It’s a data tidal wave not an elephant!

Steve Hemsley’s feature “Embracing the elephant in the room” (Data Strategy 13 October) raises both a valid point and a word of caution for those marketers rushing off to bravely confront the new world of Big Data.

The tidal wave of data will only get bigger as new platforms continue to emerge and interactions and conversations increasingly converge.

The impetus to react fast is clear, but we should take a moment to consider how we can embrace this new world/ the temptation to lurch from a data crater into a sea of data is simply too seductive.

The real differentiator, and biggest headache, for marketers will be the ability to sift through and find the gems that will have greatest impact on marketing effectiveness and in turn business growth.

And sometimes these gems can be the smallest ones. Mass data analysis may lead to averages that mask the real catalysts.

And that will take a considered leap marrying not just the science but also the art of interpretation of data.

New skills will be required to do this; intuition will need to collaborate with evidence…big picture with big data.

Jane Hodson, Joint CEO, M&C Saatchi MILK

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