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[Tech Talks] 3 Primary Data Visualisation Martech Solutions for Marketers to Consider

While your marketing or IT departments may have already made decisions about your data visualisation martech stack, it’s important to be an educated consumer and aware of your options regardless of whether you can immediately decide on a licensing purchase.


Ben Wightman, Head of Data & Analytics from Wunderman Thompson outlines what major martech data visualisation options you have across price points, complexity levels and feature sets:

First of all, visualisation is all about storytelling and, while the data-driven imagery is essential, it won’t meet its business insight potential and change hearts and minds without a compelling narrative based on the right data.


And, regardless of the tool you select and data feed sources into the tool via various APIs, your data will be visualised based on:

  • Qualitative dimensions - attributes of your data, and

  • Quantitative metric measurements of value across those dimensions.

It all comes down to rows and columns unless you’re doing more advanced multi-dimensional modeling, which is usually best left to professional data scientists.


There are three primary data visualisation martech solutions you’re likely to run into as a marketer – Google Data Studio, Microsoft Power BI and Salesforce-owned Tableau – which Ben outlines in this slide on a continuum of cost, features, and complexity:

And, if you look at scalability towards actual Business Intelligence beyond marketing, you can see that Garter’s Business Intelligence January 2020 Magic Quadrant ranks Microsoft’s and Tableau’s solutions as the clearly-superior outliers:

As we proceed to discuss the three solutions, Ben suggests you start your own evaluation based on the following four aspects:

  1. Sophistication of your users

  2. Your budget

  3. The number, accuracy and APIs of your data sources

  4. Your need for features and future-proofing

1) Google Data Studio

Starting with the cheapest, which is essentially a visualisation add-on to Google Analytics, Data Studio can be the perfect solution for a smaller marketing team doing limited analysis internally with Google-focused media data sources.


As with Google’s other free and paid martech solutions, there are self-help tutorials online which make ramping up relatively straightforward.


You can also export the visualisations out from Google Data Studio into Google Sheets or Slides and then into the respective Microsoft enterprise Excel and PowerPoint tools.


If you’re looking to automatically integrate large volumes of non-Google data, Ben recommends starting with one of the other more-sophisticated tools.


2) Microsoft Power BI

Much higher up the functionality ladder, but also relatively affordable, is Microsoft Power BI. You may actually already have Power BI licenses available for use without any further investment if your organisation invested in Microsoft 365.


As you’d expect, there is built-in compatibility with the Microsoft Excel solutions you’re likely already using for data visualisation and reporting (as well as Azure - its only available cloud platform), so Power BI is like turbocharging the visualisation and BI capabilities of what you’re already doing.


If you’re using Microsoft 365 and your team is already familiar with Excel, Power BI would be the top recommended data visualisation solution.


3) Tableau

If you’re looking for a future-proof tool with the ability to provide sophisticated visualizsations with almost any data API and your organisation is willing to invest in the licensing, Tableau is for you.


As the market leader flush with cash from the Salesforce acquisition, Tableau continues to invest heavily in natural language query, AI, Cloud and embedded analytics.


If you’re looking for a future-proof tool with the ability to provide sophisticated visualisations with almost any data API and your organisation is willing to invest in the licensing, Tableau is for you.

About Wunderman Thompson 

At Wunderman Thompson we exist to inspire growth for ambitious brands. Part creative agency, part consultancy and part technology company, our experts provide end-to-end capabilities at a global scale to deliver inspiration across the entire brand and customer experience.   We are 20,000 strong in 90 markets around the world, where our people bring together creative storytelling, diverse perspectives, inclusive thinking, and highly specialized vertical capabilities, to drive growth for our clients. We offer deep expertise across the entire customer journey, including communications, commerce, consultancy, CRM, CX, data, production and technology.


Wunderman Thompson is a WPP agency (NYSE: WPP). For more information, please visit us at www.wundermanthompson.com and follow Wunderman Thompson on our social channels via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


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