More Sources, More Problems: How Modern BI Solves the Integrated Marketing Analytics Conundrum

Daniel Codella

Data Evangelist, Sigma

With the board meeting only days away, your CEO comes to you with what appears to be a simple request: “Can you identify and report on our highest value marketing channel?”

And then the panic sets in. Determining which of your 17 channels it could be is much more difficult than it seems.

Welcome to the modern marketing paradox. Despite having more data at our fingertips than ever before, it’s actually getting increasingly difficult to get a holistic view of campaign performance and ROI.

Getting a 360 view into marketing performance is a threefold problem:

The data itself is unwieldy

Tools like Marketo, Hubspot, Google Analytics, Salesforce and others can’t give you an end-to-end view of the funnel. Additionally, the customer journey has exploded into a labyrinth of up to 62 touch points across dozens of channels. Data collected from different sources is difficult to normalize, integrate, analyze, and can even be conflicting.

According to a recent study, only 26% of marketers believe that their marketing analytics tools are well-integrated and work seamlessly together. The result is marketers having to manually export data from these platforms into a spreadsheet or even just eyeball between each tool’s pre-built dashboards to make sense of what’s happening across their campaigns.


of marketers believe that their marketing analytics tools are well-integrated

Your analysts are spread thin and lack the domain knowledge to help you

According to our survey “The Data Language Barrier: Bridging the Gap Between Data and Business Teams,” more than half of data experts admit the average turnaround time for a data request can be as long as 4 weeks. Data has an expiration date, and a growing backlog of ad-hoc requests chips away at your ability to make use of the data at your disposal.

The CGOC estimates that 60% of data collected today has lost some—or even all— its business, legal or regulatory value. According to our survey, 25% of domain experts give up on getting the answers they need because the data analysis takes too long. Even when an analysis can be done quickly, there’s no guarantee that it will provide the answers you’re looking for.

With a limited understanding of the nuances of marketing, many data analysts are providing educated guesses that may or may not hit the mark. Nearly half of data experts admit they struggle to interpret domain experts’ data questions or needs. In short, by the time analysis can be done, chances are that it won’t yield the impact you’re looking for.


of data collected today has lost some—or even all— its business, legal or regulatory value

You don’t have the access or know-how to use their BI solutions on your own

Circumventing your BI team presents all kinds of challenges. For one, you may not have direct access to the BI tools your organization is using. If you do, most require SQL knowledge, which makes them inaccessible to most marketers.

With seemingly no other alternative, you turn to spreadsheets. Excel docs are created and spreadsheet sprawl ensues. In addition to being a major threat to information security, these risk extracts and rogue analyses are often conflicting due to inaccurate or old data. This can easily cause miscommunication and more confusion.

Siloed data, static marketing dashboards, busy BI teams, and overly complicated analytics tools make it difficult to track, manage, and prove campaign ROI across a growing number of sources. But the solution may come from a place you least expect: the modern BI data stack.

How a Modern BI Stack Enables Integrated Marketing Analytics

It brings your data together

Breaking down data silos is one of the biggest opportunities cloud data warehouses have given modern organizations. But pulling data out of dozens of marketing tools and into a cloud data platform like Snowflake solves only part of the problem.

The data must still be joined and analyzed together to yield any real benefits. Without a BI solution that was built for the cloud, you can’t take full advantage of the vast amounts of data your systems and software produce and will be stuck with the limitations of the spreadsheet. This is where modern BI tools like Sigma come in.

In just a few clicks, Sigma makes it possible to join multiple data sources from tools like HubSpot, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Drift, Zendesk, and more stored in your cloud data warehouse together for holistic analysis. No more switching between platforms, exporting data into CSVs, and spending hours reconciling proprietary or inconsistently named metrics. It’s all available to you in real time. And because it’s coming straight from your cloud data warehouse, you never have to worry that the day is outdated or inaccurate.

It gives you access

Modern BI solutions like Sigma enable the people that understand the complexities and nuances of marketing problems — AKA marketers — to work directly with their data. Sigma’s spreadsheet-like interface is flexible, yet familiar. Using some basic Excel-like formulas, marketing teams can explore and analyze billions of rows of data in real time without writing a single line of code.

No longer are marketers stuck with high-level reports or pre-built dashboards that only cover the last 90 days of data. Modern BI empowers marketers to go beyond whatever canned analytics are built into their tools by clicking into the underlying data where the most impactful insights are to be found.

It fosters better collaboration with your BI team

When marketers can freely explore more data themselves, BI teams don’t get bogged down with low-level ad-hoc reports. Instead, they’re able to pursue higher-priority work like building new data models and solving more impactful organizational problems.

BI teams can sleep easy knowing this increased freedom doesn’t require them to compromise security or neglect data governance either. Modern BI tools like Sigma don’t store, move or cache data, which eliminates dangerous Excel extracts and keeps sensitive data off local PCs.

Modern BI tools like Sigma enable true collaboration between marketing teams and their BI partners. They allow domain and data experts to contribute their unique knowledge to solving the organization’s biggest problems. And when everyone can share and build on each other’s work, the time to insight and data ROI is accelerated exponentially.

It increases the speed and impact of insights

Over time, data in dashboards and spreadsheets grows stale, becomes outdated, or becomes inaccurate. In other words, the fresher the data, the more impactful the insights. Modern BI solutions accelerate time to business insight by enabling marketers to access data directly from their organization’s data warehouse — in real time. This leaves no questions about the data’s accuracy or integrity.Modern BI also enables marketers to not only analyze all the data that’s been pulled in from their marketing tools, but combine it with data from other parts of the business like product, sales, and customer success for a whole new layer of insight. This provides marketers with a 360 view of customer behavior, not just while they’re in the marketing funnel, but beyond. Incorporating these insights gives marketers a longer term vision and better understanding of the lasting impact of their campaigns. No single marketing tool can provide this level of insight.

Insights drive better decisions, allowing companies to avoid costly problems and take advantage of opportunities. And better decision making across the organization results in a more profitable company.

Key takeaways

How a Modern BI Stack Enables Integrated Marketing Analytics

  • It brings your data together
  • It gives you access
  • It fosters better collaboration with your BI team
  • It increases the speed and impact of insights

Modern BI Empowers the Modern Marketer

Let’s replay the scenario we laid out at the beginning.

The board meeting is days away. Your CEO asks you to identify and report on the highest value marketing channel. Before, this would send you in cold sweat. But not anymore. You’ve joined all your marketing data together in Sigma which not only integrates your data, it enables you to get an accurate, real-time view of your campaigns because you’re pulling the data directly from your cloud data warehouse and not relying on outdated extracts. The eye-catching go-to-market dashboard you’ve created in Sigma gives you an easy to interpret birds-eye view of the full marketing and sales funnel across dozens of concurrent campaigns in multiple channels. You easily filter through the data to determine your top channel and click into the underlying data to get even more granular detail into how this channel is performing.

And the best part? You’ve done this in minutes, not days. Your CEO leaves impressed and confident with the team’s grasp on marketing ROI.

This isn’t science fiction – this is Sigma.

As the number of marketing data sources continues to increase and targeting potential customers with relevant messaging becomes more critical in the buying process, integrated marketing analytics is only going to grow in importance. Leveraging modern BI tools like Sigma are key to wrangling in your marketing channels, understanding the customer journey and generating ROI from your efforts.

Wanna put the latest cloud analytics technology to work in your marketing?

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