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Customer Analytics and Taking Photos While Blind

This heartwarming story, about blind photographers in Israel as recounted in the CNN video below, has lessons for decision-makers: 

1. If you can't see your subjects (customers), use your other senses.
2. Develop skills you currently don't have.
3. Choose from the results you get by employing people who can see.
4. Make the final decision based on what looks right, and what is important to you (and your business).

The lessons flow from the observation that most companies don't really "see" their customers. They don't have the tools to gather information and create insight about what matters to customers and prospects. Even if they do have the tools, and the insight, final choices about what to do must fit a carefully designed strategy that builds value for the customer and for the company -- defined not as revenues or utility, but as value and values created and exchanged. Revenues ain't enough. A product's usefulness ain't enough.

Business intelligence is hard work. Dashboards require clean data. Actionable data requireproper modeling, extraction, transformation and loading. And the right data are absolutely critical. If you keep measuring the same things each time, you may be missing changes in the competitive or customer landscape. 

Still, just getting started is half the battle. It opens up the right slots in your budgets and alerts your staff that customer data -- and decisions driven by those data -- are now central to operations and market position.

Enjoy the video.

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