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Data is everything in marketing. It enables you to make better-informed decisions, avoid making bad decisions, and fine-tune your testing. And that's only a handful of the benefits.

Curious about what alternative benefits there might be to using business customer intelligence and data science, we asked numerous experts:

"What are the key business benefits of having a highly developed business customer intelligence and data science system?"

The MarTechExec takeaway

Whether you're looking to make predictions, improve your customer relations, or focus in on the data that matters most - business customer intelligence and data science can do wonders for your data efforts. Oh, and automate it if you can.

Lana Moore,Founder MarTechExec
Lana K. Moore is one of the fastest trending top martech influencers in the industry. As a marketing technology executive for both Fortune 500 companies and startups, she is passionate about helping marketing technology professionals stay on top of their game. Lana is the executive editor of martechexec.com - a place to learn, share and discuss marketing technology topics and solutions.

The expert eakeaways

  • You can figure out which data actually matters
  • Make better decisions. Ignore your gut.
  • It helps you help your customers.
  • It speeds up the decision process
  • Analytics turns data to info and info to gold

The experts

You can figure out which data actually matters

"The world is awash with data, and every day more sources are added to the flow. Businesses do best when they listen to their customers, and provide products and services that meet those customers needs and do so with grace and ease.

The best businesses look carefully at their clients. They hear what their customers say directly to them about their products or services. They also analyse what they do, say, and act when in other situations. In those behaviours, sentiments and activities they can evidence and validate the conclusions drawn from listening.

Behavioural data is important but can be hard to discern and is heavily situation dependent; Sentiment data can be misleading; Activity data can be hard to understand out of context.

Analytics must therefore not just be mechanically performed but must be interpreted, validated and tested.  When  that is done well it provides a clear baseline to measure the impact of future changes.  Companies that measure well tend to perform well too."

William Buist, Strategic Mentor
Following a career in insurance in which I learned how building strong collaborative relationships within business teams and delivering strategic projects I formed a consultancy focusing on supporting established owner led businesses to unlock sustainable profits, and avoid costly mistakes. I spend my business time as a strategic mentor for business owners.

"A highly-developed analytics system gives an organization superpowers, the core of which is visibility and insight. Data exists EVERYWHERE! When that data is off in its own tower, your organization is making blind-based decisions.

Connecting the towers together allows you to see relationships and track your lead management flow, in real-time! A plethora of benefits follow, including:

  • Quick reaction time and lightning fast decision making. Know if your sales drop this month is related to sales team changes, decreasing marketing efforts, seasonality, prices increases/updates and more.
  • Time reduction and cost reduction. Time is not the only cost consideration. There is also an expensive opportunity cost when quick and correct decisions can not be made because the right information is not available at the right time...
  • Maximize efficiency, increase data integrity and promote teamwork. I’ve heard this said from a marketing department at the early stage of an analytics system implementation: “All the analytics system did was reveal our data integrity issues.”

If you were doing something wrong, would you want someone to tell you so you could correct it? I would! As an organization, it’s frustrating to make changes, but it doesn’t compare to the downfall when you don’t.

Implementing an analytics system forces all departments to work in sync, identify issues as they occur, and maximize the organization’s reporting accuracy for maximum efficiency.”

Tracey Van Puyvelde, Founder of VANP Consulting
VANP Consulting provides analytical consulting to organizations from startups to Fortune 500s. We solve problems and think globally. Our services include market research, data analysis, management of your marketing strategy, analytics strategy consulting, implementation of business intelligence tools, international business consulting and more.

Make better decisions. Ignore your gut.

“Businesses still rely heavily on human experience and intuition to map out ways for improving the online journey, but, as a recent article in Harvard Business Review put it: ‘If companies want to get value from their data, they need to focus on accelerating human understanding of data.’ Today, many businesses use generic data sets and data science practices to draw out business-specific and even sector-specific trends. A highly developed analytics system can help enhance productivity and performance. At the end of the day, a person can only analyse so much data in a day; but, if a powerful analytics system can do that for them, and give insights from the data for the person to interpret, it’s a game-changer. That’s what Clicktale’s experience analytics does, it combs through the data, and gives you what you need to make informed decisions in real-time.

A highly developed analytics system can help enhance productivity and performance. At the end of the day, a person can only analyse so much data in a day; but, if a powerful analytics system can do that for them, and give insights from the data for the person to interpret, it’s a game-changer. That’s what Clicktale’s experience analytics does, it combs through the data, and gives you what you need to make informed decisions in real-time.”

