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Big data can help you go big on customers

Paul Henaghan, President of EMC South East Asia | Jan. 26, 2016
This blog talks about the value that data and data analytics bring to managing customer expectation and how businesses can leverage data to address customer issues before they become a problem and to increase value for the organisation.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

In today's rapidly-evolving global industry, where markets are converging and technological innovation is quickly commoditised, businesses know that the ability to set and meet customer expectations - in a way that competitors cannot - is a powerful differentiator.

In fact, customer experience has quickly become one of the key metrics that Asia Pacific organisations need to consider when it comes to increasing retention or growing profit margins. World-class customer service and support has not only become a factor amongst other buying criteria for customers; in many cases, it is now the key reason why a company chooses a particular vendor.

Customer demands have also changed, along with the evolution of the marketplace. Driven by speed as the new currency of business, customers are increasingly demanding solutions that translate into immediate impact and results. The challenge now, is therefore for businesses to prove they know what the customer is thinking, even before the customer knows it himself.

It comes as no surprise then that Forrester predicts data analytics spending will increase by at least 10% across Asia Pacific in 2015. The region is also expected to show the highest CAGR due to the technological advancement and increasing e-commerce trend in Asia.                                                                                                                                                          

However, with the digital data growth expected to increase globally to 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020, just understanding the customer can prove to be a mammoth task. Businesses are challenged to dig deep into the data deluge and harness the right insights that bring value to the business and also improve the overall customer experience.

The answer then, lies in data analytics. So why aren't more companies doing it? Many simply don't know where to start. While business leaders agree on the importance of a data driven approach to survive the next decade, an overwhelming number admitted that they still struggle with information overload.

The tips below could help position your company for success:

Tip 1: Manage disparate data sources

Businesses today have an abundance of customer data available from many different sources, but many companies do not fully understand the value of the data they are managing, and then struggle to turn this information into actionable insights. The advantage of Data and Data analytics is that it can help businesses uncover truths they didn't even know existed.

With a sea of potentially useless data, you must narrow down the options and find the right area to get started. Most likely, the same customer data will be found throughout the organisation, i.e., customer support, engineering and manufacturing data comes from different places within the organisation that all store data in their own formats. The same can be said for banks that have different relationships with the same customers across many business units.  Understanding how to consolidate, analyse and exploit relevant data is at the heart of data analytics.


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