New Study Shows Majority of Organizations Feel Customer Data is Still Siloed, Only Available to Some

Only 13% of Executives Express High Confidence they are Leveraging All of Their Available Customer Data from Forbes Insights/Treasure Data Survey

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – June 20, 2018 In today’s digital economy, customer data reigns as the competitive differentiator of market success. Yet while data is key, many organizations are still mired in 20th-century methods, processes and technology. Companies that are not adapting are finding their customer bases precipitously eroding as data-savvy competitors offer cheaper, faster products and more personalized experiences.

A new Forbes Insights/Treasure Data report based on a global survey of 400 executives, “Data Versus Goliath: Customer Data Strategies To Disrupt The Disruptors,” found that only 13% of companies can be considered “leaders” in leveraging customer data. Executives within these leading organizations indicate they are highly confident their companies have taken the necessary steps to ensure they are effectively utilizing customer data. A larger percentage of organizations, however, the “laggards,” are only at the beginning of their efforts to convert customer data into actionable insights. Yet it’s those who are embracing customer data and analytics who are seeing greater returns on investment and are likely to be disruptive leaders within their markets.

“Consumers are demanding and expecting more of brands with each passing moment,” says Rob Glickman, Chief Marketing Officer at the enterprise Customer Data Platform company Treasure Data. “This survey confirms that in order for organizations to better understand their customers – and have a fighting chance to compete with the industry behemoths – they need to dive deep in the customer data from all sources.”

“Customer data has become the key ingredient in providing a better customer experience,” said Tom Davis, Chief Marketing Officer at Forbes Media. “Those who fail to adapt to this will fall behind.”

Key findings include:

Most executives say the risks of digital disruption are high, and many are already feeling the impact directly in their businesses. A majority, 51%, of executives surveyed report a high level of risk to their organization (in terms of market share and revenue) over the next five years from technology-driven disruption by startups or innovations by incumbent companies.

Disruptors are seeing greater returns. While a majority, 79%, say their organizations are bringing about some disruption in their respective markets, only 37% consider their companies to fully be disruptors. A total of 81% of executives who see their organizations as customer-data-driven leaders report increased revenue over the past three fiscal years, compared with 61% of those who have yet to fully engage with customer data analytics.

Customer data and analytics are key enablers of disruption. A majority of executives, 55%, indicate that along with creating new markets and acquiring or partnering with disruptors, disruptive innovation is also achieved through leveraging their knowledge and insights into their customer bases.

Soft skills matter as much as much as technical skills. Statistical skills are in demand, but so are presentation and sales skills (ability to sell concepts and new ideas), which ranked as the top skills required for both users and implementers.

Large parts of the customer data universe are still out of reach to decision makers. Most executives are lukewarm as to whether they have a single view of their customer aggregated from all of their systems and applications data. Only 34% agreed they had such a capability.

A majority of organizations are turning to customer data platforms to bring valuable customer data into one place. A total of 78% either have, or are developing, a customer data platform that is a dedicated environment managed by their marketing organization and is separate from other databases or platforms.

GDPR looms large. For the most part, executives do not feel prepared to manage the requirements around the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Only 40% consider their organization at least somewhat capable of handling the intricacies of the new regulation.

About this research
This Forbes Insights and Treasure Data survey includes the views and experiences of 400 executives across key industry segments. The survey was global, covering North America (44%), Europe (38%), Asia-Pacific (6%), Latin America (6%) and the Middle East and Africa (6%). All respondents were from organizations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, and respondents’ titles include chief marketing officers or heads of marketing (44%), chief data or analytics officers (44%) and heads of customer experience (12%).

About Treasure Data
Treasure Data Enterprise Customer Data Platform (CDP) enables a single, actionable view of your customer for the first time. Only Treasure Data can handle the scale, security, and complexity required by a global enterprise and enables you to deliver a superior customer experience based on data-driven decisions. We empower you to better know your customers, engage in meaningful ways along the entire customer journey, measure your success and grow your business.