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How to build in-house analytics skills to gain constant customer insight

The Data Handbook

How to use data to improve your customer journey and get better business outcomes in digital sales. Interviews, use cases, and deep-dives.

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Author avatar

Antton Ikola




Building analytical skills is essential for your company. Deeper customer insight and the constant improvement of your product’s market fit should be key motivators in business development. However, building in-house data and analytics skills is more than just acquiring the right tools. It is also about building the right mindset, and having talented and responsible people with clear roles.

Mindset is the real success factor

It’s easy to say that especially quantitative data is objective. However, what you decide to measure is not. If the business problem is in your customer acquisition, it does not make sense to focus merely on measuring your NPS (net-promoter-score). Essentially, you would have measurements and KPIs in each point of your customer’s journey. Seeing the big picture requires overcoming organizational silos by having dedicated workshops or other methods to facilitate cross-functional teams. This way you’ll learn what it really requires to produce a unified customer experience - and which KPIs are essential for measuring the impacts of all from customer reach to loyalty.

Why even the most advanced tools will not get you there

Tools and the capability to master them is essential. But without a clear picture of how the data contributes to actual business, analytics will not produce impact. Too often the tools are put in place, but nothing is done with the data. The tools are only as good as the customer insight you can derive from them. Data is useless without the skills to analyse it. Even the currently hyped artificial intelligence needs to be tailored to your business context, which requires a lot of talent.

Data comes in all different forms and shapes. From web analytics you can learn things such as how users interact in your digital channels, and which variant of the landing page performs better in terms of sales conversions, but the data will not tell you why your customer abandoned their shopping cart. The quantitative data provided by web analytics needs to be supported with qualitative interviews to gain comprehensive customer insight.

What it means for your organization

Analytics need to be paired with creativity and actions. Whether it is web analytics or NPS, data and analytics have real impact only through interpretation and experimentation with testable hypothesis’ in the right business context. Making the feedback loop of build-measure-learn as lean as possible is essential. Designating roles to facilitate this learning and lead the comprehensive customer experience might be necessary. In the end, it comes down to 5 steps:

  1. Start from your business goals
  2. Identify metrics and data points which can help you
  3. See what data you have and what you need more
  4. Build analytics skills in your organization
  5. Become experiment focused

Most of all, we must remember the following: “Data analytics can’t do everything. Knowing what questions to be asked is key,” by @jseelybrown. Data will not make decisions or designs for you, but yes, it can make a heck of a difference.

Don't forget to link your analytics to the specific touchpoints on the Customer Journey. Download our free Customer Journey Map template with instructions and a case study from here

The Data Handbook

How to use data to improve your customer journey and get better business outcomes in digital sales. Interviews, use cases, and deep-dives.

Get the book