So, friend to friend, here's what I suggest: go talk to your marketing department. Ask them what they think your...
customers' needs and wants really are. When they answer you, ask them whether they know that for sure or whether they're guessing. The second answer will tell you whether marketing is operating off of gut-feel, or whether their knowledge about customers is fact-based. Then ask them what they need to know for sure. For instance, do they need to know an individual customer's product mix across lines of business? What about campaign response rates and retention rates within and across customer segments?
What I'm recommending here is that you start with a business organization that needs to be data-driven. And since you want to be a customer-focused organization, marketing is a good place to start. You could also start with sales or finance, two other organizations that need data and usually suffer from its absence (or inaccuracy). Begin with whoever will admit that the house is on fire.
The outcome of this will be a list of business questions that need to be answered. From there, you can identify the business processes and deconstruct the data to understand the right tactics for moving forward. Then, and only then, should you turn your head toward your customer database.
Dig Deeper on Customer data integration and CRM
Related Q&A from Jill Dyché
There’s a lot of confusion about agile business intelligence (BI). Get an expert’s take on what agile BI really is and if it’s a valid BI development... Continue Reading
Are some companies primed to get more use out of social media analytics than others are? Find out, plus learn how a social media analytics strategy ... Continue Reading
What’s the biggest BI problem companies keep running into? Overloading data at the expense of functionality, says an expert. Find out how to avoid ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.