Do you have a "plan of attack" when it comes to data? Or is it more like "Well, ummm, we're integrating all of our CRM fields, our website, our social sites and we're building a contact washing machine." I'm not saying that's bad - it's great, actually, and big props for getting started - but that's like step 1 of 3 (more concurrent than consecutive). And where I see most folks stall - including my own teams - as we're so intent on capturing as much data (step 1) as possible, we forget about the next steps. Say, like, reporting (step 2). And then, oh yeah, the beast that is analytics (step 3). If you want to rule the world, you have to step it up and tame the beast. 


So, what is MY plan of attack? Well, I thought I had one - in addition to the above items, we leverage Eloqua CDO's, work in an enterprise data warehouse and own multiple analytics tools. But. I read "Why Marketers Will Rule the World" before the holidays and I'm like, hmmm... Among many other points, the post's author calls out that Avinash Kaushik, Google's digital marketing evangelist, says that "the ideal breakdown for big data resources should be 15% data capture, 20% reporting and 65% analytics." And goes on to say that at the moment, for most of us (including moi), that's flipped, with most resources devoted to capture and very little to analysis and actionable insight. Please tell me that this is ringing bells for you, as the reader, and that I'm not the only one. Seriously - if nothing else - just reply "FYP" (feel your pain) and you'll make my day.


Back to ruling the world... My plan of attack has definitely been stalled. We've been all over step 1, executing (although not fully) in step 2 (which, on a side note, has led us to search for a data services vendor that can actually clean the data). And step 3? We've been wondering who in the heck is responsible for it. I mean, I actually like the "doing" of the data analysis - I'm a self-confessed data geek - but I don't have time to live in the data for days on end. And my team wasn't built to truly support analytics. So my plan now includes building an analytics team - 2 1/2 strong to date - and based on my plan, they're already starting to rock the analytics.


While 2012 was definitely the "year of data capture" for us, 2013 is the "year of data analytics" (reporting blended between the two). It's not enough to know how many unique web visitors - we need to know what content was viewed, for how long and what they did before/after that activity. It's not enough to know how many contacts are in our database and how many emails they receive monthly - we need to know that we have the RIGHT contacts receiving the RIGHT messages at the RIGHT times. Finally, it's not enough to know how many leads converted in the funnel - we need to know why to build on that success and/or learn from unsuccessful programs. 


So, Topliners, here's my question to you... What's your data plan of attack break-out look like today? Is it tipped heavily to analysis and actionable insight? I'll admit - again - that mine is under construction. I'd like to build it to match more closely to the break-out from the post above. That's the plan in 2013. Tame the beast. And then, of course, rule the world.