Be proactive. Be a trailblazer with data.



For many industries, big data analytics have opened numerous doors for more employees to be groundbreaking and to challenge the corporate status quo.

Prior to big data technologies, risk taking behaviors were primarily reserved for provocative souls who stretched organizational boundaries to disrupt industries, such as airline revenue management.

There were winners and losers but many of these trailblazers are recognized today as industry revolutionaries leaving a path of change behind them. With big data analytics various personas can become their own industry trailblazer.

So what exactly does this mean? At the inaugural Broadcast IT Society meeting in NYC hosted by the Media and Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) major television broadcasting executives from the likes of NBCUniversal, CBS, Viacom, HBO, AMC Networks, Turner, A&E Networks, WNET, plus SAS’ own Dan Hawks, Principal Media Industry Consultant discused the changing role of IT in today’s digital broadcast world. The IT discussion encompassed digital/big data, cloud, consumer centric models, connectivity, wireless and more.

One media executive speaker shared that the "if you build it they will come" theme was a great movie idea but not practical in today's digital world. You can no longer work on that kind of a hunch. Big data trailblazers need to think about which data has value, which data will impact revenue, which data will positively grow the company, and which area to tackle first. And, it needs to be in line with corporate values and easy to use. Agile BI is all about putting analytics and insight in the hands of the masses. It is about integrating analytics in to all parts of your business processes where everyone can be a data explorer.

What is top of mind for broadcasters when it comes to big data? Digital supply chain, data management and monetizing data. They're also very interested in creating and managing smart content with industry standards. And audience measurement continues to be vital, but esepecially bringing in more data from the outside for those measurements, like digital data, cookie level data, campaign data and Nielsen respondent level data.

Based on their experiences with big data, what were the words of wisdom from speakers at the event?

First - don't think big. Start focused. Think about what problems are you trying to solve. And implement analytics to address these issues. Then, grow your big data analytics footprint.

Second - tell a story. Data visualization gives folks the ability to self-serve to see what's happening. But how you present the story is what matters.

Third - focus more on growing revenue and less on reducing costs. The way to grab attention with new initiatives is to focus on ones that will grow the top line - sales first, including analytics for pricing and customer data. The back office will be more reluctant to follow and will feel forced, especially if you tell them they have to cut their budget by 10 percent.

Fourth - answer questions in an actionable way. For example, when probing audience data, the programming folks who look at consumer viewing behavior want to shuffle the grid around and have impact on ratings. Provide actionable insights, and people will listen to you!

Are you feeling like an industry trailblazer?


About Author

Suzanne Clayton

Principal Product Marketing Manager

Since Suzanne’s start at SAS in 1997, she has been bringing emerging and innovative solutions to the Communications, Media, Entertainment, Travel and Hospitality industries. Currently, she is Principal Product Marketing Manager for Communications, Media and Entertainment, which includes all aspects of product marketing and is a very exciting role! Suzanne gets to work with global customers and team members on addressing critical business issues. Her marketing tasks include: building out new industry specific solutions, developing new positioning, and producing assets to support SAS' sales efforts. Plus, she works with leading analysts and partners to make sure SAS industry solutions are externally supported and validated. Suzanne’s achievements at SAS include bringing the SAS® Patron Value Optimization to the gaming, sports and hospitality industries. Additionally, she was a key driver in bringing to market SAS Revenue Management Price Optimization Analytics for companies seeking a revenue optimization solution that is different than the typical off the shelf systems. Prior to joining SAS, Suzanne held positions at DMB&B and JWT in New York City, both global marketing communications companies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Hofstra University. Suzanne lives in Cary NC. She is passionate about her family, her work and her travels, which include adventure travel.

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