LONDON — It’s not so long ago that marketers were getting excited about how their jobs could be fuelled by data, that data was becoming “the new oil” powering their industry.

Fast-forward to 2018 and it seems the pendulum is swinging a little bit away from the new dataism.

GroupM director of audiences research Simon Thomas, in this video interview with Beet.TV, says he thinks 10% of data contain’s “fool’s gold”.

“There’s been an awful lot of decisions and an awful lot of unwarranted confidence placed in some of the data that has been provided in the marketplace,” Thomas says.

“Unfortunately, there’s been some issues where it’s not robust, it’s not methodologically sound in terms of the way it’s been collected and, certainly, not been put into the analytics and insight models in the right way.”

Not that Thomas’ GroupM and its subsidiaries don’t now use copious amounts of data to do their planning, of course.

But Thomas wants data to be usable, producing knowledge and insight.

Fortunately, he sees a “second revolution” emerging in deep learning and artificial intelligence, helping agencies better understand consumer thinking and their purchase pathway.

“We need to make sure to advise clients to get the balance right between the short-term drive for performance and action and the longer term brand equity investment,” Thomas adds.

“That’s a tough one because the data will support a short-term performance allocation of money as opposed to the longer-term brand equity.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Future of TV Advertising Forum 2018, London. The series is sponsored by Finecast. For more segments from the series, visit this page.