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Start Small with Big Data to Drive Change

Thinking Out Cloud: Episode Five


We have the ability to gather a lot of data but how do we make it useful for our customers?

Start small and build from there.

David Norton, Chief Marketing Officer at GALE Partners, joins us to discuss the success he’s had in implementing this strategy. He says most companies are “mesmerized and paralyzed” by big data. “The ability to take insights and rapidly deliver more value to clients is hard. You have to ask yourself, ‘How do you look at the data to drive solutions to ultimately make companies better?’” David explains.

Step one: prioritize

Prioritization is critical. In many instances, there may be a hundred different data elements that a company wants, but they have to ask themselves if 70% of the value could be obtained with just 10. As David says, “Focus on that. You’re mining a mountain so it’s critical that you drill down to find those key insights about customers.”

The easiest way to accomplish this is to tackle the most accessible, low-hanging fruit. “Small test pilot projects are completely okay. Get that in place and then you can justify bigger things later on,” David explains.

Step two: work together

At GALE Partners there is a systematic and collaborative process. This allows them to talk with clients about all the data available to them, while giving David’s team a chance to learn more about their clients. “We then get back with the client to show them the first pass of insights we are getting from the data,” he says. The goal is to take those insights and come up with actionable items. Ultimately, his team uses the data as a guide in creating a roadmap for their customer projects.

Step three: get started

David has a couple key pieces of advice on how a company can start using data to drive transformational change. The first is to implement pilot programs and tests. By doing this, he says you can get quick wins with the executive team and pave the way for bigger projects.

The second is with a top-down, bottom-up strategy. A CEO that is supportive of the project is crucial, but just as important is having others in your organization feel like they are participating in the solution.

The data is out there for you to capture. How will you translate it into what is most important for your customers?

To learn more about using data to drive change, check out episode five of the Thinking Out Cloud podcast with David Norton.

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