Why big data is crucial to customer experience
Customer experience is now the most important digital initiative, followed by building a single customer view and customer journey management, writes Sébastien Vugier, the senior vice president and general manager of ecosystem engagement and vertical solutions at Axway. Enterprises perceive their customers and their ecosystem to be a key source of co-innovation, moving away from solely relying upon their internal research and development teams.
To provide the ultimate customer experience companies need to be more collaborative than ever. This means sharing data, co-innovating and encouraging as much participation as possible. It’s still a real challenge to create a trusted environment in which organisations will freely exchange data, but this is what’s needed in order to enable all parties to capture valuable insights from partners, customers and other stakeholders that will help to improve the customer journey and experience.
What each participant needs to remember is that in a customer experience network the synergistic value created by the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. By working together enterprises will be provided with big data that will enable them to crack the code and deliver superior customer experiences. Should organisations continue to choose to work in isolation however, they will soon find themselves struggling to source all the data they need.
How can businesses build a successful big data strategy?
In order to harness big data effectively and make the most of a customer experience network, companies need to have an effective big data strategy in place. However, as organisations try to build big data projects, they are often unable to successfully execute it because costs are constrained, they lack the right skills, omit to adopt agile procedures, and they want to reuse the existing infrastructure. As a result, the business initiatives that depend on the big data foundation are often implemented in regional or line of business silos, ultimately failing to deliver a return on investment (ROI) or taking much longer to achieve results. So what do companies need to do to get the most out of a big data strategy?
- Define objectives – A big data strategy created with the sole purpose of exploring various possibilities is likely to end up in confusion. An efficient strategy must be driven by a pragmatic approach, starting by identifying what business problems to solve and validating assumptions through experiments involving internal users and customers.
- Optimise data storage – Start to optimise legacy data warehouse by moving data on modern infrastructure and technologies, more suitable for large data volume handling and processing and also facilitating the run of complex algorithms and analysis. A cloud architecture can often be considered at this stage.
- Implement best practices – Build common practices and architecture framework around the concept of data lake to quickly unleash the value of data. By doing so, companies can benefit from a robust and scalable architecture built on multiple layers to properly collect and ingest data at different paces, store large amount of raw data in any formats, protect sensitive information, manage data quality at expected level, refine data if necessary and derive data to quickly allow analysis and accessibility.
- Be selective – Care should be taken not to fall into excesses statistics and/or spurious correlation that could be beyond needed actionable steps for customers. The data, analytics, and insights that are generated by the analysts must be communicated precisely and openly to internal users. The final information should be represented in a way that its value is connected to actions by the implementation team.
- Act on the figures – Lead change for information being the company fuel, by applying the right user experience on how data are delivered to employees or the company’s digital ecosystem. A brand new customer oriented marketing based on big data should be used to improve and even alter the current marketing practices.
In order to advance businesses need to ensure that any big data initiatives are driven by business outcomes. Once a strong strategy framework has been created, organisations need to arm their developers with the training and software they need in order to get the most out of big data and start providing a better customer experience.
Getting the most from big data requires big levels of collaboration. By joining forces and creating a customer experience network organisations will be able to lead the way on innovation and customer experience, and secure their position at the top of the market.