REAL-TIME ANALYTICS : The Key to Unlocking Customer Insights & Driving the Customer Experience

Customers today have high expectations. They anticipate that companies will meet them where they are and when they want. They respond to experiences that are timely, targeted, and tailored to their specific needs—and reject those that aren’t. To meet these customer demands—to anticipate the micro moments of the 21stcentury consumer—companies must be able to differentiate their brands using realtime data analytics. Today more than ever they can, thanks to a slew of converging technologies including artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and cloud computing. Indeed, advanced customer data analytics, at incredible speed and precision, aren’t just possible now—they’re an imperative for companies hoping to connect tightly with their audience.

“The expectation of consumers today is that everything exists in the world of thenow , and that their interactions will be personalized,” says Jeff Jacobs, partner in the category growth strategy and marketing procurement groups at management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. “Real-time analytics is absolutely core to enabling companies to deliver those kinds of experiences.”

That’s the finding, too, of a new survey of 560 business leaders conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in February and March of this year. Nearly two-thirds of the survey’s respondents say that real-time customer analytics is important to their organization’s overall performance today, and even more— nearly eight in 10—indicate it will be important over the next two years.

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