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Citizen data analytics: Give everyone a shot at the action.

For years, Condé Nast subscribers looked forward to beautiful monthly editions of Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Architectural Digest. But things are different today. “Consumer demand doesn’t allow for content production that slow,” says Dan Stubbs, who was previously over digital analytics at Condé Nast.

The demand for continuous content has been a challenge for the publisher. But by tapping into rich data about their readers’ preferences, interactions with their products, and what type of content attracts new people, they’re able to quickly respond to customer expectations.

“With all this data we collect, we now have a tight feedback loop and can feed information over to the editorial teams and really create a lot of daily content,” Stubbs says. It also allows Condé Nast’s marketing team to be very specific about which people receive which offers — explaining to fashion-conscious men, for example, how a subscription to GQ can help them dress better.

This is just one example of how businesses are putting data into the hands of those who need it most, so they can act quickly to deliver great customer experiences. And a better bottom line.

Man looking at a tablet

View your data from a new angle.

You’ve probably realized you don’t need more data. In fact, you may even be drowning in it. What you need are people who can mine it for insights that drive action. Yet analyzing trends and anomalies manually takes so much time, it’s hard to act fast enough to see results. And so the data sits, untapped and unused. Languishing in dead-end reports long after consumers have moved on. 

74% and 29%

74% of organizations want to be data driven, yet only
29% say they’re good at connecting analytics to action.

Source: Forrester

This disconnect results from only a few people having access to the insights, and those who do spend too much time reporting instead of digging deeper. When you connect your data to insights — and make them accessible to all — you gain a competitive advantage. Forrester reports that by 2021, firms that excel at using data and analytics to drive insights at scale will earn total global annual revenues of $1.8 trillion. Those that don’t will be left behind.

To seize and capitalize on the data you already have, it’s important for analysts and marketers to rethink data — shifting from a reporting mindset to an action mindset. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are making it easier than ever. AI technology performs tens of millions of calculations in seconds to determine the who, what, when, where, and especially the why of what’s happening in your data. It not only extracts valuable insights, but it allows you to instantly take action.

By 2021, $1.8 trillion

A straight shot to action.

“Think of it as all these secrets residing within mountains of data, waiting to be interrogated in the right way. A human can’t do that,” says John Bates, director of Adobe Analytics product management. “We serve as that interrogation unit for end users — to help surface those insights they would otherwise not see.” When those insights go directly to the people creating your customer experiences, as they do at Condé Nast, they lead to immediate action — in context and right when it matters. “It shouldn’t take a Herculean effort,” Bates says. “It needs to be instantaneous and automatic.”

Computer manufacturing company Lenovo analyzes data across channels — from the web, post-purchase surveys, CRM, call center, emails, and live chats — to identify customer satisfaction issues in real time and take steps to fix them.

Ashish Braganza headshot

“With the right tools, we’re more equipped to mine through terabytes of data in real time and put actionable steps in place to amplify ROI.”

Ashish Braganza
Director of Global Business Intelligence, Lenovo

Get everyone in your organization to act.

Data is no longer the domain of a few. Everyone in your organization should be thinking about it. And more importantly, acting upon it. This means taking data insights out of the realm of data scientists and making them a natural part of everyone’s workflow — from the marketing department to the executive team. When you disseminate your insights out to your entire organization, you create an army of “citizen data analysts” who can access the data insights and instantly put them into play.

LJ Jones, director of optimization at digital marketing company Progrexion, says that once they have the data about customer behavior, and have tested theories and hypotheses, their marketing department implements the things they’ve learned. “This gives us a little more power and freedom to move a little bit faster. It takes it out of IT’s hands. And quite frankly, IT has been happy to give that to us,” Jones says.

For instance, when marketers create a new campaign, they can instantly get all kinds of answers from their data without relying on their analytics team. They can see which segment of the audience is most likely to respond. Which designs, colors, and images will perform best. Or which offer is likely to get the highest response. 

Roll the credits for results.

When everyone on your team has access to the more tactical insights, they’re empowered to act immediately. This results in higher content velocity, more relevant customer experiences, and increased ROI. That’s because they can respond quickly to customer expectations and address anomalies and trends that relate directly to sales and revenue.

Just ask appliance seller hhgregg. As they began digging deeper into audience segments and looked more granularly at customer behaviors and preferences, they noticed significant customer drop-off rates when products were out of stock or unavailable. They saw that when this happened, customers converted 52 percent less frequently, driving a 46 percent loss in revenue per product page view. Using real-time reporting that organized findings in more meaningful ways, they were able to proactively identify issues and opportunities within online and offline operations. This led them to optimize the fulfillment rules — and the user experience — by ensuring that only items in stock were served up to customers. This one move reduced the conversion drop off by 40 percent.

The more citizen analysts you have taking action, the more results you’ll start seeing. And because you won’t be depending on your data science teams to do all the work, you’ll free them up to have a more strategic influence on your business.

In the end, it’s about creating great customer experiences. When you invest in AI and citizen data analytics, you’ll have the tools and the team to not just act on your insights, but to connect them to great customer experiences. So you can achieve blockbuster results.

People at a table working together

Adobe can help.

Adobe automates the process of turning insights into action by connecting Adobe Analytics to other solutions in Adobe Experience Cloud, including Adobe Target and Adobe Audience Manager. Four features make this possible:

Anomaly detection. The technology automatically analyzes trends and determines if they are statistically significant — in milliseconds.

Analyze play button. With analytics, you can take insights and connect them to your email, DMP, and personalization platform in seconds. 

Intelligent alert. A built-in alerting system sends an SMS text or email when it detects an anomaly. There are also predictive algorithms that help you forecast how often the alert is likely to trigger. You can set these to only notify you of the most important changes.

Intelligent recommendations. It’s simply impossible to manually create every alert you might need, so Adobe is building machine learning directly into analytics to analyze users’ behaviors. Like a virtual data assistant, it constantly scores all of this data on relevance to a particular user, auto-analyzes it, and pushes out recommendations on important changes you’re unlikely to know about.

Forrester recognizes Adobe as a Leader when it comes to data analysis, deployment of insights, and the creation of great customer experiences. Learn how we can help you take action on your insights. And take your experiences to the next level.

Brian Hopkins, “Think you want to be ‘data driven?’ Insight is the new data,” Forrester blog, March 9, 2016.

Condé Nast and Adobe,” Adobe customer video, January 2018.

Hhgregg and Rosetta reach the outer limits,” Adobe customer story for hhgregg, November 2015.

James McCormick, “The Forrester Wave™: Digital Intelligence Platforms, Q2 2017,” April 4, 2017.

John Bates, Adobe, Adobe, personal interview, February 9, 2018.

Lenovo harnesses innovation for digital strategies,” Adobe customer story for Lenovo, July 2014.