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How to Avoid 5 Mistakes of Customer Data Analysis

Numbers may not lie, but they also do not tell the whole story either. For all their good intentions, businesses often mistake the message that their accumulated customer data is sending them. In an article for CIO magazine, Anna Frazzetto discusses five particular mistakes businesses make and how to not fall victim to them:

  1. Forgetting about exceptions
  2. Missing customer blind spots
  3. Looking backward instead of forward
  4. Not letting the customer lead
  5. Forgetting to explain the why

Misread Numbers

When it comes to customer data, it is important to look at the overall trends of course, but you should also dig deeper and look at exceptional cases. Frazzetto points to the case of metrics that look at people who buy in-store versus online; these are relevant data, but some realized it was more important to look deeper at the people who study in-store and buy online and vice versa. Examining exceptions in this case gave way to the idea of omni-channel customers.

Sometimes, the customers themselves may not consider the full sophistication of the products they use. In this case, Frazzetto uses an example of a friend who owned a smart watch that could unlock his house, but he had not realized until Frazzetto pointed it out that he would be vulnerable to much larger security risks now if he lost it. Businesses should try to be prescient in these matters, finding solutions to problems before customers even realize they exist.

A third mistake of data analysis is to act according to what the trends look like right now. The reason this is a mistake is because, to quote Yoda, “Always in motion is the future.” Your strategy and products need to be targeting the place where trends are headed—not where they are right now.

Frazzetto says this about making the mistake of not letting the customers lead:

The digital age had [bred]digitally native consumers who shop and engage on their own terms. Recently, I was at an event in Australia during which an IT leader asked a panel of CIOs about how companies can keep customers engaging inside their business ecosystem. (Think Amazon’s Alexa Echo now offering customers new ways to get to and access the services and products they want) One CIO[] responded that the customer takes the lead and it is the businesses’ job to follow where the customer wants to go. If a customer prefers voice recognition to make a bank transfer rather than go through the bank’s web site and engagement process, we don’t shut down that option. Instead, our job is to facilitate the customer’s desired path.

Finally, when introducing or changing products or services, you must always be able to convey why they are valuable. Just because the data tells you it is the right thing to do may not be enough to get the public on your side. Spell out the connection between your products and services and an easier life for the consumer.

You can view the original article here: https://www.cio.com/article/3224571/analytics/5-mistakes-companies-make-when-analyzing-customer-data-and-how-to-avoid-them.html

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid’s Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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