2 Reasons Why CMOs Can’t Rely Solely on BI Tools

Written by: Patrick Kilgore on 12/31/15 10:05 AM


CMOs often invest in or depend on existing Business Intelligence (BI) tools, in the hopes they can gain new insights to improve decision making. There are mountains of data locked away in silos and business systems, and BI tools give users hope of finding it. So why do so many BI tools fail to deliver?

What CMOs and other business leaders are really looking for are dashboards that present the data cleaned, analyzed and ready for consumption. Dashboards give users quick, actionable insight into the health of an organization, departments, programs and campaigns because they contain the valuable kernels of information from all related business systems.

There are two primary reasons why CMOs can’t, and shouldn’t, rely on BI tools to provide the necessary information they need to make sound business decisions:

Reason #1: BI tools aren’t good for marketing dashboards because marketing dashboards are inherently different.

BI tools may be ideal for retrieving and visualizing data, but they are not well-suited for marketing dashboards. Data that is being transferred from one area to another isn’t ready for consumption. It still needs to be cleaned, validated and reoriented for marketing. BI tools often fail in this task.

Marketing dashboards present clean data based on fact and not error. They are easily filterable by the components of your marketing plan and map, specifically, to the goals therein.

Reason #2: Most BI tools only provide data visualization, not the advanced correlation analytics marketers need today.

Today’s complex marketing environment means basic BI tools aren’t sufficient to connect the dots for an actionable picture. Advanced analytics should measure the impact of all touchpoints so marketers can see performance and trends, justify spend and prove ROI. This demands a more comprehensive approach, leveraging each input and tactic within a historical context.

One of the other issues with BI tools is the dashboards they offer can take months to build. This  ties up human resources in the form of your data scientist, business analyst, technology specialist and UI designer. Most organizations don’t have these resources readily available and anything that takes that long to develop will inevitably be out of date by launch.

Making Data Work for You

It’s important for CMOs to empower their teams with accurate, actionable data they can use to execute strategy and make business decisions with confidence. This will require organizations to change their mindset about data and collaboration. Data can no longer sit in silos, only to be reached by a few people. Instead, the data must be aggregated—combining the business systems that house the data, like CRMs, marketing automation tools, social media, etc., into a centralized location. In doing so, the united data is presented as the single source of truth.

Dashboards should also be customizable to display the reports and KPIs that matter most to the user, regardless of where they sit in the corporate hierarchy. Critical data may vary by user, but also by role, project or timeframe. The point is, the right marketing dashboard is meant to make things simpler, not more complicated.

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Topics: Marketing Analytics, Hive9