This is the era of “Big Data.” Or so a lot of pundits and conference speakers tell us relentlessly.
Of course it’s true that with better technology–and myriad new track-able customer interactions–we are now faced with a huge, expanding and sometimes overwhelming amount of customer data. Big data indeed.
For many, the focus has been on what data to collect, how to collect it and which technology to deploy. That’s a mistake.
More data without a customer insight strategy is irrelevant. New technology without humans who know how apply it is a waste of money.
Truly customer-centric companies invest first in 3 core things: a clearly articulated customer growth strategy, a robust customer insight plan and people who can apply useful intuition to a growing mountain of data.
I call this last group the “data whisperers.”
Data whisperers blend a highly technical skill set with pragmatic knowledge of how to usefully segment, attract, engage and retain your most valuable customers.
Data whisperers see the forest AND the trees. They are the secret sauce that make big, complex and expensive technology solutions actually generate actionable customer insight. They help your organization treat different customers differently.
So read the blogs, review the literature and enjoy the conferences.
Just don’t lose sight of what makes the difference between big data and big insight.