Experts in digital business engage people and uncover insight from data to shape the products, services and experiences they offer.

In the age of austerity and accountability, the role of data has never been more important in understanding consumers, their habits, and what drives their behaviour.

Marketers now have access to data from a variety of different sources – purchasing data, social media, customer service interactions and web searches are just a few of the elements comprising what has become known as big data. This huge amount of data can be leveraged to glean insight about consumer behaviour, ultimately influencing targeted decision making and creating successful campaigns. But amid concerns over consumer privacy online, brands and marketers need to be aware of what value this data really holds, and how it can be used without crossing a line with consumers. 

Any brand can have access to data and use technology to make recommendations, but the skill is being able to give customers a real sense of direction. The more a business knows about its customer the more it can shape their experience by delivering targeted and relevant content. A regular visitor to a specific website should begin to receive a more personalised experience. If the company recommends products that may be of interest, based on the data they have previously entered, the chance of increased click-through rates grows dramatically. 

Having a recommendation engine offering a more customised experience dependent on consumer habits will drive conversion rates and encourage visitors to spend more. This is about adding value to the consumer experience by saving them time and effort. If they have quicker access to the products they like, they will respond by spending more money or returning. 

Using data to improve on the personalisation aspect will be crucial for marketers, and how they convert it into insight will determine its success. Data is no longer just about names and addresses on a spreadsheet but it is knowledge into how the customer base shop. Having this insight can transform how a consumer views a brand - the more personalised their experience the more likely they are to share it. 

Perhaps an even more valuable attribute for gaining insight from consumer data is that knowledge can shape future product releases and marketing campaigns. Using the information gained from targeted audiences online habits companies can then assess its current product offering, determine where they should develop its range and what would likely be a success for the brand. 

Data from an analytical sense will not only help increase loyalty and build its consumer base but can also shape the direction of the business.