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Putting DIY Data Science Tools in the Hands of Marketing and Sales

My first Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project was refinishing the hardwood floors in a run-down 1938 house. With visions of “This Old House” in my head, I pushed my orange shopping cart down Home Depot’s aisles to purchase needed supplies. How hard could it be? It was only 600 square feet. Two months later…

My back was wrecked and the floor was in worse shape. My mistake? To save money, I used a small rotary sander meant for furniture instead of an industrial floor version. The moral of this story – aside from not letting me refinish your floors? The key to DIY Data Science success lies in the tools.

There are two schools of thought in DIY culture. The first advocates learning skills lost to the industrial revolution such as carpentry and sewing. The second envisions a world where technology makes skills once reserved for experts accessible to anyone.

Advances in technology now make it possible to restart a heart with a $1,000 defibrillator in a household. Ten year olds can use free software to write their own videogames in a week. And now some of the arcane workings of data science have opened up to a larger audience including the sales and marketing world.

As B2B sales and marketing initiatives become more account-centric, practitioners face the dilemma of scaling their account-based marketing programs to touch all of their target accounts, not just the top 50. Using the best customer and prospect data coupled with on-demand technology, data science techniques can help to quickly create targeted campaigns for an organization’s top 500 or 5,000 accounts with more robust and accurate knowledge of all customers and prospects.

This type of analysis is not new, but the fact that a data layman can generate lead scores in ten minutes is a remarkable feat.

Dun & Bradstreet’s partner, Lattice Engines, recently announced the newest release of their Predictive Insights Platform (PIP). Designed for marketing operations professionals, this solution works in the middle of the sales funnel to score leads and prospects. This type of analysis is not new, but the fact that a data layman can generate the scores in ten minutes is a remarkable feat.


The process begins after uploading a spreadsheet that lists leads with a minimum of three data points – a user generated identifier, the company website or e-mail, and an indicator of whether or not the lead closed as a sale in the past. The algorithm selects data from over 30,000 elements to distil into a single score for each lead ranging from 1 to 99 as well as a corresponding predictive rating of A, B, C or D.

PIP displays the data elements used in the scoring algorithms and details each element’s contribution to the score. Marketing professionals and data scientists alike can use the platform to further analyze the data, adjust inputs, and prepare reports. It is possible to upload a PMML (Predictive Modeling Markup Language) file in lieu of a spreadsheet for more sophisticated statistical work.

For marketing pros, dashboards provide simple, but powerful information such as the distribution of lead scores and the propensity to buy. But the most actionable data is a scored and prioritized list of leads, which can be shared with sales teams through Lattice Engines or integrated applications such as Salesforce and Eloqua.

A likely scenario that marketing managers face is getting hot leads from a recent conference into the hands of their sales partners as quickly as possible. Because Lattice Engines is a cloud based Software as a Service (SaaS), it is up and running 24/7. In less than 30 minutes, conference leads can be loaded and scored, with the hottest ones sent to the highest performing sales team members along with some observational notes.

In the past, generating lead scores would have been a special project performed by experts. DIY data science puts these analytical capabilities at the fingertips of data end users. Hopefully in the future, there will be a SaaS tool that refinishes hardwood floors.


Dun & Bradstreet and Lattice Engines have partnered to deliver revenue acceleration solutions that provide data-driven predictive insights about high value prospects for informed and automated segmentation, targeted campaigns, and lead management. Learn more here.


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