When Adam Barty started out in the world of digital marketing in 2000 Google Analytics didn’t even exist. In the 12 years since, it’s safe to say that things have changed more than a little.
Today’s world is now dominated by data. It is everywhere. Email data, advertising data, website data and more. And when it comes to digital marketing, businesses now enjoy an unparalleled level of access to metrics that simply wasn’t possible in the past.
But the real value isn’t in the data itself, rather what you do with it.
As Digital Marketing Lead and Partner at Revium (offices below), a Melbourne based digital transformation agency, Adam Barty and his team help businesses transform data into meaningful results.
We caught up with Adam to talk data integration, how small things can make a big difference and how
you can get a leg up in your own data based career.
THE DATA OVERLOAD: PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER
“The hardest thing is that there is so much data now.”
The staggering amount of data available creates opportunities, but how do you take such a large volume of data from multiple sources and turn it into something useful? According to Barty, that integration of data is one of the biggest challenges of the industry.
Mid to large sized businesses are still relying on fragmented data. They have email data, PPC data, website data, but too often these are viewed in isolation. This often leads to
“making decisions specific to that channel, rather than the bigger picture”.
And therein lies the problem. The customer journey itself is a unified whole. It is part of an all encompassing experience across multiple devices and channels. The more effectively the data reporting reflects that, the easier it is for businesses to make smarter decisions.
And that’s precisely why Barty is at Revium – to help businesses turn data into meaningful results. And in his experience, sometimes small changes can have a big impact.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
Alongside integration of data sources, is the deep dive into the details. An area which Barty, a self professed “massive nerd” has a soft spot for. Within those mountains of data are often details which may seem minor, but can have a massive impact on the success of a campaign.
In one such example, a campaign was being measured by number of signups. This was being measured by hits to the confirmation page, but when they noticed the form submissions didn’t match the hits, they looked deeper.
It turned out that slow load times (due to external validation) after form submission were causing people to bounce before ever hitting the confirmation page, thus creating a false picture of signups.
Such a detail may seem insignificant at first, but when you consider that these metrics are used to measure the success of an entire campaign, it becomes clear how minor details can make a big difference. This is precisely why Barty stresses the importance of digital performance management.
“If the clients aren’t setup to measure and they’re not looking at this sort of information, these sorts of things can and will happen”
Accurate digital performance management is a growth area for businesses looking to refine their digital marketing. As such, the demand for switched on data scientists will grow too. So what should you do to put yourself in the best position to take advantage?
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STAY AHEAD
The digital space moves rapidly. So fast that it’s hard for formal education institutions to keep up. By the time a curriculum is created, approved and put in place, parts of it can already be redundant.Though a university degree may teach you fundamental principles, the speed of change makes it a hard place to acquire the practical knowledge necessary to work in the space.
So what should one do? Barty recommends on the job learning and self development.
1) Read Case Studies
According to Barty, these are the best type of learning you can do because they deal in real world practical applications, with real businesses and real results. Much can be learned from them.
2) Get Certified
3) Follow experts on Twitter
Twitter can be a great tool to use as a news feed to keep up to date with great articles and insights from industry leaders.
4) Read blogs
Blogs can be a great source of knowledge. If you are starting out, avoid getting to caught up in the technical and focus on the core concepts and theories.
5) Attend webinars
They are another great way to get top advice from industry experts and give you the opportunity to get involved and ask questions. They are usually recorded as well so you can watch them later if you missed something.
We live in an age where self education is easier than ever and the resources are right at your fingertips. Anyone looking to pursue a path in the world of data need only start learning and take that first step.