Introduction to Six Strategies for Advancing Customer Knowledge

Categories: General

It’s almost indefensible today to say that there is a single more important asset to a modern business than the health and happiness of their customers.  We simply can not grow as an enterprise without the support, voice, and participation of our users and constituents. However, rarely are our customers raising their hands to speak to us.

That doesn’t mean that our customers aren’t talking to us.  Buried deep in the data are the context clues that can point us to what our customers want which helps us grow, retain, and service them better. But with an ever-growing amount of data it has never been more complicated to make sense of which data sets and which behaviors should be most important to us.  

TDWI Research


TDWI Research is a leading research and consulting firm that focuses on broadening the knowledge and success of BI professionals worldwide. They hold a series of well-attended industry events that focus advancing the art of modern analytics and big data.  They have empowered countless companies to move beyond legacy reporting practices to lean, agile analytics practices.  They can deliver both the breadth and depth needed to make these strategies applicable to a wide range of scenarios, and Cloudera has partnered with them to help our customer and prospects better understand how to apply big data platforms to deliver better customer insights.    

David Stodder is Senior Director at TDWI focusing his research on best practices for organizations implementing BI, analytics, data discovery, data visualization, performance management, and related technologies. He is a well-recognized thought leader in applying modern BI and analytics to the world of customer insights and brings a unique vantage point to his latest topic “Six Strategies for Advancing Customer Knowledge with Big Data Analytics”.  David sets the stage for us on the importance of marrying data with customer intelligence.

“It is a competitive advantage to know more about your customers and to apply this knowledge to marketing, sales, support, and the development of products and services. Though some organizations previously had experience with statistics and data mining on a limited scale, the advent of big data and the expansion of data science, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence capabilities (such as machine learning) have transformed the way organizations think about how to gain knowledge about customers and apply it to key initiatives.

No longer limited to just a few sources of transactional data and customer relationship management (CRM) records, organizations today can analyze behavioral data trails left by customers as they move through multiple channels, including social media. In addition, more customers today are using mobile devices to research and shop for products; organizations need to include geolocation data and information generated by customers’ use of mobile applications as part of their big data view.

Six Strategies


TDWI offers a multitude of resources in many form factors.  One that is traditionally in high-demand due to its helpfulness and brevity is their Checklist Reports.  These are short, best-practice-filled papers with simple ideas to help move your company in the desired direction.  They take into account that these types of transformational shifts take time, but having a bearing on the tasks ahead is extremely valuable.  This TDWI Checklist focuses on six strategies for advancing customer knowledge with big data analytics. It begins with the all-important first step: gaining as close to a complete, 360-degree view of customers as possible. Big data platforms enable organizations to assemble data for a 360-degree view. The Checklist explores how to expand the impact of big data analytics while applying governance to ensure proper care of customer data. Taken together, the six strategies will help you apply big data analytics to attracting and retaining your organization’s most valuable asset: its customers.  The opportunity as David describes it is…

By gathering together the assortment of big data available to them and applying advanced analytics and data science techniques, organizations can gain a detailed, contextual understanding of customers’ paths to purchase, what types of marketing strategies are most effective, and how customers influence—and are influenced by—other customers. Increasingly, organizations can implement visualization tools supported by broadly accepted, open source–based data management technologies to enable not just trained analysts and data scientists but business users to interact directly with big data.

Whether aided by data scientists or on their own, business users can apply analytic insights to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing campaigns and enhance customer satisfaction across channels. A more complete big data analytics perspective can lift organizations above siloed perspectives to see a single, 360-degree customer view. This more complete perspective can be the basis for holistic, omni-channel customer marketing and engagement strategies that are superior to disparate strategies based on siloed views.

Over the coming weeks, we will outline all six strategies in detail through this blog series.  Can’t wait for the next blog?  Access the full report here.


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