In my last article I presented information from a recent presentation I put together at Digital Dealer 23, based on strategies for Big Data. The key driver was focused on how Big Data impacts the automotive landscape as a whole. One area specifically that captured the audience’s attention was how dealerships and groups of different sizes could begin implementing Big Data findings in their dealership without a lot of additional resources and costs.

First, I discussed how single-point dealers, those with one to five rooftops, could use their Big Data vendors and partners to help surface insights. If you missed that article, you can find it here.

In today’s post, I want to dig into how mid-size groups, those with 11-25 rooftops, can use Big Data to uncover key insights to take their marketing strategies to the next level, along with some tips and tricks to find the right talent for the job. Let’s jump in.

Key Tactic: Move Toward In-House Data, Continue to Utilize Partners

At this size, many dealer groups are getting to a point where they can begin moving toward building an in-house resource for Big Data findings. It’s also important to find the gaps in your data and partner with vendors to determine where the gaps exist, while also understanding important data insight for each dealership. The buying power of your joined dealerships means you can lean heavily on your vendors and partners to help you uncover some important data truths.

Key Resources: Full Data Lake

While your greatest resource at this size continues to be your partners, the amount of stores you have and the level of data needed for each makes movement toward a data team a no-brainer.

Don’t panic! A team does not mean you have to hire a slew of full-time workers, in fact, it doesn’t even have to mean hiring employees. There are a lot of sites that enable you to contract high-end data analysts for only a few hours a week or even a single project at a time. Look at a site like to get started. On sites like these you should be able to put in a title like “Data analyst” or “Data Engineer” and have multiple, experienced candidates from which to choose.

These contractors should be responsible for helping you set up key performance indicators (KPIs) for your data, vendors, business, and marketing performance. Your data team should give you easy, visual ways to show where you’re above your KPIs, and even more importantly, where you are falling below.

Key Roles: Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Data Scientist, Architect

In order to get the most insight possible at this level, you’ll be looking for a Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Data Scientist and an Architect. I’ve defined each skill set below:

  • Data Analyst – It’s this person’s job to take all of the data and provide key insights from their findings.
  • Data Engineer – Data engineersbuild massive reservoirs for big data. They develop, construct, test and maintain large-scale data processing systems.
  • Data Scientist – Data Scientistduties typically include creating various Machine Learning-based tools or processes within the company, such as recommendation engines or automated lead scoring systems. People within this role should also be able to perform statistical analysis.
  • Architect – The architect needs to be able to have an end-to-end vision, and to see how a logical design will translate into one or more physical Databases, and how the Datawill flow through the successive Stages involved.

Key Takeaway:

Once you’ve got your data team together, it’s time to rally them around this one concept: your data hook.

What your Customers Love x What Creates a 10x competitive advantage = Your Data Hook

If you don’t know what your competitive advantage is, it’s the one thing that sets you apart from your competition, and you’re newly-hired data team can help you determine what that message entails. Once you have your data hook, your analyst can build KPIs around this item. You’ll know it’s working when your KPIs begin to increase.

Big data is not as complex as it sounds. With the right team, processes, and rock-solid metrics, it’s a dealership’s best way to stay on top of their market, customer, and prospect needs. Stay tuned for my final post on tactics and key roles for large dealer groups.

Natalie is the vice president of product at Client Command®, the automotive marketing leader in turning active car shoppers into real customers.