It's time for marketers to get serious about data

By Jeff Alford, SAS Insights editor

By now, most organizations, large and small, know that they need to collect data from their customers. The question then becomes, if everyone is collecting data, where is the competitive advantage? The advantage is in how you choose, distil and manage the data and then how you use it. Think of it as data alchemy. And analytics can be your Philosopher’s Stone, the secret ingredient that turns hoarded data into marketing gold. Recently, the Winterberry Group produced a paper, Data as Competitive Advantage, in which it surveyed more than 100 executives in marketing-related roles.