Data Analytics: Getting Past the Easy Part (the Technology)

| June 19, 2018

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Everyone is seeking the holy grail of data analytics and, now, its derivatives – artificial intelligence and machine learning. The tools and platforms to accomplish this are powerful, and more programs across the country are offering training in data science and analytics skills. So what’s the holdup? Essentially, organizations are getting in their own way. In a recent analysis, Niko Mohr and Holger Hürtgen, both with McKinsey, observe that “the technical part is always the easier one to solve.”


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Effective Ways to Prevent Data Breaches

Article | November 26, 2021

Data breach prevention is going to be the need of the hour as cybercrime continues to grow. Cybercrime is a growing threat to businesses of all sizes. Due to this unprecedented time many companies shifted to work-from-home model. Statics show data breaches are on a rise and can have devastating long-term financial set-back or reputational repercussions to your organization. As a result, businesses must ensure that their data is secure to avoid substantial loss or theft. As data breaches happens in different ways, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all remedy. Security needs a multifaceted approach to be effective. In this article we’ll find out different ways prevent data breaches. Impact of a data breach on businesses A data breach can destroy a business, especially for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB). Data is a valuable asset for any business especially, the data related to customers and payments. Cybercriminals find this data valuable. Lack of planning and security creates vulnerabilities for criminals to exploit. It is estimated that 60% of small and medium-sized enterprises will close within six months after the attack. Larger businesses or agencies, on the other hand, will survive. Nevertheless, they too will suffer the consequences. A data breach can impact businesses in the following ways; Financial Businesses must compensate for both immediate and hidden fines (fines, public relations, legal fees, and punitive regulatory measures) for a data breach. In addition, business needs to compensate customers, refund any stolen funds, and bear a share value loss. A smart organization will use this opportunity to develop data security and disaster recovery strategies, which entails financial investment. Fines and fees – The PCI Security Standards Council may impose fines or penalties for a data breach. Both regulatory organisations and card network brands will have different fines. Forensic investigations – Major consequences of a data breach include, the business that was attacked will be accountable to perform a forensic investigation to determine the causes of the data breach. These investigations are costly and often yield valuable evidence and insights to prevent future data breaches. Future security costs – Victims of a data breach may have to bear costs of credit monitoring for customers whose data was compromised. This may also include the costs of identity theft repair, card replacement, and additional compliance requirements from the PCI. Reputation Having a good reputation is the most prized asset for any organization. As a business, one must constantly put effort into building and maintaining brand integrity. A single compromising episode like a data breach can trash the best of reputations. According to a PwC report, 85% of customers won't shop at a business if they have concerns about their security policies. Customers value their privacy, and a data breach will be perceived as a lack of regard for their data and privacy. Furthermore, 46% of businesses reported that security breaches harmed their reputation and brand value. Intellectual Property The product blueprints, business strategies, and engineered solutions are some of your most valuable assets for any organization. Your trade secret gives you an added advantage over