Data-PrivacyAnne Moxie is a research analyst covering vendors and trends in CRM and ERP for Nucleus Research.

UnboundID: How have enterprise requirements for CRM systems changed in the past year in regard to data protection and tracking, analytics and big data?

Moxie: Big data and analytics are a hot topic and in regards to CRM, visualizations and graphics are becoming more common because marketers want quick interpretations of data. It is time consuming for users to manually collect information from external sources such as Facebook, Twitter or search histories, and then combine it with internal customer data to achieve predictive insights. Therefore, it’s becoming necessary that solutions automatically collect the data, analyze it, and then present it in an easily digestible format.

Our firm did research finding that for every dollar a company spends on analytics, they get $13.01 back. Executives are looking for the analysis of trends, reach and hits to better understand campaigns. Yet as more data is available online, companies need an enterprise wide privacy policy that their employees follow in order to protect the customers, beyond the contract of protection that users sign with the CRM vendor.

UnboundID: How can companies strike the right balance between collaboration and accessibility and customer data protection? Do these conversations come up frequently?

Moxie: There’s a need to balance sharing of information with data protection. Many CRM systems are built so that based on an employee’s role within the company they only have access to necessary information and if collaboration is needed on a specific project, access can be manually approved for that project only. One problem is, CRM systems are in the cloud today, and if the costs are low they tend to fly under the radar of the C-level executives. These systems are still very much owned by marketing and customer management teams but due to the need for privacy, the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) should be involved in choosing a system with the appropriate security. In industries like healthcare, access is highly regulated and structured. Take HIPAA for example. If you have access to personal data, you must go through training for compliance. Most CRM systems have the capability to define role-based access and can segment data based on privileges. These features are becoming more of a consideration in selection.

UnboundID: Social collaboration has been a big trend in CRM over the past few years. Has this been a successful strategy and where are the gaps?

Moxie: Nucleus has found that adding social collaboration to CRM can increase a salesperson’s productivity by 11% through encouraging engagement and collaboration. This involves both internal social community networks and external social data and networks. Social listening is another growing trend. If a company is positively mentioned on a site or there’s an issue that needs to be escalated, the system can automatically forward the question or mention to a marketing or CRM system for follow-up.

UnboundID: What is the role of data, particularly identity data, in the Internet of Things?

Moxie: IoT creates a massive influx of data. In order to take advantage of this, IoT systems will have to incorporate analytics. In order for the analysis to be useful, data will have to be automatically collected and interpreted and the analysis must be presented visually to be digestible for users. Organizations can use this analysis to better understand their customers and how they use products, or they can use it internally to streamline business processes. Technologies such as edge computing and cloud computing can help create timely and automated analysis. Companies will face obstacles in storing and securing this data, and there are ongoing efforts to determine how to best protect the privacy of customers.

Giving customers a choice in how their data is used is an increasingly important part of managing data. Learn more about customer identity management in the white paper Consumer Preference and Privacy Management: Gain a Competitive Edge by Empowering Your Customers.