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Article : What Is Analytical CRM?

Few markets have actually suffered as much from vague vendor marketing messages as has the market for Analytical CRM solutions as software vendors each have a different definition of what comprises analytical CRM. In an immature market, all can claim to be market. The complexity and vagueness of the ACRM project is such that buyers are especially wary when purchasing products at such high cost.

What Is Analytical CRM?
Datamonitor defines Analytical CRM (ACRM) as the process through which enterprises transform customer data gathered through operational CRM into actionable customer insight.


ACRM sits at the heart of CRM. Call Centers, operational software and automation software for sales, service and marketing represent the "doing" parts of CRM; ACRM is the "thinking" part. Applied ACRM identifies trends and patterns of behaviour and extends these into predictive analysis. Analytical CRM, rather than being a single product or service, is composed of very many individual components. This process is supported by a number of tools, which enable the analysis itself, such as Data Quality, Data Warehousing, and tools that enable access to the information.

These do the following:

  • Prepare the data for analysis (Data Quality, data warehousing)

  • Perform the analysis itself (OLAP tools)

  • Provide access to the information (Query & Reporting).

A simple example of ACRM in action would be in a telecoms supplier. Through billing, the enterprise has information about historic usage for a particular customer. Through call center software, call center interactions will be recoded. Through engineering, the enterprise will have some idea of network utilization. All of this information will be stored in one or more data repositories. ACRM will allow the operator to identify patterns of behaviour, find similar customers and hence be able to create predictions about behaviour. Once this has been modelled, opportunities to up sell new products or adjust service plans can be acted upon.

The basis for analytics is data and so companies must first invest in operational CRM systems for there to be customer data to analyze. In a sense, operational CRM is the fuel for the analytical CRM engine. Analytical CRM provides a means of deriving more value from existing investments.

Drivers And Barriers Behind The Market
Democratization Of Data
The level of decision-making is shifting. Five years ago, IT departments would own not only the infrastructure but also the data, so users would then request particular reports. Today it is more likely that the marketing department would be in charge of its own data and will need data not just for strategic decisions but also at the micro-level for tactical day-to-day decisions. Individual executives have the power to create their own reports and run their own campaigns. This democratization of data and the need for data for micro-decision making are the major drivers for access to analytics within the enterprise.

Smarter, Easier Tools
Analytics used to be the preserve of scientists with complex algorithms. For the last 2-5 years IT departments have controlled it. Only recently has its moved to be part of marketing departments' arsenals. This evolution of ownership has been mirrored in an evolution of usability, and interfaces have become easier, smarter and better. Simpler, smarter tools will encourage larger user groups within an enterprise and hence an enlargement of the market.

Increasingly Competitive User Markets
Highly competitive vertical industries such as financial services will be most inclined to buy technology to give them a competitive edge. However, different groups of users within an organization also compete with each other for budget. IT budgets are being cut and marketing budgets tend to be slashed to purely below-the-line marketing in times of recession. Analytics is unusual in that buying points may lie within IT, marketing or analyst functions and hence gives vendors 3 opportunities for every sale.

Increasingly Competitive Vendor Markets
The CRM application market is almost globally flat, and shrank within 2002. All vendors are aware that through partnering or acquisition they have a stake in a growth area. This may smell of bandwagon-ism, but it does raise the profile of analytics with all potential customers. This is because operational CRM vendors have far more visibility with customers than analytics vendors. By pushing the ACRM 'message' they are creating awareness for what analytics can do.

Negative reasons
It is clear that many customers have not achieved any return on investment in large operational CRM implementations and are trying to understand how they can maximize past investments and existing infrastructure. Many customers are therefore those who have or are in the process of buying and have begun to realize that the ongoing and maintenance cost may be much higher than expected once consultants have become immersed in the nuts and bolts of integration. Many analytics vendors have reported that customers are often those who rapidly need to get out of a CRM expenditure hole, by bringing in a small piece of software that can deliver immediate ROI and hence mitigate against the ongoing nosebleed of running a CRM strategy.

