NAPA, CA: Marketers must find ways to make numbers valuable to both enjoy the benefits promised by big data and stave off competition from digitally-empowered rivals, a leading executive from Constellation Research has argued.

R "Ray" Wang – the Principal Analyst, Founder & Chairman at Constellation Research, a Silicon Valley-based consultancy focused on "next-generation" customer service – discussed this subject at the CMO Summit.

More specifically, he suggested the huge range of customer data now available to brands – from their location to cross-channel engagement information – must be turned into tangible, usable insights.

"The thing that's important here is: we have to make all these numbers valuable," he said. (For more, including how Disney has achieved that aim, read Warc's exclusive report: Transformational innovation: the secret to success in 2016.)

"I don't need more data … I need more insights. I need more relevancy," continued Wang. "If 20% of your business isn't coming from these types of insights, you really don't have a digital business."

And the importance of building new operating models, he added, cannot be underestimated as connectivity redefines almost every aspect of daily life.

"Digital starts with a business model shift. We're changing the way we engage. We're changing the way we connect. We're changing the way we bring these new business models to life."

Constellation Research has a client roster including firms like 3M, Citigroup, General Electric, Red Bull, Taco Bell and United Airlines.

And Wang asserted that Amazon – which has moved from simply selling books into fields as diverse as delivering groceries and creating content – is the gold standard when it comes to making data the bedrock of digital business.

"You're witnessing content and networking all converging into the new monopoly. Apple is the same. Microsoft is the same. And so is Google," he continued.

"If you don't realise that you're competing with those four entities in the consumer world, you're dead. Because ultimately, they want all of your revenue."

Data sourced from Warc