Harnessing customer data through unification to deliver business value

As data analytics increasingly become a key ingredient in the success of every business, some companies may have taken "data is king" quite literally, amassing as much as they could. But an unmined gold mine is nothing but a plot of land, said panellists at a recent event organised by Dentsu Aegis Network Indonesia.

Amit Keswani, VP of digital initiatives at departmental store chain, Mitra AdiPerkasa said he has seen many businesses acquiring data for the sake of it and missing the rest of the three-step process - engagement and lifecycle tracking. He explained: "When customers give us data, we need to make sure we drive communication to keep them engaged. Next, we have to track key metrics such as cost per acquisition and average engagement of customer, and make use of predictive analytics, to prevent customer churn."

The three steps should be the foundation of every customer relationship programme. Data, according to Keswani, has to deliver value to the customer and the business.

With over 2,000 stores,Keswani said the company spent a lot of time unifying data onto single dashboard when it first embarked on data analytics. This includes inspecting data for accuracy, and developing offline-to-online technologies to integrate offline store and online store data.

As a legacy company without data science capabilities, Mitra AdiPerkasa tapped on?third-party technology stacks such as Salesforce and Google Analytics to build, automate and manage its data infrastructure.

Leveraging tech

The challenge for companies, however, lies in finding the right technology that aligns to their data strategy. According to a recent report by Chiefmartec.com, there are currently over 7000 marketing technology companies. With so many platforms to use, many companies are struggling with data silos.

Be it building a new capability or leveraging third-party providers, iProspect Valuklik CEO Rahul Nambiar said he has seen too many clients getting "lost" in the sea of technologies and data sources available. Rather than taking a long time to building a technology stack, Nambiar advised businesses to focus on identifying platforms that can help meet specific use cases and bring "quick wins" to users.

"I think most clients primarily need to identify when to use what technology every day. They need to understand how to bring the platforms together, and bring in the right talent to connect offline and online data," he said.

Meanwhile, for CT Corpora, whose operations span across finance services, retail, food and beverage, insurance and media, the biggest hindrance to breaking down data silos is regulation. CT Corpora group executive director Leroy Pinto said the company has opted for a hybrid model to encrypt certain datasets, while integrating others into its customer data platform.

"We really think about what will drive business value, and who the customer will be. We're driving internal best practices and using AI predictive models to predict how likely customers are going to convert," he added.