Incorporating real time into the customer relationship management (CRM) analytics process is a critical component for successful CRM vendors, according to IDC. To be successful, companies must discover where real time makes the greatest difference in their CRM analytics as well as in their overall CRM cycle.

"CRM analytics coat the CRM process as nerves coat a body for the sense of touch," said Bob Blumstein, director of research for IDC's CRM Analytics and Marketing Applications research. "Successful CRM companies should concentrate not only on minimizing clock time but also on the more elastic, perceived delays that lower the chance of successful CRM analytics usage."

"To qualify as a CRM analytic application, software products must demonstrate business process support, the separation of function, and use time- oriented, integrated data from multiple sources. The requirement of time- orientation exposes a major stumbling block for real time analytics because true analytics require the integration of historical information. As CRM analytics become more integrated and distributed beyond the traditional technical analyst department, it becomes more important to assure the continuity of the experience from the user's point of view. To improve the overall timing of a user's online experience, IDC suggests companies reevaluate each of the following areas in the analysis and decision cycle: tracking, analyzing, segmentation and modeling, and policy hub.

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