Omniata BlogJanuary 19, 2016

Customer Data Roadmap: Sneak Peak

We all know the way you get to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice. But the path to perfect customer data is considerably less clear.

Omniata has just completed a study that will help you make better use of your customer data. The paper, to be released next week followed by a webinar on January 28, describes the steps that Omniata’s clients have moved through as they expand their use of customer data over time. Other marketers can expect their own companies to follow a similar progression.

One surprise in the findings is that most companies change direction more than once as they move towards better data. In particular:

  • it’s common to start by building custom systems to gather, analyze and report on customer data, only to outgrow those systems and replace them with commercial software as needs expand faster than in-house developers can keep up with them.

Knowing when you’re ready to make that transition is key: move to commercial software too soon and you might not understand your requirements or what to do with the system you buy; wait too long and you’ll waste increasing amounts of time and effort while producing suboptimal results.

Another important lesson captured in the paper is the need to coordinate organizational and application changes with upgrades to technology.

  • organizational issues are especially important because of the lead time involved in building new staff skills
  • whether you train current staff or hire new people, it’s important to see future needs clearly so you can make the necessary changes
  • other organizational changes will also take time to execute, such as putting in place new metrics and setting up new business processes

As with technology, Omniata has found that many companies follow a similar sequence of organizational changes. Understanding these patterns makes long-term planning practical and helps companies to keep technology, application, and organizational capabilities in sync.

In total, the paper describes six different stages in use of customer data, starting with not using the data at all and ending with use of advanced predictive models to optimize engagement at the individual level. There are a dozen topics covered for each stage, including the level of customer analysis, decision methods, types of data, identity management techniques, and metrics used. Taken together, these provide a framework for assessing a company’s current state, determining which gaps to close first, and planning movement to the next level of sophistication.

**Sign up for the webinar to get a free copy of the report.