Customer Data Management

About the same time Aberdeen released The Spend Intelligence Benchmark Report: Turning Data into Action, which we discussed last Sunday in There’s No Such Thing as Spend Intelligence, Aberdeen also released Customer Data Management: How Leaders Attain Tangible ROI that found more than 85% of survey respondents plan to invest in Customer Data Management solutions within the next 24 months.

Why? Maybe it’s because Aberdeen research reveals use of timely, complete, and accurate information leads to improved customer service levels, reduced operational costs, increased revenues, and higher customer satisfaction and retention rates. In addition above average performers attained >20% annual improvements in these key metrics:

  • Customer retention rates (84%)
  • Data accuracy / match rates (76%)
  • Partner/customer satisfaction rates (68%)
  • Revenues (56%)

Or maybe it’s because good customer data leads to good metrics and good forecasts, and creating the right product at the right time in the right quantity is one of the keys to overall supply chain success. After all, the wrong product results in lost opportunity, an insufficient quantity results in lost sales, and the wrong time results in stale inventories. Moreover, this hurts your customer as well as you, who might leave you for another provider.

Regardless, customer data management is important, and it has a lot in common with the development of a spend intelligence solution, to use Aberdeen’s terminology. Consider the top three challenges identified by the Aberdeen report:

  • Extracting & Normalizing Customer Data Captured from Multiple Sources
  • Verification of Data Accuracy or Completeness
  • Extracting & Normalizing Customer Data Stored in Legacy Data Marts

These are essentially the biggest challenges in implementing a good spend visibility solution

  • Extracting & Normalizing Spend Data Stored in Multiple Systems
  • Verification of Accuracy and Completeness
  • Extracting and Normalizing Legacy Spend Data for Historical and Trend Analysis

Therefore, if you are considering an enhanced spend visibility solution and an improved customer data management solution, you might want to take advantage of the synergies and tackle both projects simultaneously. Chances are, you’ll need to integrating a lot of the same feeds and systems, so you might as well tackle all of your data needs at the same time.