Water, water everywhere / Nor any drop to drink.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
Thanks to the digital economy, we are surrounded by data. Every martech platform we use generates a vast amount of information, yet for most of us, we use only a small portion of that data for reports or visualization. If you don't believe us, take a look at your marketing automation database. Run a report that pulls all fields for all leads and honestly ask yourself when was the last time you used more than a fraction of it for anything besides setting up your next email campaign or program.
The interface we see when we use something like a marketing automation tool is important; it helps us to interact with the vast amount of data underlying everything we are able to do in the tool. After all, that's what automation was designed for – to fulfill the promise of digital marketing of being able to reach, nurture, and filter through many times (100x, 1,000x, 10,000x) more leads than we could ever have done previously or manually. But the interface also puts us at an artificial remove from the data, and as a consequence many marketers rely only on the out-of-box reporting and never delve deeper for insights that are unique to their businesses and are not things that can be found by every other company using the same tool and the same reports.
The quote above refers to a sailor who is surrounded by salt water and is unable to drink any of ...