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Data-driven Decision Making

Jimmy Hart, Director of Marketing for the Division of Strategic Communication, the University of Alabama, spoke at the March AAFT luncheon on data-driven decision making.

Advertising professionals, specifically creatives, tend to excuse themselves from dealing with numbers. Hart urges that data-driven decision making is essential for successful and measurable campaigns.

Analytics is the analysis of data by the use of mathematics, statistics, and computer software.

Advertising metrics don’t have to be the most sophisticated to offer a competitive advantage. Consider how early baseball metrics were both simple and effective. (See The Bill James Baseball Abstract)

Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) or knowing your goals is necessary for interpreting analytics reports. Asking the right questions is a good place to start when setting KPIs. (See Asking the Right Questions, by Browne and Keeley)


  • Take nothing for granted
  • Automate as much as possible
  • Learn the language of analytics and how to translate it

Learn more about analytics through the Google Digital Academy.

Access Jimmy Hart’s presentation here