By Snehashish Bhattacharjee
The unremitting use of internet and technology has led to a humongous outpouring of data, subsequently intensifying the application of Data Analytics across industries. The true potential of any organization is reckoned, not by the sheer volumes of the data it possesses, but by gauging how effectively it leverages this data through diagnostic, prescriptive, and predictive analytics.
With an increased focus towards fast-tracking operations and redefining established systems, businesses are incessantly embracing digital transformation and automation. They are deploying the processes of data analytics in combination with advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML) and Robotics to produce groundbreaking outcomes both, in terms of effectiveness and overall value to consumers.
Research has established that a growing number of companies are furthering their faculties in real-time customer analytics to improve customer experience and sustain customer loyalty. When asked about the importance of leveraging this technology, nearly 60 percent business leaders shared a belief in its great potential across various customer touch points and devices today. This figure is likely to reach 79 percent in just a couple of years. Consequential to the efficient usage of customer insights, about 58 percent companies attested to noticing a significant rise in customer retention and close to 44 percent shared registering the inflow of new customers.
The fact that organizations are increasingly acknowledging the fundamental reforms triggered across functions by Big Data Analytics and its impact on business revenues and consumer experience speaks highly of its future potential. While enterprises will continually compete to stay relevant in the ever-crowding consumer market, data analytics and smart usage of insights so derived will be a decisive resource for them.
Customized services are gaining ground
Unveiling valuable insights to businesses about what works best with customers or what needs improvement, data analytics is integral to delivering value-added products and services. In-depth customer analytics, in fact, holds immense potential to achieve customer delight by enabling creation of more personalized, and perfectly timed offerings.
There are companies that are already harnessing the importance of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to sustain long-term rapports with their customers. A range of tools and techniques are used under analytics on the heaps of customer data generated through CRMs at various customer interaction points. Such applications, on one hand, accurately measure the effectiveness of current customer-related processes and buying behavior. On the other hand, they provide extensive intelligence about how customers will respond to new products and marketing strategies.
Successful adoption of customer analytics can further empower brands with indicators that help them achieve personalization at scale by modifying the varied aspects of the marketing mix basis each singular buyer persona in real-time. Some groups with advanced AI capabilities are already developing complex Machine L earning algorithms that learn when and how to customize offers, prices, recommendations based on demand and competitive pricing strategies. However, many companies are still struggling to devise clear strategies and parameters for achieving such personalization of products/services at scale.
While better experiences for customers and improved retention and loyalty scales for enterprises is the greatest business value that customer data analytics is offering today, it also has other key benefits. Big data analytics tools and cloud-based computing applications allow organizations to store large volumes of data remotely, thus, saving costs of purchasing and maintaining data storage capacities separately. In-memory computing technology along with such tools further enables evaluation of data and furnishes decisions much quicker.
Further, by performing detailed study and analysis of the diversified consumer data – for instance, purchase decisions, likes and expectations – players find themselves in a stronger position to identify current market challenges and future opportunities. These insightful findings aligned with a focused reputation management approach, one that is again guided by psychoanalysis of consumer feedback on online platforms, facilitate their winning strategies and competitive edge.
Data Analytics – The way forward
As the digital ecosystem continues to integrate with various ways of doing business and the way businesses interact with customers while selling goods or services, data will only continue to grow as large reserves of potential remain untapped. Estimates suggest that every user around the globe will generate as much as 1.7MBs of new data units each second, by the year 2020. Besides prevalent smart systems that track information from financial transactions, social media activities, sensors or IoT devices, evolved technologies such as speech recognition or Natural Language Processing (NLP) will open various other channels of bringing new data pointers.
Over the past few years, usage of real-time data analytics across both B2C and B2B domain has grown by leaps and bounds. Its applications, however, are yet to be fully leveraged beyond the present preliminary phase. Despite the proven value of using real-time customer analytics to produce more revenue, only 16 percent of the companies studied considered their brands very effective at delivering real-time interactions across various channels. Additionally, data accessibility is posing a challenge, as companies struggle to get the right data to the right people at the right time. There are gaps between what real-time customer analytics business cases are showing and what companies are actually being able to achieve. But with growing focus and effort towards harnessing value, data analytics will present wider possibilities for them.
Be it established firms or aspiring market entrants, companies will be able to tap into business strategies and productive operational processes obtained through efficient data analytics to sustain growth and deliver value. Smarter organizations will introduce innovative approaches to capture and model data, sometimes even joining their efforts to analyze industry-level data and generate futuristic market projections. Therefore, companies working towards real innovative use of data analytics would essentially redefine the true potential of the technology.
(The author is the Global CEO, Denave)
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