Exploiting the power of data

Data can be a powerful asset, but are we exploiting that power effectively? What challenges do key players in the industry face with data and what can be done to fix this?

Our UK and Ireland CEO Mark Inskip recently hosted a panel session on stage at Kantar Talks with an esteemed panel of data and marketing experts from Twitter, Reach, Essence, Wavemaker and Kantar to try and answer some of these questions.

We have picked out some insightful quotes from the discussion, and you can watch the full video below.

How is data being leveraged and what is a key area for improvement?

“In marketing, we will never have enough data. A lot of the industry is geared up to collecting and connecting in a sort of obsessive manner and I think the truth around applying data to strategy is to shift the emphasis from data to thinking holistically around models. It’s a big change”

Simeon Duckworth, President Strategy and Analytics, Essence


“As a data scientist in Kantar, I think I’m spoilt for choices that we have in data, because it’s not just that we have this huge dataset and do something with it, we have census level data, big data and we also have data from a well-managed panel that is recruited to represent the market. We are leveraging the data we have very well. One dataset gives us the granularity, the accuracy, the volume across the country and we know that this is reliable. Another dataset gives us the demographic information, and it’s very detailed so we can make inferences about reach, about viewers and all the metrics that are important to us to deliver a reliable currency dataset to the market. There are always new data sources that are available, and we will always need to try new ways of making sense of the data.”

Sushmita Jain, Data Science Director, Media Division, Kantar


What is the missing piece? Is it the change to modelling that will unlock the power?

“One of the challenges is the sharing of data from a client perspective because we all want to see how successful campaigns are and what that does for ROI. I think when you talk about the final piece of the jigsaw I’m worried that as an industry, particularly advertising and marketing, we are so focused on finishing the 15,000 piece jigsaw that we neglect the 200 piece jigsaw and I think that one of the challenges we are seeing in marketing and advertising more generically is the fact that, as a result of data obsession, campaign effectiveness is declining.”

Andrew Tenzer, Director of Group Insight, Market Insights & Analytics, Reach


“I think it depends on what use. For the strategic area, for sure that’s what it is. If you look at what we commonly do in terms of how we evaluate strategies, it is what we have always done. We take granular data and create segments and that’s why we end up with things being stereotypes. All these behaviours come from an old way of thinking about data and how it can be applied. I do think that’s where models do become more important ways of thinking, rather than just thinking you can collect enough data to be able to target what you want to do, it means that what you measure and how you think of ROI is quite different if you are thinking less about the past and more about how you predict things in the future. People think data is gold, but it isn’t. We don’t collate and collect the right stuff. We don’t think in a mindset of how this can change future decisions. We are too obsessed with measuring the past.”

Simeon Duckworth, President Strategy and Analytics, Essence


“It’s hard to compare figures for things like reach if definitions are different, we need to have one definition for basic metrics like this which could then be compared and give us a holistic view of the market.”

Sushmita Jain, Data Science Director, Media Division, Kantar


“On the definition point, on the one hand, I agree but because there is so much innovation and formats in a sector, which is a good thing, whenever you set a definition it inevitably either becomes gameable or it polarises.”

David Fletcher, Chief Data Officer, Wavemaker


What would be your one wish that would have the biggest impact on moving the data agenda, and the use of it, forward?

“I think improving data literacy across the board. I think it’s a thing where data doesn’t sit in a silo as a specialism as research or insight and people need to be able to understand it and use it appropriately. It doesn’t mean you have to be able to do something really technical with it, but you need to be at least savvy with it, and that isn’t the case yet.”

Rob Sanders, Senior Research Analyst, Market Insights and Analytics, Twitter


"I think a reimagining of how we do the accountability piece. We do a lot of working very hard on the test versus control and frankly spend very little time thinking about the survey that we use.”

David Fletcher, Chief Data Officer, Wavemaker


“I would say single source aggregated data would be my wish. I have to pull it from different places so that would be my dream.”

Andrew Tenzer, Director of Group Insight, Market Insights & Analytics, Reach


Search article

Related pages

2 people on stage presenting
Building corporate reputation: 3 key learnings
Read more