Marketers are investing sizable resources in analytics, but many aren’t getting the payoff they expect, according to the recent Gartner Marketing Data & Analytics 2020 survey which shows that analytics influences only 54% of marketing decisions.
The top reasons for this are poor data quality, results that are not actionable and unclear recommendations. Yet, marketing executives see huge potential for analytics. Eighty-five percent of those surveyed said that by 2022, “significantly more” of their organization’s marketing decisions will be based on marketing analytics.
To extract more value from analytics, marketing leaders must focus on building skills that address the reasons analytics are seen as underperforming — and concentrating on value-adding analytics activities outside those that are or soon will be automated, according to the report.
“It’s critical to invest more time and resources in upskilling your analytics team to have a broader influence over bottom-line results and adapt to new trends in automation,” says Lizzy Foo Kune, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner.
The report also says that marketing analytics teams currently spend too much time on low-value tasks, such as data integration and formatting, ad hoc queries and requests, and generating reports and dashboards — activities that are ripe for automation.
More than half (56%) of marketing leaders expect the size of their analytics teams to stay the same or shrink, but that likely reflects the perceived value — or lack of value — contributed by analytics teams today. Only 23% of marketing leaders cite skill development as a top priority for their marketing analytics teams, down from 39% in 2018. Marketers who say their analytics teams have not had the expected influence are more than three times as likely to be planning to reduce the size of those teams over the next two years.
The three most-cited obstacles to analytics teams’ success are manual data preparation, connecting analytics to business value and connecting analysis to insight. Automating manual and repeatable tasks will enable analytics teams to focus on more value-adding activities, such as developing actionable insights from data.
By prioritizing skill development, marketing and analytics leaders can enable analytics teams to complement, rather than be threatened by, automation.