your competitors. Hence it needs to be protected as some may not hesitate to use breached intellectual property. Other significant consequences of a data breach include; A data breach can pit the CEO against the CISO Poisoned search results on your corporate brand Loss of sales after a data breach Unexpected expenses Less attractive to new employees, especially in tech positions Legal penalties after a data breach Understanding the aftermath of a data breach is an important step to safeguarding your business. The next step is to create an action plan is to protect what you've worked so hard on. How does a Data breach happen? Data breaches sometimes can be traced back to planned attacks. But, on the other hand, it can result from a simple oversight by individuals or flaws in the infrastructure. Accidental Insider For instance, an employee uses a co-worker's computer and reads files without proper approval or permission. However, the access is unintentional/accidental, and no personal information is revealed. The data was breached, however, because it was read by an unauthorised person. Malicious Insider This person deliberately accesses/shares data with the intent of causing harm to an individual or company. The malicious insider may have genuine authorization to use the data, but the intent is to use the info in nefarious ways. Lost or Stolen Devices Any laptop or external hard drive with important information on it that is not encrypted or unlocked goes missing. Malicious Outside Criminals These are hackers who attack several vectors to collect information from a network or an individual. Global cost of data breach According to the Ponemon Institute's Cost of a Data Breach Report, global data breaches cost $3.86 million on average in 2020. The amount in 2020 was somewhat lesser compared to 2019 when it hit $3.92M. The same report found that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 totaled $8.64M. Ways to prevent a data breach Conduct employee security awareness training Control access to data sensibly Update software regularly. Require secure passwords and authentication Simulate phishing attacks Evaluate accounts Limit access to your most valuable data. Review your user account lifecycle processes Insist on complex and unique passwords Protect against authentication bypass Store sensitive personal information securely and protect it during transmission Consider implementing a secure SSO solution Secure all endpoints Segment your network and monitor who's trying to get in and out Manage Vendors - Third-party vendors must comply. Conclusion Protecting against data breaches may appear to be a time-consuming procedure. You will be in a better position if you take an encrusted step to secure your data using various methods, policies, and procedures to ease security threats. FAQ’s How does a data breach impact an organization? Depending upon the company and data type, the consequences may include destruction or corruption of databases, leaking of confidential information, the theft of intellectual property, and regulatory requirements to inform and possibly compensate those affected. What is the most common data breach? Hacking attacks are the most common cause of a data breach. However, it is often a weak or lost password that is the vulnerability that the opportunist hacker is exploiting. { "@context": "", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How does a data breach impact an organization?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Depending upon the company & data type, the consequences may include destruction or corruption of databases, leaking of confidential info, the theft of intellectual property, and regulatory requirements to inform and possibly compensate those affected." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the most common data breach?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Hacking attacks are the most common cause of a data breach. However, it is often a weak or lost password that is the vulnerability that the opportunist hacker is exploiting." } }] }

