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  • Data analytics strategies and tools incite positive customer journeys

    Once upon a time, marketing and sales departments considered customer data analytics capabilities a nice-to-have but not very well understood shiny new toy. That's all changed. Today's highly competitive marketplace demands that successful companies differentiate themselves from the pack in more complicated ways. Data analytics strategies are seen as the lifeblood of effective marketing and sales campaigns designed to not only identify, target and convert prospects into customers, but also ensure brand loyalty with superior service that enhances the customer experience.

    Miner Corp., a loading-dock services company, depends heavily on fulfilling its service-level agreements in a timely manner, yet the company's human-driven process of dispatching field service technicians was in disarray and compromising SLA requirements. By automating the dispatch process with an application that embeds customer service analytics into another application that manages customer data and services issues, Miner was able to shave significant time off each of about 300 daily service requests. "Today, we don't rely on tribal knowledge. It's all systematized," CIO Mirza Chughtai said.

    Also featured in this e-book chapter by Executive Editor Lauren Horwitz is travel website company TripAdvisor, which capitalized on customer data analytics by using several business intelligence tools to gain insight into its users and the pathways they choose while on the site. In the process of improving browsing efficiency and converting more user pathways into sales, TripAdvisor also managed to reduce worker headcount by 70%. "With automated tools, you need fewer people and you make the people you keep more productive," noted Eric York, who handles the company's revenue optimization.

    Yet, there are hurdles along the way to achieving a unified customer experience, especially as companies struggle with integrating incoming data from multiple communication channels. One analyst still sees most companies' attempts as trial-and-error. Find out how the data analytics strategies of Miner and TripAdvisor overcame those obstacles.

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  • Companies still struggle to unlock customer data analytics insight

    Companies today know they may relinquish their competitive edge without a customer data analytics strategy. Continue Reading

  • How customer analytics boosts the digital marketing experience

    Relios sells jewelry. But its customer base isn't monolithic, so it uses analytics tools to send the right message to the right people. Continue Reading

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Problem Solve Customer analytics Issues

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  • Customer data analytics teams take on a more lawyerly look

    In some organizations, corporate lawyers are tasked with protecting data from analytics abuse. But they need to avoid tying the hands of data scientists. Continue Reading

  • Ignore customer data quality at your peril

    Customer data management is not high on many organizations' lists of priorities -- until it has to be. Customers get the same ads over and over again. They say a company they've done business with for years doesn't know them. Or thinks they're someone else. Then they get mad. Then they leave.

    Sound familiar? It should, because it's all too common. This issue of Business Information explores customer data quality issues at Boston public media organization WGBH, which hadn't kept its contact data stores clean for 60 years. The result was a morass of disorganized, incorrect and duplicate data that did little to impress donors that keep WGBH's TV and radio broadcasts on the air. In their cover story, Lauren Horwitz, executive editor of SearchCRM, and Tim Ehrens, site editor, look at the customer data messes made at WGBH and other organizations -- and how they remedied, or are remedying, the problems. Sophisticated technology like master data management software is one possible solution to the problem, Horwitz finds -- and good, old-fashioned data cleansing is another. Continuing the focus on customer data, Ed Burns, site and news editor of SearchBusinessAnalytics, reports on the customer analytics programs at companies such as eBay, Sears and Netflix. They're tapping their vast wells of customer data to extract valuable insights that can aid efforts to both attract new customers and keep the ones they already have happy.

    Grab another cup of joe and keep reading for a reality check on Java 8, the newest version of the programming language. Oracle released it in March and says its language structure is simpler, making it easier than ever to design software. But does it stand up to rival languages like Scala and Clojure -- and will big organizations even opt for Java 8 when they can extend investments in older versions?

    There's more: Dreamforce 2014 attendees' take on Salesforce.com's new analytics offering, a human resources IT director originally from Vietnam whose difficult assimilation to the U.S. led her to improve the new-hire orientation process at her current employer, and a new writer of our "Connect IT" column tells readers to throw out everything they know about the software selection process.

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  • Customer analysis a winning play for 'Candy Crush Saga' maker

    King Digital Entertainment was losing players of "Candy Crush Saga" at an early stage in the online game -- a problem it solved with help from a customer data analytics project. Continue Reading

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