Brands: Stop Collecting Data. Start Using Experience!
Michael Tiffany, CEO of White Ops, sees major flaws in how marketers are using data; mainly that we are drowning in it and yet still lacking in insights.
He points out marketers are collecting vast amounts of data to try to determine causality, and today’s emphasis is on collecting more and more. We are all looking to determine the outcome that we want. In non-geek language, if I spend X will I see a return of Y? As Michael puts it, “we’re looking for a needle in a haystack by trying to add more hay.”
It is time to think like a geek. Historically, our primary focus has not been collecting vast amounts of data like we do today but about collecting the small bits of data that we need. We did this to filter down our inputs to get straight to causality.
As Michael sees it, the difference in success between organizations who are trying to mine big data does not come down to the science people are using, but the wisdom they are applying to the data they are collecting. Narrow your analysis to the parts that matter. We need to exercise good, human judgement. This means not starting with a data collection approach but with our powers of perception and wisdom of experience to answer central questions core to our business. Ask yourself, what is the least amount of data I need to collect to answer this question.