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Data - the lifeblood of the enterprise

Data has been a term that is commonly used with little context or definition, making it difficult to ascertain how it can actually help within a business environment. Companies need to view data as more than mere numbers, and instead as something actionable to support meaningful customer experiences. More importantly, how can we integrate this data into businesses – how can data become the lifeblood of the enterprise?

Data science makes it possible to better collect data and analytics, giving businesses the opportunity to capture every customer interaction and analyse trends and patterns that can be repeated. It enables organisations to get ahead of a customer’s actions, to know what customers want before they even know they want it. This in turn enables businesses to take the most relevant and timely next step, allowing them to become more competitive, service-orientated and get closer to their customers than ever before.

Organisations need to capitalise on the use of data to deliver a relevant and hyper-integrated customer experience. An example of a disconnected experience is going into a store and being unable to return an item purchased online because frustratingly, the brand’s website is a separate system. Brands need to ensure that they are delivering the same experience across all channels, devices and touchpoints. No matter where the customer is, the experience should be the same. Clean data can accomplish this.

But it’s not just about making sure your data is clean: the next generation of successful businesses will look to data science to revolutionise their entire organisation. The commitment of today’s analytics and business intelligence is that data will no longer be isolated to databases. The data should be integrated into the entire organisation, prompting businesses to realign executives, employees and processes around the customer and absorb insight-driven value propositions throughout. No longer should the sales and marketing department work in silos.

The best companies are moving up the analytics maturity scale by investing in predictive and prescriptive intelligence tools to lead data-driven insights and take the next best action. From Bluewolf’s recent report, 68% of companies will be increasing their investments in analytics in the coming year. In addition, 6 out of ten companies cite poor inconsistent quality or lack of data as their biggest challenge to producing personalised campaigns.

Ultimately, it is not about the volume of data a business keeps but what it can do with it. Data becomes much more useful when it is consolidated into a single view. Furthermore, clean, easily accessible data gives companies the insight to be predictive, precise and prescriptive in maximising customer moments and achieving business outcomes.