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BizReport : Advertising archives : August 28, 2015

Expert: How to turn data-rich into data-action

There is a plethora of data available to brands these days - social media data, click data, past purchases and even snail-mail newsletter lists. But turning this data rich atmosphere into actionable insights is still hard. One expert offers his advice.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What trends are you seeing in the data space?

Scott Holden, Vice President of Marketing, ThoughtSpot: We are seeing:
• AI and Search: Re/Code Search after the Search Box: Google Now Pushes into the Next Frontier of Mobile Behavior)
• The Consumerization of IT: Taking a lesson from Google, Facebook, Yelp & Bing - and the iPhone - to reach many, make it easy to use (adoption rates within enterprise tech)
• Data Silo and Scale Challenges: Siloed data (in transition between partly digital and party legacy IT business), managing high volumes with ease and efficiency across different sources
• Internet of Things: Devices - creating more data to manage; new opportunities and a shift toward digital business
• Data Scientist Role/ Skills shortage: New highly skilled position has great potential for next-gen big data insights, but most are still solving relatively simple data questions for everyday business people.

Kristina: How can brands go from being data-rich to having actionable insights that help them reach customers?

Scott: Forrester Research says we're in the "Age of the Customer" where customers, not businesses, are informing a majority of business decisions. Many companies have turned to their data to be able to drive deeper and more personalized connections with their customers than ever before.
Data is like the news: it has to be timely and relevant to for decision-making to happen on the fly. For most businesses collecting data has not been the issue, it's the "last mile" of getting the insights to the front line business people who are interacting with the customers that has been the problem.
Companies are now using analytics technology to bring together disparate data sources and achieve a more 360-degree view of their business and better connect with customers. Technology needs to help companies be more agile and keep pace with changing consumer expectations. The faster it can translate a company's data insights and convey those insights to customers, the faster it will be able to translate that data into more profit for the business.

Kristina: What problem does ThoughtSpot answer for online businesses?

Scott: ThoughtSpot [is] a search-driven analytics company, based in Palo Alto, CA., that delivers enterprise-class business intelligence for the masses with the simplicity and scalability required to help every person make sense of their company data. Today's enterprise data environment demands more of IT than ever before. Companies are tasked with managing an accelerating volume of data, devices and channels (recently compounded by the Internet of Things) and are required to make quick, accurate decisions. ThoughtSpot helps companies take a whole new modern approach to BI and data management.

Kristina: How does the product work?

Scott: With other BI solutions, businesses are heavily reliant on their IT departments and BI teams; business users submit new report or dashboard requests and then have to wait days or weeks for the information to be. ThoughtSpot resolves several of these challenges by removing the technical middleman. ThoughtSpot also makes it easy for a business person to pin a chart to a pinboard just like you would save a photo on your favorite consumer photo site. The charts can be arranged on a pinboard to look like a dashboard, reorganized with simple drag and drop, and then presented in "presentation mode" to help tell a story. Lastly, charts and pinboards can be shared and commented on as easily as you would share a photo on Facebook, but with an added twist - when a business user receives a new answer or chart from another user, not only can they view it, but they can edit it in real-time for their own analysis purposes. For instance, if the chart is a monthly view of revenue, adjusting the query is as easy as deleting "monthly" and typing "weekly" and instantly the chart adjusts to reflect the new time dimension.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, advertising data, data analysis, ecommerce, online data, ThoughtSpot

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