Big Data versus Right Data: The Customer Intelligence Revolution

April 11, 2013

If you’re like me, Forrester’s new report by analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo, Navigating the Future of Customer Intelligence is sure to light a fire under you, if not several fires. Customers are completely changing the game, and if we don’t change with them, we will miss key opportunities and our businesses may not even survive the disruption we all find ourselves in.

We are seeing massive shifts in consumer behavior. They are mobile, they are social, and they are impatient. We have to engage them on their terms, across channels. We have to leverage the data we have about them: not just big data, but what Forrester calls “right data.”

On top of this trend, we have the flood of information coming at us from sensors of all kinds. Some of these sensors customers are even willing to wear 24/7 to help them improve their health (Nike FuelBand, FitBit). But even setting aside these types of leading-edge consumers, we still need to find in all that data the right data that provides us with customer intelligence to drive engagement.

We have to overhaul how we think about recognition and identification of customers to tailor our messages. To quote Forrester, “Marketers need strategies and systems in place to follow their consumers as they flit from one channel to the next. CI professionals need to consider recognition – knowing who an individual actually is – together with broader customer context – what we can know about them, all in a privacy-compliant way.”

And we all know that there’s a sea of big data ready to help us, but how, in all of that, can we find the right data? Resources to deal with those exabytes of data are still beyond many of us. This is the elephant in the room when it comes to big data. But to be honest, this insight from the report did not discourage me at all. Although Forrester said, “the resources required to make those exabytes of data meaningful – data scientists, decisioning engines, and text and natural language processing tools – are still out of reach for many organizations,” here at AgilOne we have taken the power of machine learning and PhD analytics and packaged it for marketers just like you, and we stand ready to help you.