Data Managers Feel Overwhelmed by Abundance of Tools

Using too many data management systems is a daily challenge for 40% of IT decision-markers and data managers worldwide surveyed by Vanson Bourne and data protection firm Veritas. A similar number of respondents said that there are too many data sources to make sense of.

As marketing becomes more data-driven, marketers are drowning in information. More than half of digital marketers polled by location intelligence firm Digital Element and the Location Based Marketing Association in August 2018 said that they were concerned about data exhaust, which refers to the massive data trail that users accumulate when browsing the internet. Nearly one-fifth of respondents said that they throw away at least half of the data. More than a quarter of respondents didn't even know how much data they were collecting.

The lack of standard labels and terminology among different tech systems also adds difficulty for data managers. Another problem is that legacy systems can remain in place even after a company has adopted newer technologies, leading to workers managing multiple systems to complete a single task.

“Many companies make the mistake of implementing a separate database system for each department, application area or data type,” said Dietmar Rietsch, CEO of data management company Pimcore. “This not only causes discomfort for IT managers, but it also complicates things for the employees working with these disparate systems daily. Therefore, the CTO or CIO should push for a more comprehensive solution.”

Because navigating multiple dashboards is time-consuming, companies like software-maker Autodesk have aimed to pull more data through a single dashboard. About a third of marketers polled by Winterberry Group and IAB said that siloed organizational structures and poor data-sharing protocols could impede their ability to derive value from their data-driven initiatives this year.

Marketers also turn to reducing vendors to simplify their data-driven strategies.

In a spring 2018 poll by Sizmek, 28% of brand marketers said that it is a critical priority to reduce the number of vendors they work with. Another 36% of respondents labelled it a high priority.

When marketers decide to change vendors, they typically do so frequently. In a Walker Sands Communications 2018 survey, 48% of marketers said they adjust their marketing technology stacks at least twice per year. Only 25% of respondents said that they do so less than once a year.