Based on the Hadoop file system, the list of technologies within Lenovo's stack is considerable and stretches from a data integration platform layer, through to the LUCI cloud and internal platform. On top of this are a range of visualisation and predictive analytics tools including Tableau Software, IBM SPSS, SAS Enterprise Miner and Adobe Insight.
The businesses supported by Lenovo's big data stack include online customer behaviour, social media analytics, customer segmentation, profitability, campaign performance and marketing dashboards.
"We didn't get to have a big data technology platform at once; we went through a maturity curve at Lenovo," Braganza pointed out. "A lot of organisations start with Excel, and MS Access. Pre-2007, we were doing a lot of SQL... then in fiscal year 2012, we were on a no SQL database structure. At the beginning of this year, we launched our LUCI platform."
6. Data-driven marketing does work
Hard examples of how data is being used effectively by brands are still few and far between, largely because those who have worked out how to make data an asset don't want to give their competitive advantage away.
From what we could gather at several case study sessions, though, being able to process information and use it to modernise customer engagement does work.
As just one example, US-based beauty retailer, Ulta Beauty, shared how it is using data to fuel campaign management and drive stronger customer loyalty. Historically, the marketing team had to ask IT for information from 38 siloed customer databases across seven individual systems, making responsive marketing a challenge.
Unifying these databases and giving it a single view of loyalty program holders has helped to drive up EDM open rates, and increase sales per delivery by 141 per cent.
7. Data-driven marketing is transforming the role and responsibilities of the CMO
Adobe CMO, Ann Lewnes, pointed to the data-driven nature of marketing as the catalyst for the rise and transformation of the chief marketing officer.
"One of my favourite quotes from our CEO, Shantanu Narayen, is that he expects the CMO to soon have a better pulse on the business than the CFO because we're so immersed in the numbers," she commented.
For Audi of America general manager of digital technology and strategy, Jeff Titus, embracing agile ways of working and quicker product cycles are vital for a modern CMO. He also stressed data know-how as one of the most important tools in the marketer's arsenal today.
"Every marketer needs to understand that when you put something out there, you should have to measure it," he said. "That's not referring back to a chart, but in as real-time a way as possible. Get the team oriented to that, and look at outcomes, not just the journey and what might happen and don't try to segment down to the last level."