Are you ready for some scary statistics? Because I was a little taken aback when reading through this Salesforce research on the state of analytics. These statistics are not email specific, but they are still relevant to our industry because they illustrate the increasing importance of data, the continued growth in volume of data, and the challenges businesses face in analyzing all that data—now and in the future.
We know the importance of analytics…
According to the research, analyzing data is proven to make a significant difference in outcomes: high performing enterprises are 5.4x more likely than underperformers to use analytics tools to gain strategic insights from their data.
This awareness of the importance of analytics, if not the practice of, is widespread. Almost all of the respondents—nine out of 10—enterprise leaders think analytic capabilities are “very important” to their overall strategies and outcomes. And they only see the importance of analytics increasing in the short term: 65% of all the business leaders surveyed predict the importance of analytics will increase in the next two years.
And analytics are particularly important to marketers. According to the report, 54% of marketers say marketing analytics is absolutely critical or very important to creating a cohesive customer journey. If you’re a marketer, this number probably doesn’t surprise you. After all, how do you create compelling customer experiences without knowing details about those individual customers?
Marketers have the data to work with and will only have more. The question is, do they have the analytics? Notice that the statistic above does not say the data is absolutely critical but the analytics.
And the greater the amount of data available, the greater the need for the analytics. I probably don’t have to tell you that data sources will only increase. By 2020, it’s predicted the number of data sources analyzed by enterprises will jump 83%. That dramatic increase will demand analytics that deliver not only the insight needed, but do so in a way that can be done quickly and easily, with automated processes and results that can be understood at a glance. Otherwise, organizations will be forced to hire more staff to sift through and make sense of all that data or risk doing a poor job of staying on top of it.
Challenged by lack of automated analytics
Knowing you need a capability and actually having the capability are two different things, however. Marketers know they need the analytics, but they face some challenges with the current state of things. What are businesses challenged by when it comes to analytics? According to the Salesforce report, the difficulties include:
- Relying on manual processes to get all the data in one view (53%)
- Spending too much time updating spreadsheets (52%)—which is no doubt tied to having to use manual processes
- Finding that too much data is left unanalyzed (53%)—which is also probably tied to manual processes, in that organizations don’t have enough time or resources to do the deep dives into data that’s compiled manually
An automated email analytics tool can help
The right analytics tool is the answer to the deluge of data. Businesses, and in particular marketing teams, know the data they capture has priceless value. However, they might not know how to access or unleash that value because they can’t really see what’s happening—because they lack a tool that provides insight they can act upon.
Technology is evolving to fix that problem, however, as evidenced by eMVision, as an example. eMVision integrates Tableaux Software data visualization with Salesforce Marketing Cloud reporting to give marketers a visual analytics tool that’s automated, fast and easily understood. eMVision offers interactive dashboards and enables analysis in minutes instead of hours. It does away with the need to manually extract information using spreadsheets. It also offers integration with other systems such as ecommerce, web analytics, social media and more.
Comparing the capabilities of this email analytics tool with the Salesforce research, it’s obvious that eMVision is meeting very specific needs. According to the research, users want their analytics tools to offer:
- Speed of deployment (68%)
- Ease of use for business users (65%)
- Self-service and data discovery tools (61%)
If you’re considering seeking out a better email analytics solution to enable your team to save time spent on deciphering data—and dig deeper into it—keep this short list above in mind while looking for a solution.
The Salesforce statistics in the report aren’t email specific as I mentioned above, but they paint an accurate picture about data that applies as much to email marketing as anything else, if not more so. The data is there. It will only grow in volume. And marketers are already struggling to make sense of the data they already have, as they adapt workarounds involving manual processes and spreadsheets.
To have any value, data has to be analyzed and acted upon easily and in a timely manner. The time to find an analytics tool that will enable that automated process and deliver easily understood results is now, before data makes the 83% jump cited above.
The time for a powerful email analytics tool is today, not tomorrow.