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London, 4 July 2013 –

Marketers and web analysts are struggling to translate the hype of big data into something meaningful for their businesses, according to research published today by Econsultancy in association with Lynchpin.

According to a survey of nearly 900 businesses, only a minority of companies (49%) think that big data will help them to tie together disparate sources of information across their organisations.

Now in its sixth year, the Online Measurement and Strategy Report also found that 26% of companies have increased their technology budgets as a result of big data, compared to 41% who haven’t done so.

When asked if they thought big data would help them join up disparate data sources, 16% said ‘yes, definitely’ and a further 33% said ‘Yes, maybe’.

For the remainder, 10% thought big data would not help and a further 8% said ‘big data is a pointless marketing term’. Another third (33%) didn’t know if big data would help or not, indicating a lack of knowledge about what the term means.

In addition, qualitative responses to the question “What impact has ‘big data’ had on the role of web analysts within your organisation?” found that little if nothing had changed within the vast majority of companies, indicating that the hype surrounding the term is likely to be without merit.

According to the report, companies have appeared to be suffering from ‘strategic inertia’ in web analytics, and many areas of budget, tools and strategy remain unchanged since last year, with little or no progress being made.

Only a fifth of responding companies have a company-wide strategy tying their data collection and analysis to business objectives. This year, the proportion of respondents having such a strategy in place has decreased, from 22% to 20%.

Lynchpin Managing Director, Andrew Hood, said: “The survey findings suggest that progress in extracting real business value from data is stalling. An optimistic view of that might be that the pace of technical change and volume of data available is simply outpacing an underlying real growth in the valuable application of analysis.

“A less optimistic view would be that a lot of fundamentals around alignment of data and resources with organisational objectives are still absent. And, worse still, that the expansion and diversification of the analytics technology sector risks throwing petrol on the fire, a rather scary alternative interpretation of the ‘data is the new oil’ cliché.”

The research also covers trends in the use of business performance tools, company strategy for measurement, attribution modelling, and the barriers to success in developing an effective online measurement strategy.

Econsultancy Senior Research Analyst, Andrew Warren-Payne, said: “With many companies still having a long way to go in using their current analytics tools to their fullest potential, the prospect of investing significant sums in further analytical technology (particularly those that process unstructured data of a variety of types and forms) is likely to be some time off.

“Many marketers have no idea why big data may be relevant to their organisation, or even whether it is a useful term.”

Other findings from the report include:

-) The majority of companies (56%) now use Google Analytics exclusively as their web analytics tool, up from just 21% in 2008. Meanwhile, the proportion of companies who use Google Analytics paying to use the premium version has more than doubled since last year, from 5% to 11%.

-) Both companies and agencies see the benefit in tag management solutions, with 78% of companies and 68% of agencies stating that they help to improve data quality.

-) Only 49% of companies’ web analytics expenditure is spent on internal staff, which is a slight decrease on last year. 44% of companies surveyed spend less than £5,000 per year on web analytics.

-) The proportion of companies having no dedicated employees has decreased from 30% to 36%, and the proportion of those dedicating four or more employees to data analysis has increased by 17% to 20%.

Report URL:



Journalists and bloggers can email Linus Gregoriadis for a complimentary copy of the report and / or further information.

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director, Econsultancy
(e: linus AT econsultancy.com)

About Econsultancy:

Econsultancy is a global independent community-based publisher, focused on best practice digital marketing and e-commerce, and used by over 400,000 internet professionals every month.

Our hub has 200,000+ members worldwide from clients, agencies and suppliers alike with over 90% member retention rate. We help our members build their internal capabilities via a combination of research reports and how-to guides, training and development, consultancy, face-to-face conferences, forums and professional networking.

Econsultancy has offices in London, New York, and Singapore and are a leading provider of digital marketing training and consultancy. We are providing consultancy and custom training in the Middle East, and extensively across Europe and Asia. We trained more than 5,000 marketers and ran over 200 public training courses in 2012.

Call us to find out more on +44 (0)20 7269 1450 (London) or +1 212 699 3626 (New York). You can also contact us online at http://econsultancy.com/contact

About Lynchpin:

Lynchpin is an independent analytics consultancy, founded in 2005. We are firmly a data business: our focus is on helping our clients to measure the right things, get relevant and accurate data in the right place, and turn that into insight that will increase their performance.

We are vendor and technology neutral and support clients using technologies from the free (Google Analytics) to the expensive (full Adobe Suite) through to the archaic (integrating clunky databases from the 1980s).

Lynchpin matches commercial experience with technical expertise at every stage of the analytics journey. We're equally at home providing a complete outsourced analytics function as supporting experienced in-house analyst teams.

Our retained clients include Experian CreditExpert, HSBC Expat, Lloyds Commercial, Canon, Reed Business Information, Turner Broadcasting, Hitachi Capital and LexisNexis.
Please visit our website www.lynchpin.com to find out more, or contact us on 0845 838 1136.

Published on: 10:00AM on 4th July 2013