I know we link to Avinash Kaushik pretty much every time he writes anything, but this summary on building a data driven culture is too good to ignore.

After a moment of discomfort while we recognize and acknowledge the squirrel in all of us (let's be honest, nobody is 100% ninja), you can move on to a wholehearted appreciation of the good stuff.

Conveniently the killer conclusion is right there at the top of the piece:

First, it is important to realize that big data's big imperative is driving big action. Second, well there is no second, it is all about the big action and getting a big impact on your bottom-line from your big investment in analytics processes, consulting, people and tools.

The truth is that a lot of what we think of when we think 'analytics' is dead. Huge amounts of data are produced every day and the challenge isn't collecting it, it is closing the loop between that data and the actions we can (and should) be taking on the back of it. Analytics on it's own is worthless - something that makes sense to anyone who reflects on how a typical business operates for a moment. Nobody ever told me to “go and do some analytics” if we needed to make a number at the end of the quarter.

Of course analytics matters, but it does so in the context of the marketing challenge. The campaigns you build that are intended to change behavior. Analytics can both help identify where they take place (and who they target), and what results those campaigns delivered. Thus the comment:

Analysis Ninjas spend 75% or more of their time in analysis that delivers actionable insights. The primary manifestation of this is expressed in English (or native country language). An example is: “We should add these 80 keywords to our PPC portfolio with a max bid of $14.”

Of course that refers to the online world, but exactly the same is true in mobile. In fact the challenge is greater. We're transitioning from the land-grab mentality to the realization that what we do with our installed base is going to have a major impact on the success of our business. With that in mind, it's imperative that the usage data we collect relating to mobile apps is tightly integrated to the actions we intend to take to drive retention, conversion, revenue - and all those other awesome KPIs we care about…