The Value of Data in Modern Business: Insights from Subscribed Live

The Value of Data in Modern Business: Insights from Subscribed Live

Understanding and leveraging data has become crucial for businesses striving for success. In a recent breakout session at SubLive Berkeley, industry experts David Warren, Sr. Director, Subscribed Institute, Zuora, and James Towell, Service Line Director, Jaguar Land Rover, emphasized the pivotal role of consumer data in driving innovation and engagement, highlighting how resilient companies leverage insights to stay competitive.

In this blog, we will explore some of the key points from their discussion and outline how companies can harness the power of data to create valuable experiences and sustain growth.

Defining Data Needs and Utilization

The breakout session began with a compelling introduction to the significance of data in business. David Warren emphasized the necessity for companies to recognize useful data; “You have to recognize what data you actually need. And if you don’t have it, you’ve got to go figure out where it is.” This involves identifying the types of data that can actually provide valuable insights and determining how to harness them. Without a clear understanding of what data is needed for growth and innovation, businesses can waste time trying to collect or sort through data that won’t actually move the needle.

A central theme of the session was understanding customers to drive growth. The discussion highlighted three fundamental aspects where successful companies excel:

  1. Knowing Who Their Customers Are: This involves gathering detailed demographic and psychographic information for B2C companies and firmographic data for B2B companies. Understanding the ideal customer profile (ICP) is crucial for targeting efforts effectively.
  2. Understanding Why Customers Choose Them: Companies must identify the preferences, values, and factors that drive customers to select their products or services. Price, value, and affinity were mentioned as significant influences.
  3. Determining What Customers Are Willing to Pay a Premium For: This insight informs a company’s innovation roadmap, guiding the development of new products and services that meet premium expectations.

Warren stressed that while these three aspects are well-known and pursued by most businesses, the most resilient companies stand out by designing offers and experiences around these insights and continually iterating to find the most effective strategies.

Practical Application: Insights from Jaguar Land Rover

James Towell shared practical examples from JLR’s approach to understanding and leveraging customer data. JLR conducts extensive market research, engaging with over 4,000 global customers who provide regular feedback. This feedback, combined with telematics data from vehicles, allows JLR to gain insights into customer habits and preferences.

Towell shared, “We can tell from customers’ habits what they use, what they don’t use, and how frequently they use it.

Towell emphasized that the car serves as a significant channel for data collection. By analyzing how customers use their vehicles, JLR can tailor products and services to enhance customer satisfaction. This data-driven approach is crucial in a world where connectivity and personalization are key differentiators. 

Towell further elaborated on the application of data in his role as Service Line Director. His responsibilities encompass future connectivity, electrification, and autonomous driving. JLR’s collaboration with NVIDIA on branching into autonomous driving technologies is a prime example of how customer data and feedback can drive innovation. Towell emphasized the importance of listening to customer feedback and conducting market research to maintain a competitive edge. Innovations and new features must align with the brand’s positioning and resonate with its target audience.

Challenges and Future Directions

The breakout session also addressed challenges in data utilization and product innovation. Towell acknowledged that even when products are driven by the best feedback and knowledge from customers and their data, activating customers to use new services and technologies can be difficult. 

Actually creating the enticing features is only half the battle. Ensuring customers understand the benefits and functionalities of these innovations is also essential for widespread adoption. User experience plays a crucial role in this process, as a seamless and intuitive interface can significantly enhance customer ease of use and engagement. Towell stated, “If you can get the user experience right, and the customer experience is good, then they’ll use that technology.

Advice for Companies Starting Their Data Journey

Towell summarized by stressing the importance of simplicity in data collection and analysis. Overcomplicating processes can lead to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. “The most important thing for me is to try and keep things as simple as possible,” Towell stated. Companies should focus on first identifying the most critical data points that drive value and build systems around them that are easy to manage and interpret.

This breakout session underscored the transformative potential of data in modern business. By understanding customer needs, leveraging the right data, and encouraging customer adoption, companies can create value and sustain growth in an increasingly competitive landscape. The insights shared by industry leaders like James Towell and David Warren provide a roadmap for organizations aiming to harness the power of data and drive innovation in their respective fields.


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