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For marketers in small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) who crave more data, marketing automation platform Act-On Software is today granting your wish.

The company is unveiling its new Data Studio tool as part of Act-On Enterprise, providing direct access to its platform’s collected info as well as offering easy-to-configure data exporting to external business intelligence (BI) platforms. Act-On’s platform, one of the top five in the category, provides automated marketing tools for email, social media, websites, and other channels.

Normally, marketing platforms make data available as quick-glance dashboards, detailed reports, or APIs, Act-On’s chief marketing officer Atri Chatterjee noted.

But, he told me, dashboards don’t provide enough detail, there are never enough reports to cover every possible angle, and APIs require configuration by IT.

“Ninety percent of marketers are satisfied with reports,” he said, adding that Data Studio is designed for the other ten percent.

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The new capability provides data-hungry marketers with direct access to such information as ad clicks, email response rates, website clicks and paths, user-initiated opt-outs, and data from forms, as well as mash-ups with data from customer relationship management or other systems.

Data Studio’s built-in wizards, filters, analysis tools, and preconfigured templates allow the SMB to point-and-click their way to new insights. Data can be written to a file, and then a BI platform like Tableau, Domo, or Microsoft Business Intelligence — or what Chatterjee said was still the SMB’s most common BI tool, Microsoft Excel — can be pointed to that file for data access without IT.

A Data Studio screen showing a heat map of email engagement data.

Above: A Data Studio screen showing a heat map of email engagement data.

Image Credit: Act-On

A marketer might want to use Data Studio for combining engagement data on websites with info on completed sales to create more kinds of personalized offers, Chatterjee said.

The tool can also be used for such analyses as testing behavioral data against assumptions about how customer persona types act, or showing what-if analyses about how content might perform at different times of day.

Some competing marketing automation platforms, like Marketo, bundle the Pentaho BI tool, Chatterjee said, adding that Pentaho “is a big solution” and not everyone wants that choice.

On the other end, he noted, Hubspot and Salesforce’s Pardot offer preconfigured reports.

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