Last month, RBA had the opportunity to host James McCormick, a Senior Analyst with Forrester, in a webinar focused on Digital Intelligence. I had the opportunity to join the webinar to share some of my perspective on Digital Intelligence, as well as trends that I am seeing in the marketplace. In case you missed the webinar, here is a link to the full, recorded version:

What follows are the top five tips that emerged from the webinar discussion on what it takes for an organization to be digitally intelligent:

1. Ensure both business strategy and technology teams come to the table

True digital intelligence takes commitment from both business and technology leaders in order to be successful. It is crucial to first have a solid strategy in place, prior to any implementation, around what data needs to be collected to inform decision making and improve the customer experience, how that information will be captured, and how it will be leveraged by business owners throughout the organization. Once your strategy is formulated, you can begin to identify what tools and systems are needed to facilitate dissemination of information throughout the organization.

2. Know the six signs of digital intelligence

While there are many factors that play into determining if you are digitally intelligent, Forrester’s research has identified six signs that your organization is on the right track to collecting, analyzing and acting on your customer data as pictured below. These include: 1. Customer centric, 2. Data agnostic, 3. Actionable, 4. Intelligent, 5. Distributed and 6. Right time.

Six Signs of Digital Intelligence Source: Forrester Research

3. Collect data to act, not report

Align with key stakeholders on what you want to accomplish before launching into any collection and implementation efforts. If your implementation is not guided by your business initiatives, you will find that despite all the data you are collecting, you’ll still lack the ability to recognize areas for improvement of the customer experience. Identify KPIs that align directly to your goals – this will help your organization gauge success on key customer behaviors, as opposed to collecting data on every click of an experience. Stick to the critical few metrics that will gauge success, because measuring against numerous metrics, and collecting more data does not equate to driving more action. Plenty of data will make its way into your reporting, but much of it will be useless for driving any optimization if you’re not aligned on how to gauge success. Once that alignment has taken place, develop a plan to derive insights that will drive optimization of the customer experience. Your focus shouldn’t be on collecting data for reporting purposes, but for optimization purposes!

4. Move away from silos of data

To improve experiences, you need to be able to track the impact of your digital presence as a whole and the customer journey from one channel to the other, and from one interaction with your brand to the next. With strategy and technology partners at the table, you can begin to identify how to make your strategy come to life through integration of traditional data sources with digital data for a more complete, single view of your customer.

5. Focus on right time analytics – right away

Finally, too often I see companies reporting for reporting’s sake – reviewing data on past performance that can no longer be impacted. Getting to a place, both technologically and organizationally, where business owners across the organization are able to leverage current data, at the time that they need to make business decisions, is key to not only sustaining but also improving the digital experience. Analyzing reports of last month’s, or sometimes even yesterday’s data, can provide some insight for future planning, but will not allow for enhancing the customer journey in real time. So, in addition to identifying your data strategy, it’s important to begin organizing for success, including developing an organizational structure and processes that will allow for quick analysis and dissemination of insights to key stakeholders at the right time.


In today’s increasingly digital world, customers expect a lot from the brands they interact with – including a highly relevant and timely experience as are interacting with you brand across numerous touch points. To deliver on these expectations, your organization must be digitally intelligent.

To learn more about what it takes to get there, access the entire recorded webinar at:

Or view the tips in the presentation: