Best of 2019: Data & Analytics

Kristen Dunham, Analytics Manager

Digital transformation has put data at the center of every organization, as noted by Gartner. Businesses are awash with data, but they struggle to identify what is most important and what actions to take or avoid.

The world of data and analytics has increasingly become more critical for marketing teams as they try to pinpoint where and how to connect with prospects and customers. The ability to get to the right data at the right time, and then act on that data immediately is often the key to maintaining and increasing market share. 

In this blog, we examine two trends from 2019 that have had a major impact on data and analytics and will continue to play a big role in 2020. It’s critical that marketing teams prepare to adjust to both trends, which impact each other. 

U.S. Privacy Laws Getting Stricter

As of the New Year, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) goes into effect, providing California residents the right to know what personal data businesses collect and whether businesses sell or disclose that data. Set in motion at the tail-end of when privacy protection requirements took effect for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), CCPA essentially provides California residents the right to request access to the personal data that a business collects and stores. Residents also have the ability to ask that business to not sell that data and to delete the data. 

In 2019 CCPA set forward the alignment of marketing, technology and legal teams to pursue a strategy of data governance. This included new technology builds for data requests, permission workflows for data extraction and deletion, and do-not-sell restrictions across platforms. 

While 2019 focused on the ramp-up of an infrastructure to adhere to these new regulations, I predict 2020 will focus on the need to scale these policies for any new state regulations that may follow suit. Organizations should start to review and refine their data collection process making sure they have a strategy in place for privacy compliance—even if they are currently not affected by CCPA or GDPR rules and regulations. 

The Connection of Artificial Intelligence Machines
Developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and the AI ecosystem were another big focus in 2019—with Google and Adobe providing integrated solutions to move from insight into action. In the past, AI anomaly detection tools would simply identify a spike in consumer activity, and then a person would have to manually intervene to adjust tactics and redirect assets to accommodate for that anomaly. 

But today, the tools that identify activity spikes can connect directly to activation and optimization tools, and these tools can automatically determine what to do in reaction to the spikes. The measurement tools can also kick off the necessary actions—triggering emails, text messages and online ads directed to a specific cohort that contain messaging and assets to help drive engagement behaviors.

No more data exports and manual calculations! AI platforms can now do it all automatically so that campaign alterations virtually occur at the same time as markets change.

AI and Privacy: Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object
Ironically, the improvements to AI come at the same time as the restrictions on privacy escalate. Conversations about transparency are taking place between companies and their customers, and site banners asking for permission to track visitor activity are now commonplace.

With the automation of data insight and activation through AI, more challenging conversations will occur on data governance. Marketers will need to stay in compliance and allow users to take control of their own data, which will likely result in smaller data sets for AI engines to cull through and provide insights. 

These data gaps will likely spearhead larger conversations on data processing and signaling. And that should produce new ideas and methods on how to generate activated engagements with opted-in audiences. 

For more information on how your company can deploy data and analytics solutions that comply with privacy laws, contact us at www.r2integrated.com/contact.

About the author: Kristen Dunham

As an Analytics Manager for R2i, Kristen illuminates marketing performance and opportunities by threading together data from multi-channel experiences into a tapestry of visual stories. She focuses on data analysis, optimization, and analytics implementation. Kristen is a certified expert in Adobe and Google products with a professional background that spans the disciplines of SEO, SEM, analytics, optimization and data visualization. Motivated from a background in anthropology, she firmly believes that data analytics is the new archaeology, aiding in the understanding of human behavior through analysis of prior activity. When she is not acting as the Indiana Jones of analytics, Kristen likes to test her problem solving skills on the rock climbing wall.

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