How Businesses Can Use Data Analytics to Make Better Decisions and Improve Customer Experience
Across any business dozens – if not hundreds – of decisions are made every day. But what information informs those decisions? Are leaders blindly making choices based on instinct? Often, the answer is yes.
“Without data you’re just another person with an opinion” – W. Edwards Deming
There's a better way to shape your decision-making strategies with the results from data analytics. Businesses that use data analytics and refer to its insights when making decisions see increased sales and profits. Yet there are other, long-term benefits that prove just as valuable: namely, improving customer experience and building loyalty.
The Link between Analytics and Decision-Making
The goal of data analytics is to positively impact decision-making. Consider how this is achieved by looking at the pipeline of processes involved in an analytics project:
First, a business must work with a skilled data analyst to identify the questions or issues that stakeholders hope to address, for instance, analyzing customer experience and determining what future steps should be taken to improve it.
Next, the analyst must identify the data necessary to address the project's goals. Once the data is identified, it must be wrangled, cleaned, preprocessed and run through algorithms which the analysts constantly tweaks and adjusts to cull the best possible results.
After the results are gathered they need to be analyzed, and presented to business stakeholders in a customized, user-focused visualization layer that addresses the goals outlined at the project's outset.
Armed with these insights and recommendations, stakeholders can move forward making decisions that will impact customer experience.
Without access to the intelligence delivered during analytics, stakeholders operate in an unfocused manner, making ill-informed decisions.
Better Decisions Equals Better Customer Experience
When businesses make decisions based on analytics everyone wins, including the customer. For instance, a major commercial airline uses analytics to mine social media data and generate targeted offers and marketing campaigns aimed at specific customers' needs and desires. The result? Improved conversions and -- you guessed it -- increased customer satisfaction.
In another example, recent research reports showed that utility companies that took advantage of data analytics gained insights into the energy usage for each of their customers. With this knowledge, the utility companies developed customized services and segmented offers for their customers. These steps ultimately improve customer experience.
Let Solution as a Service Handle Analytics
Moving through the data analytics process can be an overwhelming experience for businesses that are not equipped with data analytics teams. Though many companies rely on their IT departments to handle analytics, IT professionals do not have the same specialized skillset as analysts.
The software used during analytics is an unwieldy entity and needs to be managed by highly skilled data scientists, who have experience with processes such as text analytics. These scientists have both the analytics background and business acumen necessary to identify patterns and trends in data and derive insights from a project.
Rather than muddle their way through an analytics project on their own, businesses can work with a vendor that offers a Solution as a Service (SolaaS) approach to analytics. Through a single vendor, SolaaS marries a top-of-the-line analytics engine with a team comprised of the industry's top data analysts. These analysts work with business stakeholders to identify project goals, then identify data sets, conduct analysis, and deliver a user-focused, goal-oriented presentation of insights. With these insights, business leaders can make smarter, data-driven decisions that positively impact customer experience.
Business leaders make thousands of decisions every year that can impact a company's bottom line, as well as customer experience. Identifying business goals or concerns and using data analytics insights to impact decision making will ultimately improve customer experience. But businesses are not typically equipped to handle these analytics projects on their own. Instead, they can guarantee analytics success by working with a vendor that offers a Solution as a Service (SolaaS) approach to data analytics. A SolaaS analytics has access to a powerful backend and can derive insights that help businesses improve customer experience.