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« Web Analytics for Government Agencies | Main | What does Omniture's purchase of Visual Sciences mean for HBX customers »

October 21, 2007


Javaun Moradi

Phil, as you've stated, the clamor to combine quantitative/qualitative data sources into meaningful insight is not new, and it has had its challenges.

In addition to the reasons you mention (a lack of simplified toolsets to aggregate data and analysts increasing focus on web analytics toolsets, not data analysis), my personal experience allows me to suggest another: data ownership split across multiple business stakeholders.

To echo the need for better tool integration, in my prior company, many of our tools were homegrown and designed for different audiences, sometimes corporate, sometimes field employees at the retail stores. We had a sales/marketing BI system owned by the CIO, a comprehensive customer experience survey system owned by a CSO, and web analytics, usability, brand research, and customer engagement surveys owned by a CMO. Ironically, this data was not duplicative and was unique.

Each tool had its core analysts. Having worked for each of those executives at one point or another (most recently for my CMO), I was one of few individuals in the company who had access to each system. But even if we'd possessed more simplified, integrated toolsets to merge this cerberus data picture, what really complicated the situation was separate ownership and management of data across separate (sometimes competing) teams.

Not all, but many organizations face similar challenges where different silos own different parts of the customer experience; they can be territorial or outright hostile to one another. The tools may shift this dynamic -- putting survey and web analytics data into the hands of one business owner, for example. Regardless, until management puts the customer experience at the center of the universe and facilitates the sharing of customer data, many companies will remain frustrated.

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