In Customer Intelligence & Insights, Retail

Today, marketers are confronted with endless data visualization and business intelligence solutions promising beautiful reports with the click of a button or a swipe across the tablet. These reports are colorful and interactive. They use dollar signs to represent revenue, and smiley faces to show happiness. In short, they are attractive to look at, but do they deliver what we really need to know?

Those analyzing data can spend hours trying to get a report just right using all the visual bells and whistles they can. Yet, we often find that we are no more intelligent after we’ve consumed the information. We still fall short of being able to create the exceptional experience we have promised our customers. We still have disconnects within the channels and between channels. And we are still struggling to understand the basic question: “what do customers want?”

A recent report by EIQ Research, an analyst organization that works with retailers to help them achieve strategic market advantage through data, boldly states that this kind of generic insight isn’t enough.


Clearly, to get effective customer intelligence, it’s not enough to generate report after report about past performance. Even if your report lets you drill up, down, and sideways. And even if this report is a giant dashboard that greets each and every employee when they walk through the door. Effective customer intelligence needs to start with the customer, not our own achievements. It’s about understanding their behavior, attitude, personality, propensity, affinity, and so much more. Effective customer intelligence requires a new kind of insight that includes an understanding of the nuances of your customer base in terms of who they are as buyers and as people.

This kind of insight – what TCS calls Connected Consumer Intelligence™ — is key to being able to personalize the engagement. Research shows that retailers that have implemented personalization strategies see sales gains of 6-10%, at a rate two to three times faster than other retailers. To get that kind of insight, you need a combined data management and analytics platform that is tuned to the needs of retailers.

This same report ranked TCS highest among our peers on two dimensions of vital importance to helping retailers achieve customer experience excellence through personalization:

  1. Customer data aggregation, analysis and segmentation
  2. Customer journey

For customer journey, TCS scored significantly higher than the entire group. Customer journey analytics is a unique and extremely helpful way of looking at data. Rather than looking at reports of revenue achievement by store, by region, by season, by time, etc. — we analyze achievement from the customer’s point of view. The customer is on a journey that we, as retailers, have enabled. The journey can span channels and may include products that are outside of our control. Journey analytics is able to reveal whether the journey we have crafted is the one the customer is taking, or if the customer has veered off the path. Journey analytics can show where the journey stops, where it picks up, and where it succeeds.

Clearly, journey analytics is critical to retailers. However, generic journey analytics isn’t enough. TCS’ strength in data aggregation, analysis, and segmentation means that we can leverage more data, especially data from sources that are typically unavailable to those generic insight tools. TCS can supplement your transactional data with IoT data coming from your store sensors, it can bring in social media, or tap into other sources that you may not have been able to consider due to technology limitations. This enriched data is used to create digital personas. These digital personas can be as deep as you need them to be — 150+ attributes are available for creating these personas either automatically, manually, or using a combination of automatic and manual.

When digital personas meet journey analytics – you get TCS Customer Intelligence & Insights for Retail (CI&I Retail). CI&I for Retail is software that is created specifically for retailers. This software helps retailers increase marketing efficiency and effectiveness and elevates the end-to-end connected customer experience. The importance of journey management – rather than generic insight – cannot be over-stated.

EIQ finds:


It’s time for marketers to look beyond the beautiful reports and look at data from the point of view of their customers. The ability to understand the journey as it happens means you can take out friction, infuse value, and make the journey unique for every customer. To learn more, read our announcement about the EIQ Report findings here.

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