Is Big Data the new CRM?

I recently attended a conference about Big Data. All the big IT players were there, lots of clever stuff was discussed and new toys and techniques were dangled in front of us all in the promise of making our businesses more effective. But then I had a feeling of déjà vu. I couldn’t help feeling that I was back in one of the CRM conferences from about 10 or 15 years ago.

Back then we all listened intently to the logic and rational proposition that pulling all customer data into one place and managing all customer touchpoints with customer centric decisions and next best actions was the right thing to do. Who could argue with that?

But for many that promise and set of expectations wasn’t always met. There were several reasons for this and each client will have their own story to tell – including those with success stories. For those who struggled it appears that the main issues were centred around the key role of technology.

For some it appears that an assumption was made that the technology was the solution and forgot about the people and new processes that would have to be in place to exploit these new capabilities. For many others the CRM project was lead and managed by IT. As a consequence, business users’ perceived needs were not always met – or more likely, the users couldn’t articulate them as they didn’t understand the capabilities that could be delivered, nor how to specify requirements. So unfortunately CRM became a ‘bad’ word for many meaning that others failed to consider the benefits that it can deliver.

So is Big Data the new CRM? Read the full article to find out.


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