ad:tech Chicago 2009: Carat's Data-Synthesis Program

Geoffrey Precourt

"People think of data people as wonky - the kind of folks who used to walk around with slide rules in their pockets," admitted Mike Hess, Carat evp/research, marketing science and consumer insights. "But, in fact, data-analytics is an exciting area. And never more so than now." Data people, in fact, "are right at the edge of an integration of classic and digital data and insights."

At the 2009 ad:tech Chicago assembly, Hess sketched a timeline of data assimilation: "The '80s were about forecasting models, about multi-varied analysis that supported psychographics. In the '90s, the emphasis was on panel data and marketing-mix modeling. In recent years - the naughts or the '00s - it's been all about the Internet and, finally, presenting data from the Internet in an integrated way. And while we don't have all the answers, we're moving toward them."