Data and analytics were huge buzzwords in 2015, but only a small percentage of companies and agencies are using them to full effect. What’s in store for 2016, and how should companies prepare? Here are a few predictions:

-Brands will have a greater focus on unifying all of their data sources into one “place” in support of setting up DMPs, streamlining segmentation/targeting, personalizing experiences, having the ability to deliver to users their “next best action,” and getting a more of a holistic view into who their consumers are as well as how they interact with the brand.

-As mobile share of traffic continues to grow, brands will be more pressured to solve for cross-device measurement and experiences leveraging device graphing, authentication, and progressive profiling to connect a single user to their multi-device exposures.

-DMPs will become more affordable with simplified setup/integrations leveraging existing analytics platforms and/or tag management systems, enabling marketers to be more efficient in their buying and more personal with their interactions.

-3rd-party data will become more accessible and affordable through open exchanges where brands can access and leverage a myriad of 3rd-party data sets without ever dealing with the vendors/data owners directly.

Many of these vendors participating in the exchanges are doing so under a new pricing structure, allowing brands to pay a CPM vs. a large flat rate, making it more affordable for brands of all sizes to leverage these valuable and enriched data sets.

As these exchanges continue to evolve and grow, brands will look for opportunities to share their anonymized user data in exchange for access to the same from other relevant brands at no cost/profit.

-Brands will be more focused on using their customer data to augment it with 2nd- and 3rd-party data so that they can deliver a relevant 1:1 experience to grow loyalty, optimize the consumer’s experience, and drive greater efficiencies in media.

-Consumers will demand more control over what data is being collected about them, but will be open to sharing with brands that provide a value/benefit to them.

-With that, consumers will become more open to sharing/providing additional data/information, through efforts such as progressive profiling, in exchange for a more personal and relevant experience and offers/product/services.

-Tag management systems and DMPs will continue to evolve and make it easier for marketers to have more control over their speed to market for tracking, campaigns, new marketing tech, optimization in new channels (media, mobile, wearables, etc.…), without having heavy tech/IT dependencies.

-The wearables market will continue to grow, giving those brands much more visibility into a consumer’s life events, lifestyle, activities, locations, interests, etc.… making their customer profile much more enriched and valuable to the brand.

-Non direct-to-consumer brands will be more likely to look to have the ability to connect offline/off-channel sales back to their digital and marketing efforts in an effort to justify existing or growing budgets driven by the growth of brands ability to target specific groups of users/personas.

What do you expect to see make analytics news in 2016? What do you hope to see? Let us know in the comments.

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Feliks has well over a decade of analytics experience from client-side organizations (Scholastic, WebMD), agencies (R/GA, Organic, iCrossing), and vendors (Coremetrics). Prior to joining 3Q Digital, Feliks served as the Group Director of Analytics with R/GA, where he led Commerce, Personalization, Audience Development, Tag Management, and Automation initiatives with a core expertise and focus in Measurement Planning and Implementation, Pre/Post Analysis, Usability, E-commerce Analytics, Personalization, Automation, DMPs, A/B/MVT Optimization, and Channel/Campaign Analytics. His experience spans across the Publishing, CPG, Commerce, Telecom, Entertainment, Finance, Travel, Luxury, and Healthcare verticals, where he has worked with brands such as McCormick, Godiva, Samsung, L'Oréal, Verizon, TD, Fossil, Life Reimagined by AARP, Lincoln Center, Bank of America, Hilton, P&G, Specialized, Panasonic, Diageo, and Affinia Hotels. Feliks also has an Information Technology background that includes site and JavaScript development and database deployment, management, and maintenance.