$20 Billion. That is how much money was invested in 2017 by U.S. businesses in third-party data and data activation solutions. Big data is big business.

The State of Data 2017 report, published by the Winterberry Group, represents an industry-wide effort to address how organizations are attempting to become more data-centric, even as companies lack clear direction on how to do so, including how to allocate resources, what technologies to purchase and implement, and how to accurately report on their successes and challenges.

For years now, data has been reshaping the way that brands engage with their audiences. According to Jonathan Margulies, Managing Director of the Winterberry Group, LLC., “Audience data is fundamentally changing the organizations that rely on it. With every new data asset or technology they onboard…data practitioners are also driving a fundamental change in their business-as-usual, often upending years of precedent.”

U.S. firms closed out 2017 having invested a total of $20.1 billion on third-party audience data and activation solutions that support their advertising, marketing, and media-related initiatives. Almost equal shares of that spending were allocated to data ($10.054B) and to the solutions that support its activation ($10.132B), including data hosting and management, data hygiene, processing, and analytics.

By examining this shift in marketing expenditures by U.S. companies on audience data and data solutions, it is apparent that businesses consider data to be a fundamental pillar of their customer acquisition and engagement efforts.

The widespread availability of high-quality audience data, such as purchase history, online behavioral data, and insights into customer and prospect behavior across new and emerging channels (including addressable TV and wearables); and the ability to which this data can now be traced to individual identities, proves that 2017 was the year that the unified customer view indeed became a reality.

Does your company plan to make a significant investment in data solutions in 2018? The AccuData Integrated Marketing team is ready to walk you through the complicated maze of data and data management solutions. Contact us for a free consultation today!

For the full State of Data 2017 report, click here.

Written by Gabrielle Perham, MBA