Over the last 10 years as marketing organizations have started to adopt digital, the role of IT has changed significantly. Costs for SAAS platforms made it possible for marketing to provide for their own needs largely without the assistance of most IT teams. If you search on Google for CMO v. CTO you get a sample of a large amount of discussion on the changing role of IT and marketing in the enterprise today.
Today, however, the narrative is changing. IT once again has a strong purpose in with marketing automation, content management systems and especially “Big Data.” Unfortunately very few people really understand Big Data. The term is tossed around so much it’s almost becoming industry jargon used to explain any mystical data set found in the cloud. To your IT department, Big Data is your data warehouse. It’s just a large volume of data and the technologies used to move it, analyze it and pipe information around the enterprise. To marketing, it’s the future of understanding the customer, becoming an agile organization, reducing time to market and offering insights about our world – in almost real-time.
Augmented intelligence is where the value proposition lies for Big Data. The value is not the structure, the data streams, the APIs, the data warehouse or the algorithms developed to synthesize the data. The partnership of human intuition from experts and the data systems is where the future of business intelligence will find value and why many companies are struggling today to connect the two worlds. Sean Gourley offered a fantastic presentation at TEDx regarding the rise of augmented intelligence and explains how the partnership of the human brain with machines is far more powerful than just the machines alone.
The one missing piece from Sean’s presentation, however, was the “Now What.” The Now What is the moment immediately following a presentation, report or dashboard review of data. Technology can provide unlimited opportunities for data, but is it actionable? Now What? Often when I have met with traditional marketers around digital listening or social data, the most common reaction when asked what they would like to understand is, “What can we learn?” Similarly, the Dell Command Center was great to drive energy and excitement around digital – but is it relevant to every single employee? Do those 6 screen help me in my role, today? Most likely not.
Digital marketing is still in the early days for many companies and it’s difficult for traditional marketers to know what they don’t know or understand where the opportunities for data acquisition exist. The vacuum between IT and marketing will not be solved by either party, but by a handful of individuals that understand both worlds in order to bring them together. These data-hungry, analytic-driven individuals must be able to speak fluent marketing, legal and geek. By bringing the worlds together, digital intelligence teams will be able to simultaneously ensure data systems are delivering what the enterprise needs and marketers have the education and knowledge required to understand the Now What. The reunion of these two central enterprise organizations will give birth to the new age of augmented intelligence that will surpass anything Big Data could achieve on it’s own.