Business Lack Tools to Tame Influx of 'Big Data'
Businesses today are communicating with their customers more than ever before, whether it's through their website, social networks or mobile devices.
But new research reveals many companies aren't prepared to take advantage of the surge of network data generated by the growing use of such communication tools.
The survey, analyzed by Opus Research and sponsored by Empirix, found that 62 percent of c-suite executives lack a strategy for effectively tapping into the customer-originated data that's flowing through their networks.
And though data collected through the Internet, phone and social media can contain valuable insights into customer activity and preferences, only 38 percent of those surveyed said they are in a position to make the most of that information.
Dan Miller, senior analyst with Opus Research, said the use of mobile devices and social media is creating vast amounts of personal data that executives regard as an underutilized asset, especially when it comes to real-time interaction and e-commerce.
According to the study, nearly 60 percent of executives do not have a strategy in place to manage network data specifically from mobile users.
"The wealth of customer-originated information can help companies achieve stronger customer loyalty and better market position; however, our research shows that most c-level executives lack confidence in their companies making the most of the data," Miller said. "They are familiar with social CRM and ‘Big Data,’ yet many are only beginning to craft a strategy for staffing and investing in IT infrastructure to closely link personal information, network data and metadata to offer better customer service, support loyalty programs or influence product development and refinement."
Despite the fact that many executives consider such customer-generated data to be valuable information, nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said they rarely use the data because they lack the support to efficiently sift through it and make it meaningful.
The research was based on surveys of 200 c-suite executives, 100 from the United States and 100 from European countries.
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who spent 10 years working as a newspaper reporter before working in public relations. You can reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cbrooks76.