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3 Data challenges for 2023

Daniel de Vos
Daniel de Vos
13 Jan 2023 - 4 min read

What are the main data-related challenges businesses face in 2023? Compliance with the GDPR and privacy regulations, building a data platform that fits your strategy, and effectively leveraging data and data tools beyond Marketing. 

Below, we’ll explain how CEOs, CMOs and CTOs can overcome these challenges. Spoiler alert: The answer is to get started right away.
Need help? Looking for a strategic sparring partner? Feel free to contact us.

Challenge 1 - Privacy & the GDPR 

What do Meta, Amazon and Google all have in common? Well, in addition to being among the world’s largest companies by market cap, they all made headlines over the past couple years for violating the GDPR in Europe. 
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, was fined after it was discovered that hackers had been able to access Facebook users’ personal data. Meanwhile, Amazon and Google have also incurred massive GDPR fines, including allegedly for failing to comply with cookie consent guidelines.
As privacy-related regulations intensify under the GDPR, companies must learn to do more with less data. The companies who thrive in 2023 will be the ones that have a solid, fully compliant data strategy and tools in place. 

what does this mean for a CEO? 

No CEO wants to see their company in the news because of a data breach. Keep your data strategy compliant and effective by investing in security and data governance. The time to start is now. Take a critical look at your existing systems and processes. Define the right data strategy. And offer training to ensure your people have everything they need to implement it. 
Considering the serious financial and reputational impacts of a GDPR-related fine, your data strategy definitely deserves careful consideration.

what does this mean for A cmo? 

CMOs face the challenge of building a marketing strategy using first-party data only, without relying on external cookies and tools. This is the best way to ensure you have a full set of reliable marketing data in 2023 and beyond. After all, the gaps in 3rd-party data just keep getting bigger and bigger, because of technical and legal restrictions, and the growing trend among users to block cookies.
Now’s the time to turn this limitation into your strength. Evolve alongside your users, adapt your marketing mix and build your own customer data platform. 

what does this mean for a CTO? 

Data breaches occur at third-party data processors more often than you think. Even major social media platforms like TikTok have been found to knowingly violate privacy protection rules. That’s why your data platform needs to strike the perfect balance between governance, security and ownership. It might also mean choosing to track and manage your data yourself, instead of uploading it to third parties.
This is an option that many CTOs may not be considering. But technically speaking, it’s actually easier to achieve than you might think. And it gives you 100% control over your data.

challenge 2 - building a data platform

Working with a suite once seemed like the Holy Grail for many companies. It meant getting everything you need from a single vendor, with straightforward licensing and guaranteed integration. 
But convenience also brings limitations. If your goal is to achieve data ownership, solid governance and a data platform that is 100% aligned with your strategy, then you’ll want to look for a best-of-breed solution, possibly with customizations. 

what does this mean for a ceo? 

As a CEO, you know that a suite is often far from the cheapest solution. Especially if it means paying for options you don’t use. Or if you still have to build customized solutions to get all your data partners and systems integrated and synchronized.
There is a better, cheaper, more flexible way. Make 2023 the year you break free from Adobe and Google and build your own data platform.

what does this mean for a CMO? 

Marketing and data collecting go hand in hand. This seems like a law of nature by now. But why do marketers actually collect data? What are they trying to achieve? In the end, it’s all about the user journey. Data is a tool to make your user’s journey as engaging and personal as possible. So why not focus on that?
Start with the goal in mind. Choose your use cases. Determine which data you need. And only then commit to a technology.

what does this mean for a CTO? 

What is the most important skill for CTOs today? Making choices. Plus, having the courage not to make the same old choices, but to create a data platform that perfectly supports marketing as well as compliance, innovation and business processes. Vendor lock-in and overreliance on third parties are major risks in our fast-moving tech landscape.
Try building up as much knowledge internally as possible and work with a partner who can handle all the technology—not with a reseller who’s trying to push you into a license.

challenge 3 - Optimizing your operations with data

Collecting data is step one, but using data effectively is much more than that. In today’s labor market, you have to do more and more with fewer people. So, let people do what people are good at and leave the rest to data and AI.

what does this mean for a CEO? 

AI is already advanced enough to significantly lower your costs and improve your processes, whether it’s automation, predictive maintenance, predicting user behavior, or data-driven planning for your distribution, raw materials and personnel. 
The key is to also give your people access to the technology. And your overworked IT department cannot be left to shoulder the implementation workload all on their own. So, give your citizen analysts the knowledge, guidelines, rules and technology they need to do it themselves. Invest in no-code, low-code and ChatGPT-like solutions that make data, analytics and AI accessible to all your people.

what does this mean for a CMO? 

The usual sources of customer data are too limiting. Clicks, conversions and ad data may provide useful insights, but it takes more than that to create the 360-degree customer view you need. Try using IoT technologies to track how customers walk through your shops. Use system data to learn more about the customer journey. Invest now and fill your CDP with the insights you need.

what does this mean for a CTO? 

Build a data platform that can handle massive amounts of sensor data, whether your company is operating in B2B, B2C, industry, retail or hospitality. It’s about gaining a complete view of what’s happening now, so you can predict what happens next. The same goes for your own systems and products. Can you predict how efficient they are? How are they used? What maintenance do they need, and when do you replace them? 
Knowledge like this translates directly into cost reductions and innovation. That’s the power of a flexible, future-proof data platform. 

take the first step today

Whether you’re a CEO, CTO or CMO: 2023 is the right moment to make your data strategy a priority. It’s imperative for organizations in all sectors to get serious about data protection and GDPR-compliance, building a data platform and getting the most out of your data tools.

Ready to get started right away? Do a Sprint 0 and... 

  • Think about what goals you want to achieve with your data.
  • Attach KPIs to each of your goals (and track them too).
  • Map your technology (you may have more than you think).
  • Develop use cases that quickly deliver value.
  • Choose the most valuable use case and get started.

Which skills do you need to have on your team? It depends on the choices you make in your Sprint 0. Some use cases require analysts, while others call for engineers. We’ve got both, and we’re always here to support you with whatever you want to achieve.