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3 Business Opportunities From Data

by Mark Stadtmueller, VP Product Strategy

Customer Opt-in Shopping Experience
Customer Opt-in Shopping Experience

Digital Transformation is often described in too esoteric terminology. Even the term “digital transformation” fits that category. I was watching a show about the start of the automobile industry where it was stated that innovation is about fulfilling a need that people did not know they had. But, in the world of responsible use of data, there seems to be needs everywhere that we know we have and that can be fulfilled. Here are three business opportunities from data:

New Business Opportunity: Repairs

Everyone has stories about both great and horrible experiences with home and auto repairs. Sometimes things go according to plans, sometimes they do not. And most times the whole process is filled with complete unknowns as to what the actual issue was and whether the approach made sense (I shouldn’t just say home and auto repairs), I just re-read John Steinbeck’s “The Pearl” and certainly urgent personal care fits within that scenario as well. And the unknowns are not just for the consumer, they are equally challenging for repair services suppliers that have to put a price on something before they get in the middle of it. The same can be said for repair insurers.

With new capabilities available for the internet of things, why does equipment not send signals about what is happening on to a responsible data store? Then with this data, the owner of the equipment could expose the data to the repair people who could learn and assess repair requirements from the data. With that, both the consumer, supplier and insurers would all be working on the same set of data and learning from that same set of data. The whole business of repair services would become more efficient, less stressful, and provide new opportunities for great service.

New Customer Interactions: Customer Opt-in Shopping Experience

I go often to a specific convenient drug store chain. I always give them my loyalty card, so they know pretty much every purchase I make. I do receive discounts or rewards for things after I purchase them (for the next purchase) and do sometime purchase these items. Often they are items that if I had not just checked out, I might have purchased. Why is the scenario after the fact? We have a trustful relationship in that I am already opting in, I do not want a bunch of emails that I have to analyze and save and store for my next trip. Cannot these tailored offers be made to me when I walk in the store? It seems like the data algorithms need to simply be translated to the customer experience when I enter rather than when I leave.

New Ways of Doing Business: Analyzing B2B sales relationships via email dialog

All of us in Enterprise and B2B line of work have many complex email dialogs between many people both on the supplier side and the customer side. They are ‘many to many’ relationships with a wealth of free text exchanging hands. In addition, these B2B relationships are long term and trends can be tracked. There are all sorts of sentiment analysis on social media and movie reviews and other consumer areas, why are business not learning the sentiment from the wealth of B2B email that exists between it and based on that, positively addressing sentiment trends or positively focusing on relationships where the sentiment is positive? The amount of sales efforts in B2B is immense but all is focused on customer relationship management. Where is the customer sentiment analysis using the plain old email dialog between customers?

Some things are hard. And certainly, addressing a need that people do not know they have is very hard. But, learning and improving business outcomes from data does not have to be that hard and the opportunities to responsibly provide better business services from data seem to be all around us.