- High-quality data is essential for customer experience tools, from personalized search results to self-service chatbots. Business leaders recognize this, too — improving data quality was the top priority in a Salesforce survey of more than 10,000 analytics, IT and business leaders.
- Most business leaders think they are doing well in terms of having trustworthy data, but an overwhelming 94% believe their companies should be extracting more value from their data.
- There is still much work to be done in perfecting data use for an optimal customer experience. Elizabeth Maxson Martinet, SVP and chief marketing officer at Salesforce’s Tableau, said 4 in 5 business leaders still find it challenging to provide personalization at scale.
Personalization has been at the top of customers’ minds for years, and accurate data plays an outsized role in meeting customers’ expectations.
“Information is power when it comes to personalization, and businesses need to have trusted and accurate data in order to harness information and create personalized experiences for their customers,” Maxson said in an email.
More than half of business leaders believe their companies’ data maturity to be on par with industry standards, and nearly 2 in 5 see their company’s data practices as best-in-class.
Business leaders believe there’s room for improvement, particularly with their data sharing practices. Salesforce found that companies are making strides in this area compared to last year:
- Nearly 4 out of 5 leaders are investing more in data analysis and visualization tools.
- Three-quarters of leaders are investing more in training and development.
“Research has found that data-driven companies perform better by almost every metric — and it’s more than just a technical fix,” Maxson said. “When data is innately built into the culture of an organization, employees feel empowered to use it in their day-to-day life and flow of work to uncover hidden insights that weren't otherwise available. Those insights lead to action — which ultimately contributes to positive customer experiences.”
Teams are also grappling with an expanding ocean of data to comb through. Salesforce found that the amount of data companies generate could increase by more than 22% in the coming year.
Growing volumes of data isn't a bad thing, since more information can power deeper customer insights and better experiences. Maxson noted the real problem is when this data is mismanaged or siloed within one team.
“Gaining alignment between IT and business teams is also critical to remedy this,” Maxson said. “When there is cohesion and alignment between these teams, it becomes more clear how and what data can be used to drive better business outcomes and customer experiences. It’s about capturing the right, trusted data and acting on it.”
Alignment will be essential as generative AI becomes more commonplace — especially because more than three-quarters of leaders are worried their company is missing out on the technology.
“In order to have trustworthy AI outputs, businesses need to have data that is secure, and that is harmonized across the entire business that everyone can access and take action on,” Maxson said. “This starts with implementing the right tools — with trust, governance and ethics at their core — to set their entire business, employees and customers up for success.”