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How is Data Analytics Used in Content Marketing?

Article | October 25, 2021

In the disruptive world of digital marketing, oftentimes marketers are faced with questions like What are the characteristics of your content strategy that is driving leads, likes, comment and shares? Is your content engaging the right set of audiences? Are you sure your existing piece of content will increase customer engagement? The answers to these questions will reveal the performance level of your content. The data thus revealed, helps you in planning your future strategies and get aid you in analysing the gap in your existing strategies. Lack of data insight is the biggest reason why your content strategy fails to engage the right set of audiences. Every successful piece of content starts with well-researched and widespread data. Data analytics has dramatically influenced the way the business functions restricting the marketing strategies and the way the daily activities are carried out; hence making data analytics an effective tool for companies to stay ahead of the competition in their respective industries. To make a focused content marketing strategy and to reach your target audience, you need data analytics to understand your target audience. Businesses adopt big data to analyze the quantity and quality of the target audience, distinguish their interest and preferences, and understand the type of content they admire or seek. One can draw such information through platforms like as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Quora, etc. Thus, a successful content marketing strategy is designed through a survey of targeted customers and valuable insights to remodel the business performance. According to a survey report, 73% of digital marketers use their website analytics to monitor their website content performance. Based on the data thus gathered they can understand the gaps in their content strategy which will help them in creating future strategies. Everything About Content Marketing Strategy Content Creation and Content marketing strategies enable the marketers to grow as a publisher by setting up audiences and drawing their attention. An expertly-crafted piece of content can address any business market leaders and develop a brand through acquaints and long-term customers. But for your content marketing effort to work you need a solid content marketing strategy in place. The first step in creating a content marketing strategy is content analytics. Content analytics is a widely accepted technique used to count qualitative information about your content. The technique saves a lot of time and effort by sorting data and comparing information about different content assets to summarize it into useful information. The range of content assets used varies from a simple word text, image post on social media, ebook, journals, article, infographic, to your website content. Here, the main objective of content analysis is to deliver qualitative content backed by valued data gathered through the analysis. Hence content analysis forms the first step in creating effective content marketing strategies. Content marketing strategy works as a blueprint to assemble audiences by publishing, sustaining, and expanding pursuant and informative content that informs, entertains, and inspires end-users. It helps in converting strangers into followers and followers into clienteles. Unlike the conventional mode of marketing, which is less productive than the data-backed content marketing strategy, they can anticipate and transform leads into potential customers. Challenges of Content Creation for Marketing Gone are the days when marketers invested only on creating quality content and marketing strategies. This is because, back then your audience had simple expectations. Hence coming up with marketing strategies was easy and simple. However in this tech-savy world your audience expect more than just quality content. They want brands to impress them with quality, relevancy, and a bit of other real-time factors. Hence to create strategies for modern-day customers you need the help of data analytics. “With data analytics identified as the number one tech initiative driving 2021 investments, CIOs are facing the challenge of unlocking data insights and incorporating AI/analytics working with a largely remote workforce and while still maintaining a human connection. In this environment, a few emerging product marketing trends can be identified to help stay ahead of the game, not just in 2021 but beyond” During an interview with Media7, Richard Stevenson, Chief Executive Officer at Red Box. Inability to produce high-quality content Failing to generate content consistently Prioritising expertly-crafted content to become thought leaders Difficulty in understanding different buyer personas Creating content in appropriate formats Measuring content reach and count Creating content to increase organic traffic, generate leads, and build trust Aligning your content marketing strategy with the buyer journey Building a content strategy that ensures one piece of content leads to the next Failing to promote the content on the right social media platform The Importance of Data in Content Marketing The value of data, in particular for digital content marketing, is truly immense. Data can help identify your target audience and the trending topics, channel-specific platforms of potential customers, and the influencers relevant to those groups. By implementing data analytics as part of your process you can meet two significant agendas: Provide insights to create informed content And to evaluate post-distribution performance with metrics. Speaking about data-backed content creation, Thomas Zawacki, Chief Digital Officer, Strategy & Innovation at Data Axle, explains, “Consider the four C’s of marketing strategy: customer, channel, creative, and conversion. Then, using data analysis and AI/ML predictive modeling, weigh each element differently depending on your KPIs. The ideal media mix for each