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Analytics: a crystal ball on customer engagement

Sheila Lam (Computerworld HK) | Nov. 8, 2013
Since marketing was invented, businesses have been trying to understand customer behavior. The difference in our data-driven era is the availability to quantify that understanding with analytical tools.

Nielsen's data-driven business transformation
Analytics played a critical role in transforming the business model of global market research firm Nielsen seven years ago.

"We were in an industry that used to produce data and reports 35-45 days after the data period closed," said Nielsen COO Mitchell Habib. "It was like a report card and didn't provide actionable insights."

The delayed information cost the company its major customer — General Mills. "It was a pressure-filled time for us and we needed transformation to data-driven marketing," said Habib.

Through a partnership with Tibco, Habib said the company developed products that provide retail executives with metrics which integrate real-time transactional data and external market data to monitor their businesses.

"It allows our customers to recreate geographies and categories on-the-fly," he said. "Things that used to take weeks and months are now done in seconds and minutes."

Riding on the massive repository of data of five billion global consumers' viewing and purchase behavior, Nielsen also developed an open data strategy through Nielsen Marketplace: a marketplace where external parties can access Nielsen's data and APIs to develop and distribute applications.

One of the free B2C applications available through this effort is "Nielsen Top 10," which identifies the top 10 most popular consumer products in the USA-based on customers' viewing, Web surfing, and purchasing data.

"We're in a data-driven business," said Habib. "[Through the collection of data] we help clients to compete in marketplaces and win customers."

Eden Estopace from Retail Tech Innovation contributed to this article


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