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Customer Intelligence (CI)

Definition - What does Customer Intelligence (CI) mean?

Customer intelligence (CI) is broadly defined as an effort to collect and analyze data about customer behavior. Businesses and organizations use CI resources and methodologies to understand what customers are doing - and why. Many CI professionals use a broader suite of resources known as a customer relationship management (CRM) system to gather and use CI data. Because CRM and CI tools are often comprised of sophisticated technologies, IT professionals involved in CI may require certain skills or certifications.

Techopedia explains Customer Intelligence (CI)

In general, customer intelligence (CI) relies on a process of aggregating large amounts of data for input with specific technologies and using advanced methods for analysis. A database is a common and basic resource for customer relationship management (CRM) and the more specific use of CI data. CI professionals often require database use and maintenance skills or qualifications.

In addition to manipulating a database, CI professionals may need to understand methods for collaborative data modeling, such as cross-channel attribution, which involves working with specific modeling software for clear data presentation and providing resources for critical business decision-making. The data used in CI may overlap with the data used for other areas of CRM and related goals, like sales force automation (SFA).

While many core processes of CI work involve sophisticated technology, some of this work also exists "in the field," where professionals may need to develop ways of getting more information about customers that do not have a digital footprint attached to their relationship with a business or organization. CI components also include surveys and other types of customer outreach.

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