The Top CRM Analytics Trends
To measure the CRM analytics trends for the current year we analyzed the CRM Analytics performance benchmarks in the last three years of CRM Benchmark Reports. We also weighted the data so that more recent years had a slightly higher impact.
Here are the top 7 CRM analytics trends.
Data transformation becomes mainstream
The explosion in the volume, velocity and variety of data has made data a business phenomenon of our time. Data is the digital currency for 21st century. It is now a natural resource and raw material that yields customer and business intelligence.
Data transformation converts data from a raw material to finished asset and is the precursor to all downstream analytics achievements. Every person, process, information system and decision in your company is improved with more relevant data. However, while most companies are still data rich but information poor, there is a measurable trend showing improvement.
The most recent CRM Benchmark Report found that over three-quarters of the Best-in-Class archetypes have a mature and systemic process for converting data into insights. And even more telling, now a majority of small and midsize businesses have a planned or active data transformation project.
Predictive analytics gain momentum
The progressive value of analytics is demonstrated with the Information Continuum (sometimes called the Analytics Pyramid). Over the prior three years, companies have increased their development of Predictive Analytics by 40 percent.
This represents a wholesale shift from looking backward to forward. Marketers, sales managers and contact center leaders are increasingly creating predictive forecasts, propensity models and other forward-looking metrics such as those shown below.
Customer intelligence is finally getting intelligent
Customer intelligence is a prerequisite to customer centricity and using data to deliver differentiating customer experiences. The CRM Benchmark Report reviews customer intelligence performance in the areas of a 360-degree customer view, customer insights and customer segmentation.
All three categories have increased low double digits over the prior three-year period. While adoption of all three customer intelligence methods is only mainstream among the CRM Best-in-Class archetypes, all companies who identify pursuing any of the three categories indicate customer performance improvements.
Artificial Intelligence has crossed the chasm
AI has finally evolved from the early adopters to the early majority of CRM users. While crossing this chasm has taken about a decade, the current trajectory suggests that adoption will accelerate and become widespread.
AI is quickly advancing from aspirational to operational because CRM software publishers are including AI extensible algorithms and use cases that are supplemented with low code/no code tools such as Einstein from Salesforce and the Power Platform (with AI Builder, Power BI and other tools) from Microsoft.
There are far more BI beneficiaries
Business Intelligence (BI) is no longer limited to executives. The CRM analytics research shows that BI is being routed to more customer facing staff, particularly salespeople and customer service agents. It's also being applied at customer facing scenarios and customer interaction points where the intelligence can aid customers in their journeys or influence moments of truth.
Customized dashboards are increasing CRM user adoption
CRM business intelligence research shows a steady increase in custom dashboards that is positively impacting user adoption and CRM software utilization. Early CRM dashboards were flashy but really didn't deliver actionable insights. Insights are not data, facts or statistics, these are all knowledge. Insights are the reasons, behaviors or learning behind the data, facts or statistics. The dictionary definition of the word Insight is "seeing below the surface". This is essentially new learning, or something that teaches and induces action.
Custom dashboards often include key performance indicators (KPIs) not available with out of the box (OOB) CRM software (i.e., KPIs such as Customer Lifetime Value or customer health scores). They also go beyond historical reporting to include predictive analytics. Dashboards excel when they deliver real-time and role-based content, link the content to recommended actions (such as Playbooks or form-based links, workflows and alerts) and shift from data that is merely interesting to information that induces action.
Analytics growth is being driven by corporate culture
Smart companies are baking data-based decision making into their corporate cultures. Many times it's part of a Data Driven Operating Model. Executives recognize that data can produce analytics but only people can effectuate positive change.
Business leaders are insisting that company decisions be made with insights and not intuition or subjective guesswork. They are verifying that data-based decisions are the norm and not the exception.
Only when the company culture reinforces data-driven, fact-based and objective decision making and discourages gut-based, trial and error and subjective decision making will the company derive the benefits of decisions anchored in data.
"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data." —Sherlock Holmes