Customer Data

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The Right Way to Regulate the Tech Industry

  • Read Time: 5 min 

There’s very little regulatory oversight for the tech industry, and this has become a problem. The status quo lacks transparency and shuts down competition — while holding no one accountable for breaches of trust. Some want big tech companies broken up. Others want stronger government oversight. They all are trying to answer the same question: What’s the best way to regulate the tech industry so that privacy and ethics concerns are addressed without stifling innovation?

Sponsor's Content | The New Era of Personalization: Why CPG Brands Must Own the Direct-to-Consumer Experience

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As consumers gain more choices in how they buy products and interact with brands, consumer packaged goods companies can no longer rely on retailers for sales customer feedback. Instead, brands must take a direct-to-consumer approach across the life span of the customer relationship.

Why Personalization Matters for Consumer Privacy

Many different factors determine how consumers balance data privacy against a desire for personalized products and services — age, geography, and education among them. Companies can help their customers feel more comfortable with the data collection needed for personalized service by understanding customer values and maintaining transparency and good communication when it comes to data collection.

The Public Sector Can Teach Us a Lot About Digitizing Customer Service

Digital customer service agents (known as virtual assistants, chatbots, or softbots) are typically used to sift through and process only the most straightforward customer inquiries, such as requests for basic information. At most companies, complex issues get passed along to human agents. In that regard, public sector agencies in Australia are ahead of the curve: They are using digital agents to handle complex inquiries from citizens, and businesses stand to learn much from these applications.

Trapped in the Data-Sharing Dilemma

There are clear benefits for companies allowing website users to login with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Google. But the ease of user access that social logins make possible comes at a price: The platforms learn a great deal more about users’ buying and searching behavior via these agreements — information that could wind up helping the company’s competitors (including the platform itself) down the line.

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The Hidden Side Effects of Recommendation Systems

Recommendation engines influence the choices we make every day — what book to read next, which song to download, which person to date. But digital recommendations are also a source of unintended consequences. Research shows that recommendations do more than just reflect consumer preferences — they actually shape them. Given that perfect prediction is not possible, retailers and managers must be aware of the potential discord from unintended side effects of their recommendations.

Creating Satisfying Customer Experiences With Machine Learning

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According to Northwestern Mutual’s chief marketing officer, marketing should be more than a support function — it should be a strategic growth driver. In this video, Aditi Javeri Gokhale describes how the company used KPIs to train machine learning algorithms to build an online experience that pairs customers with financial advisors. Its success rate: over 95%.

Let Your Digital Strategy Emerge

  • Read Time: 7 min 

What can digital technologies do to help an organization solve customer problems? And what solutions will customers find valuable? It’s only when leaders wrestle with these questions that a digital strategy can emerge. To get there, organizations need to create a portfolio of business experiments and engage with customers to gain insight into their problems and potential solutions. The intersection between what’s possible and what’s desired is where a business will succeed.

Your Customers May Be the Weakest Link in Your Data Privacy Defenses

  • Read Time: 5 min 

Many ethical, lawfully managed businesses have consumer data they aren’t legally authorized to possess, obtained from a surprising source: their customers, who inadvertently share the personal data of family, friends, and colleagues. And in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the enactment of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, peer-dependent privacy is emerging as a critical consideration for businesses.

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From Winning Games to Winning Customers: How Data Is Changing the Business Side of Sports

  • Read Time: 5 min 

Sports analytics first proved its case on the field and in the front office, but as the practice spreads into business operations, the industry is addressing adoption challenges found in many sectors. At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, speakers from teams and leagues discussed how they are using analytics to boost revenue, and how they’re managing transitions in culture and strategy.

The Coming Consumer Data Wars

  • Read Time: 4 min 

With tough new EU regulations on data security coming in 2018, global companies will soon be faced with a choice: Protect consumers’ data and reap the rewards of having access to it, or face the competitive consequences of consumer distrust. But companies caught unprepared for the change may lose the privilege of keeping consumers’ data altogether.

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How Analytics and AI Are Driving the Subscription E-Commerce Phenomenon

  • Read Time: 6 min 

Box subscription companies are growing dramatically, using a high level of personalization and artificial intelligence algorithms to keep customers satisfied and eager for more. Their astute use of social media and influence marketing has also contributed to their startling success.

Customer Relationships Get the Data Treatment

A case study by MIT Sloan Management Review, “A Data-Driven Approach to Customer Relationships,” details how the South African bank Nedbank is using its rich access to a trove of transactional data from credit card use — from the time of transactions and size of purchases to retailer locations, and even specific details like the age, gender, race, marital status, and income bracket of some users — to help merchants make strategic decisions to better serve those customers.

Remapping the Last Mile of the Urban Supply Chain

  • Read Time: 6 min 

There are many reasons to believe we are on the crest of substantial progress with even the most challenging of last mile deliveries. Innovative models such as smart locker systems, the use of electric vehicles, and on-demand fleet services such as UberRUSH are being explored. The MIT Megacity Lab is helping identify customer-specific insights about how supply chains deliver products to urban customers and finds that autonomous delivery vehicles, while still years from wide-scale implementation, hold game-changing promise.

Using Unstructured Data to Tidy Up Credit Reporting

Greg Jones, vice president of Enterprise Data & Analytics at Equifax, says the credit reporting agency is beginning to incorporate unstructured data from sources such as social media to better round out the individual profiles in its database. “My focus is to create a compelling differentiator between us and the other credit reporting companies by enabling our customers to provide the most efficient, the most predictive, and the most accurate experience for their customers,” he says.

Thriving in an Increasingly Digital Ecosystem

Research from MIT Sloan School of Management’s Center for Information Systems Research says that to prepare for a future of digital disruption, companies need to consider which of four business models to adapt. “Given the amount of turmoil digital disruption is causing, it’s time for companies to evaluate these threats and opportunities and start creating new business options for the future — the more connected future of digital ecosystems,” write Peter Weill and Stephanie L. Woerner, both of CISR. Companies also need to develop new capabilities in two areas: learning more about their customers and becoming “more of an ecosystem.”

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