Data Is the New Diamond

Michael Corcoran's picture
 By | July 17, 2012
July 17, 2012

An engagement ring traditionally is a sign of love and long-term fidelity. If you want the business equivalent – loyal customers who wouldn't dream of going elsewhere – then data is the new diamond.

Many of our clients have found that providing consistent, accurate and information-rich customer experiences across online and mobile channels have helped to retain customers, bring in new ones, and drive top-line growth. Whether it's using data collected from customers to analyze their preferences, gaining insights into your business from customer data so you can more effectively target marketing, or finding ways for customers to interact with your business when and how they want – data can take relationships to the next level.

No surprise then that analytics and BI are top technology priorities for CIOs in 2012 according to Gartner. The explosion of mobile, social and big data have accelerated business innovation, and BI is at the nexus of these mega trends. BI apps are being used in exciting new ways both internally for fact-based insights and externally for user empowerment. The opportunities to create new revenue streams and long-term customer loyalty are tremendous.

But some companies have shied away from using their BI platforms in support of self-service initiatives outside the firewall because they lack the required ease of use, scalability, and reliability. Some struggle with getting a 360-degree view of customer data across fragmented enterprise systems - and some have tried and failed.

If improving the customer experience is a priority for you this year, here are a few questions to ask about your current BI technology:

  • Is it robust enough to handle the larger number of users – can it scale easily?
  • Do you have the dashboard and data access ability to create an environment that gives your customers every report they want, with no training or special skills required?
  • Are you confident that your customers will get a consistent and accurate view of their data?
  • Can you easily provide a SaaS solution for your customers to create and access their own reports and analytics?

These are just a few of the questions we ask to make sure an organization is thinking about future-proofing its BI strategy in a world where the consumer is clearly in charge. Nowadays your customers expect to engage with you on a different, more personal level- and more often than not, they expect you to provide them with some fresh insights. Analytics are everywhere – from mobile apps that analyze your jogging progress to infographics that present complex stats through visually compelling charts and graphics. Everybody loves a little data.

We recently published a great customer success story on MasterCard. They understand how data can empower both employees and customers and in doing so must instill confidence, trust, and loyalty. Through more targeted reporting solutions to more parts of the business, MasterCard will deliver an unlimited set of BI assets to employees and customers. And they will be able to scale easily to meet evolving needs.

We are excited by this story and all of our customers’ innovative applications. And quite simply, we believe that BI is better when backed by our solutions for data integrity. You gain more business value through more accurate insights and decisions, which, in turn, provides a pretty solid foundation for long-term customer loyalty.

So that’s why we like to think of data as a diamond --a precious asset and a rock in a sea of uncertainty.