company and each program is going to be different, so you need to be open to all of them and let data/intelligence lead.” Data-Driven Techniques to use in Content Marketing Strategy that can Boost Your Rank. There are many different techniques, and it is impossible to know what works and what doesn’t. Following are the top data-driven techniques to use in your content marketing strategy to boost your ranking. Set content goal – awareness, engagement, promotion, or conversion Post content more often, keep your audience engaged and updated. Try to interlink your content and build a connecting bridge for your next piece of content. Come up with attractive headlines, add your primary keyword to it for better readability. Supplement your content development with social media postings for better content reach. Repurpose your content in the form of videos, graphics, GIFs, infographics, posts, SlideShare, etc. Analyze and list down the topics that aren’t covered on your; this will help you with your next piece of content. Mention links to the sources and gives backlinks to increase on-page engagement. Make your content as informative as possible. Your content piece should come out as an article by a thought leader/influencer. Video content is one of the most trending forms of content creation recently. Use tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway to improve the content quality and ensure that the content is error-free. Create content with the brand, promote your brand voice, audience persona, and brand tone so that your reader understands and relates to your brand. How to Use Data Analytics to Create More Effective Content? Creating high quality content with metrics such as uniqueness, relevancy, and usefulness for readers, high-valued, visually appealing, and stats is essential in creating compelling content. We all understand the need to start using the data more smartly. However, it can be hard to know where to begin. Businesses need to update their content marketing strategies by collecting new data to retrain algorithms, keep pace with the changing requirements, expectations and anticipate customer behavior. According to The Global State of Enterprise Analytics report by BI company MicroStrategy, 56% of participants said data analytics help with “faster, more effective decision-making” at their companies. Other benefits of data analytics are: 64% said it improves efficiency and productivity 51% said its better for financial performance 46% said it helps in identifying and creating new product and service revenue 46% said it improves customer acquisition and retention 44% said it improves customer experiences 43% said it has a competitive advantage Hence you need to use analytics to, Formulate a hypothesis about your content performance Determine a question to support it Create a report to answer the question with report/data Take action based on your analysis Here’s an example of a content marketing strategy using data analytics; During an interview with Media7, Tara Ryan, Chief Marketing Officer at Incorta, explained how Data Analytics platform-Incorta, simplifies and processes data to provide meaningful information at speed to help marketers make informed decisions. “At the digital pace of business today, that can mean millions of dollars for business leaders in finance, supply chain or even marketing. Speed is a key differentiator for Incorta in that rarely has anyone been able to query billions of rows of data in seconds for a line of business owners. In the world of Big Data, AI, Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics, this is important. In other words, someone in charge of the supply chain for a major food brand can reduce millions in wasted orders if they understand in real-time what customers are ordering across the globe on any given day or hour. In times like and especially with Covid, the amount of data an organization can automate, organize, ingest and analyze against can mean millions in savings and efficiencies. The direct link between data, analytics and business impact is something I get excited about.” Final thoughts Data analytics has influenced the way the business functions. Its influence has limited the marketing strategies and spread how the daily activities of a business are led. This makes data analytics an effective tool for businesses to anticipate competition in the industries. Big data is a widely used strategy to apply content marketing by giving access to data that allows marketers to improve their content reach their target audience. Frequently asked questions How data analytics encourages content creation? Data analytics is a widely used strategy to create well-researched content by giving access to data that allows marketers to improve their content reach their target audience. How to practice data analytics? Data analytics can be practiced in the following way; Define your Objective. Understand Your Data Source. Prepare Your Data. Analyse Data. Report on Results. What are data analytics used for? Data analytics helps individuals and businesses to develop data-driven content. Data analysts analyse raw data for insights and trends. { "@context": "", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How data analytics encourages content creation?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Data analytics is a widely used strategy to create well-researched content by giving access to data that allows marketers to improve their content reach their target audience." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How to practice data analytics?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Data analytics can be practiced in the following way; Define your Objective. Understand Your Data Source. Prepare Your Data. Analyse Data. Report on Results." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are data analytics used for?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Data analytics helps individuals and businesses to develop data-driven content. Data analysts analyse raw data for insights and trends." } }] }

