Marketers are increasingly driven by data. But as I parodied a couple weeks ago, we have to be careful with what data we choose to listen to.
Data is malleable. We can cherry pick data to support just about any argument we care to make. That’s one of the skills we learn in business school.
But as Kraft’s Julie Fleischer said last month at the Ad Age Data Conference, “90% of data is crap” and “they don’t teach data literacy in business school.”
Big data doesn’t inherently lead to greater insight. Marketers have greater access to data than ever before. But finding the signal in all of that noise is the hard part.
Confirmation bias — the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms pre-existing beliefs — is one of the many pitfalls for marketers learning to work work with data.
Data doesn’t have biases. It’s people who collect and select the data who bring bias to it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on some of the pitfalls of working with data as marketers.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed cartoon print. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)