Data Analytics is both a quantitative and qualitative approach that derives valuable insights from data. It comprises multiple processes that include extracting data, classifying it to analyze the different patterns, relations, connections, and other such useful insights from it. Today, most organizations have adopted a data-driven approach and this means that they put a focus on always collecting more data that is related to the market, customers, and the various business processes. Later, to derive valuable insights from it, this data is then processed- categorized, stored and analyzed.

The insights provided by data analysts help companies to optimize their resources and cater to their customers with confidence, while also allowing them to innovate in the changing markets. Data analysts help companies to understand customer-behavior and also predict changes in that behavior. In the context of manufacturing companies, and especially while adopting digital commerce strategies, product data becomes just as critical. The analysts consider the product data to draw correlations with the needs of the consumers. For e.g. what product data do they seek? What helps them make a buying decision?

The practice of analytics also gives companies an insight into why customers leave, and how to make them stay by providing data on product/service improvements.

Owing to these benefits, more and more companies are aiming to become data-driven. However, only a few have managed to make the best use of their data to make their business more profitable.

A survey was conducted to find out about the data and analytics capabilities and the speed and effectiveness of decision-making of 400 companies around the world. These were companies with revenues of more than $1 billion. The results were shocking. The survey revealed that only 4% of companies were performing well at leveraging analytics and were using analytics insights to improve the way they operated.

Data analytics is only impactful when it supports change. What this means is, companies must be able to use the information they gather to take actionable steps. To accomplish this, the data analysts should be more focused on their customers.

Here are a few steps data analysts can take to become more customer focused:

1. Understanding The Problem:

Data analysts should first focus on identifying the real problem their customers are looking to solve. Gathering data for data’s sake isn’t enough. Data analysts need to understand what their customer is going to do with the data provided to them. And what role will the data that is provided to them play in terms of solving the problem at hand? This mindset will help data analysts to direct their actions and ensure that their analysis is both useful and actionable.

2. Providing Different Types Of Data:

Many data analysts lay more emphasis on descriptive analytics- what really happened. They don’t include sufficient diagnostic analytics- why and how it happened. They also tend to ignore predictive analytics- what will happen next. For data analytics to be able to fix the problems of a customer and help transform the course of the business, all these 3 analytics models are necessary.  Data analysts must pay heed to the entire customer journey and all the data points thrown up over the course of that journey

3. Providing Accurate & Reliable Data:

Data analytics is used to influence the strategic decisions a company makes. That being so, data analysts need to ensure that the data-driven insights that they provide are accurate, timely, and relevant. They need to examine if they have the expertise to assess whether their data is good enough to solve their customers’ problems. They need to question themselves if their analysis drives actions that give significant value to their customers. By putting the right systems and infrastructure in place from the beginning, data analysts can yield insights that are useful, accurate, and easy to understand.

In their book, Data Mine Techniques, data experts Gordon Linoff and Michael Berry have said- “Forward-looking companies are moving toward the goal of understanding each customer individually and using that understanding to make it easier (and more profitable) for the customer to do business with them rather than with competitors.”

So, to put things in perspective, by being customer-focused, data analysts can help companies to become more customer-centric -the holy grail! By divining meaningful patterns in customer and market behavior, data analysts can help organizations to target customers, both new and existing, effectively and can help companies to maximize their impact. In the long-term, they also offer businesses a chance to improve the products/services they provide and to skillfully direct investment towards fostering brand advocacy. To sum up, everything starts with data analysts becoming more customer-focused!

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