5 Problems Marketers Have with Data Analytics

January 3, 2018 Sarena Brown

In the modern age of marketing, data is what makes the world go round. Data makes up the digital eyes and ears of a business, so if you don’t know how to properly analyze it, you’re in trouble. For this reason, data analytics have become one of the biggest problems today’s marketers face. There’s a lot of information available, but knowing how to use it and understanding what it all means is a challenge.

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If you think you’re the only one facing challenges with data analytics, you’re wrong. A recent study suggests only 19 percent of companies say they’re satisfied with the insights their data provides them, and only 14 percent think they have the talent and capabilities required to fully leverage data.

In a world full of information, here are five problems marketers face when it comes to data analytics.

1. Knowing the Quality and Reliability of Data

Once you collect data and have information to analyze, knowing if you can trust it is a whole different ballpark. In fact, 58 percent of organizations admit to having difficulties determining the quality and reliability of data, making it extremely difficult to draw any legitimate conclusions that will benefit marketing strategies.

On the other hand, if you do manage to draw insights or come to conclusions, there’s a chance they may be based on information that isn’t accurate or trustworthy—a scenario that can have dozens of negative effects.

2. Lack of Skills

Knowing how to digest data and turn it into something useful is a skill. However, it’s one many companies are short of. “Inadequate analytical know-how” has been rated the biggest challenge marketers (and businesses in general) face when it comes to data analytics, with 53 percent admitting their companies are short of skills.

While data can be one of your most powerful resources, if you’re not sure how to use it, it can become more of a burden than a blessing. Finding skilled professionals who know how to use the latest techniques to find the “gold” that’s hidden in the data is a major problem.

3. Knowing What Data to Use

With so much data being collected, knowing which information to use is difficult. From internal data such as customer transactions to external data such as competitor prices, knowing how to piece the puzzle of useful data together to make legitimate conclusions is extremely difficult. 

Gathering information may be the first step, but determining which subsets of information to use and how to integrate it across different platforms is the second step that often takes the most time.

4. Using Insights for Improvement

After you spend so much time and resources collecting data, analyzing it, and drawing insights, using it to shape decisions and make impactful changes that matter is another major hurdle. 

For example, if you’ve collected a pile of data that’s found customers abandon their carts after seeing the shipping costs, there needs to be a change when it comes to your shipping methodology. Perhaps you should offer a shipping discount on the first order or state shipping is free after spending $75. Regardless of what the solution may be, changes clearly need to be made if your sales are sagging. 

Collecting data and using it to make meaningful improvements can be difficult; however, it’s why you analyze data in the first place, so getting this step right is vital. 

5. Creating Visual Representations

While it might be one of the smaller problems associated with data analytics, not knowing how to visually display data is one that can leave people overwhelmed and confused. Numbers are scary—so learning how to take data and turn it into a visually appealing representation of the numbers is an important skill. The numbers and the insights are obviously important, but how you share these findings is equally as important when it comes to data analytics.  

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