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Insight-driven organizations aren't just performing better than their competition, they’re stealing customers and revenue.

In fact, research by Forrester has found companies that systematically harness insight from customers are set to make $1.8 trillion annually by 2021, growing at a rate of 30% each year. What sets them apart, according to the research firm, is that they are customer-obsessed, gathering insight and using it to create competitive advantage.

For those companies who want to join the ranks, there are three key things they must do with their data to glean insight that informs effective action.

Tip 1: Democratize the use of actionable insight

Don’t mistake data-rich or data-driven for insight-driven. To be the latter, you need actionable insight that you can use to deliver better products, more effective marketing campaigns and a superior customer experience.

"Simply having large amounts of data does not necessarily mean that it will change the way a business is run," writes Brahmajeet Desai, director of sales at Kyvos Insights. Having data is just the first step. Becoming insight driven requires closing the gap between “data” and “value of data” by having a framework to easily sift through large amounts of data. That gap is actually widening because the pool of data is growing and it’s taking more time to analyze it.

If you’re going to be an insights-driven organization, you need to create a culture where every business decision is supported by verified and analyzed data.
Explains Desai, “A true insights-driven organization enables all users, even those without a technical background, to analyze and gain insights from data without needing support from IT or the analytics department to produce the reports they need.”

Tip 2: Create a unified view

Becoming insight-driven requires breaking down data silos and creating a single view of the customer. This step requires unifying your data.

To create a unified view of the customer, Forrester Consulting's thought leadership paper commissioned by SAP suggests deploying a multitiered data architecture and embracing modern technology as a first step. Doing so will allow you to meet your future needs because the amount of data will only grow exponentially. Forrester is also a strong proponent of making sure “citizen” data analysts and scientists can yield insights through the adoption of more sophisticated self-service predictive capabilities. Analytics should be a part of everyday processes and applications, so insights are pushed to users in real time.

Providing this 360-degree view of your business enables you to focus on solving business problems and increasing your top and bottom lines, according to Forrester Consulting.

Tip 3: Prioritize customer relationships

Insight-driven businesses have a different DNA. They are built differently than conventional businesses because they are structured to use all relevant data and insight to serve the customer. That's why unifying your data and incorporating 360-degree analytics into your corporate culture aren't quite enough.

"Insights-driven businesses are customer obsessed," says Forrester in the report Insights-Driven Businesses Set the Pace for Global Growth. "Thus, they elevate the importance of customer insight."

Our chief marketing and strategy officer, Tyler Douglas, holds a similar view, saying that lack of authentic customer relationships is one of the biggest challenges in becoming insight-driven. "Companies need to recognize that customers are more than just numbers on a spreadsheet,” he wrote in a recent blog post. “If customers refuse to participate and provide their feedback, it’s impossible to get quality data and real insight."

To learn more about the secrets of insight-driven organizations, watch our webinar featuring Forrester

How Insight-Driven Businesses Will Lead in Digital Experience by 2020

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Kelvin Claveria

Kelvin Claveria was the former Content Marketing Manager and was responsible for Vision Critical's blog and social media marketing program. Before joining Vision Critical's global marketing team, Kelvin worked at Dunn PR, a Vancouver-based public relations firm. His experience includes working with lifestyle, real estate, and non-profit clients to develop social media marketing and PR strategies. Kelvin has a Bachelor of Business Administration from SFU's Beedie School of Business.
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