Analytics is still fundamentally a complex beast. By dumbing it down to make it easier to sell, many would argue that it ceases to be analytics. Its selling points are difficult: it primarily gives the enterprise knowledge upon which it may or may not choose to act. Unfortunately this smacks of the vision marketing, which ailed technology sales for many years, so it is clear why so many vendors, especially smaller ones, are having difficulty selling their version of analytics.

In the EU there are already a number of directives in place which affect the transportation and manipulation of customer data. The most important of these is the Privacy Directive, which effectively prohibits the manipulation of customer data without clear consent. Other issues which have an effect include:

  • Cross-border data flow: which prohibits the transfer to data to any country not deemed "safe". Currently, the US is not considered "safe" by EU standards;

  • Distance Selling Directive, which places strict regulation on the selling by telephone of any service or product, and places severe restriction on selling financial products.

Who Needs ACRM The Most?
It is possible to group the propensity to buy ACRM technology within a particular vertical industry by assessing the following:

  • Data volume, a function of customer volume, data per customer and volume of transactions

  • Degree of commoditization, a function of the competitiveness within the vertical and the nature of the goods or service being sold. Highly undifferentiated, often selling intangible goods or services

  • ANALYTICAL ADVANTAGE: industries which are commoditized or selling broadly undifferentiated goods or services AND possess a high data volume will be in greater need of ACRM to create Analytical Advantage.

The retail credit industry is to all intent and purposes commoditzed. There is a lot of customer data generated and worldwide, the industry is increasingly competitive. Therefore, a great deal of analytical advantage can be gained through ACRM. (See figure 1). Travel and Tourism on the other hand also generates a great deal of information and despite recent setbacks is still a highly competitive industry. However, customer loyalty is very difficult to maintain, so there is limited use for analytics.

Analytical CRM uses the data in the data warehouse to precisely segment and define customer groups and target outbound marketing. Without a solid data foundation for this, it cannot work effectively. Data Quality (DQ) is the process of consolidating and cleaning every byte of data within an enterprise. The quality of data directly affects the effectiveness of outbound marketing, analytics and customer loyalty and, more fundamentally, the ability to do business. A common misconception is that DQ is address verification; more accurately it is customer identification. As such it is critical to Analytical CRM.

Vendors who offer analytics without emphasizing Data Quality and its fundamental importance may be misleading the market. Customers need to be careful that they do not buy a solution that will not work at 100% effectiveness; vendors need to be careful that they do not become embroiled in long projects where DQ issues are insurmountable.

ACRM Market Overview
Globally the ACRM market is worth $2.35b broken down as shown in Figure 2. Overall the market is dominated by North American sales, but there are significant markets in EMEA and Asia-Pacific.

There are subtle differences in take-up by region. The primary factors influencing this are:

  • Corporate demographics (number of enterprises of a particular size)

  • Uptake of operational CRM which in most cases must precede the use of ACRM

  • Legislation regarding the use of customer data

  • Corporate structure: ACRM tends to be taken up by companies with more centralized information structures where most data tends to be held in central repositories.

Nevertheless, Datamonitor expect growth in ACRM to be fastest outside North America. The Central & Latin American markets will grow fastest, once recovered from their current economic morass. The Asia-Pacific market, which already has significant experience with analytics from local vendors, will also grow quickly reaching a CAGR of 23% between 2002 and 2007. Growth in EMEA will be driven by growth in data infrastructure (data marts, data repositories and data warehouses) which has not reached the same level of saturation as North America. Globally, most growth will be driven by the application of Business Intelligence to CRM and analytical infrastructure, notably Data Quality tools.

About Informa:
Company LogoInforma plc is a multinational events and publishing company with its head office and registered office in London
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Today's Tip of the Day - IVR Messages

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, June 2, 2003

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2023 Buyers Guide Inbound Call Handling Services

Premium Listing
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.


Calls are received by the right person or department. The right corresponding information is shown to the agent which makes that appointments are handled quicker and more secure.

3.) Agara

Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.


