For the past couple of weeks, Gergely Dudás’ brainteasers have boggled people the world over. Like a modern version of Where’s Waldo, “Find the panda among the snowmen” had people scratching their heads as they scoured the image from top to bottom to find that elusive animal in a sea of black, white, and carrot noses.

Here’s the trick to cracking Dudás’ brainteaser in ten seconds or less: instead of looking for the face with two black, round ears that can be easily confused with the snowman’s button, look for the one that’s missing a carrot nose.

Visual panda-monium aside (pun intended), “Find the panda” raised about market research and data: know what you are looking for.

While the advent of technologies like command centres and real-time data has gotten marketers and analysts excited,  how can marketers go from merely ooh-ing and ah-ing at the dazzling charts and graphs, and to knowing what to do with what’s on the screen?

Begin with the end in mind 

A pre-defined analytics plan that outlines what data and insights to extract for specific purposes is crucial in helping marketers to hit the ground running in their content and communications strategy, while avoiding the dreaded confusion of data overload.

Don’t look at everything! 

It’s a bit like going to a buffet – you wouldn’t pile everything on your plate at one go. Focus on what’s crucial to your team and your project, otherwise it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the flood of data.

Drill down to the data 

Back up your research and data with a strong content and marketing strategy so that you can sift through your findings to leverage what you really need.

Now, can you spot your panda?

Find the Panda picture taken from http://imgur.com/

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