Fast Facts: Old data trumps big data for many CMOs

Despite broadening data resources, a survey shows brand leaders prefer old standards over deeper dives.

Fear and lack of comprehension seem to be limiting how well brand executives can use the reams of consumer and market data flowing their way, according to a new study from analytics firm Calabrio.

In surveying 1,000 c-suite executives from the U.S. and the U.K., the firm saw that a large proportion of respondents relied on longstanding, easier-to-understand metrics to make business decisions. Respondents listed modern data techniques as being “too complicated” or lacking value as the primary reason for deferring to the tried-and-true.

When prioritizing data that drives decision-making, more executives chose revenue figures as the primary driver (36%). That was followed by social media data (20%), sales figures (16%), team feedback (15%) and contact centre data (12%).

More than one-third (39%) said they relied “too heavily” on a single data point to make decisions, with revenue numbers and social media data topping that list. When looking at CMO responses, that number jumped to 63% of respondents.

Of the reasons keeping execs from diving deeper into more complex analytics, 24% said they found the endeavor “too complicated,” and 20% said “there are too many sources.”

As startups and tech vendors promote AI and machine learning as a means of driving future sales, data has been identified as a main building block in developing such tools. Steve Irvine, founder and CEO of Integrate.AI, recently called company-owned data the “low-hanging fruit” that businesses should develop to ready themselves for technical disruption.