4 Data-Driven Principles for Optimizing CX

Photo credit: iStockphoto/z_wei

Customer data platforms, data-driven projects, big data, digital transformation — they’re all concepts that weren’t common knowledge so many years ago. Along with the inception of these terms has come the creation of new roles such as the chief data officer (CDO) and the chief analytics officer. While these positions are vital in the modern organization, it’s important to have the right data and analytics strategy around them.

Many organizations have troves of data. Yet, consumers still crave better customer experiences (CX). This is because organizations don’t deploy the right customer data strategy. Instead, they adopt a “strategy” that consists of data collection, protection, storage, and distribution. But this doesn’t answer the most important question — what value does it provide to customers?

For organizations that seek an alternative, here are four data-driven principles for CDOs as they look to optimize their organization’s CX strategy.

  1. Quality not quantity

It’s important the organization has a clear objective for collecting data; in most cases it should be to benefit the customer — directly or indirectly. Collecting data for the sake of it drains resources and becomes a liability due to various legislations (such as Australia’s Notifiable Data Breaches law and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation).

The definition of what constitutes “quality” data varies depending on the business’ needs, but it is fundamentally seen as useful data that offers valuable and reliable insights to support better business decisions. A key part of securing quality data is identifying the appropriate data type for the organization’s needs:

  • First-party data: Data collected directly from a customer (often the most desired data type as it tells a direct story of customers’ actions and intentions)
  • Second-party data: First-party data obtained (usually purchased) from the original collector
  • Third-party data: Data obtained (again, usually purchased) from an aggregator

Furthermore, it is important to look at the information holistically. While insights may be taken from data in isolation, CDOs must view them in the context of a whole to build a bigger story and produce deeper, actionable insights.

  1. Protect customer data and use it well

Customers place a lot of trust in businesses when they lend their data, so be sure to repay the faith by securing it with appropriate measures. In most cases, customers understand the trade-off; that is, they’ll receive a better experience in exchange for sharing their information.

As a business, it’s important to not lose sight of this and ensure the customer’s trust is well-placed by not using data for the wrong reasons. Customers expect their data will be used ethically and for their own benefit, so be sure to use it responsibly.

By the same token, businesses should be transparent with customers on how their data will be used, providing insights as to:

  • Why the customer’s data is being collected
  • How the organization plans to use the data and what mutual benefits there are
  • How long the organization will hold on to the data


  1. Invest in analytics transformation

Analytics transformation is an integral part of digital transformation and unifies the data experts under shared business objectives, aligning on things such as goals and measurement metrics.

By doing this, CDOs will be able to clearly justify the value data and analytics bring to the business, i.e. show how it creates more value than what it costs to use. Following this, organizations can advance their data modeling by deploying data experts who focus on innovation such as finding new data, better signals, and deeper insights.

  1. Make data accessible

In order for the business (and its customers) to truly gain value out of data, the CDO must make the data accessible across the business. It’s of no use to restrict the data to just the IT or data team. It must be embedded everywhere to ensure it is integrated with the organization. Today, the CDO’s role is to foster a culture that embodies data accessibility encouraging best practices, democratizing analytics, and so on. By doing this, organizations will ensure they’re well-positioned to provide maximum value to customers and ensure they’re able to deliver the best CX.

By collecting data, organizations get a better understanding of their customers so they can provide an experience that suits everyone’s preference. However, it is important that organizations are transparent with how they use their customers’ data and ensure it is used ethically. Those that do so will be able to cater their CX offering to customers, while the organizations that do not will fall behind.

Michael Evans, vice president for ANZ at Pegasystems, wrote this article. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends. Photo credit: iStockphoto/z_wei