On November 5, Dell announced new data and analytics services at its annual Dell World customer event. Having integrated the analytics products it acquired — such as Kitenga (from Quest), Boomi, and StatSoft — Dell is now trying to build big data analytics capabilities based on a big data platform, visualization, and advanced analytics. These analytics technologies are appealing to technology management teams in end user organizations, but they may not meet the expectations of lines of business, especially for marketers facing increasing and rapidly changing demand for data and analytics.
As part of its effort to enhance its customer analytics offerings, Dell hired new leaders with marketing experience for its analytics business, such as its new GM of advanced analytics for marketing. And the company has started to move analytics offerings into the marketing arena:
- Social media analytics is extending to the cloud. Dell hosts its social media analytics products on the Microsoft Azure platform and has started offering social listening products powered by Radian6. The cloud platform helps Dell serve a wider variety of client companies, from large organizations like the American Red Cross to small and medium-size businesses. The vendor is helping marketers optimize their customer segmentation, but it needs to do more to help marketers better recognize and engage with customers.
- Master data management services are strongly integrated but are weak on analytics. Dell consolidates data (such as transactional, CRM, and supplier data) from disparate sources into a central repository and distributes it downstream. However, its customer data analytics capabilities are poor and make it difficult to evaluate, for example, average customer lifetime value.
- Mobile analytics is still weak. Dell developed its mobile data management capabilities based on the Boomi platform it acquired — a platform that still focuses on data capture, connection, and management. It will be important for Dell to improve the analysis of mobile data on the platform and apply that analysis to engage customers.
I’m glad to see Dell factoring marketing science into its analytics offerings and training salespeople using marketing language. But it will take time for marketers to really think of Dell a customer analytics brand.