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Talent Shortage and Organizational Silos Are Obstacles in Delivering on ‘Big Data’s’ Promise, According to IAB Data Center of Excellence & DMA

New Whitepaper Finds That Media & Marketing Leaders Are Overwhelmingly Committed to Building Data-centric Businesses, Despite Challenges

NEW YORK, NY (September 21, 2016) – The IAB Data Center of Excellence and DMA, the largest U.S. data and marketing association, have released “The Data-Centric Organization,” a whitepaper showing that a lack of talent and ongoing functional silos are major hurdles to taking full advantage of “big data.”

Researched and written by Winterberry Group, which surveyed over 200 advertisers, marketers, publishers, technology developers, and marketing service providers, the paper reveals that a third are “confident” – and just 5 percent are “extremely confident” – that their internal teams have the right skills and experience to support their data-driven initiatives. In addition, more than half of those surveyed (59%) agreed that dissolving organizational silos would represent the most important step their businesses could take to derive more value from their use of audience data.

Notwithstanding these obstacles, an overwhelming majority (96%) of media and marketing executives are deeply committed to leveraging audience data to transform their businesses into data-centric companies. More than half (59%) expect that their organizations to be data-centric within the next two years. Less than a quarter (24%) describe their organizations as “extremely data-centric” today.

“Today’s enterprise media and marketing executives are investing in a future that will allow them to tap into the value of their data, but it is still early days,” said Patrick Dolan, Executive Vice President and COO, IAB. “IAB will continue to advance the industry’s data literacy through research, best practices, and educational initiatives like our Digital Data Solutions Certification Program.”

“Tuning big data into smart data and identifying actionable insights will require skills that many marketing organizations recognize they lack,” said Neil O’Keefe, Senior Vice President of Membership Engagement and CRM, DMA. “Once the skills are in place, access to the best technical solutions will be mandatory to excel. &THEN, DMA’s annual event, and DMA’s new data analytics certificate program provide marketing organizations the opportunity to upskill talent and connect with new solutions enabling accelerated data-centricity and ROI.”

“While companies search for a way forward creating data-centric organizations, it became clear from our interviews that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution,” said Jonathan Margulies, Managing Director, Winterberry Group. “It’s vital that each business assesses their unique situation and crafts a game plan that will allow them to reach the next data maturity milestone. Both the IAB Data Center of Excellence and DMA offer tremendous resources to help executives gear up for the changes ahead.”

This paper was made possible through a collaboration between the DMA and the IAB Data Center of Excellence, which leveraged the contributions of member companies, including Acxiom, comScore, Conversant, Experian, GfK, Integral Ad Science, LiveIntent, MediaMath, Nielsen Marketing Cloud, Oracle Data Cloud, Valassis Digital, and The Weather Company. The research was also supported through the additional sponsorship of Merkle, V12 Group, and Valassis Digital.

Throughout the rest of the year, the two trade organizations plan to help members overcome challenges as they develop a data-centric culture and business model through educational webinars, in-person events, and more.

“The Data-Centric Organization” is available for download at To learn more about the IAB Digital Data Solutions Certification Program, visit For more information about DMA’s professional education programs, visit; to learn more about DMA’s new Marketing Analytics Certificate, visit; and to learn more about DMA’s Structured Innovation Program, visit

About DMA
Founded in 1917, DMA is the community that champions deeper consumer engagement and business value through the innovative and responsible use of data-driven marketing. DMA’s membership is made up of today’s leading tech and data innovators, brand marketers, agencies, service providers and media companies. By representing the entire marketing ecosystem – from demand side to supply side – DMA is uniquely positioned to bring win/win solutions to the market and ensure that innovative and disruptive marketing technology and techniques can be quickly applied for ROI.

DMA advances the data-driven marketing industry and serves its members through four principal pillars of leadership: advocating for marketers’ ability to responsibly gather and refine detailed data; innovating to bring solutions forward for marketers’ most vexing challenges; educating today’s marketers to grow and lead marketing organizations in the ever-increasing omnichannel world; and connecting industry participants to stay current, learn best practices and gain access to emerging solutions through &THEN – the largest global event for data-driven marketing – and DMA’s portfolio of other live events

About IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. It is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. Together, they account for 86 percent of online advertising in the United States. Working with its member companies, the IAB develops technical standards and best practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. The organization is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the IAB advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City and has a West Coast office in San Francisco.

About Winterberry Group
Winterberry Group is a unique strategic consulting firm that supports the growth of advertising, marketing, media, information and technology organizations. Affiliated with Petsky Prunier LLC—a leading investment bank providing merger and acquisition advisory services to companies in the same sectors—the Firm offers its clients strategic perspective that is unparalleled in its addressable industries, while PPLLC maintains exceptional relationships with industry executives and business owners. This combination of market intelligence, research and strategic operating experience provides an educated outside perspective that we bring to each engagement. For more information, please visit

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]

DMA Media Contact
Lindsay Hutter
[email protected]

Winterberry Group Media Contact
Samantha Braverman
[email protected]