May 20, 2019

15 Things Consumer Data Can Do For A Company

By 
Forbes Technology Council

Most companies are collecting a large amount of data, but many likely don’t know why they are actually doing it or how they plan to use it. Consumer data can provide companies with incredibly valuable information, but this is only helpful if they know what to look for.

To help you sift through the digital pile, 15 experts from Forbes Technology Council provide their insights on what data can do for your company.

1. Data Can Develop and Uncover Relationships

Conventional thinking tells us that building consolidated profiles using master data management enables an understanding of the customer. In order to get deeper insights, it’s important to uncover relationships among people, products, organizations and locations as well. New master data management and graph technologies can help. - Manish Sood, Reltio, Inc.

2. Data Can Explain And Improve Your NPS

The net promoter score (NPS) is a simple way to sum up customers’ engagement and loyalty in numbers. Measuring customer engagement runs deeper than quantifying an emotional state. It’s about understanding customers’ behaviors, intent and motivation and conveying it in unstructured data from multiple interactions. Unstructured customer data allows a business to effectively explain its NPS and find ways to improve it. - Narjès Boufaden, Keatext

3. Data Can Be Invaluable For Customer Service

Providing customer profile and segmentation data stored in the CRM (customer relationship management) and other systems to support agents at the beginning of customer interactions has become critical for delivering excellent customer support. This data eliminates the need to ask customers to repeat or re-enter the information the company already has and can help route calls to the agent who can resolve the issue most efficiently. - Anand Janefalkar, UJET

4. Data Can Generate New Ideas

Most people think data is fuel for evaluating performance, but consumer data is an even better source of new ideas. If you look beyond your dashboards and key performance indicators, consumer data can show you new opportunities in the form of unusual behavior and emerging customer segments. Don’t rely on data just to judge how you are doing—look to it for the next set of strategic ideas to grow your business. - Sean Byrnes, Outlier AI

5. Data Can Predict Consumer Behaviors

Advanced analytics are making it possible to more accurately predict future consumer behaviors and to use that analysis to strengthen relationships with those customers. By combining machine learning models with modern data analysis platforms, companies are quickly able to identify their high-value customers and dynamically improve their experiences on the fly based on data in real time. - Harry Glaser, Periscope Data, Inc.

6. Data Can Be Currency

Within a safe, compliant environment, data can be leveraged as a currency for trade or exchange with other companies for useful data, insights and converted knowledge. In doing this, companies turn their data repositories into knowledge bases and can gain strategic advantages by exchanging it with others. - Oliver Tan, ViSenze

7. Data Can Improve Physical Spaces

Brick and mortar businesses can use consumer data about their facilities to ensure they’re providing the best experience for customers. You may have seen the “smiley feedback” buttons in airports, for example. Something similar can be used to great effect at retailers, food chains, theaters and other spaces. Businesses spend millions maintaining their facilities, and this can help to smartly direct investments. - Tom Buiocchi, ServiceChannel

8. Data Can Help You Infer What You Don’t Know

It’s old news that businesses find great value in capturing and analyzing customer data. What some may not know is that predictive systems powered by artificial intelligence are now capable of taking the limited data you’ve acquired, combining it with data from other publicly available sources and using both to infer other (likely) data points about your customers. This technique can greatly improve decision-making. - Ron Cogburn, Exela Technologies

9. Data Can Be A Great Predictor

Consumer data can be used for predicting various leading indicators of your business, such as product recommendations, churn, pricing, sales, etc. Use of AutoML (AI) prediction platforms will allow experimenting with consumer data to come up with many use cases. which will directly impact recruiting, retaining and growing customers or improving operations efficiencies. - Anand Mahurkar, Findability Sciences

10. Data Can Help Consumers

It’s easy to think of data only for tracking the business. Use it as a tool for users as well. Whether recommending additional content or additional products, recommendation engines are a great example. Popularity (all-time, seasonal, by region, etc.) is another metric that can be useful to consumers. Finally, allow users to generate new content through comments and short, anonymous surveys. - Matthew Kolb, AllAreaCodes.com

11. Data Can Highlight Consumer Pain

Consumers often post negative comments regarding their experience with a particular brand on their social media platform of choice. Live data feeds from these platforms via application programming interfaces, social media, sentiment data streams, etc., can be ingested by machine learning algorithms and immediately alert the company to a suboptimal situation so corrective action can be taken to mitigate and/or remedy. - Todd Rebner, Cyleron

12. Data Can Be A Reflection Of The Company

Data can tell a company what it is. If the data is organized, integrated, clean and used to make decisions, then it’s clear that the company is very objective and data-driven. If the data is scattered, in multiple silos, not standard and not used to justify decisions, then the company is very subjective and not data-driven. - Shannon Vaillancourt, RateLinx

13. Data Can Be The True Voice Of The Customer

Data can be considered the true voice of the customer, which isn’t easily found in surveys or traditional customer feedback. Consumer data can help companies gain insight into their product portfolio and consequently influence the direction of the company from product development to ongoing support and maintenance. - Mohamad Zahreddine, TrialAssure

14. Data Can Know Customers Better Than They Know Themselves

A lot has been written about customer journeys and one-to-one marketing powered by data, but we are really at a point in the development of technologies where we can actually tell the consumer something about himself or herself that he or she is not aware of. Accomplishing this will, in turn, create customer stickiness and drive new behavior and differentiation. - Otavio Freire, Social SafeGuard Inc.

15. Data Can Be Overwhelming—Collect Carefully

It is imperative to carefully determine what information you will collect from your customers and for what rationalization. The problem with collecting too much data is that when it comes time to put the data to use, the sheer volume of it all can be overwhelming. Some companies can complicate things further by coming up with events to track for the sake of using the information on hand. - Rena Christina Tabata, ShareSmart (Think Tank Innovations Ltd.)

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