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Data-driven Content Marketing for 2022

Article | September 13, 2021

In this data-driven age, marketers have access to all the necessary information about their customers. There are different tools they can use to capture the exact data required for specific campaigns. We have come a long way from mass broadcasting campaigns. Growth in digital marketing has given rise to pinpointed targeting. The marketing industry is still accepting and learning data technology. However, there is more importance given to the content creation side of things when there should be a clear balance between data-driven efforts and content. It can be challenging to re-route pure content creator’s attention to data marketing, but it cannot be ignored for long. It is no longer enough to rely on gut instinct and ‘good content’. The rise in popularity in data-driven marketing has been lead by the revolution in big data. Big data has enabled massive amounts of data to be collected, analyzed, and organized, which helps in creating a personalized customer experience. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more people have started to spend time online. As a result, online user behavior has changed in just a matter of months rather than years. Data-driven marketing efforts can also help marketers to maximize their success as their results will now be data-backed with metrics that will change the way they conduct their business online. We have highlighted the steps you need for successful data-driven marketing. 5 Steps to Take for Successful Data-Driven Content Marketing Layout Objectives For any campaign to succeed, it is imperative to have a list of attainable objectives. You can set these objectives by studying historical data and know-how your marketing campaign will perform. For a successful content marketing strategy, make sure to concentrate on raising brand awareness, retaining current customers, and tracking sales. If you're not putting out relevant content in relevant places, you don't exist. Gary Vaynerchuk, -American entrepreneur, author, speaker, and Internet personality. Customize Campaigns for Target Audience Before you create any data-driven campaigns, know your customers well. Then, with the abundance of data at your fingertips, you can easily create personalized campaigns for them. Figure out and solve any problems they may be facing, if they need any solution, what they’re looking for and where. Creating user profiles will help you avoid targeting generalized strata rather than help you be more precise in your marketing efforts. Regular Content Optimization One of the best ways to ensure successful marketing results is through content optimization. Google algorithms are constantly changing. So what’s ranking on the first page today may not always rank the same next day. Set campaign-specific KPIs and work towards achieving those targets. Use different tools to track whether your campaign is working according to your goals or needs some serious upliftment. Keep running SEO audits on your pages regularly to keep your content in the best shape possible. Content Repurposing Repurposing content is the oldest trick in the book to gain a higher ROI on your existing content. For instance, if you have an article published on your company’s website, adapt that blog into an infographic and publish it on various social platforms. Content repurposing will help you boost your SEO, reach a broader and newer audience, help drive traffic to your website, and raise your brand’s awareness. Track Analytics Every platform has a different reach. Use your platforms according to the KPIs you have set for your business. For example, Twitter can help you raise your brand’s awareness, while LinkedIn will help you generate leads. Different platforms will have different metrics you will need to track. There are online tools available that help marketers track metrics. Each of these metrics will help you to achieve your marketing objectives. Final Thoughts In today’s competitive market, content marketing will have to be data-driven. The data-first approach will help you and your business in reaching the maximum number of people. In addition, a performance-oriented approach will ensure the success of your campaigns. Investing in high-quality marketing technologies will help you get balanced, data-driven, and goal-oriented results preparing you to become a content marketer ready to take on any challenges. Frequently Asked Questions What is the future of content marketing? Data-driven content marketing strategies can help marketers to maximize their success as their results will now be data-backed with metrics that will change the way they conduct their online business. What are the top content marketing trends for 2022? 1. Layout Objectives 2. Customize Campaigns for Target Audience 3. Regular Content Optimization 4. Content Repurposing 5. Track Analytics How is content-based marketing a proven strategy? Content-based marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract, engage, and retain target audience. This works by creating and sharing relevant content such as articles, podcasts, infographics, videos, and other content marketing materials. This approach lays down expertise, helps brand awareness. { "@context": "", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the future of content marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Data-driven content marketing strategies can help marketers to maximize their success as their results will now be data-backed with metrics that will change the way they conduct their online business." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the top content marketing trends for 2022?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": " A. 1. Layout Objectives 2. Customize Campaigns for Target Audience 3. Regular Content Optimization 4. Content Repurposing 5. Track Analytics" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How is content-based marketing a proven strategy?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Content-based marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract, engage, and retain target audience. This works by creating and sharing relevant content such as articles, podcasts, infographics, videos, and other content marketing materials. This approach lays down expertise, helps brand awareness." } }] }

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The Importance of Data Governance

