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How Big Data Analytics Provide Personalized Customer Experience Big data in itself is a huge chunk of meaningless data, until it is analysed and crunched into structured sets

By V Srinivasan

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When we planned a trip to Dubai this year, we chose to travel by Emirates as always. I was pleasantly surprised during the check-in, when the flight attendant not only upgraded us to business class but also gave us a gift hamper. I was curious why we received such preferred treatment. We were then informed that we were being rewarded for being loyal customers of Emirates. It took them a while, but now Emirates understands the power of its data and is now putting it to use.

Providing good customer experience is not easy. It requires the collective will of every employee to place the customer at the centre of attention.

Role of Big Data

In this endeavour, big data analytics can play a massive role. Big data by itself is a huge chunk of meaningless data, until it is analysed and crunched into structured sets. The process of analysing this meaningless data to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions is the next gold mine. Data Analytics and not Big Data is where businesses can add to their bottom line. In this age of "trends', are companies digitally reinventing themselves? Are companies able to derive meaning out of data and provide a superior customer experience?

Analytics is the Norm Now

Today, with the boom of big data, analytics has become a norm, regardless of the industry. Be it healthcare, retail, automobile or e-commerce, big data analytics is prevalent across sectors. Using analytics, companies are trying to provide personalized customer experiences. Converting data from customer engagements across channels help companies deliver a delightful experience, instead of an inferior one. Companies are also using various tools to analyse sentiments expressed across social media for improving customer experience.

Big Data Sector to Witness Eight-fold Growth

As per Nasscom, the big data analytics sector in India is expected to witness eight-fold growth to reach $16 billion by 2025. Did you know the famous doodle of Google changes to wish you on your birthday? Google, which has access to petabytes of data through Gmail users alone, analyzes data provided by its users and creates a customised doodle, wishing the user for the whole day.

Customers demand quicker response time from companies and are far more informed of products and competition. With easy access to internet and online stores worldwide, every second person is a customer and every internet user is a critique. The unavoidable and the most organic platform for gaining valuable customer insights into businesses currently is the plethora of social media forums.

Goldmine of Information

Considering this fact, companies also, are no longer dependent on traditional methods to engage with their customers. These platforms are goldmine of information that companies use to know about how customers feel about their products and services or what is attracting customers. This kind of information is helping marketers develop better engagement with customers on a more personalized level and build their strategies accordingly.

Technology Performing Real-time Analytics

According to a recent survey, 58 per cent of marketers worldwide use real-time personalization, while 80 per cent of the remaining segment plan to adopt personalization technologies. Delhi Land & Finance (DLF) deployed an innovative mobile-phone based solution that channels data insights from customers visiting DLF Promenade, a high-end shopping mall, serving the metropolitan New Delhi area. The technology performs real-time analytics to convert data gathered from shoppers' movements in the mall to provide meaningful interactions for smartphone users. DLF is using the solution to allow retailers in the mall to extend sales deals to shoppers via the app, based on footfall heat maps.

Research has also highlighted the value of personalized outreach. A report from McKinsey shows that personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and lift sales 10 percent or more.

Big data analytics is playing a huge role in empowering small businesses. This sector showcases high growth potential and by 2025, India will have a prominent 32% share in the global market. But are we truly analysing the data we collect? We have to move from merely collecting data, to making meaning out of it and funnelling it back to business growth and revenue.

Personalized Experience

Personalised experiences are going to be the crux of all customer engagements. If Emirates wouldn't continuously engage with me, I probably would've migrated to an airline who did, or would never have been such an ardent advocate of the airline. In a world where monopolies are dwindling and disruption is at a mass scale, customer delight stands out as an important element to fuel growth.

There's enough competition for any industry, but the idea of quality customer service is still alien to a lot. It's time brands get proactive rather than be reactive to customer expectations. The future of a brand's relationship with its consumer is going to be driven by big data analytics. And there's a lot of work to be done on this front. But for now, how many companies are going to recognise this void and act on it? The pie is there for the taking.

V Srinivasan

Founder Chairman, eMudhra Limited

Srinivasan is the Founder Chairman of eMudhra Limited since its inception in 2008. Prior to this, he was the Managing Director and Global Chief Executive Officer of a Global IT Company having more than 10,000 employees servicing a large number of customers in over 50 countries across 5 continents having a revenue of about 500 Million since April 2009. Having travelled widely around the world, he has a deep understanding of global business issues. Prior to this he was Senior General Manager in ICICI.

He is also the Chairman of India PKI Forum, a body sponsored by the Controller of Certifying Authorities, Ministry of IT, Govt. of India, for the development of Digital Signature Industry. He has presented papers relating to Digital Signature Industry in the Asia PKI Consortium.


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