What Can You Do With Customer Data?

Leveraging Customer 360 Data for Strategic Decisions

In God we trust, all others must bring data. That saying is particularly true when it comes to making decisions about how to best interact with and sell to customers. Most of our daily decisions are based on gut – our innate ability to determine right from wrong, good from bad. But when it comes to making strategic business decisions, especially those that affect the customer, there is a better way than relying on gut or even educated assumptions. Data-driven decisions are fundamental in today’s competitive environment.

451 Research recently conducted a survey on this topic in their Voice of the Enterprise: Data & Analytics report. They identified personae of data-driven decision-making, posing the question, “To what extent would you say strategic decisions are currently ‘data-driven’ at your organization?” 84% of the 947 organizations surveyed said that at least some of the decisions at their organization are data-driven. At the top end, organizations that make nearly all strategic decisions based on data are called Data Drivers (17% of respondents), whereas organizations that make few decisions based on data are Data Drifters (16% of respondents).

The 451 Research report left me to consider why an organization might make strategic decisions based on gut versus on data. Here are five questions that should be considered in order to ensure decisions are being made with data.

  1. Can I find the data? It may sound obvious, but the first step in making data-driven decisions is to actually have data. And although you may have the data, users must also be able to find and access it in an efficient way. Getting access to the right data at the right time, in the right form, requires a strong technology foundation that brings data together and makes it available where you need it.
  2. Can I trust the data? Trusting data is often both a technical and cultural challenge. Trust in data can come in many forms, having capabilities in place for quality and lineage, as well as controlling access and permissions for how data is maintained, updated and published. Putting in place a data-driven culture, as well as governance to keep your data trusted, will result in insights that can drive decisions.
  3. Can I comply with data regulations? Being compliant is a key aspect that needs to be considered. There are many regulations and internal policies that control use of personally identifiable information (PII) and other data. Being aware of what data is used, where, and how ensures you safely enable new insights that strengthen decision making.
  4. Can I use the data? In order for data to be used it must be clean, consistent, complete, enriched and connected. Customer 360 solutions help to create a centralized hub for actionable data.
  5. Is the data useful? With the huge volumes of data now being generated, how do you know which data you should use? AI can help by bringing together data that is scattered, fragmented and incomplete and by automating processes that have grown unmanageable with the advent of big data (unstructured data).

What’s top of mind for your organization as you prepare to be more data-driven? In our webinar taking place at 1 pm ET on September 12, Sheryl Kingstone, VP of Research at 451 Research, will be joining David Corrigan, VP Products Customer Insight at Informatica to share more research results, along with a framework for becoming data-driven. Sheryl will discuss how Data Drivers leapfrog Data Drifters in today’s experience economy. Register today and join Sheryl and David to hear the importance of Being Data-Driven in the Experience Economy.

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