top of page

The Great Data Shake-Up – What’s happening, and why it’s crucial for companies

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

The terrain of data collection and analysis is one that all forward-thinking companies have already started to navigate. But in a landscape that’s quickly evolving, those same companies need to act fast, and act smart, to maintain a decent footing.

Mark Bush, Director of Firebird, and expert analyst for the Foundations for Growth review programme, introduces the subject for business leaders.

“Now is a crucial time for stepping ahead”

It’s been often said, and widely shared, that data is the new oil. I’m not entirely sure about that – for one thing, data is reusable – but what I can say for certain is that data is an enormously valuable resource, and one that many businesses need to take stock of with a clear view to the future. With major global changes primed to shake up the way we approach and understand customers, and big changes kicking off in summer 2023, now is a crucial time for stepping ahead.

In today’s world, data is everywhere, available from an increasing number of sources, yet few companies who come to Firebird are using this optimally – especially those of a small and medium size.

These companies may have Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology up and running, through Salesforce or another system like it. Their web analytics (usually Google Analytics, also known as GA), and their social data accounts (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, etc), are no doubt in place. They are also likely to use an email platform which provides them with figures on open and click rates.

Yet the reports their analysts make from these are most often just snapshots, moments in time, produced via Excel Spreadsheets in siloed, laboured ways. Each of these number-crunched reports can create a version of the truth that is varied, inconsistently formatted, and potentially misleading.

The ideal we set out to achieve with our Foundations for Growth clients is the creation of a 360° customer view. Broadly speaking, this involves taking data from every different source available, combining these in an intelligent database, and employing functions that allow reports to be autogenerated in highly specialised and accurate ways. The result? A wholly customer-centric approach to decision-making, which, to put it simply, gives consumers a better experience of the brand – whether offline, digitally, or in the metaverse.

“The value of data-driven customer-centricity is extensive. It is also affordable”

This critical step, when implemented using the latest knowledge and expertise, allows companies to evaluate frequency, recency and monetary value at both individual and customer-segment levels. Through this they can keep a real-time handle on metrics including annual customer value, cost of acquisition, churn rate, causes of churn, and how online engagement is (or, indeed, isn’t) affecting buying patterns.

In turn, we can use these findings to prioritise activity, perhaps taking steps to win back high-value customers; adjusting marketing strategies; gauging which leads are converting, and so on.

To my mind, developing a 360° customer view is the primary phase in establishing the three pillars of business analytics. When this is coupled with the second pillar – i.e. correctly embedding the tools of digital analytics – we can then go on to the third pillar: applying data science to form smart prediction models, and precisely determine causality.

The value of data-driven customer-centricity, if correctly applied, is extensive. It is also affordable, with powerful and evolving programmes presently available for around £10 per person, per month; or considerably less for businesses working in education.

“Adaptations are required now to stay ahead of the curve, preserve your data assets, and retain a competitive edge”

On the subject of evolving resources, any 2022 article on data would be lacking if it failed to mention what’s currently on the horizon: a global shake-up of digital marketing, with Google to block the use of third-party cookies which track site visitors, and the former incarnation of GA – which most companies are now adept at using – being stepped down on 1 July 2023 to make way for its successor.

A cookie-less future means than a huge number of website visitors – and, consequently, their online buying behaviour – will be invisible and inaccessible to companies. Any business which does not act fast to address these changes will soon find they’re going backwards, unable to capture the data that once was there. Similarly, those who do not take appropriate steps in time for next year’s switch to GA4 will lose significant ground.

Adaptations are required now to stay ahead of the curve, preserve your data assets, and retain a competitive edge. The good news is these can already be implemented with the right preparation and skillset; one of the principal steps in the Foundations programme.

The cookie-less future is coming. Are you ready?


Mark Bush is a Firebird Director specialising in strategy and analytics, with over two decades of experience in the travel and leisure sector, in senior IT, MD and CEO positions. After many years working with data, he obtained an MSc in Business Analytics at the NYU Stern School of Business. Mark is the expert for the Data Diagnostic and eCommerce modules of Firebird’s Foundations for Growth programme.

Learn more about the programme, and get in touch with Firebird, at

224 views0 comments


Les commentaires ont été désactivés.
bottom of page