SAN FRANCISCO — According to one marketing exec, much of the “real-time” data analysis you think you’re doing for your brand is actually just looking at old data copy-pasted into a report.

“By definition, we’re using data from the past to make decisions,” said Beckon chief executive Jennifer Zeszut during a fireside chat with Microsoft devices planning and insights director Jared MontBlanc at VentureBeat’s GrowthBeat event.

This isn’t in real-time, it’s “mapping” of past data, as Zeszut describes it. Companies are looking at all the data they’ve collected and are cutting and pasting from it to create a representation of what happening during a campaign, she says. Companies need to move past this type of data aggregration, which is static and after-the-fact, to a true real-time version, looking at data as it comes in while they navigate a campaign or piece of their business.

“Most brands have someone in charge of ‘hindsighting,”’ she said. “It takes so much time to pull that data together that there’s no time to think about it.”

But of course, what Zeszut is advocating for is difficult. She admits that “usually where a company begins and where they start is very, very far from where they need to be in order to make real-time decisions.” Selecting the right metrics and tools is essentially in reaching that goal.

Zeszut’s company, Beckon, aims to help marketers by pulling together all the data from their multiple sources into one report and works to do that as fast as possible, as close to real-time as possible.