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When reviewing the popular literature on customer data integration and master data management (MDM), a frequently recurring business driver is the ability to establish a “360-degree view of the customer.” The allure of this appealing concept has turned it into the holy grail of comprehensive customer intelligence. A multitude of analyst articles, reports, and white papers all extol the virtues of the 360-degree view, and “achieved a 360-degree view” and “enhanced customer analyses” are ranked among the highest benefits from customer data integration.
Beyond the marketing hype, it’s important to examine the term and find the reality behind the buzzword. For instance, what does it mean to have a 360-degree view of a customer? What value drivers are positively affected by full-bore customer insight? How do you know if your company needs it? How do individuals exploit this capability? This paper is intended to explore these questions – as well as examine ways to assess business needs and master data modeling questions – to determine how the 360-degree view of the customer is supported by MDM and customer data integration.
To help you get started, the paper will provide a list of questions that should be considered and reviewed during any project designed to deliver a 360-degree view. By using these questions for preliminary guidance, one may clearly articulate where the business can derive value from the 360-degree view, determine performance metrics and thresholds, and improve the chances of success. The paper then explores how information sharing and identity resolution combine to show the connection between MDM and enterprise customer-centricity.
The concept of the “360-degree view” emerged from customer relationship management (CRM) projects. From an abstract standpoint, the concept of the 360-degree view of the customer is quite appealing, especially when the term is used to mean various aspects of “knowing everything about each customer.” It suggests a comprehensive view of all information about each and every customer that is available to users both internally and externally. Depending on the context, this can range from a single integrated view of all customer data to a single integrated view of all customer activity, logging all corresponding interactions, all facilitated by automatically capturing all customer touch points through all channels and sharing the customer information across all stakeholders in all departments.
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