Telephone Answering Services
Answer4u offers both SME and corporate sized businesses Telephone Answering Services delivered by our team of professional receptionists. They are all trained to answer your calls, in your company name, whenever you need them most.

All of our client calls are answered in our Nottingham offices, in the heart of England. We have agents working on a 24/7 basis, meaning all calls are answered through the day and night by UK based operatives. No calls are ever outsourced or go to an answering machine.

Each of our clients has their own personal Account Manager, who heads a team of trained receptionists. Our receptionists answer the phone in your company name, explain to your callers that yo...
(read more)

Connect Assist

Contact Centre Services
We’re a specialist Contact Centre business and market leaders helping socially focused organisations deliver quality support to their clients and service users. We do this by providing 24/7 helplines, software solutions and consultancy services.

Since launching in 2006, we’ve operated at the sharp end of customer service, supporting some of society’s most vulnerable people. We’ve pioneered in our space to become a specialist in helplines, whilst using the most advanced communication and database technologies available.

Our social mission has remained a constant throughout, providing many meaningful career prospects and growth opportunities to people within our local communities and fur...
(read more)

Digital Wholesale Solutions

International Inbound (ITFS & DID's) & Int'l Two Way Voice (SIP Trunks)
Digital Wholesale Solutions (formerly Daisy Worldwide) specialise in Global Inbound ITFS and DID Services from 160 countries (covering 7,000+ cities).

We also have International SIP Trunk (66 Countries) – where numbers are presented in a local format.

7.) Jointly International Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Front office is your Company’s first line of customer interaction and serves as the mirror of your business. Focus on your core business and let our competent staff handle your various front office needs such as:

* Customer Service via chat, email or phone
* Technical Support via chat, email or phone
* Helpdesk
* Virtual Assistant/Receptionist
* Answering Service
* Lead Generation
* Appointment Setting
* Verification
* Surveys
* Debt Recover, Collections

MattsenKumar LLC

Contact Center Outsourcing
By catering valuable, usable and enjoyable customer service, businesses can increase their CSAT Score and Customer Retention Rate. We help organizations to provide quality customer service through varied channels like email, phone and live chat. Ensuring quality after-sales support is our USP and we rely on proven approaches to ensure quality customer service.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Performance Monitoring


VADS Inbound Contact Center
VADS Inbound Contact Center Services provide live operators who answer incoming calls as you would yourself. A team of professional script writers is available to help you script a greeting and experience programmers will set up a time and money saving program. Our unique approach to call center services is client-focused, and takes each project’s unique needs into account to our client’s satisfaction. We offer solution as part of our service to keep you in touch with your client and drive sales.

- Customer Service
- Walk In Center
- Service Desk

Technosys IT Management

Customer Support
Technosys IT Management Bpo, the business process Outsourcing, gives end-to-end transformative administrations for its customers over the globe. The organization's coordinated IT and BPO arrangements approach empowers it to open business esteem crosswise over ventures and administration lines, and address business challenges for its customers. Using inventive business perfection structures, progressing profitability changes, process reengineering, mechanization, and front line innovation stages, Technosys IT Management empowers its customers to accomplish their cost diminishment goals, enhance process efficiencies, upgrade viability, and convey unrivaled client encounter

Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Any part of your business operations that requires constant end-customer facing task is an essential part of your business.

This task requires a good customer experience results for every customer interaction. Our extensive experience in handling Front Office related tasks can help you focus on your core business while being cost-efficient at the same time.


WorkGenda is a state of the art WFO cloud service, used by customers around the world. WorkGenda provides: a) an AI based forecasting engine, which automatically generates forecasts with a WAPE of 3 to 5%, b) a capacity management engine based on a traffic simulator, with perfect support for blending regardless the type of channels, which subsequently automatically converts the computed capacity into optimised shifts, where ‘optimised’ equals to a zero or the mathematically minimum possible overstaffing under the given contractual constrains, c) an automated scheduling engine, capable of scheduling 3000 multi-skilled agents for a whole week in 2 minutes and d) an Intraday bot which automatic...
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