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How Not To Get Bogged Down In Your Analytics

Gathering and making decisions based on data is the most reliable way to build consensus around lead generation, growth strategies and generally keeping competition at bay, a fact most financial services marketing and PR professionals have accepted.  

However, only a relatively small number of professionals have managed to find the time to analyse their data. Fewer still have been able to consistently cut through the clutter of data abundance and do so on a consistent basis. Most find themselves going through what data analysts have termed “analysis paralysis” - which is what happens when firms get bogged down in their own analytics. 

To avoid data-induced lethargy, there are a few things that companies can do to ensure that data is fuelling rather than overwhelming their operation.  

  1. Set clear goals by having a data plan 

It is easy to be seduced by the data-processing power of resources such as the almighty AI. However, companies that had been drowning in data have now found themselves lost in a sea of insights. Such firms are usually eager to collect enormous amounts of data in the hope that it might come in handy sometime – but they hardly ever put all that data to good use.  

So what should we do instead? 

Identifying the types of data needed in order to answer specific pain points of your c-suite is where we would suggest starting. Those are questions you are most familiar with, but will include “Is our content working?”, “Is our social media performing?” and “Are we mentioned enough in the right press?” 

Each question has a set of metrics that can answer it, whether it’s engagements across content, key messages or campaigns, effectively measuring public relations activities, user journey tracking or other online behaviour. The list is endless, but each marketing communications professional will have a good idea of what questions to start with and where to go from there. 

A well-crafted data plan enables financial marketers and communicators to make informed decisions, tailor their efforts to meet customer needs, measure the effectiveness of marketing initiatives and ultimately achieve a competitive advantage. 


2. Prioritise relevant data 

Leveraging dashboards effectively surfaces key metrics, avoiding the risk of overwhelming the c-suite with excessive detail—a common cause of disengagement.

Rather than spending precious hours collecting endless data points, dedicate some time to ensure that the collected data is accurate, relevant, and updated – and most importantly, aligned with the goals of your company. All the processing power in the world will not offset an erratic data strategy. Know where you want your company to go and focus on the type of data that will help it get there. 

3. Avoid complexity  

Many believe that complex models and advanced software are guaranteed to generate the best data insights. Oftentimes, however, advanced techniques of data analyses fail to deliver – they are often too complex to understand by anyone other than the person who set them up, and what if that individual leaves the team? A lot will have been invested in output that is no longer understood and was questionably useful to begin with. 

The underlying features of every decision should be its easy to follow logic and explainability – characteristics that can be easily lost under the complex layers of analytics tools.  

Making sense of data should bring clarity to business decisions, not leave you in the dark as to the reasoning behind it. The pinnacle of a data-driven strategy is its ability to resist the temptation of inscrutable insights and willingness to embrace simplicity. 

4. (Bonus) Outsource the most imaginative aspects of your data analytics 

Financial services marketing and public relations firms have quickly understood the importance of data analysis to keep their businesses afloat in the digital age – and most of them have spared no costs in the analytics branch of their operation.  

Firms that have not fully scaled yet, might have a harder time channelling resources to meet their need for data analytics. Limited time or skills are some of the obstacles faced by some of these firms in their quest for data literacy. A simple solution to this issue can be the outsourcing of their analytics functions to a third party that is best suited to take over the most straightforward business insights drawn from the company’s data, including the more technical and detailed aspects of making insights easy to explain and understand.  

This way, all firms can free up precious time by entrusting the analysis of their data to qualified data specialists, allowing them to act on the data insights rather than trying to make sense of them. 

Material Impact has helped companies in the finance sector to navigate the rapid changes of the digital world and keep up to date with the most recent developments in data analytics. Through a comprehensive set of services, Material Impact provides customised solutions to the most diverse business needs, enabling our clients to focus on transforming insights into actions. 


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