for the no-nonsense adults who will certainly show up in a couple weeks to whip things into place.

In my last blog post Is Everyone Doing Data without Me?, I gave you some good anecdotal evidence that everyone has not figured out the whole data game. Now let me give you five good, cold hard facts about how the data movement is heating up so you can better make the case to take up the cause in your organization next year.

1. If you wait for your CIO to bail you out, you’ll wake up behind.

If your experience with IT has been a slow moving methodical organization lacking business urgency, spending patterns suggest that will continue. In 2017, the IT spend on big data will be $43.4B — 41% on services, 39% on hardware and 20% on software. Most of that is going toward big multi-year projects with a heavy services and integration component. Only $3.18B of that $43.4B — just over 7% — will be spent on analytics applications by 2017. Bottom line, leave data totally to IT and you’ll do a lot of waiting. Especially since business analytics is third on the CIO list of priorities, behind security and cloud computing.

2. That new Chief Data Officer is part of the solution, but not your knight in shining armour.

The Chief Data Officer is a relatively new role. About 25% of Fortune 500s have a Chief Data Officer, but they tend to come in many flavors with different objectives. Look to whom they report to understand their key priorities: CRO reports tend to be compliance-risk focused; CIO reports are big data focused; CEO reports are data fixers with a focus on data quality and governance; and CMO reports are looking to generate revenue through data monetization strategies. Even though data is in their title, the Chief Data Officer may have very different objectives than you. In April 2015, the Wall Street Journal said, “Most CDO organizations are small with limited budgets and limited authority.”

3. Marketing is poised to lead the organization into a data-driven approach.

CMOs are expected to spend $32.3B on marketing technology by 2018. Of that spend, $25B – or 77% — is going to data and analytics and interaction systems. A huge number that dwarfs the CIO’s paltry $4.3B. That total projected spend is ramping up quickly to $125B by 2025.  Furthermore, the CMOs top objectives necessitate more data to be successful. They are:

  1. Create a breakthrough brand experience

  2. Find and acquire new customers

  3. Understand current customers and create relevant interactions

  4. Collect and link data across the organization

  5. Identify the right martech to manage coordinated consumer interactions

If that isn’t enough to convince you that marketing has possibly the biggest dog in this internal data fight, Forrester, after conducting extensive research, put the ownership of Customer Intelligence and Analytics squarely in the CMO’s domain.
Source: Forrester

4. The venture markets believe that data analytics for marketing is the next frontier.

Venture Beat summarizes VC investment each quarter and the most recent summary has the top funded category — far and away — as analytics with over $1B invested in the preceding 3 months. The next runner up — Data Infrastructure — has less than half that investment. Given that VCs invest where they sense impending demand, it’s worth it for a marketer to pay attention to where venture money is going to keep a pulse on burgeoning trends.
Source: VentureBeat

5. The acquisition strategy of marketing cloud giants underscores that data is definitely the marketing department’s bag.

Adobe, Salesforce and Oracle — some of the highest performers in Forrester’s Wave on Enterprise Marketing Suites — are spending a lot of acquisition dollars in the data space. In 2014, Oracle bought BlueKai and Datalogix. Then in 2015, Salesforce created a partnerships with Acxiom, Neustar and Viant. Just this week, Salesforce acquired the data analytics startup MinHash.

Bottom line, data is a journey. But market signals are incredibly strong, conveying that it’s a journey marketers are taking. In my next blog post, I’ll help you identify some fruitful places to start.  

See you in 2016 when the adults show up!