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How to build a business case for better data?

Published: Friday, 15 December 2017 by Matthew Tod, Head of Analytics
Big Data Analytics

This line from the recent Forrester Consulting study we commissioned made me shout out “WOW!” It was an embarrassing moment, but take a look for yourself:

“90% of survey respondents say that the ability to track customers across digital touchpoints is important for future business success. Almost half say it is critical.”

Critical! 50% say it is a critical capability for future business success, and I think this shows how far digital transformation has been hijacked and turned into Customer Transformation. If you are wondering why the survey respondents, who were drawn from 200 global business leaders in Banking, CPG, Insurance, Retail and Telecoms, are so sure customer data is key to their success take a look at this table:

Our respondents are mainly interested in personalising customer interactions across channels to deliver increased revenues and ensure the success of digital transformation initiatives - and to do this they need better data. Forrester coined the phrase "Age of the Customer" and this research shows how right they were – detailed and accurate customer data is now considered critical to business success and, as such, there will be strong demand for investment in this area.

So, with that in mind how do you build a business case for better data, because clearly that is what most organisations need to transform and to grow. There are two main ways we have seen business cases created:

1.    Lower total cost of data. Yup, collecting better data costs less than repurposing other data sources, and though it may sound counter-intuitive we have seen this happen. The reason is that when the true cost of poor data is identified, it is far greater than the cost of good data, because there are hidden costs such as:

a.    Tagging costs

b.    Hosting and infrastructure costs

c.    "Confusion" caused by having multiple data sources and overlapping tracking tools

The missing element for most organisations is that they do not quantify the costs of data collection and their data strategy properly, but when they do and they start to measure the cost per 1000 customer records correctly, then the case for better data becomes overwhelming.

2.    Better personalisation is another way to develop a business case for better data. How? For example, we have seen clients achieve great improvements in email marketing, by moving from segmentation to true personalisation. The best example is a client who demonstrated a 25% uplift in customer (not campaign) revenues over a period of time by using data to dynamically personalise email. This is just one channel for them; they use the same data in contact centres and for website personalisation, so the overall impact is far greater. Take a look at the N Brown Group case study here to get more details.

Working with clients of Celebrus is a great privilege as they teach us so much. When helping our customers build business cases to secure investment in better data, we never cease to be amazed by the financial returns achieved when companies really commit to data collection and management best practice.

If you would like to know more about getting the right data strategy then please do download the Forrester paper here, or to discuss any of the points we have raised do reach out to the Celebrus team by dropping us an email: info@celebrus.com.

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