We have all this valuable data about our customers, but we need to make better use of it.

This is the most common theme I hear on inquiry calls, at conferences, and in advisory sessions.  At this point, companies are fully aware that their data contains enormous value.  In fact, I like to think that data has a potential value much like the concept of potential energy in physics.  In physics, the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy requires force.  In business, customer analytics is the Force that unlocks the hidden value in your customer data.

Because customer analytics often relies on advanced machine learning algorithms, it used to be the domain of statisticians who could write code in R or Python.  Today, thanks to the 11 customer analytics solution providers in The Forrester Wave™: Customer Analytics Solutions, Q1 2016, customer insights professionals are applying these techniques to their data to address key business objectives.  This report, which is only available to Forrester clients, evaluates the customer analytics solutions of Adobe, AgilOne, Angoss, Alteryx, FICO, IBM, Manthan, Pitney Bowes, SAP, SAS, and Teradata.

The customer analytics solution landscape is a crowded one due to the scarcity of data scientists, deluge of data, and pervasive acceptance that insights-driven businesses are poised to succeed in the Age of the Customer.  The solutions, however, are far from identical and in our evaluation we attempt to tease out the differences between them using 33 criteria.  Given the explosion in different data sources and types, we evaluated solutions’ ability to ingest and integrate this data.  Of course, we also evaluated the breadth and depth of algorithms each tool provides to its users for extracting insights.  We focused on all stages of the customer lifecycle and 5 key use cases – customer acquisition, contextual marketing, customer experience, customer retention and loyalty, and personalization.  Finally, analytics without action is dead so we also evaluated the ease of integration with systems of execution.

Strategically, we evaluated vendors’ approach to the market, commitment to customer analytics, product road map, and partner ecosystem.  We also determined each vendors’ relative market presence in customer analytics.

We realize that one size does not necessarily fit all when it comes to customer analytics.  To this end, the Forrester Wave allows you to download the Forrester Wave™ model and customize weightings of specific criteria to reflect your needs and priorities.  The model is also completely transparent, explaining scoring logic so you know how we evaluated the criteria and what we believe demonstrates excellence.

The ubiquitous adoption of customer analytics is an inevitability.  Please read the report to determine which solutions you should consider to get started, or to take your program to the next level.

If you have any questions, please feel free to schedule an inquiry with me.

Until then, may the Force be with you.