Turning Data Into Insights for Competitive Advantages

We live in the world of Big Data. Actually, there’s too much data (see our sister company’s blog, “How Much Can You Eat” on this topic). But that doesn’t stop organizations from wanting more.

The “2018 Data & Analytics Global Executive Study and Research Report” by MIT Sloan Management Review of over 1,900 business executives, managers, and analytics professionals contains 23 pages full of insights on the  significant increase in the number of organizations that are using analytics to turn data to their advantage. This is especially true in customer engagement.

According to the authors, data and analytics allow companies to tap feedback and offer tactics to improve their customer engagement and, therefore, satisfaction. The good news is that B2B companies are gaining the most benefits from this shift because they share data with customers in a way that directly strengthens their relationship. In other words, it is better to give than receive.

Key findings from their survey include the following trends:

  • Competitive advantage from analytics continues to grow. The survey points out that over half of the managers in their survey say they are using analytics to gain a competitive advantage — higher than in the previous two years. In our own research, we have been doing more and more research around competitors for our clients, including mystery shopping. The result? Numerous insights to tighten up the relationship of our clients with their current customer base, and uncovering tactics to help them engage in acquiring new customers.
  • Analytics is driving customer engagement. Organizations that demonstrate higher levels of analytical maturity saw a marked advantage in their customer relationships. The most analytically mature organizations are twice as likely to report strong customer engagement as the least analytically mature organizations.
  • Analytically mature organizations use more data sources to engage customers. The survey points out that while many companies use data, those that analyze it are 4x more likely to gather data from all four sources: customers, vendors, regulators, and competitors. In addition, these companies also are more likely to use social media or public data to engage customers. Our own work bears this out. For example, we utilize spiff program data to uncover enormous insights for our clients into the behaviors of their customers. Such information results in better engagements, leading to better customer retention.
  • Sharing data can improve influence with customers and other groups. The survey says that sharing data increases a company’s influence with “not only customers, but also a broad array of other stakeholders.” This has always been a basis of our existence: knowledge and service. This website itself has recently been revamped to do just that: share our knowledge. When we do that, we are rewarded with remarkable discoveries.

The MIT report has other information that you will find useful in your thinking about customer engagement. You can see it on the web at the link above, as well as download the pdf for yourself. Let me know what you think!