Thank-you to Steffen Hedebrandt, Head of Marketing over at Airtame, for writing this article.
On August 16th of 1896, local miners discovered gold in the remote city of Klondike, in Yukon, Canada.
As the rumour spread and eventually reached San Francisco and Los Angeles, it launched what was later to be known as the Klondike Gold Rush. Between 1896 and 1899 more than 100,000 people made the long and presumably uncomfortable journey to Klondike.
Some got rich. Some got a bit lucky. Some died in dire pain, due to rough climate. Winter did indeed come. Most had to just travel back the long road from which they had come again, in vain.
There aren’t necessarily the same dangers with data. However, I do see similarities.
Data-driven decision making has become the jitterbug of marketing today. With good reason, one might add. But just as the gold rush of Klondike, not everything that is buzz-worthy is gold.
Panning for data
Luckily, digging out, dissecting, and using data is not as hard as drilling and finding gold in the permafrost of Klondike.
We live in a world of abundant data. Everything which is done digitally creates bits and pieces of data. A lot of it is useless for most people, really. In fact, if data was gold, nobody would bother making the journey to Klondike.
In this market of abundance, it’s not a matter of whether the data is available.
It’s a matter of understanding the data, knowing your business strategy, and almost alchemically creating value out of it.
It’s not easy. It takes trial, error, and experience. It takes testing what pan, hammer, or other tool you need to use to make the muddy data materialize into something you can sink a tooth into. Eventually though, you should get the hang of it.
But enough with the storytelling. Let’s do an exponential jump 120 years forward to today, 2016.