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Are you Drowning in the Data Deluge? Here’s How to Swim

BY Alison Smith - Head of Marketing EMEA
September 27, 2018

Drowning in the Data Deluge? Here's How to Swim

Data Deluge

15 Ways to Supercharge Your Business - Week 4

With more and more of you signing up to our new programme - 15 Ways to Supercharge Your Business Growth – we’re delighted that you’re putting our free eBooks, worksheets and best practice guides to immediate use and building your action plan for the New Customer Journey.

One of the most frequent stumbling blocks to delivering superior CX is your organisation’s data – the theme of this week’s programme content, available exclusively if you sign up to receive our 15 daily emails.

Information or Intelligence?

Most business owners acknowledge the importance of data in their business, whether it’s the data gathered on customer profiles that your marketers use, customer service insight, product or HR performance data, or supplier data. In fact, the modern business is inundated with it, collected from a greater range of customer touchpoints than ever before.

But what proportion of that data can be considered useful? And how do you go about deriving real value from your data assets - in other words, transforming it into actionable, commercial business intelligence?

Here’s 4 quick tips for taming your data so that you can achieve the type of smart analysis that takes your customer insight to a whole new level.

1. Plan Like a Pro

Taking stock of your current situation is a vital starting-point to understanding where and how data is collected, and what then happens to it within your company.

You can take our free interactive quiz to help you gauge how your current data management practices are performing and to identify any obvious process gaps that should be addressed. Only by scrutinising your current capabilities can you begin to formulate a coherent strategy and a methodical plan of action.

2. Consolidate Your Data

How many times have we heard about the pitfalls of ‘siloed’ working? We can’t understate the importance of drawing together data from every relevant source into a central repository. Bear in mind that this is likely to raise technical hurdles such as data being held in different formats in each silo, and may entail migration work to make it compatible. However, the long-term benefits to your business of consolidating data to create a rounded view of the customer far outweigh any temporary technical disruption.

3. Think Beyond Sales

All areas of your organisation will benefit from this newly centralised data pool and be better positioned to meet customer needs and drive business growth. For instance, having full visibility of a customer’s purchasing and payment history is crucial intelligence for sales staff, who may be able to track trends and spot opportunities or causes for concern. For customer services, having real-time data at their fingertips enables them to provide joined-up and efficient responses across all channels – vital components of loyalty and retention.

4. Focus on Governance

Don’t fall into the trap of going to the effort of capturing, storing and analysing data without ensuring that the underlying data is accurate and comprehensive. As a recent article on this topic in Marketing Week stated: “Having a lot of data is inconsequential – it is the quality of the data and how you choose to use it that counts.”

In reality, many companies fall down here, often because records in legacy systems have been poorly maintained, such as contact details not amended when a customer changes address. This risks squandering marketing spend, causing annoyance or offence to customers and eroding loyalty.

What’s more, under the new General Data Protection Regulation, your data governance is under far greater scrutiny. Dirty data doesn’t just compromise CX and your commercial returns, it exposes your business to potential financial penalties and reputational damage.

One thing’s for sure, if you haven’t got a firm grip on the basics of data management, you will flounder when it comes to delving deeper into your customer characteristics, behaviours, needs and expectations - the key components of the New Customer Journey.

Next week, we’ll turn to data segmentation - the practice of identifying customer buying patterns that will fire up your data insight initiatives and set you on the path to squeezing maximum value from your data assets.

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