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5 questions to ask about your data and analytics

Data is everywhere, and growing fast. Is your business on the right course to analyse data to help make critical business decisions? Analytics gives meaning to volumes of data, so it’s important to make sure you are capturing the right data, storing and securing it legally, and generating actionable insights from it.

A perennial problem in business is a disconnect between what customers experience and what staff can do about what the business offers. Capturing and analysing data helps provides insights into this dilemma.

Here are five questions to ask yourself about the collection and use of data for use in your organisation.

1. What do we need to know about our customers? Do we capture this now?

Think about the most valuable information you could collect about your customers, and whether you are already capturing it. Are you trying to capture too much? There is no need to try and capture everything and anything if there is limited business value.

2. Where else might we get extra data about our customers?

If your suppliers, partners and business functions, including front line staff, have useful information about your customers, investigate how that could be used for your decision making.

3. How is the data we capture and analyse to be used? Have customers agreed with our intended use of the data we capture?

Develop a plan for customer data capture in the relevant processes. Recent changes to Privacy Legislation could catch you out. Let customers know how you intend to use their data, and make sure customers agree to its use for that purpose (through agreeing with your Ts and Cs or in agreements).

4. What insights are we looking to gain from our data – what does success look like?

Are you looking for trends? Outliers? Return on investment? Take-up of new products? Think about what insights will help you make decisions about a changing trend in the market, or about the success of a new product or service you have introduced.

5. How will data and analytics drive the strategic cycle of improvement and customer centricity?

Data will be present at every point in the customer journey. Make sure you are gathering the most important data and driving insights – in real-time if you can – along the way. A great example of this is to measure customer satisfaction at different points of their journey – through a simple, quick method, rather than a giant survey – to help understand pain-points customers experience when dealing with you.

You are what you eat: the data you capture, store, analyse and consume is the enabler of your customer-centric strategy.

Anthony Woodward is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Accelera