Marketing departments know the value of data. After all, Marketing has been on the forefront of gleaning insights from data to foster positive relationships with new and existing customers and ultimately increase conversion rates and revenue.

Harnessing data to more accurately target potential customers, personalize customer engagement in real time, and improve customer loyalty is an intrinsic part of the role of the modern marketer. And as Big Data technologies become more refined, so have the capabilities of marketers.

Many organizations are inundated with data emanating from disparate sources, including transactional records, CRM and marketing automation data, interaction data, as well as public data sources, such as census demographics, weather records, and social media posts.

Moreover, the flood of data from the Internet of Things (IoT)—Internet-connected devices—is just over the horizon. Some 34 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020, up from 10 billion in 2015, BI Intelligence predicts.

With the surge in IoT devices, the subsequent spike in data, and the availability of data wrangling (data preparation) tools, the possibilities for Marketing are bountiful.

Although diverse and complex data holds the promise of robust insights, the sheer volume and variety can create a bottleneck in the data analysis process, which becomes increasingly labor-intensive.

Before data can be analyzed, it must be wrangled (prepped) into the requisite format for the analysis you want to run, especially if you need to blend data from various datasets or sources. This step creates a bottleneck or, worse, an impasse that prevents organizations from harnessing and using the potential of their data to enable data-driven decisions.

Data wrangling has historically been the exclusive domain of skilled data scientists—though, even for trained data scientists, this step can take as much of 80% of an analysis cycle. And because the demand for technical talent far outweighs the supply, the bottleneck in marketing data analytics is compounded.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Joe Scheuermann

Joe Scheuermann is VP of Marketing at Trifacta, provider of data wrangling tools and software.

LinkedIn: Joe Scheuermann