Growth through analytics has been gaining attention, as companies learn that developing cohesive analytics is critical to achieving the right customer experience (CX) that will sustain sales.
This was a key message at the Customer Analytics Innovation Summit in Chicago last week. The two-day conference designed to explore how businesses are using analytics to gain deeper insight into their customers.
Representatives from a number of industries shared best practices and insights on identifying, attracting and retaining customers through analytic practices.
Sponsored by the Innovation Enterprise, which specializes in content for finance, operations and analytics, hosted the event. Partners included BeyondCore, a company that claims it's on a mission to “Empower every business user with the power of analytics.”
The Power of Analytics
To reach the broadest cross section of professionals, the presentations covered topics related to techniques, such as choosing the best data visualization for sharing insights to determining the right expertise, and high-level concerns, such as selecting the right mix of expertise among personnel resources.
But the even focused on the connection between analytics and CX.
As one presenter shared from a Gartner study, most retailers view customer experience as a major driver of revenue — and analytics reflects an organization’s commitment to providing customer value.
Irving Turner, director of insights and analytics at Saving Star, a Boston start-up, explained how attrition addresses customer value. He also noted that it can be a segmentation challenge.
It's difficult to quantify how people leave or stay within an experience because the reasons for leaving may seem too varied on the surface to detect a consistent pattern.
He noted the importance of "traceable tender" — loyalty programs which make attrition issues easier to spot and thus prevent a decline in customers.
Audi representative Aaron Cohen, the company's general manager of strategy and analytics, explained how corporations are optimizing customer experiences. Cohen said Audi has experienced significant sales growth in its bid to top BMW, Mercedes-Benz and other premium marques in the US luxury car market.
The brand relies on data blending to set KPIs that support its target strategy.
Data blending is essential since data from a considerable number of outside influences — social, political, economic — can factor into strategic plans when examining customers or competitors.
Ping Wu, director of analytics at MetLife, highlighted operational concerns as it relates to customer analytics. She showcased how a reporting team transformed into an advanced analysis team, as well as noting the influence of analytics across the sales funnel.
Integrating Tools and Solutions
Companies are turning to freemium services, add on solutions and open sourced platforms to gain added insights.
For example, Wu and several other presenters noted the advantage of creating data visualizations with tools from Tableau. And Monobina Saha, senior data engineer at Sears, explained the value of R programming, a popular open source programming language among data scientists.
Stephen Archut, manager for product marketing at IBM, presented an overview of Watson Analytics. He shared how the rise of do-it-yourself perspective influenced the decision to offer Watson Analytics.
He also noted a new feature called refine, which permits more cross-account changes within Watson, and shared how IBM is now offering Watson as a brand for analytics and related services.
Overall the Consumer Analytics Innovation summit conveyed the right messages for integrating tools and personnel resources into a high performance customer-centric organization.