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The Fundamental Flaw in Your Insights & Analytics Tech Stack

Jason Moriber February 23, 2021
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Comms professionals have access to a multitude of Insights & Analytics tools, many of which have similar or overlapping features. Key elements of these tools typically focus on providing data points to report on brand, campaign, or topical and competitive mentions in mainstream and social media. But do these tools truly help inform your next action to take, or do they just kick out data points? Even if you have your own proven data analysis methodologies, the key problem you face is having enough time to sift through the immense volume of data points, surface the most important intelligence, AND then translate them into actionable insights. 

“Don’t confuse reporting for analysis. Looking at reports isn’t the same as finding insights and taking action.” Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media 

According to a 2020 survey, 24% of marketers struggle to apply insights to data when reporting. Why? Because many marketing and communication organizations don’t have analytics teams focused on surfacing and sorting the important and relevant data into “clean” data or information, nor do they have roles or teams focused on translating the cleaned data into actionable insights. The majority of the available platforms merely report on data and label them as “insights.” Sure, cutting and pasting this data into reports can marginally pass as important intel, but is it actionable or impactful?

Year over year, new tools emerge with hopes to capture the data a bit more clean than their competitor platforms. Chiefmartech reports that “1 in 5 of the solutions on [2020’s] MarTech landscape weren’t there last year.” There are approx 8k MarTech solutions currently available, 60 of which are specified in the PR tech category. 60 is a lot. 

The “Commtech [stack] is the greatest source of today’s CCOs angst, meaning ‘this is going to require investment in knowledge, skills, tools, and talent to really build out a new kind of operations for the CCO,’ he [Jon Iwata, the Page Society thought leadership chair John Iwata, the former IBM comms leader), said” 

“Stack fatigue”
With technology evolving at the rapid pace it is today, it seems there are as many solutions as there are problems. That sounds great at face value, but the reality of having to download, pay for and operate dozens of separate platforms is becoming exhausting. This proverbial pileup of software tools is known as “Stack Fatigue,” and it has many scratching their heads wondering if there is a better solution. 

Avoid siloed tools. Choose all-in-one solutions to keep all teams on the same page.
Using a wide range of MarTech tools can leave your data siloed, which blurs the overall clarity of your data and makes actionable insights even harder to drill down. Too many companies inadvertently fall into this trap: building one tech stack for HR, one for operations, one for marketing, etc. This method puts analysts in a position where they have to play the role of data detective, tracking down information one bit at a time and trying to piece the puzzle together as best they can.

So, what to do? You have two choices:

  • Build and empower an internal insights function within your organizations 
    • Expensive, slow ramp-up, but could be worth it over time.
  • Bring in an outsourced partner who can manage your Insights Stack from start to finish.
    • Save time and budget…reduce your spending on all the pieces of your current stack, put time back in your week to focus on your role and responsibilities while receiving actionable insights from an experienced team.

Image via Pros and Content
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