Marketing Analytics Trends for 2016

Analytics is really coming of age in digital marketing organizations; it seems like every day we’re responding to new technologies and recommending personalized analytics solutions for our clients.

What’s in store for next year? Here’s what we’re looking forward to in 2016:

1. Vendor saturation and analytics convergence

The sheer number of analytics tools available to marketing professionals is staggering. We’ve got tools specific to each channel we operate in, plus a proliferation of third-party data available to pepper in as we see fit. There are two ramifications of this.

First, 2016 should see a convergence of tools as we seek out ways to unify access to this data through platforms like Tableau.

Second, we’ll see increased pressure to access data in real-time, solving problems on the fly while truly enabling organizations to make data-driven decisions. We’re not the only ones who sense this coming. Gartner published a great piece on this in September, explaining: “Marketing analytics and advertising analytics come together in a compelling cross-channel, cross-device view of prospects and customers that tracks and serves them coherently through the span of their time with the marketer…” We’ve been talking about this sort of convergence forever, but all signs point to this coming to fruition in 2016.

2. Analytics and the Internet of Things

At the most basic level, there are sensors everywhere, and they are collecting thousands of terabytes of data. The opportunity? We (finally!) get to analyze it. The demand to analyze and make use of this data will increase the sophistication of analytics systems as a whole.

On the lower end, we’ve got tools like Wolfram’s Data Drop, which adds semantics to data, allowing it to be computable and easier to analyze. More technologically forward-thinking are systems involving huge data lakes, and cloud storage that can be programmatically accessed and analyzed. Systems like this will allow fast analysis and more open access to tools, the combination of which brings us one step closer to understanding the entirety of the consumer journey.

3. Analytics and data science roles will become one in the same

Just a few years ago, Harvard Business Review claimed that the data scientist title would be the “sexiest job” of the 21st century. Now that companies have caught up to the scramble to figure out what to do with their data and what to call the people whose job it is make sense of it, we’ll see organizations meld their analytics and data science teams into a single function. In its 2016 predictions, the International Institute for Analytics said, “We expect to see analytics groups with names like the Data Science Team, and vice versa, as these roles continue to be intermingled.”

LOOKING FORWARD to 2016

So what is Nina Hale, Inc. going to do in response to these trends? What we always do – evolve our processes and approach to align with industry shifts.

  1. First, we’ll foster innovation on our data science team, and work to not only improve our analytics approach but ensure data insights filter into every project we take on.
  2. Second, we’ll count on improving access to data with updated automated reporting solutions that allow clients to interact with their data while improving our team’s ability to analyze it.
  3. Finally, we’ll continue monitoring industry trends, making sure we stay ahead of them and ensuring our clients are prepared to handle all the (thousands of terabytes?) of data coming their way.
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