Dear Readers,

Customers are the lifeblood of any business, and I believe most of us will vouch for the importance of not only keeping them happy but also making the best use of customer data to improve their experience and grow our bottom line. Customer data is a source of great potential for organizations, and much of our editorial this month drives this point home. Maximizing the use of the customer data is the focus of Greg Todd’s column on page 35, discussing how predictive analytics can determine best next offer and cross-sell/up-sell determinations as well as increase share of wallet.

Customer data is important - but let’s face it, it can be a real pain point for both business and data professionals. To address this pain, many organizations are turning to master data management data quality initiatives.

“Customer Data Disorder,” a three-part series by Robert Rich beginning this month, goes into detail about specific problems with customer data and why they exist. (Watch for how to diagnose the “disorder” and how to treat it in the November and December issues, respectively.) Additionally, Vicki Raeburn’s column discusses how difficult it may be to even determine a company’s top customers because of poor data quality and suggests an approach to solving the problem. Larry Goldman’s column debates the inherent difficulties and complexities with business-to-business customer data versus business-to-consumer customer data.

Despite the ongoing challenges, customers should be the primary focus of every organization. Thinking beyond the data, improving the customer experience is another way to retain revenue-generating customers. Customer experience management projects must be developed in line with the organization’s strategic goals, and Raymond Gerber offers best practices to do so in his article.

Whether dealing with customers in the real world or with customer data, you must align your initiatives with your overall organizational goals to maximize impact. Consider this as you enjoy the issue.

Julie Langenkamp
Editor In Chief

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