Brian Lin, Vice President of Product Management, Data & Partnerships at Viacom, discussed big data and data analytics, and the challenges and opportunities associated with them, during his presentation to Argyle’s CMO membership at the 2017 Leadership in Digital Marketing Forum in New York City on October 12. In his presentation, Lin explored how Viacom improved its data analysis efforts by eliminating data silos and fostering a culture of data sharing.
Today’s businesses can access massive amounts of consumer data, according to Lin. Yet few businesses have the ability to realize the full value of this information.
Recent studies indicate that many companies collect consumer data. However, few businesses know how to use data effectively or lack data analytics tools. Without the optimal data analysis strategies and technologies in place, companies may struggle to achieve their desired results.
Ultimately, how a business collects and analyze consumer data can have far-flung effects. If a company is capable of performing extensive data collection and analysis, it can increase the likelihood of generating actionable insights into its target audience. On the other hand, a business that struggles to retrieve and analyze consumer data is unlikely to discover innovative ways to foster long-lasting customer partnerships.
“Having the ability to tap right into your data is fundamental to running your business,” Lin said. “We didn’t have that capability before, and we do now.”
With the right big data and data analysis capabilities in place, a company can bolster its decision-making processes as well.
If marketers can leverage data analytics, they can understand why consumers may select one brand over another, how consumers feel about various products and services and much more. That way, marketers can use consumer data to make faster, more informed decisions than ever before, leading to sales growth and increased customer retention.
“Having the ability to tap right into your data is fundamental to running your business.”
Furthermore, data analytics can help marketers understand a complex global business landscape and empower marketers to launch campaigns to differentiate one business from another.
“Data is important in our decision-making,” Lin stated. “Data and analytics are key to addressing a more complex landscape.”
At Viacom, the company initially struggled to achieve its data analysis goals, Lin said.
Viacom was a globally recognized media company, but the business lacked effective data analysis technologies. Plus, Viacom faced data silos and redundancies that made it difficult for its employees to share consumer data with one another.
“Bringing a traditional media company into the 21st century was a difficult task,” Lin indicated. “There were silos of data, some of which were shared and some of which weren’t. And there was tons of [data] redundancy.”
To combat these problems, Viacom evaluated its data analysis goals and revamped its business strategy accordingly.
“Data and analytics are key to addressing a more complex landscape.”
For Viacom, it was important to deploy a data analysis platform that fostered data sharing. The platform needed to be simple to use and ensure employees – regardless of department – would share data with peers.
Viacom also required a data analysis platform that was accessible to employees on any device, at any time. With the agility to access consumer data on the go, employees could perform deep analysis and gain the consumer insights they need, precisely when they needed them.
“We started to look at our data analysis tendencies and define our requirements,” Lin stated. “We took our requirements and developed four principles to follow: flexible, multi-platform, efficient and accessible.”
After Viacom deployed its data analysis platform, the company noticed immediate changes in how its employees approached data sharing. No longer were employees keeping consumer data in silos; instead, employees used the platform to share data with one another. Moreover, the data analysis platform empowered employees with quick, easy access to consumer data, driving a cultural transformation in how these workers approached data analysis.
“We started to see a shift in how Viacom approached data and the culture around data,” Lin said. “We saw teams volunteer their data and want to put it into our platform.”
For businesses that want to maximize the value of data analysis, it is essential to provide employees with user-friendly and efficient tools. Companies that make it easy for workers to leverage data analytics can drive data sharing and collaboration, resulting in enhanced data analysis across their respective organizations.
Lastly, companies must understand that the data analysis tools that work well for one organization may not work well for another. To determine which tools to implement, businesses should consider their day-to-day goals and how they will use data analysis to help accomplish these aspirations. By doing so, businesses can establish assorted data analysis platform requirements and implement a platform that matches or exceeds their expectations.
Brian Lin is the vice president of product management at Viacom a home to world premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across TV, movies, online and mobile. He is responsible for the product strategy and direction of advertising products and data partnerships. During his time at Viacom he has led the implementation and deployment of DOMO across various teams such as data strategy and corporate research as well as been the product lead for the OpenAP platform that has been co-developed by Fox, Turner and Viacom. Brian has more than 9 years of experience leading product development teams in deploying platforms within the advertising and telecommunication industry.
Viacom’s leading brands include MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, BET, CENTRIC, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV Land, SPIKE, Tr3s, Paramount Channel and VIVA.