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Navigating the best path through the fire hose of data

We’re all living in a data-rich world with a non-stop fire hose of personal information. The challenge faced now relates to the accurate and critical analysis of the constant flow of data we’re presented with.

Understanding it delivers key insights into how to effectively reach, prospect, win, retain and appropriately serve legitimate customers.

Data strategies have existed in large organisations for the past decade and beyond. But the big difference now is in the amount of data evolving and expanding. What’s more, its value is reflected by the rise in seniority of the people now overseeing the data strategies.

Our research shows that one in nine believe data is changing the way they do business. So much so that three in five (61 per cent) want to see a chief data officer hired within the next 12 months to define data strategy and be the guardian of data quality within an organisation.

Regardless of where it now sits within an organisation, whether it is in marketing, risk or even product, strategic decisions are being made about data. Within this, single customer view (SCV) has a prominent place. In fact, it is a core strategic focus for the banking and financial services sector. Alongside this we see a growing trend to give the customer a single view of their own, with the goal of helping them engage and manage their own money and finances better.

Business leaders want to understand what is going to drive the ‘next best action’ around SCV. They want to know who their customers are regardless of where in their organisation those customers sit. Despite the fact that it is a strategic focus, and this focus is intense, very few have actually managed to achieve it.

To put things into perspective, some big organisations had started thinking about SCV back in 2000. But 15 years later, they are still not really there.

What’s more, consumers are now asking more and more ‘do you know me?’ ‘Do you know how to communicate with me in a meaningful way?’ Client psychology has developed in the big way. It’s much more about predictive analytics and understanding customers on an emotional level. How will they behave under certain circumstances? This is especially significant for organisations that are subject to increasing regulatory requirements, where they must ‘know’ their customer.

Everyone agrees that a 360 view of a person, both now and in the future, is possible and that data is the way forward. The issue is execution. How do you bring data together? How do you move forward? How quickly can value be delivered?

So now we see the rise of the chief data officer to deliver solutions that will bring us closer to it. Some companies have appointed a chief data officer predominantly from a compliance perspective. But there is potential for them to deliver more - enabling firms to capitalise on big data opportunities and providing a consistent approach to de-risk data driven projects.

This role is growing and is delivering incremental wins, but whether it succeeds in closing the gap is yet to be seen.



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