In every field, during a particular era, there is someone, who stands up to a cause. There is a "North Star" in the sky, to guide the "navigator", who might erringly go astray to reach destination. The star gives direction, through sheer stability. Consumer analytics as such is widely accepted throughout the world. It specially has a very firm footing in enriching user experience, thanks to the gigantic data collection exercise. The popularity seems to have stemmed from the fact that, Analytics is the real "navigator", based on data facts, has the panacea for the business problems and leads the way forward, whenever required!
The world is a big data challenge. One will always be astonished to know where the data is getting generated from. The time one wakes up in the morning with the fit bit on wrist or the same old bad habit of seeing the world through not so smart phone - the data collection gets a jump start. It's the beginning; much of iceberg is under water. Saving time by using technology maps to reach office through innovative route, punching biometric attendance in time , doing online shopping during long working hours, happy weekends full of shopping sprees, dine-outs and latest movies using digital money and enrolling for best offers using mobile number, all this being captured for extracting more information out of a consumer. Here lies much of the iceberg. There's more to it. The herculean task of capturing user information leads to a behemoth called Big Data. This opens an all new chapter of Data Collection. For the organisations involved here, all the Ws and Hs have to be addressed. From determining what to collect selectively, where to store and how to name the files; great planning is required in time to save nine. This Big Data is mandatorily required to be organised with accurate metadata (data about data) or source notes to ensure data isn't collected twice. Doesn't seem to be an easy task. Can this be used for benefit of anyone - may be the consumer himself. The question to be answered here is WIIFM? This is essentially an attempt to connect the dots.
Brands are being proactive - a must have ingredient in the recipe of data analysis of the consumer's information. Suggested till now, data collection, an integral process in the data analysis procedure begins much in advance than the consumer even thinks if. Defining SMART goals, addressing quantitative questions on what and how to measure, query handling on utilising available information, the list doesn't end here. Deciding name and place of the file to be stored, stamping with dates and notes and what else - all need to be addressed at an early stage. And as they say, it's good to be in-time than on-time. Looks like a scientific process.
The organisations are stewarding the consumer data to understand deeper insights. Inputs related to data say rules, regulations, policy, governance are being managed in addition. A close co-ordination with the business team and other support functions is also ensured to get the desired results and ensure information is well captured. Not just the machine tasks, an interface between Man and Machine - a subject matter expert who can be compared to a head chef of the data analysis dish where data collection is a key ingredient is also overlooking this kitchen. Enriching experience by transforming consumer data into deeper insights. In simple words, Business analytics for business decisions. Stressing on the fact that business analytics must be carried with an objective of informed decision making aimed at enriching consumer experience. While the importance of capturing the user information is imperative, larger focus of analysts should be on the output that impacts the betterment of user experience - that's where the real taste of pudding lies - that's where the utility of deep insights lies.
Dr. Devesh Bathla - Associate Professor, Business Analytics, Data Science, Chitkara University