How to construct a data innnovation map

By Heather Jennings

A data innovation map helps you visualize your customers’ experiences and boosts innovation. Here’s how to create one for your company.

They say ‘seeing is believing’ and in order to have an edge over your competitor, it’s important to visualize and analyze data you gather from your customer base. That’s where a data innovation map comes in. By placing data in a visual format, it helps you find ways to improve on the customer experience and create innovative strategies to grow revenue.

Investing in data is crucial for fast-moving industries such as retail, technology and hospitality to continually track their customers’ movements. 

For example, department store Macy’s analyzes data about a customer’s online and in-store purchases and creates a personalized experience for the customer. This includes customized incentives at checkouts. As a result of leveraging big data, Macy’s has boosted store sales by 10 percent.

If you too are looking for your company to increase its revenue with data mapping, follow these steps.

Map the customer 

Getting to know the ins and outs of your customer’s journey is the first step to creating a data innovation map.

The customer journey for businesses has myriad touchpoints.

It might begin when a customer browses online for items, then searches for a local store via their smartphone. It ends when they are making a purchase or when they leave feedback on social media.

Whatever the size of your business, it’s vital to have a clear picture of when these customer touchpoints occur.

Once you have mapped your customer journey, it’s time to review how your company interacts with the buyer along the way.

Consider whether you are missing any opportunities to engage with them, such as reaching out on social media at various points throughout the day or sending e-newsletters on product specials.

Link your data 

After identifying ways you can further reach your customers, it’s important to bring together your different sources of customer data.

This includes external data, which can come from social media, local demographics, and even weather forecasts to predict product-buying patterns.

According to a 2013 McKinsey&Company report, a broad range of data gives companies a more panoramic view of their business environment.

You should have internal data sourced directly from the customer and external data.

Take action

Having introduced a visual map to better understand your customer and devise ways to engage with them, it’s time to take action to obtain the best data and make improvements. 

This could mean updating your company’s processes and capabilities and investing in new data and analytics tools that will anonymously track customer engagement to identify different behaviors in order to create strong insights and develop key next steps.

It’s important to ensure all employees are up to speed on any technological or system changes that will affect the business’s data sets.

If your business has plenty of customer data but it’s not being properly analyzed or leveraged, setting up a data innovation map is the first step to understanding how you can make data lead to increased sales and customer engagement.

A data innovation map will set your business on the path to both retaining and attracting new customers, and give you an edge over your competitor.