Over the last decade virtually all industries have been impacted by the data and analytics boom.  Communications is certainly no exception.  Areas of data and analytics, such as market research and measurement are not new to the communications world.  Though, with data becoming mainstream, their relative importance and the need to develop them has become undeniable.  Clients expect data-driven insights and strategies – gone are the days of getting by with only anecdotal assumptions.

All the hype around data and analytics is often overwhelming and misleading.  However, building out a solid data and analytics team doesn’t have to start with some of the more complex areas of the field, like AI.  Data and analytics can be successfully incorporated by starting with a solid foundation in traditional communications research techniques, like surveys and media measurement tools.  From there, more innovative data and analytics techniques and tools can be layered on, whether it’s improved data management, modeling for deeper insights, or packaging a methodology as a new service.  Another essential piece, which has been aided greatly by the data and analytics hype, is having a company culture that values and encourages data and analytics in their work.  Successful incorporation of data and analytics very much depends on everyone playing their part – break down those silos!

The development of data and analytics in communications ultimately leads to better service, through more informed decision making, more meaningful insights, and increased efficiency of our work.  Data and analytics will continue to make its mark in the communications work.