More and more companies are realizing that a customer-centric and data-driven approach is the only way to compete in this hyper-connected business world.
Many respectable research organizations are publishing their findings in this field. Here’s a summary of recommendations for the busy business leaders:
- Centralized Data Collection and Analysis – Remove Silos of data collection inside the organization and build central repositories for better organizational knowledge.
- Combine Internal and External Data Sources – This is crucial to get a better understanding of customers. Internal sources include, but are not limited to transactions, loyalty programs, IoT sensor data, maintenance records and so on. Commonly used external sources include social media, customer mobile devices, demographics, census, weather data, and many more. An in-depth understanding of relevant data sources is crucial.
- Change Organizational Structure – Marketing personnel may not fully understand the data collection techniques provided by new technologies. On the other hand, data scientists are not always able to translate their algorithms into customer stories that business people can understand. Businesses need to bridge this gap. Approaches to bridge this gap may include creating a center of excellence and having data liaisons in departments and business units.
- Data Analytics – People are more important than tools when it comes to interpreting data analytics. Savvy people can make accurate conclusions from the results the tools provide. The converse is also true. Incorrect conclusions can be reached resulting in wasted time and resources.
- Collaboration – Collaboration among marketing, product development, and IT is ever more important in selecting, collecting and leveraging data for actionable insights.
- Comprehensive Data Driven Strategy – Data driven strategy is not only crucial for marketing, but also for other parts of any business. Product development, acceleration of product improvement and fixing product problems are all crucial use cases for data driven business.
- Gaining Insights from Historical Data – While there is a need for real time use of data for personalized messaging to customers, analysis of historical data sets can also provide valuable insights into trends and patterns enabling business intelligence.
Last but not the least, security of data and tools, compliance requirements, and customer data privacy are all crucial aspects of any data-driven initiative.