Article | September 7, 2021

Data has settled into regular business practices. Executives in every industry are looking for ways to optimize processes through the implementation of data. Doing business without analytics is just shooting yourself in the foot. Yet, global business efforts to embrace data-transformation haven't had resounding success. There are many reasons for the challenging course, however, people and process management has been cited as the common thread. A combination of people touting data as the “new oil” and everyone scrambling to obtain business intelligence has led to information being considered an end in itself. While the idea of becoming a data-driven organization is extremely beneficial, the execution is often lacking. In some areas of business, action over strategy can bring tremendous results. However, in data governance such an approach often results in a hectic period of implementations, new processes, and uncoordinated decision-making. What I propose is to proceed with a good strategy and sound data governance principles in mind. Auditing data for quality Within a data governance framework, information turns into an asset. Proper data governance is essentially informational accounting. There are numerous rules, regulations, and guidelines to make governance ensure quality. While boiling down the process into one concept would be reductionist, by far the most important topic in all information management and governance is data quality. Data quality can be loosely defined as the degree to which data is accurate, complete, timely, consistent, adherent to rules and requirements, and relevant. Generally, knowledge workers (i.e. those who are heavily involved in data) have an intuitive grasp of when data quality is lacking. However, pinpointing the problem should be the goal. Only if the root cause, which is generally behavioral or process-based rather than technical, of the issue is discovered can the problem be resolved. Lack of consistent data quality assurance leads to the same result with varying degrees of terribleness - decision making based on inaccurate information. For example, mismanaging company inventory is most often due to lack of data quality. Absence of data governance is all cost and no benefit. In the coming years, the threat of a lack of quality assurance will only increase as more businesses try to take advantage of data of any kind. Luckily, data governance is becoming a more well-known phenomenon. According to a survey we conducted with Censuswide, nearly 50% of companies in the financial sector have put data quality assurement as part of their overall data strategy for the coming year. Data governance prerequisites Information management used to be thought of as an enterprise-level practice. While that still rings true in many cases today, overall data load within companies has significantly risen in the past few years. With the proliferation of data-as-a-service companies and overall improvement in information acquisition, medium-size enterprises can now derive beneficial results from implementing data governance if they are within a data-heavy field. However, data governance programs will differ according to several factors. Each of these will influence the complexity of the strategy: Business model - the type of organization, its hierarchy, industry, and daily activities. Content - the volume, type (e.g. internal and external data, general information, documents, etc.) and location of content being governed. Federation - the extent and intensity of governance. Smaller businesses will barely have to think about the business model as they will usually have only one. Multinational corporations, on other hand, might have several branches and arms of action, necessitating different data governance strategies for each. However, the hardest prerequisite for data governance is proving its efficacy beforehand. Since the process itself deals with abstract concepts (e.g. data as an asset, procedural efficiency), often only platitudes of “improved performance” and “reduced operating costs” will be available as arguments. Regardless of the distinct data governance strategy implemented, the effects become visible much later down the line. Even then, for people who have an aversion to data, the effects might be nearly invisible. Therefore, while improved business performance and efficiency is a direct result of proper data governance, making the case for implementing such a strategy is easiest through risk reduction. Proper management of data results in easier compliance with laws and regulations, reduced data breach risk, and better decision making due to more streamlined access to information. “Why even bother?” Data governance is difficult, messy, and, sometimes, brutal. After all, most bad data is created out of human behavior, not technical error. That means telling people they’re doing something wrong (through habit or semi-intentional action). Proving someone wrong, at times repeatedly, is bound to ruffle some feathers. Going to a social war for data might seem like overkill. However, proper data governance prevents numerous invisible costs and opens up avenues for growth. Without it, there’s an increased likelihood of: Costs associated with data. Lack of consistent quality control can lead to the derivation of unrealistic conclusions. Noticing these has costs as retracing steps and fixing the root cause takes a considerable amount of time. Not noticing these can cause invisible financial sinks. Costs associated with opportunity. All data can deliver insight. However, messy, inaccurate, or low-quality data has its potential significantly reduced. Some insights may simply be invisible if a business can’t keep up with quality. Conclusion As data governance is associated with an improvement in nearly all aspects of the organization, its importance cannot be overstated. However, getting everyone on board and keeping them there throughout the implementation will be painful. Delivering carefully crafted cost-benefit and risk analyses of such a project will be the initial step in nearly all cases. Luckily, an end goal to all data governance programs is to disappear. As long as the required practices and behaviors remain, data quality can be maintained. Eventually, no one will even notice they’re doing something they may have considered “out of the ordinary” previously.

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