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Using data

By Tom Lewis | 30th July 2015

Using data

This article is written by Tom Lewis of PwC and highlights the benefits of better utilising customer data. Companies at the forefront of the Big Data revolution, such as the UK supermarkets are able to turn information into knowledge and ultimately enhance profitability and build brand loyalty. As a result, we will only continue to see a demand in the market for experienced Data Analysts. 

Data can tell you more about the customer and help you run your business better


Digital is all about data. It’s now possible to collect, store, analyse and manipulate an unprecedented volume of data in fractional amounts of time. Bigger and better data can help you save time and money, improve your reporting, increase productivity, identify and manage risk, and monitor performance more effectively.

In other words, it can help you run your business much more efficiently. But that’s just the start. By turning information into knowledge, you can use it to manage your business not just run it. Data will help you support sharper and faster decision-making, target marketing spend on more profitable markets and customers, and enrich your innovation.

of digital data is revolutionising business – fuelled by SMAC

The UK supermarkets were at the forefront of the Big Data revolution and have been mining their vast storecard databases for at least 15 years. Other sectors have now caught up, but a relatively small number have made the next step: knowledge becomes actionable insight and a genuine competitive differentiator. The key here is that the digital revolution isn’t just about the quantity of data available, but the quality, richness and diversity of that data.

In other words, data is no longer sidelined in the IT silo, it’s at the very heart of the business.

Companies can now monitor what people look at on their websites, where they go in their stores, and what they say about both experiences on social media – all in real time. The sheer volume of data is what makes personalisation possible and that’s an idea whose time has very definitely come.

Leading players are using data much more cleverly to enhance their profitability and build brand loyalty. They are doing this differently to conventional data mining, which is often done ‘in the background’ and can be resented by shoppers as a result, because they feel their privacy is under threat and their data likely to be used purely for marketing purposes.

The new model is built on trust and begins with the customer and what they want to achieve. Such a high degree of personalisation means that customers will happily share their personal data, because they get something they value in exchange. There is one important caveat though: only those brands already perceived as trustworthy can even enter this game, and that trust must continue be earned and reinforced over time.