As more companies rush to embrace marketing analytics in hopes to better understand customer data and marketing performance, there’s a growing problem: The lack of adequately trained humans to make sense of the numbers. So says a new survey from Duke University.

A mere 1.9 percent of companies deploying marketing analytics tell the CMO Survey that they have “the right people” to capitalize on the information.

Yet despite the lack of human talent, marketing analytics are now used in making 37.5 percent of business decisions, according to the study from Duke and its partners American Marketing Association and Deloitte.

Spend to grow

Spend on analytics in marketing budgets is expected to surge to 18.1 percent from the current 5.5 percent over the next three years.

“More firms are using quantitative tools to demonstrate the long-term impact of marketing investments,” says Christine Moorman, a Fuqua School of Business professor at Duke and director of The CMO Survey. “The number remains low, but it has increased more than seven points since we first asked about it four years ago.”

The survey, which has been taken twice a year since 2008, is based on responses from nearly 350 senior marketing executives.

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