Skip to content or footer.


Insight + Analysis

17745 1920x1277 Dta Grphc D2

What’s all the fuss about data?

Insight + Analysis / 11.16.22 / By Melissa Jusianiec

During the past decade or more, data-driven everything has been the buzz phrase. Decision making, learning, marketing, science, insights—you name it, data’s driving it. But what exactly is the big deal?

When we stop and think, humans have been using data for thousands of years to plan for the future. Whether that data was symmetrically carved notches on rocks and bones in Africa some 40,000 years ago, or cave paintings depicting stories or elaborate to-do lists, ancient humans exhibited a proclivity to collect, share and use information, not unlike the ways we use data today to drive decisions in our own lives.

Data is all around us. Consider the ways you personally use it to make decisions.

  • When’s the last time you bought a car without doing at least a little homework?
  • Think back to when you rented your last apartment or purchased your last home. Our guess is that you knew something about it before you even stepped foot inside for your first viewing.
  • Consider your last 10 Amazon purchases. We’d be surprised if you didn’t look at the number of stars or consumer reviews before adding that item to your cart.

As business decision-makers, don’t we owe the same level of due diligence to the business decisions we’re making? And for marketers: If this level of reporting isn’t part of your job description, you better believe it will be soon. Consider all the ways that marketing dollars are spent, and the data that results:

  • If you’re spending money on television media that has a specific call to action—like driving consumers to a toll-free number—chances are, you’re going to want to look at the call center traffic pre- and post-campaign to determine the impact it had.
  • You likely have a team responsible for keeping your website up and running. As you consider the effectiveness of your site, you’re probably looking at statistics to determine which pages receive the most traffic and where consumers are spending the most time.
  • As you plan your marketing initiatives for the coming year, maybe you wish to differentiate your marketing messages to the segments that exist within your customer and prospect base. Do you have the level of detailed data required about each segment to help you differentiate your marketing messages?

Many organizations don’t go deeper than the simple examples above, and some don’t analyze their data to drive decisions at all. According to Harvard Business Review, “Cross-industry studies show that on average, less than half of an organization’s structured data is actively used in making decisions—and less than 1% of its unstructured data is analyzed or used at all.”

Steering your marketing decisions with data allows for uniquely informed optimization throughout the year. Whether you’re collecting data through your organization’s back-end systems or through primary research about your target market, it’s time to turn those data points into usable insights.

Analyzing data to drive marketing decisions doesn’t have to be complex. Consider your marketing objectives for the coming year and whether you’re collecting—or have the potential to collect—key performance indicators that help drive decisions that support your marketing objectives. If you’re not currently collecting that data, how can you get started?

We always start with a measurement plan, which acts as the backbone for how we’ll analyze and provide insights about the data we pull. Want to learn more about measurement planning or ready to put your data to work for you? To get the most out of your marketing dollars, contact our insights and analytics team today.


Melissa Jusianiec

Melissa Jusianiec is DS+CO’s research manager, getting to the heart of audiences, strategies and marketing efforts.