92% of strategists agree they could do a better job if clients gave them more access to data according to WARC's Future of Strategy 2019 report.

This comes at a time where advertising agencies are having to prove relevance against the tide of consultancies, which are fluent in the art of data analysis, and in-house agencies, which have open access to their clients’ data. With all of this, it is important that agencies innovate to not be seen as “just another opinion” but rather a legitimate option.

However, data access is not the be-all and end-all. As Emily Rule, Strategy Director, BBH London noted, “there is a widespread assumption that data equals insight and strategic direction. But in the context of creativity, data is useless without imagination.” Therefore, strategists need to build the vital combination of empathy, critical thinking and data skills to a degree where it is possible not only to gather insights but to make them actionable. As a director from India succinctly put it: “more data is good but not a replacement for great thinking.”

Now in its third year, the global report is based on a survey of 800 senior strategists, which feeds into an in-depth, wide-ranging study of the challenges and opportunities of the discipline.

Future of Strategy 2019

WARC subscribers can read the full report here.

Non-subscribers can access a sample here.