How to ensure your customer data provides actionable insight.

Customer insight from Big DataWith everyone talking about ‘big data’ and ‘data driven marketing’ the pressure is on for companies to harness the wealth of data at their fingertips! However, how do you ensure your customer insight and data provides ‘actionable insight’ to inform future decisions?

What is Actionable Insight

Actionable insight is a term used within data analytics for information that can be acted upon or gives enough insight that the actions that should be taken become clear for decision makers.

74% of companies say they want to be “data-driven,” but only 29% are actually successful at connecting analytics to action. Forrester states that actionable insight appears to be the missing link for companies that want to drive business outcomes from their data.  Forrester

Obtaining Customer Insight

‘What is customer insight?’ probably the best answer we can give is that it is a process of strategically analysing the customer through the collection of qualitative and quantitative data. This data is then used to segment, analyse and ultimately engage with the customer, but just why is this customer data so important and how can it be analysed to provide this actionable insight?


How Customer Insight Becomes Actionable

Customer insight driving key decisions

Customer insight empowers marketers and it enables businesses to structure their operations around the needs, demands and desires of their customers. Having this insight into who your customers are, where they come from and what their social and demographic backgrounds are can help businesses to allocate resources, manage performance and change the way that customer service is handled within the business.

Organisations that use customer insight to drive their decisions become more customer centric. By keeping the customer at the heart of everything they do, businesses can evolve in a way that meets current demand and the changing needs of their target market. For instance, the internet has completely revolutionised the way that businesses interact with their audience, enabling them to engage via channels such as social media and influence purchasing decisions without the consumer even visiting a store.

Estate Key Performance Indicators

Customer Insight - Retail PerformanceFor businesses with multiple outlets, understanding the catchment profile and demographic around each store and how this relates to your target audience will enable you to identify and size the potential opportunity around each store.  If you have stores that are not performing as well as others but have a sizeable opportunity in terms of the catchment area matching the target audience, it will enable you to investigate causal factors so you have the opportunity to change operations or strategy.  Many companies analyse their ‘big data’ in terms of store performance and apply a protect, grow or defend strategy based on a combination of performance

and opportunity allowing them to prioritise resource and spend.

Once you understand those that are performing well and have identified the causal factors including location (retail, residential etc), consumer demographic profile, motivations for purchase (impulse buy or a planned shop), store size, product range, share v’s competitors. You can apply strategies to maximise opportunity and create a picture of success for each segment or type of store you have identified.  Obviously, you cannot create a bespoke structure for each individual store as this would be counterproductive and not financially viable, however, once you have identified patterns of success across segments, you will be in a position where you can apply slight changes across your estate encouraging uplift of sales and return on investment.


The role of customer insight within an organisation is not just to generate data that can be analysed but to make sure it is put to good use to determine those questions that need to be answered – the ‘what if’s’ and ‘why’s’ that come from the fact all customers are human and can change their mind.
The right insight can help identify opportunities for the business to grow and prosper, so ensuring the wealth of data ‘big data’ available to you, provides actionable insight is key.

In this constantly evolving environment, actionable insight is the only way to keep your finger on the pulse and understand the changes in customer trends, so you can meet them head on. Big data volumes isnt valuable, it’s what you do with it that is!

Get in contact with a member of our insights team to discuss gaining actionable insight from your data.