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Digital business is a hot topic and nearly every week several new reports or white papers on this subject become available from various sources.  It can be challenging to sift through this information overload to discern what's real, relevant and actionable to help guide our business decision-making.   

 

One of the more authoritative sources of information about this topic is the annual Digital Trends report, a collaboration between Adobe and Econsultancy.  This fourth annual Digital Trends 2015 Report focuses on practices and trends that are, as the authors state, "attainable in the here and now."  Based on a record number of about 6,300 B2B and B2C business professionals around the globe, the report not only provides a prospective view of what's ahead for 2015, but also compares last year's expectations against the realities of what actually occurred during 2014.

 

One of the most important highlights of the report is the growing emphasis placed on the Customer Experience as a key business priority for many organizations.  Although the authors acknowledge that areas such as data-driven business, personalization, mobile, social and cross-channel marketing are considered as critical for business success, it is the focus on the Customer Experience (CX) that stands out as increasingly crucial for not only competitive differentiation but also for "survival in an unforgiving business world."

                    Source:  Econsultancy/Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing - n=2,543

 

As shown in the previous table the customer experience ranks first as a key differentiator among client-side organizations with a growing margin (22% versus 20%) over other opportunities.  The authors point out that realization of an optimal customer experience in a consistent manner across multiple channels remains a challenge for many companies and emphasize the importance of not only "bringing together data sets, technological infrastructures and operations," but also the need for a customer focused culture.

 

Other key highlights if the report include the growing importance of targeting and personalization as well as content marketing and content optimization as emerging initiatives. At the same time, mobile and social, in spite of falling back some in the rankings, continue to be key digital business priority areas.

 

For more in-depth information about the Customer Experience and other key digital business imperatives from the Digital Trends 2015 report, Click Here for a free copy.

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A significant evolution involving the business of big data and analytics is under way and was on full display during Teradata’s 2014 Partners Conference and Expo in Nashville.  Teradata, NCR Corp’s former data warehousing division, is the world’s leader in enterprise data warehousing and analytics.  Many of the Global 50 enterprises rely on Teradata to consolidate their data and provide insights that enable faster and better decision-making.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the conference is the message that big data and analytics are not just for “techies” anymore.  Perhaps most telling was Teradata Labs President Scott Gnau tweeting several days after the conference that “this is the first time in Partners’ history that most attendees are from business and marketing, not IT - pretty cool.”  

In fact, many of the sessions and presentations focused on insights from practical case studies related to customer engagement as well as digital marketing and campaign management.  Increasingly, vendors and end-users recognize the growing need for analysts with multi-disciplinary backgrounds who can provide contextual business and industry understanding  and can act on, and/or deliver, wisdom that enables agile and higher velocity decision-making, while creating competitive advantage.  

Business intelligence and analytics vendors, many of whom exhibited at the conference, are responding with “out-of-the-box” analytics applications that are easier to use and don’t require programming skills, thus putting powerful self-service analytics and data visualization capabilities in the hands of non-IT business analysts.  During his presentation, Microstrategy’s Michael Hiskey pointed out that he has observed an increasing level of sophistication among business analysts with analytics skills, capabilities that would have required the skills of statisticians 6 to 7 years ago.  There is obviously significant value creation potential for businesses going forward.

 

A recent industry survey clearly confirms the growing importance of big data and analytics.   According to NewVantage Partners’ 2014 Big Data Executive Survey, 67% of senior Fortune 1000 business executive report having big data initiatives running in their companies, up from 32% last year. 

 

Moreover, 82% say that it is “important or mission critical,” and 23% say that its value is “revolutionary,” demonstrating that Big Data has gone mainstream and is delivering significant business benefits, including sustainable competitive advantage for those firms who master obtaining greater insights and learning from multiple sources of data, including structured and unstructured data.  It is also telling that only 4% see technology selection as important to successful big data adoption, reinforcing that big data value is less about the technology per se, and more about the insights, wisdom and business value delivered.  

 

For additional key takeaways from the Teradata Partners conference, and/or a free copy of an executive summary of the New Vantage Partners' 2014 Big Data Executive Survey, email us at infohealth.intelliqresearch.com.  We welcome the dialog.

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