Much goes into the successful operation of a business. While some of the more obvious elements to successful operations stand-alone – such as global commerce and economic health – there are far more intricate reasons behind the successes and failures of companies. Elements like trends in customer behavior, important security practices, and even the protection of individual customer information are critical to the overall operation of the business. Understanding these intricacies might have been hard in previous decades, but with the technology available to companies today, it is now easier than before to predict customer behavior and leverage that data in secure but meaningful ways in order to stay ahead of competitors.
Big Data, Big Results
The term big data is often thrown around in business settings today, but it is not a new concept. Big data refers to the accumulation of extremely large sets of data generated by a demographic. In the sense of business, this almost always refers to data related to potential or current clients. Specifically, it refers to the way in which these data sets offer insight on trends, spending habits, and other potentially business-altering activities by its clients.
Big companies capture this data in droves every day. From healthcare companies who process payment information to retail industries who document what items are the most popular to buy, customers offer insight when they interact with companies.
But incidents like Facebook’s misuse of customer data during the election have people questioning the way that big corporations and agencies handle their data more than ever, making it difficult to see the good side of Big Data Analytics. However, data analytics have been used for decades to better market products and improve the customer experience.
Data Analytics Are the Customer Experience
Data analytics do many things to help companies, but what do they do to help customers?
One of most impactful ways in which data analytics help customers is through creating a more efficient customer service platform. For customers, this means:
- Data is more secure: When businesses upgrade their data analytics platforms to include processes like optical character recognition, fewer people need to be in contact with their information, making the data more secure. This is especially relevant to healthcare and financial records.
- Customer service turnaround time is lowered: No one likes waiting in a queue on the phone to be serviced, especially when the service is related to personal or sensitive information. Businesses have found that by using automation to improve data analytics, trends can be more accurately predicted and customer issues can be serviced more quickly.
- Cost savings: When companies invest in data analytics, they can use the information to improve processes and efficiencies and potentially lower their cost to market. Lowered costs in turn often translate to savings for customers.
- Product improvement: Trending via data analytics also allows companies to see what works for customers and what doesn’t work for them. When data trends indicate customers do not particularly care for a product or service, this allows them to take appropriate and timely steps to make changes to that product.
Use of customer data, especially in an age where people live their lives digitally, is a hotly contested issue right now. While the past month’s #DeleteFacebook movement emphasizes a greater cultural need for transparency when it comes to the data that is being utilized by companies, data analytics is not supposed to be a menacing topic.
For businesses, data analytics can both improve business income and provide ways to better serve their customers. For customers, data analytics can bring improvements across products, services, and how they are provided, while also bringing direct savings. As long as all that data can be kept secure from malicious ends, the benefits of data analytics are profound.