You think you’ve got analytics problems?
In the middle of February, 2012, I reviewed some analytics dilemmas from 2005 in an article entitled
Analytics Problems Won’t Die.

In that article, I discussed the problems we had solved, including:
The numbers don’t match and we’re over it. Different tools measure differently. The end.
The Internet is considered an important part of the marketing mix and brand recognition measurement is par for the course – especially with the advent of social media.
We finally have dashboards (although they are becoming less useful)
We have analytics roles and responsibilities.
We know how much data to keep (All of it!)
I also discussed problems that refused to go away and that’s why the article came to mind last week. At the eMetrics Summit in Toronto,  we did another Roundtable Discussion on our top-most problems.

Here’s the list that came from Canada:
Need a common key to master multiple channels
This was reiterated a number of ways including synching online and offline. The solution? Figure out a way to incentivize people enough to opt in. I want to log into Amazon on every device I own. Can you make me want to log in to your car wash web site, app and when I drive in?
Too many tools
This used to be too much data but now that Big Data is all the rage, we are embracing the surge rather than shunning the deluge. however, the need to master more and more tools to accommodate the wider variety of data types is fiscally, mentally and integration-ally taxing. The implementation and training are wearing us down. The issue is one of prioritization… and good luck with that.
The “half my dollar is wasted” problem is not going away. However, I saw several presentations at eMetrics that gave me hope. Moen is doing some very interesting work with Critical Mass, identifying the drivers of different stages of the buying cycle. They’re taking a more marketing mix modeling approach that has real merit. Ross Jenkins showed a very interesting approach that big pharma is using to nail down the impact their online efforts are having on branded prescription requests in the doctor’s office. Attribution remains a troubling problem for those with limited resources.
The runner-up for the Most Common Problem:
Change management
How do I get my boss to understand the value of analytics?
How do I get buy-in from those for whom the insights are created?
How do I explain that data collection by itself is not enough?
How do I stay up to date in this ever-changing landscape?
What KPI’s should I be looking at today??
But the clear winner these days:
Finding qualified, experienced and talented people
This was the subject of our last keynote panel at the eMetrics Summit in Toronto and the options were slim. Jennifer van Amerom from IQ PARTNERS makes a living helping people with this. Marco Bailetti at Franklin Templeton Investments declared he has six open requisitions at the moment and hires based on personality first and technical rigor second. (If you can’t be a change agent, all of your truly wonderful analytics work is going nowhere if you can’t champion it.) Angie Brown from IBM confirmed that it really is who you know. That’s why social media is so popular: If somebody you know can recommend somebody….

While these problems seem perennial, the eMetrics Summit continues to bring hundreds of people together to actively share and learn how to conquer them. The next one is in San Francisco, April 14 – 18. Maybe you should come – we could sure use the help.

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