Tuval Chomut, CEO of Clicktale
Tuval Chomut currently works as the CEO of Clicktale. Tuval is responsible for driving business growth through value-based performance and talent management. You can view more of what Chomut is working on by visiting www.clicktale.com

“You can enable your organization's data-driven culture and operate your business strategy based on information and analysis as opposed to ‘gut feel.’

Organizations who make this type of investment can better operate on the influx of data and information from online sources, mobile apps, sensors and social media.

Organizations who do not... well they will be forced to use backward facing or following indicators to operate their business.”

John L. Myers, Author, research analyst and industry influencer
John  L. Meyer is an author, research analyst and industry influencer. He currently works as the managing Research Director for EMA's Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing practice specializing in telecom analytics and business process management.You can see more of his work on Info World.

“A cornucopia of value is available for any business interested in building smarts into their systems via data analytics.

When implemented correctly, analytics systems can have a large impact on how businesses make decisions and on the company’s bottom line.

The more you know about the hidden patterns and relationships in your data, the better the decisions you can make to optimize customer experience, production, scheduling and inventory in the supply chain, and more.

The secret to achieving massive impact from your analytics initiative is simple: let the effort be driven by business outcomes rather than technology.”

Adriana Beal, Principal Consultant at BealProjects.com
As the principal consultant at BealProjects.com, Adriana Beal uses quantitative and qualitative analysis to help innovation companies understand and prioritize customer needs, identify strategic product opportunities, and determine the next most important thing to spend engineering time on.

“Data is the lifeblood of any company. With a highly developed customer analytics system, employees across the organization are able to make fast and informed decisions that are backed by real-time, unified data.

The impact is felt company-wide both internally and in an organization's ability to deliver more personalized and relevant customer experiences.

A comprehensive customer analytics solutions maps the end-to-end customer journey, from the moment an individual hears about your brand to their ongoing engagement and growth with your organization.

Rather than thinking of analytics in terms of product, marketing, sales or support - a modern solution should think about analytics in terms of the total experience user's have with your brand, regardless of function or department.

In doing so, employees will be able to identify unseen opportunities to optimize and improve with the customer at the core of every business decision.”

Elle Morgan, Marketer and Evangelist at Woopra
Elle Morgan is the Marketer and Evangelist at Woopra, the leader in real-time customer analytics. Her core mission is to help businesses cultivate data-driven cultures by transforming real-time insights into actions. Her work and research focuses on the humanization of data - bringing faces to the faceless numbers - in order to deliver an unparalleled customer experience.

It helps you help your customers.

"Nowadays, most companies have at least one service or product that is sold through a subscription based model. However, with this increasing adoption of this business model, many organizations find that the traditional sales and services model is no longer enough to ensure profitability.

To be successful, subscription-based businesses foster a value-based approach to managing their accounts.

Account managers are expected to reach out to their clients proactively and discuss opportunities to add value, based on what they know about the client. To do that efficiently and effectively, it is key to develop robust business analytics system.

There are many benefits to investing in a highly developed business analytics system. One key benefit is the creation of a central view of customer data that is made accessible across the organization. Another benefit is an accurate view of the customer interactions, contract details, products and service packages purchased, renewal dates, support ticket trends, survey results, etc...

Thereby, a highly developed business analytics system empowers customer success teams to be more proactive and efficient in driving value and growth.

This is a common outcome, since customer success managers are able to improve every interaction with their clients  through insight-driven recommendations that a business analytics systems automatically produces.

They are also able to produce a customer segmentation analysis which can be used to identify the most valuable customers and establish a customized plan based on a range of parameters.

Overall, organizations that invest in business analytics systems are in a much better position to succeed in retaining customers, securing growth and increasing customer satisfaction.”

Irit Eizips, CEO of CSM Practice
Irit Eizips is the CEO of a global customer success consulting firm, CSM Practice. Her firm helps companies initiate, validate and optimize Customer Success programs. To see what Irit is up to these days visit her website www.csmpractice.com.

“A developed data analytics system can become a competitive advantage for organizations from every industry.

Companies that pursue analytics and data strategies outperform their competitors by establishing better relationships with customers, reacting to buying trends in the market in a timely manner, finding new revenue opportunities and identifying patterns to mitigate fraudulent activity.

