What are your priorities and goals for Vero?
I am working closely with the COO to build a team and my priority, for now, is to support and empower every team member so they can access data in the most efficient way and help strengthen their proposals when approaching clients.
The data team is still a work in progress so there is not much to share. Nonetheless, I have already set different goals for my team and myself, which must be aligned with the agency’s vision. I expect my team to be proactive in finding ways to better harness and understand robust data sets, which helps to inspire and empower both the internal team and clients with meaningful and actionable insights.
In recent years, more brands and PR agencies have been adopting a data-driven approach. What are the reasons for this?
There are two reasons behind this. The subjective reason is that now both brands and agencies are aware of how data enables them to deeply understand consumers and communicate the right message to the right audience. In tough competition, businesses cannot survive with only guessing or pure observation. They must dig deeper to get inside the data and statistics to reach their target audience. Objectively, it is the digital technology era that brands and consumers are living in. With the boom of social media and the concept of big data, brands can measure, track, and collect consumer data, enabling the process of crafting and delivering the message to their target audience.
What are the challenges and opportunities involved in data analytics and consumer insights?
The first challenge I can think of is the volume of data, it’s growing every second, which embeds in extra cost for data storage and processing. Data is also fragmented across multiple channels, platforms, and departments so it takes time and manual work to merge and consolidate all the data. Not to mention irrelevant data that we may come across that adds a burden to manual labor. Also, restrictions when it comes to data privacy. Social media channels are taking more precautions when it comes to user data privacy, for example, Instagram only allows insights within 30 days, which challenges the data analyst to obtain adequate results. And finally, there is a shortage of qualified analytic resources who can quickly catch up with the rapid evolution of new tools and innovative technology.
With that being said, there are opportunities underneath, like the abundance of data coming from social media, e-commerce platforms, and app downloads. The bigger the digital footprint, the closer data analysts can get to a diverse source of data where we can visualize and understand consumer behavior. Also, there is more technical support thanks to new technologies. These innovations provide data analytics with a key to solving problems and unlocking more opportunities to do things faster and better.
Delivering meaningful insights from data and converting that into action is easier said than done. How can you find that missing link between data and business values?
Most businesses want access to an immense pool of data, but I must say, having the most data never makes a business the winner. It is about the story brands can tell from raw data. The world is facing data overload, so the only way to align with the business model is to generate valuable data, which cannot be done from generating vast amounts. Brands must take time and effort to interpret data and collect data in real-time.
Brands should move forward and challenge the process behind decision-making with actionable insights that maximize data-driven success. The most significant value that data can add to a business is expectedly higher efficiencies in money and time, which gives rise to business development and better return on investment (ROI).
What was consumer perception and how has it evolved under the impact of COVID-19?
The pandemic has brought so many changes in both consumer expectations and brand experiences. In terms of volume, people spend more time online as they need to stay connected with family and friends, which drives more conversations across social media platforms. This results in a big digital footprint.
As people spend more time at home, consumer expectations are shifting to keep up with the latest trends globally. For example, I notice the “at-home” concept, like Home Café in Hospitality, Home Spa and Salon in Beauty, Home Gym in Fitness. It shows a variety of creative offerings innovative ideas, proving that indulgence is not necessarily associated with brick-and-mortar stores. There is room for virtual experiences to come in and change both brands and consumers’ perceptions. It is the future and something brands should pay attention to closely.
As a data analyst, what do you need to do to adapt to such a change?
There are three things.
- Observe – Data Analysts need to keep their eyes on market trends, monitor them and any shifting movements.
- Monitor – check all trends by taking advantage of modern technologies and tools, offering real-time tracking functions through keywords for example.
- Be responsive – as data analysts, our job is to bring data to the dashboard, visualize and populate the conversation, where consultants can produce the best response or action.
In your opinion, what is the future of big data, and what’s in it for businesses?
The future of big data continues shifting and evolving, volume is growing exponentially, and quality will also be improved. The trend will shift manual work towards AI and machine learning, also real-time streaming. The demand for a manual workforce remains high due to human capabilities of analyzing and improving decision-making.
Big data will continue to give rise to the data-driven decision-making process and empower the workforce by adding value to business. It can help forecast and check both business and the market, and find issues within business while unlocking data-driven marketing opportunities. By digging deeper into customer data, it unlocks innovation for business strategy, as much as new products and services, to meet the expectations of customers.