1. Strategic Alignment—First You Need to Agree On What to Ask

Any number of articles and books about “data science” (side note: the term’s a bit oxymoronic, I think) emphasize the importance of asking the right question. “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions,” said Albert Einstein famously.1 Personally, while I’d want to get a peek at the data I had to work with a little before the 55th minute of the hour to see how close it might get me to answering the questions I’d really like to pursue, his point is well-taken. In the context of marketing and sales analytics, as elsewhere, the ultimate questions are where to shift scarce resources like dollars and people. ...

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