helping you master customer insight leadership

Poll: What’s your biggest barrier?

WallFor a previous poll, in answer to the question “which support service would you choose?”, your most popular choice was training for customer insight teams. The joint next choices were, a capability health check, or bespoke consultancy. This is coupled with 88% of you confirming that in an “ideal world” you would seek external help.

Since May, I’ve spoken at five different customer insight related conferences, and  the questions asked during these events have supported this view, that recruitment and training of customer insight analysts are top concerns. No wonder that Laughlin Consultancy, like others has developed training material to educate new analysts and those who have technical skills but no background in customer insight. I’m sure that will be a growing market as the search for analytics talent draws from a wider diversity of backgrounds.

Now, to digger deeper as to the needs of customer insight leaders and their teams, let’s focus on one of the problems they face. From talking to many different leaders over the years, at some point in the conversation most will express a challenge or barrier they face; in either driving real value from insight or realising the full value potential of their team’s work.

So, please let us know which of the choices below you would identify as the biggest barrier to realising the full value potential from your customer insight capability. This is an anonymous survey, so please share the biggest barrier you face

 

Once this poll has significant results, I’ll share ideas and experience relevant to the top challenges you are facing (as well as the results). Thanks.

Poll: Latest results on analytics software

© Robert F. Balazik | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Well with over 60 votes in, the results appear to have stabilised into a clear pattern. As has been the case through most of my customer insight career, SAS and SPSS (now IBM) are the leading analytics software used by CI teams. For several weeks now they have tied at 25% of votes each.

The real change over recent years, at least from my perspective working with Financial Services companies, has been the rise of R. In this survey it now stands at 17% of the vote, 14 percentage points above any other single entry. That is a significant change and has been influenced by both cost saving during recessionary times and what appears to be a new perspective on open source software (since the success of Linux, Wiki-everything and more recently Hadoop). It will be interesting to see if this dominance continues during our economic recovery.

Another benefit, of course, is the familiarity of graduates with using R at university. For those hiring the majority of their new analysts straight from university (a recruitment strategy that worked well for me for years), it does enable them to be up & working sooner.

Thanks for taking part in the poll and I hope it’s informative to those of you leading analytics teams.

For further information on the top three software (as voted for by CI leaders), here are their links:

SAS

IBM SPSS

The R Project for Statistical Computing

 

Poll: Which Analytics Software?

© Robert F. Balazik | Dreamstime Stock Photos

“We use R” is a comment I used to only hear from recent graduates or some analysts working in the public sector. Both these sectors appeared to more readily accept open source software. But this does appear to be changing, over recent years I have heard a few commercial organisations share their interest in saving licence fees and moving to R for their analysts. Are you one of them? Do you have a favourite analysis software package, without which your team would not be as productive? If so, please share below.

Given the traffic this site now appears to get from customer insight leaders across the world, I thought I’d test the waters with you. Below is a quick one question survey to help us find out and share the analytics software used in your organisation today. It will be interesting to see how much has changed from the days when large company = SAS usage (if that has changed).

I have sought below to list all the “predictive analytics” software that I know is in use today, but do feel free to add others if you use them. I have chosen this category to distinguish from the mass of business intelligence or web analytics tools without equivalent statistical capabilities.

 

Do let me know if this topic is of interest and I can research more fully or share my own experience.

Poll: Your level of maturity with BE

Behavioural EconomicsSince my own experience, of piloting customer treatments based on Behavioural Economics (BE) hypotheses, I have been fascinated with the subject. Having spoken at a number of Chartered Insurance Institute events and written for their Journal on the subject, I know many insurers share this interest.

This is not surprising, given the pubic pronouncements by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They are clearly expecting Insurers to engage, not just with how customers should behave rationally, but with how they actually make decisions. Financial Services companies are expected to help customers avoid detriment, given these well known biases.

Given all of that, I though it might be interesting to see what level of maturity (with using Behavioural Economics) there is amongst our readership.

Please answer the question below if you have responsibility for customer insight and work within a UK based Financial Services company.

 

I will of course share what I’ve learnt from these results and conversations with others in a later post.

Poll: Interim results

SouthwarkFirstly, the normal health warning on these being only interim results. There are not yet sufficient votes with which to draw robust conclusions (hence the metaphor of a deserted Southwark station).

That said, with just over 80 votes now in, the initial results of our “What do you see?” survey of customer insight leaders is showing some interesting results.

With regard to the scope of the term “customer insight” almost all voters view this as covering research, analysis, modelling, segmentation and marketing effectiveness measurement, together with a consultancy service. Only slightly less popular is measurement of a primary customer metric (NPS, Satisfaction or Effort).  The surprise to me is that only just over half would include data management or database marketing. I am writing for the next quarterly publication of DataIQ magazine on the importance to CI leaders of data teams, so it will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

Meanwhile, with regard to current organisational design, or which elements of the above currently report into the CI leader, it’s a different story. Less of you voted, so less robust conclusions. But for now, the theme seems to be more CI leaders have responsibility for research, NPS and marketing effectiveness measurement. Far fewer appear to have responsibility for behavioural analysis and customer data management. So, perhaps not as many companies as I hoped have yet seen the benefits of bringing research and analysis together in one function.

It’s encouraging for my new business to see overwhelming interest in external support for CI leaders, with the most popular service being training for their customer insight team. So, time for me to get ready that training material.

Thanks again to those who participated. If you haven’t voted yet, please do and I’ll share final results once votes are high enough to feel more representative of this community.

Finally, do let me know if you’ve a question that you would like ask other customer insight leaders.

Poll: What do you see?

Seeing ShopTo provide a research basis for the content included in this blog, I am asking all customer insight leaders who visit this site to complete the short survey below. Knowing the scope of your roles and your views as to the true breadth of ‘customer insight’ will enable me to ensure that I balance the content published here to better suit your interests.

I will of course share the results, which will hopefully be of interest to you all.

So, if you are a customer insight leader, please complete this survey:

 

Thank you.

 

Poll: Which breed of CI leader are you?

Colourful BullIf you watch the actions and listen to the language used by most CEOs, especially where they choose to focus their time, you can often guess their background. What I mean is their functional leadership background, whether that be finance, marketing, operations, sales, etc. This, of course, is only natural and probably reveals their area of greatest interest or where they feel most comfortable. As a leader we can all have the tendency to spend a little too much time in our comfort zone or pet projects.

This got me to thinking, does such a bias affect customer insight leaders? Do leaders with a background in IT, Data or MI lead their whole team differently than those with Analytical backgrounds in Finance or Research or Marketing backgrounds? It is an interesting question and a potential blind spot for leaders.

So, I thought I’d start by gathering some data through a quick poll. Apologies if the categories don’t work for you first time, I’ll refresh this as I get more qualitative feedback…