The Quantum Mousetrap

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Archive for the ‘Insights Intelligence’ Category

Insights Intelligence: the untapped gold mine hiding in plain view

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Here’s a key question to ask any business: Does it know what customers are saying about its products and services?
Often an answer to the question will not be framed in terms of the highest priority top 10 experience improvements, change opportunities and requirements, but rather in terms of activity and effort measurements.

This is done using BI scorecards and dashboards which illustrate business activity and effort, examples like: operations status, forecasts, trends, with associated metadata — how much customers liked you, retweeted, pinned, or shared us. The answer is usually: BIG DATA!! Collect it all. More is King. Activity trumps taking action.


It’s important to ask the key question for 3 main reasons:
1) Every business should have a clear understanding of its customer experience…not what the biz thinks it is, but based on the voice of its customers (what they think, do, say).
2) It’s not enough to just have quantity measurements, like, likes, or SAT, sentiment and retweets. Or recommendations. It’s more important to know why that’s NOT happening.
3) Numbers and scorecards without root-cause analysis can be interesting yet hard understand, and while directional are open to biased interpretation.

To be clear, understanding the impact of business, marketing, communication, support effort and activity is important, and necessary. But that’s Business Intelligence (BI), not Insights Intelligence (InI).

One is not better, or less needed than the other. BI and InI are just 2 sides of the intelligence framework. They are interconnected, yet distinct; unique yet joined. It is this yin-yang nature of Business and Insights Intelligence which causes confusion and leads to Insights Intelligence being hidden, or worse, (unintentionally) ignored.

BI, Big data, Data science, Listening – these overused buzz words are all the rage, but they represent only one side of the Intelligence equation. Let’s hit pause here for a minute. Let’s look at the other side…

The qualitative Yin to BI’s quantitative Yang, is customer voice Insight Intelligence.


What is Insights intelligence?  It is actionable intelligence about the customer experience derived from the digital imprint and breadcrumbs of your customers’ voice that is available in unstructured text data that humans see as social posts, survey “reasons for your ratings” questions, in product and experience reviews, news, forums, blogs and comments, in all languages, across every region/geo, of every second of every day.  

It is the global voice of your customer across the customer journey. And it’s all there for enterprises that want to listen and learn from it.

Herein lies the biggest, untapped, most underutilized, and probably the most misunderstood and ignored customer voice goldmine. It’s not easy to get. It is VERY valuable when gotten.

Now I know what you are thinking – this is not the flip side of BI, this is BI!  Umm…No it’s not. Because, all data is not BI. It’s like saying all water is liquid, or all Roses are red.

It’s important be thoughtful and nuanced about intelligence types, for, while all of this intelligence is about the business, lumping all types of business or customer intelligence into the generic and overused “BI” bucket drives certain source collection, analysis methods, resource priorities, processing strategies, reporting and analysis behavior in ways that is antithetical to understanding the “why” behind an experience – which is what Insights Intelligence is all about.

Having great effort-measuring BI is important. There is just a different path to acquiring Insights intelligence from voice of customer analytics.

Consider this: In the old days (a couple of years ago), customers had to make a special effort to visit a company walled garden to give feedback, ask a question, seek a recommendation, get help, or information. . Now?…no more is it a prerequisite to go to any fixed location to do any of that…conversations about a company’s brand, operations, competition or experience are now borderless and boundless.  Conversation happen in places where customers wish to have them, when they want to have them, and with who they want to have them, with or without the company being present.

Welcome to the complete democratization of customer experience conversations on the global stage.

Imagine what this means for you or your company: hundreds of millions of data points all about what’s needed, what’s important, what customers want or don’t want, all given willingly, begging you to hear what’s important, and documenting for you what their product, device, or service experience was. Always on, always relevant.

Actually, forget the key question I asked above. Here’s a better question: Does the business have the Insights Intelligence leadership in place with right level of resources, tools, skills and processes in place to hear this global voice; to process and prioritize the Insights, and to use the underlying customer context to inform and build winning product, service, and communication and engagement strategies?

And more importantly: Is the business organized in a manner to ACT on the Insights Intelligence in an effecient and timely manner?


Next time: The steps towards building an Insights Intelligence and listening framework.


IMAGE CREDIT: Cartoon of the 2 office workers: Chris Slane