The speed of analytics can also become a competitive advantage. Most companies use analytics, many of them can act on data from months, weeks, or even days ago, but very few of them can respond to changes minute by minute.

Real-time analytics is helping companies reduce latency in decision-making and business processes.

Applying new powerful technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning not just to a company’s operations but also to its products and services is a higher level of analytics adoption.

The smart AI-driven products attract customers through a completely new user experience. Natural language user interface allows customers to interact with a product in a natural way.

Machine learning enables personalized suggestions for products to buy and recommendations for content to watch.

This became a reality thanks to recent technology advancements and the first companies to adopt the technologies will prosper in the new data economy.”

Irina Peregud, Head of Marketing at InData Labs
Irina Peregud currently works as the Head of Marketing at InData Labs, a data science & AI consulting company. You can see more of her work by visiting www.indatalabs.com.

It speeds up the decision process

"A business analytics system changes the way businesses make decisions. Only through accurate data collection, cleansing, storage, and reporting can decision making move from ‘hunches’ to facts.

With a business analytics function in place, statements like ‘I think the problem we have is our onboarding process’ be acceptable as project drivers.

Rather, problems are framed with hard facts such as ‘40 % of our new customers experience difficulty at signup, driving 20,000 customer calls per month, each with an average length of 4 minutes and cost of $10.’ Problems can be quantified, prioritised, and dealt with correctly.

Having data accessible, formatted, and ready for analysis both informs decisions and speeds up the decision making process. This is by far the greatest benefit of having a highly developed business analytics system."

Shane Lynn, CEO and co-founder of EdgeTier
Shane is CEO and co-founder of EdgeTier, an Irish company that specialises in realizing efficiencies and improving service in contact centres by applying machine learning and analytics techniques to customer data. Shane has a background in Engineering and a PhD in machine learning.

"Companies are now developing business analytics systems to monetize their data whether it is internally stored in their organization or externally and mash it up to build meaningful and personalized experiences for their customers. Business analytics systems nowadays are based on secured layers of decision surfaces from the far edge of sensors up and into the cloud to control and integrate the whole decision making chain.

Differing data management goals and processes will be evolving at every layer to enable companies to build use cases that will deliver better insights. Also, the latency of decisions usually depends on the scale of the problem such as an anomaly, hazardous event, or a nationwide disaster.

In a nutshell, business analytics systems help in find hidden connections and match patterns, predict what’s more likely to happen, describe relationships and connections, diagnose why this happened, denote or know where a data trace originated from, connote or know what this data trace symbolize, simulate or know what could happen, prescribe what should I do next, and inspect who Influences the diffusion of information faster.”

Ali Rebaie, President and data science anthropologist at Rebaie Analytics Group
Ali Rebaie is the President and data science anthropologist at Rebaie Analytics Group. He is also a prominent industry analyst, consultant and keynote speaker and listed among the top big data influencers.

Analytics turns data to info and info to gold

Data is a commodity; it has value based on quality and quantity.

It is an asset that nefarious individuals are willing to break the law to obtain, so it clearly has value enough to risk a prison term for; data is the modern day digital equivalent of gold bullion.

However, like gold, it has no intrinsic use in isolation. It has potential value which is expressed only when it spent, bartered or reformed into new objects.

Data is not information, and information is infinitely more valuable. Like reforming gold into priceless pieces, data is forged into information through the crucible of analytics.

Analytics is vital in the modern marketplace - understanding customers, refining operational processes, and using insights taken from the information obtained to drive clearer decision making...

By understanding in detail, the trends that exist within your data, you can begin to profile, segment and model the behaviour’s different areas of your customer base. Essentially, you can get inside the head of your clientele, position your products and services appropriately and predict what their next steps will be.

To understand what works, you must also understand what does not work, and more importantly why.

That is the heart of what an analytics system provides; data driven decision making through the exploration of hypotheses and emergent patterns.

As Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco's one said; ‘if you do well with analytics, perhaps you too can land a knighthood.’ And if that isn't incentive to implement a highly developed analytics system, I don't know what is!”

Kristian Keep, Head of Technology at Acrotrend Solutions
With over a decade of experience spanning service, development, consulting, strategy and leadership, Kristian is the Head of Technology at Acrotrend Solutions, a customer insights and analytics consultancy that work with various private and public sector organizations.