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DMA/IAB Data-Centric Organization

NEW RESEARCH! The Data-Centric Organization 2018

In 2016, Winterberry Group — in partnership with DMA and IAB’s Data Center of Excellence — published an inaugural research report on “data‐centric” organizations, exploring the ways U.S. companies are evolving their business processes and organizational structures to better leverage data across their advertising, marketing and other audience engagement efforts.

The Data-Centric Organization 2018 report refreshes that research in order to:

  • Enhance understanding of how data and data‐driven solutions are transforming the way advertising and marketing is practiced
  • Update our perspective on the roles that people, technology platforms, supply chain partners and organizational processes play in supporting “data‐centric” business transformation; and
  • Provide industry intelligence so that business leaders may build and/or enhance their own frameworks to better utilize their audience data assets in support of their marketing, advertising and/or media sales efforts

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Key Takeaways

What is Data Centricity?
For the purposes of this report, “data centricity” will reflect the extent to which an organization is culturally and operational oriented to apply audience data as a source of actionable insight in support of advertising, marketing and audience engagement—and broader enterprise purposes.

The Data-Centric Organization research is aimed at showing how those organizations are applying those investments to capitalize on the value inherent in data as a potential driver of decisioning, messaging and superior customer experiences across all advertising and marketing functions. Among other conclusions, it will show:

  • Marketers and publishers remain intensely focused on achieving “data centricity” across their organizations, with 90.1% of survey respondents saying they either have or are planning to develop an enterprise strategy to support the use of audience data.
  • The same respondents said they expect those strategies will drive significant near‐term advances in how their organizations engage with data as an input to their advertising and marketing efforts. While only 9.8% of respondents described their organizations as “extremely” data‐driven today, more than 44% said they expect to achieve that level of sophistication by 2019.
  • Amidst that optimism, though, the same data users appear to be growing less confident that their efforts to date constitute real maturity given the growing complexity associated with deploying data across all addressable advertising and marketing efforts. Fewer survey respondents described their organizations as at least “fairly data‐centric” in 2017 (40.3%) than did the previous year (54.3%).
  • The most significant obstacle associated with achieving data centricity appears to be an industry‐wide talent gap, particularly with respect to the analytics skills associated with data modeling, segmentation and attribution. Just 1.3% of panelists said they were “extremely confident” their organizations have the right expertise, skills and experience needed to derive value from data (down from 5.2% in 2016)—and more than 87% of panelists said that data analytics is the competency their organization needs most to advance their use of data.

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