Happy Star Wars Day! On this very special occasion, I’d like to celebrate all the ways that the fourth…. I mean force, shows up in all of our lives. Whether you’re a Solo, a Skywalker, or a Vader, a fanatic, or a Trekkie, the force has something to offer. And, if you ever work with data, you have a special insight. You can interpret the force as all of the information you might collect from your business’s digital channels: you can choose to tap into it or not, but either way it’s there. So, young Jedi and Sith, buckle up and take a trip with me to a galaxy far, far away for an exploration of the force in us all.
In the first iterations of Star Wars, Han Solo claims not to believe in the force. He famously tells Luke, “I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny.” Now, imagine that you were asked to do your job without any data to reflect the success of your campaigns. How would you know what works and what doesn’t? The information is there, but if you can’t see it, then you can’t use it.
Side note, Han Solo eventually believes in the force, especially since his kid can use it, but back to the point!
If being a Han Solo means not using data to drive your marketing initiatives, then being a Darth Vader is like using your analytics while having problems with accuracy, timeliness, and reporting. In his early life, before Palpatine swayed him to the Dark Side, Anakin was a trained Jedi who uses the light side of the force for good. As he becomes corrupt (bad data), he turns to the dark side and becomes the bane of the Light Side. The force connects all things, and the force has the potential to be neutral, so make sure you don’t corrupt it for the dark side.
Your goal is to become a data Jedi, but what does that entail? It means you have to connect with the force (data), respect it, and understand its power. Data on its own can’t solve any problem, just like the force on its own just is. To harness the power of the force, you need to train, study, and understand how to access it. If you do that, you can become a data driven marketer — you can design campaigns and run initiatives based on how your customers actually behave and in response to what they actually want. So, today, on this Star Wars Day, may the force be with you.