Why companies are not harnessing the power of data

The IAB Singapore (IAB SG) has formed a Measurement & Standards (M&S) Committee roundtable to investigate why companies are not harnessing the power of data and remain stuck in traditional organizational structures. APAC’s top digital minds gathered together with over a dozen CEOs, VPs and HODs initiating a study and discussion on breaking down silos within the digital industry and unleashing the power of data in the region.

The committee specifically explored two domains – primary research and platform analytics. These have evolved immensely in recent years and unleashing them from their silos to inform business decisions is proving critical for success in today’s fast moving world. Many businesses fail to democratise their data or educate their teams outside of research and analytics domains on how to derive insight.

“Establishing this committee now means that companies such as Google, LinkedIn, comScore Inc, SapientNitro, Yahoo, Xaxis, Hewlett Packard and a host of other top digital companies can all contribute and teach the region how to be more successful when it comes to leveraging their data,” says Miranda Dimopoulos, CEO IAB Singapore.

5 main problems

Five main problems were identified within the industry and some key takeaways and recommendations were formed on how companies can be more successful when it comes to leveraging their data. These have all been published in a comprehensive whitepaper outlining problems and suggested solutions.  One major problem is that there is over-investment in technology and underinvestment in people. The challenge is breaking the hype around data while finding effective ways to train a workforce on how to use it.

“Overall, traditional organizational structures are preventing many businesses from getting the most out of their data,” says  Kerry Chapman Brown Vice President SEA, comScore Inc who is authoring a whitepaper on the discussion.

“Overcoming this will involve breaking out of comfort zones and rethinking the ways in which we collect, store, manage, share and communicate data across companies,” adds Stephen Tracy, Data and Insight Lead, SapientNitro, co-authoring the discussion.

Suzanne Claassen, APAC Agency Business Development, Google and Peter Hubert Head of Insights, LinkedIn have co-chaired the M&S roundtable. “The IAB M&S committee is continuing to explore, define and share best practices in the data-measurement realm. We’ll have additional insight and actions to share later this year,” says Claassen.

Suggested solutions to businesses include advising companies to not constrain their research and analytics teams to investigating data and churning out insight for other parts of the business to action on. Bring people of different business functions together, from IT, creative, brand planning, etc. so they have the opportunity to contribute and that they have a stake in the actions being taken. 

Another key takeaway, is to not allow traditional silos constrain the way you articulate and solve problems. In fact, go against the grain and find innovative ways to solve business problems through data.