Don’t just stay on top of real-time data — use it to stay two steps ahead. But if you can’t separate the wheat from the chaff, you won’t just make bad decisions, you’ll look bad, too. Join this VB Live event for insight into finding and turning the right information into actionable insight.

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“If you look at real time analytics, there are two parts,” says Michael Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, which focuses on ensuring the technology investments of their clients deliver sales. “It’s defense and offense.”

And it doesn’t even require advanced analytics dashboards that monitor customer movements more closely than the KGB, he adds, but what Healey calls a part of classic real-time analytics — social monitoring.

He offers the example a Yeoman client whose brand-tracking strategy includes following conversations on Twitter. The company discovered that they had mistakenly been added to a boycott list being compiled by consumers — and they were able to catch the error and respond immediately before the rumors spread. They reached out to the protestors to ensure they understood that their company had not been a part of the actions being protested.

“That is some of the best defense ever,” Healey points out. “That was purely on social. There was nowhere else this data was floating around. They were going to get marched and protested against, and they were able to pick it up and knock it out before it ever got the legs that it might have.”

But real-time data isn’t just about watching for trends and always reacting — it’s uncovering opportunities to leverage new strategies, and innovative ways to move beyond the information your dashboard is delivering.

“Don’t just think about your own real-time data — think about the real-time data that’s available to you as a marketer that you can use,” Healey says. “Perfect example: weather. What you don’t see all the time is people looking at the real-time weather and using that data as part of their strategies.”

Something as simple as real-time weather information can be the underpinning of an astonishingly effective offensive strategy, he adds. “A ten percent increase in online marketing spend when there’s a storm and nobody’s going out to the stores could have a dramatic impact on your ecommerce,” he says.

The basic formula, Healey says, is deceptively simple. “If there’s something going well in real time, you should try to augment it,” he says. “And if there’s something going poorly, you need to understand, is there an impact or is there not an impact?”

In other words, while real-time data lends itself to immediate pivots and instant reactions, which admittedly help you stay ahead of the brand conversation, overreacting is a real danger, and senior marketers need to tread very, very carefully.

“Real-time data should always prompt you to look further,” Healey explains. “What’s going on, should I look deeper, should I do something? It shouldn’t be a kneejerk of ‘Oh my gosh, we’ve got to do something!’ You think of it almost as a canary in the coal mine. The canary’s not dead, but if it’s coughing, what should I look at?”

For more insight into separating the wheat from the chaff, plus using real time analytics to keep stakeholders on board every step of your campaigns, don’t miss this VB Live event!

Register here for free.

In this VB Live event you’ll:

  • Learn how to define the “truth” with metrics, and which version of the truth is meaningful to the business
  • Deal with the unpredictable nature of real time data blips
  • Frame business analytics into actionable solution-focused priorities for stakeholders


  • Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology, VentureBeat
  • Michael Healey, President, Yeoman Technology Group


  • Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat

This VB Live event is sponsored by Tableau.