Customer relationship managers have the difficult task of knowing where customers are in their lifecycle and knowing exactly what their shifting needs are. With the first half of this year in the rearview mirror, now is an important time to take stock of customer data analytics priorities, and how far we’ve come since the beginning of the year.
In our joint webinar with Looker hosted earlier this year, we outlined what is new in the realm of customer data analytics, along with top priorities for data managers looking to simplify analytics initiatives and deliver better, personalized experiences to their customers in 2022. Now that the summer is wrapping up, let’s take a look at where we started the year and where we expect to be by the end of it.
Customer Data Analytics Today
“Customer data analytics” carries a broad-reaching definition. Businesses may leverage it to gather information about customers to better understand their audience demographics. Others may use it to find the exact moment a customer resides in the buying cycle. Organizations aiming to improve their analytics approach first need to define their goals, then they can work with the available data to inform next steps and improve the customer experience.
Business agility increasingly depends on data-driven analysis to create a complete, 360-degree view of customers and the best way to reach them. This means businesses need easy access to fresh and diverse data to help them create a full picture of their customers.
This need aligns with the initiatives cited at the onset of 2022 by IT leaders as their top priorities – enhancing analytics and business intelligence efforts and improving data integration. The need for improved analytics and integration has been ever-present since businesses began collecting and analyzing data on their customers. To create better experiences for their customers, businesses need to make the most of their data to develop a thorough understanding of customers and how to better serve them.
At the time of our webinar this past January, businesses outlined their top customer and marketing analytics data projects. These projects revolved around three key elements of customer marketing strategies: acquisition of new customers, retention of existing customers, and the expansion of data sources. For many, the top projects within those buckets were 1) to create a system of unified customer data 2) to improve know your customer (KYC) initiatives, and 3) to see overall advancements in the realm of customer analytics.
However, as the year has progressed, the focus in these areas has been refined and sharpened to pinpoint specific areas in which businesses can better integrate this data into their business intelligence efforts.
Improving for the Future
The initiatives outlined above are still top of mind for analytics teams looking to create better experiences for their customers, but a sharper focus on these areas is needed if organizations are going to up-level their analytic approach.
New research from Foundry uncovered that nearly 90% of IT decision-makers agree that the proper collection and analysis of data has the potential to significantly change how they do business over the next few years. Nearly half of those IT decision-makers say the improvement of customer insight and engagement is a key driver for data-driven initiatives. This signals the need for analytics tools to be integrated holistically throughout the business to ensure easy access to data across teams and departments.
A recent McKinsey survey found that customer care is the number one priority for businesses looking to establish better relationships with their consumers. Specifically, the goals for customer data analysis include retaining and developing talent and driving a smoother customer experience (CX), all while lowering costs and building more advanced analytic ecosystems.
Another pressing need for businesses is to overcome challenges to their own data initiatives. Foundry found that organizations are in serious need of many skillsets: analytics training, data management, data security, data integration, and business intelligence. Up-skilling and training employees is crucial, especially as talent shortages continue to ravage IT teams.
These new priorities may be daunting, but they are now mission-critical, as organizations are under more pressure than ever to understand and cater to customer preferences and purchasing behaviors.
Take a Real-Time Approach
To effectively leverage the data that exists within an enterprise, businesses need tools that can provide real-time analysis of customers, as well as a single source of truth for quick access to insights. The integration between Actian and Looker accomplishes this by providing IT teams with in-database architecture that offers real-time data insights from the Avalanche Cloud Data Platform, augmented by in-memory performance from Looker.
All data in Avalanche can be made available to users in a customized and user-friendly way, and data can be explored freely and quickly. Advanced Avalanche functionality can be directly leveraged in the LookML modeling layer, offering user-defined functions, as well as JSON querying.
Whether a business wants to improve the way they acquire customer data, or better integrate that data within their systems, it’s crucial they focus on the needs of their consumers to create superior experiences for them. In the second half of this year, all eyes will be on how businesses handle their customer data analytics, and those that can paint a 360-degree view of their target markets will be the best positioned as we head into 2023.