As businesses continue to navigate the post-pandemic era, high inflation and heavy supply chain disruption, discovering useful information about target markets, consumer behaviour, and marketing efforts helps protect their market share, but also capture new markets. A January 2022 survey found that 86.4 percent of companies believe their Data & Analytics function has significantly improved since 2017, through the integration of advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence tools. And the number of businesses investing in Market Research as part of their Data & Analytics function grew rapidly at the end of 2021. So, with this trend looking likely to continue, how can companies use sets of data to generate valuable business insights to help drive their business’ performance? Informed decision process Leaders and chief marketing officers (CMOs) are today able to incorporate big data into their decision-making process, by analysing user data in real time to produce actionable insights. They have moved on from offline data gathering solutions such as in-person surveys, focus group and engagement marketing (during events for example), to active online tracking of users’ behaviours and opinions. Data & Analytics companies now provide business intelligence software for organisations that combine all data sources – a sort of one-stop-shop unique platform updated in real time. Identifying patterns and trends The data mining process, also known as knowledge discovery, allows companies to sift through vast volumes of data to look for patterns and trends. Knowing who your customer is, how they interact with your company and what their habits are all improve customer segmentation. Tools used include location-based targeting and personalised communication and sales, to receive immediate real market feedback on aspects such as: do they value your product/service because of new features, functions or benefits? Where are they more likely to purchase it from? Predictions based on patterns and trends Understanding how customers react to changes, campaigns and product launches, for instance, helps companies gain a competitive edge and ensure all actions undertaken are for the benefit of the customers they serve.Tools such as unique customer behaviour analytics platforms inform companies about whether customers are frequent purchasers or heavy shoppers, for example, and allow for marketing teams to tailor messaging based on their segment of interest. While 82 percent of companies aspire to achieve a 360-degree view of their customer, only 14 percent today say they have achieved so. Gathering granular levels of information about customers through Data & Analytics will improve this ten-fold. Making customer-focused decisions Better serving customers’ ever-changing needs means greater customer satisfaction and retention. Through interactive dashboards, businesses can immediately access customer satisfaction data. Software can include statistics based on customer feedback, preferred communication channel(s) for customers contacting the business as well as critical factors such as average duration of time spent to solve a customer’s issue. With this real-time information under one cost-effective roof, businesses can both identify and solve issues as well as make faster customer-focused decisions and improvements as well measure previous efforts. If you are looking for your next Market or Consumer Research role, or to build out your team, we can help. Take a look at our latest Market Research jobs or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.