“We don’t need data to back up our decisions when fine-tuning our marketing communications” said no Marketer ever.

When a business says they aspire to be more data-driven, what do they really mean? Well, typically, they want analytics capabilities to expose trends which provide confidence in any future decisions made. Becoming data-driven is arguably a key trend within Marketing, as such valuable insight could drive marketing strategy. But what does this mean operationally day-to-day for conversing with the customers over the phone?

A truly data-driven organisation is one which can distribute insight across teams enabling them to confidently make tweaks and changes to the way they operate. At the lower levels of the organisation hierarchy, team managers should have the systems architecture in place which supports their day-to-day decisions. There is one fundamental reason for this: decisions latency or the translation of a threat (or opportunity) into a preventative (or proactive) action that compliments your customer experience objectives, quickly. Without the ability to have data available, on demand, in near-as-real-time as possible runs the likelihood that marketing communications will be restricted to being reactive to adverse customer experiences rather than being proactive and preventative – to avoid the adverse customer experiences in the first place. So, becoming data-driven means giving your customer-facing employees the ability to articulate the need for improvements such as revising marketing communications to accurately align the customer’s expectations to the experience.

But how can a large organisation with many customer interactions taking place ensure they have the data available to facilitate improved customer interactions? The data required to effect change can be broken down into three fundamentals: who interacted, how frequently and what was the outcome? Through examining these three facets, trends may be discerned. The identification of a trend then drives the following conversations; do we need to influence the outcome, and if so, how do we make this happen?

The use of an analytics dashboard is a perfect example of becoming data-driven across the organisation. Using the above example of telephony, customer service agents and team leaders should have a consistent view of the same metrics, which they can understand and trust - trust being the principal word. There are many analytics dashboard technologies available on the market (my personal favourite being Tableau for its user interface) enabling organisations to tie into their raw data sources and provide real-time feeds to a diverse audience. The exercise of building and assimilating an analytics dashboard is a value-add activity itself and can set the precedent for improving systems architecture, especially when the question posed to the audience is one which identifies the purpose for any insight: “What decision(s) need to be made and how should the insight be presented?”

For organisations encouraging data-driven decisions from the top hierarchy levels downwards consideration should be given that in order to report accurately with high confidence levels, the granular data is a prerequisite and will require insight-integrity validations regardless. Therefore, the really rich insight for strategic planning purposes comes from having the detail in place at the tactical level, which can then be “rolled up” to help articulate the organisation’s more strategic marketing directives.

An organisation only has a finite analytical resource available, so what if the burning, frequent questions continued to be asked, but via the intelligent implementation of always-on analytics dashboards to multiple hierarchy levels of the organisation, were always confidently answered?

Andrew Pritchard

Consultant at Comet Global Consulting

Andrew is a Consultant within the Strategy and Insights practice at Comet. Inspired by an ambition to make operational activities slick by working smarter, he has been delivering new touchpoint capabilities at pace. Andrew arrived at Comet with a First Class Honours Degree in Logistics and a further 3 years of experience within Oil and Gas where he proactively managed global suppliers; driving streamlined internal and external operations through the promotion of intelligent use of Material Resource Planning systems. Now he’s taking on both consultative and project management roles within clients to compliment their marketing objectives.