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Businesses struggling to unify data assets for customer engagement

By Ryan Morris-Reade, Tue 26 Oct 2021

A new study from Hazelcast has revealed 8 in 10 (79%) of retail and financial services companies struggle to harness real-time data and combine it with historical data to gain better insights for engaging customers.

The use of data in this way can help increase revenue and boost conversion rates, especially amid increasingly unpredictable consumer behaviour trends and a rising tide of incoming data. 

This compares to 65% of Australia's retail and financial services companies and just 55% in New Zealand.

The survey also found that, on average, respondents expect that drawing on customer details at the point of engagement will boost conversion rates by nearly 45%, which necessitates combining real-time with historical data.

"Becoming a real-time business is both radically valuable and a strategic necessity," says Hazelcast chief executive, Kelly Herrell. 

"This study reveals both the challenges and the opportunities related to making that transition. Success requires the ability to combine the explosion of real-time data with the business context stored in databases in a way that enables instantaneous actions. Insights alone are not enough; engagement and revenue growth now comes from transacting in the moment."

The survey of 629 business and IT decision-makers in the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, also shows that senior IT executives invest in different strategies for processing real-time data and unifying it with historical data to increase consumer engagement to drive sales.

The survey found two-thirds (66%) of companies globally have seen a significant or very significant increase in data over the last 12 months from customer applications and interactions. This compares to 77% of companies in Australia and New Zealand,
 
Seven in ten (70%) organisations globally (74% in Australia and 81% in New Zealand) said they could transform their ability to close sales and special offers if they were equipped with more relevant customer information at the time of engagement.
 
According to the survey, companies are planning on increasing spending in technologies to help capture value from data. Nearly four in five (78%) globally (84% in Australia and 75% in New Zealand) expect to increase investment in in-memory technologies over the next six to 12 months, with 76% planning to focus on stream processing (74% in Australia and 77% in New Zealand).
 
A majority of survey respondents said social media and viral memes (53% globally versus 69% in Australia and 58% in New Zealand) are now causing the most significant demand spikes for their organisation - ahead of annual retail events like Black Friday (50% globally, 51% in Australia and 54% in New Zealand ). This shifting landscape drives volatility in consumer demand, making it even more critical that companies can more readily access all data at any time.

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