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dataflux-single-view-of-customers-feb-2012.jpgJust 17% of companies say they have already achieved a single view of their customers, while a further 1 in 10 do not know the status of their company’s efforts to do so, according to survey results released in February 2012 by DataFlux. Even so, this may change in the near future: 31% say they are in the process of implementing a system for a single view of their customers, and another 17% say they are planning for the implementation of a system over the next 12-18 months. By contrast, just 12% say they have no plans to pursue a single view of their customers in the foreseeable future.

According to a survey released in January 2012 by Empirix, only 39% of C-suite executives in the US and Western Europe say their company is making the most out of data generated by prospects or customers.

Large Companies Further Along

When DataFlux broke down the responses into company size, large companies (more than 10,000 employees) emerged as the leaders, with 20% having already achieved a single view of their customers and a further 39% in the process of implementing a system for this. 1 in 5 small companies (less than 1,000 employees) had also achieved a single view of their customers, but a smaller proportion (30%) were in the process of implementing a system for creating a single view. Medium-sized companies (1,000-9,999 employees) trailed in terms of the proportion that had already achieved a single view (16%), but a further 34% were engaged in the process of leveraging their data for this purpose.

Small companies (18%) were the most likely to say they had no plans to pursue a single view of their customers, followed by medium-sized companies (13%) and large companies (8%).

Implementation Lifecycle to Blame

When asked how challenging various items are or have been in creating a single view of the customer, 3 in 5 respondents scored implementation lifecycle either a 4 (38%) or a 5 (23%) on a 5-point scale, with 5 being very challenging. Data quality was the next most challenging item, rated by half of the respondents as either a 4 (30%) or 5 (18%). According to an e-tailing group survey of merchants released in November 2011, less than half of respondents said that their existing data allows them to effectively segment their customers, while only about 4 in 10 say that current data is delivered in a digestible format or that their data is very digestible for both associates and senior management.

Need For More Detailed Analysis Drives Data Efforts

Meanwhile, the need for more detailed analysis appears to have the greatest impact on the way companies collect and manage their customer data. 62% of the DataFlux survey respondents rated this either a 4 (43%) or a 5 (19%) on a 5-point scale, with 5 equaling the largest impact, and 1 meaning no impact. Following the need for more detailed analysis was the need for increased internal reporting, with 57% scoring this a 4 (40%) or 5 (17%). 24% gave regulatory requirements a score of 5, with a further 26% scoring it a 4.

Non-traditional sources, such as social media, have the smallest amount of impact on how companies collect and manage their customer data. 38% said these sources have no impact at all, while a further 27% gave them a score of 2.

About the Data: The DataFlux Single View of the Customer Survey was conducted in November 2011, and collected data from 551 respondents representing a cross-section of companies by size, and individuals by job title.

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