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March 19, 2015

No confidence or strategy: Enterprises lack digital data vision

Study reveals how European enterprises are missing out on opportunities presented by digital data.

By Ellie Burns

European enterprises are failing to make the most out of their customer’s digital experiences, according to a new study from Oxford Economics and Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work.

The study revealed that businesses have little confidence in the quality of their digital offerings, despite 59% of respondents acknowledging that analysis of digital customer data is vital in order for companies to innovate.

Just 33% of respondents believed that their customers’ digital experience could qualify as "high quality", with only 3% believing that it is "excellent".

Every online click, comment and social media post can be used to gain greater insight into customer behaviour, preferences and needs – yet the survey findings would indicate that companies are failing to capture and capitalise on this data.

Only 24% of respondents claim to be effective at collecting and using digital customer data, while only 17% are using analytics generated by API traffic to understand their customers’ purchasing journeys both online and offline.

An additional hindrance to these efforts is the lack of staff with the right digital skills, with only 44% saying that they have the adequate tools and talent to analyse digitally generated data. This may be one of the reasons why only four in 10 respondents said that their organisation has made adjustments to its business model to pursue strategies driven by digital information on their customers.

"The digital experience that companies offer to customers can be expanded upon, personalised and tailored," said Ben Pring, Co-director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work.

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"We can now clearly see just how far many companies have to go on their digital journeys, especially when it comes to job one: collecting, analysing and distilling meaning from the data that swirls around every digital interaction that every organisation now has with its consumers. These findings should serve as a call to action for those in charge of their organisation’s digital future."

The research, based on interviews with 150 senior executives in companies based in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordics, looked at how digital assets such as websites, apps, mobile services, in-store digital devices and wearables are used to engage with customers to offer them new experiences, in addition to reviewing how companies are using – or not as the case may be – the resulting data.

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