It is now conventional wisdom among marketers and IT personnel who support them that investments in customer data have a demonstrable return. internetQueryObject Corporation – or iQO – is the latest software vendor to offer a solution that helps companies achieve that return.

iQO's CustomerView is a customizable analytic application with prepackaged, targeted functions that enable any business user, regardless of physical location or technical ability, to explore massive sets of centralized, cross-channel customer data – all with actionable results delivered in seconds over the Internet. That's a mouthful to say, but it's true, because CustomerView is designed as a solution for this kind of complex confluence of Internet-based business intelligence requirements.

THE HURWITZ TAKE: Business intelligence (BI) is a dynamic world of late, with numerous trends driven by emerging technologies and business practices. iQO's CustomerView represents the convergence of some of these trends.

  • The pervasive decision making of e-business. The rising practice of e-business (especially among retailers) leads business people into pervasive decision making (for both tactical and strategic situations) based on up-to-date and accurate information that's accessible across organizations. CustomerView is an Internet-based application with a browser user interface (BUI) suited to delivering information and its analysis to a broad range of employees and partners.
  • Packaged analytic application. When it comes to applications for customer analysis, users today want to buy – not build – so they get a polished BUI and benefit from the application's domain expertise. CustomerView is a packaged (but customizable) analytic application with an intuitive "just click on it" BUI and domain expertise suited to any industry with high customer counts (e.g., telco, retail, insurance, healthcare and finance).
  • Hosted application. Many organizations are turning to application service providers (ASPs) so they get to market fast, avoid project failures, and apply scarce IT resources elsewhere. CustomerView is available through a hosted environment.
  • Multichannel customer data. As more companies progress into the data integration that e-business requires, they realize that customer analysis is only as good as the customer data under it. CustomerView collects granular customer data (down to the transaction level) from multiple internal sources and enriches customer records by appending demographics from external sources. The result is a massive multidimensional database, optimized for Internet query and replication, while still respecting customer privacy.

These trends are interesting individually. But what is their confluence driving toward?
These trends contribute to a new level of enlightenment and trackable measurement for customer relationship management (CRM). For instance, much of the information access and pervasive decision making found in e-business helps employees understand customer behavior, which can lead to higher levels of customer service and satisfaction. A packaged application for customer analysis guides the user through customer data toward actionable results targeted at increasing profits. These results typically involve generating lists for marketing campaign management (MCM) such as for direct mail or product promotions. And, of course, multichannel customer data leads to better customer segmentation for better MCM.

Hurwitz Group recommends that software purchasers seeking a higher level of CRM rely on these trends as representing requirements of applications for customer analysis in Internet environments. The confluence of these reveals the leading edge of customer analytic applications, as seen in iQO's CustomerView.

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