IDG Contributor Network: Data is your customer

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If you're in business today, you've likely figured out the hardest part: engaging your customers. After overcoming that initial hurdle, it's tempting to see customer engagement as a fixed milestone.

The hard truth is that you won't survive long term if you aren't constantly trying to make the customer experience better. Today, your data is your customer and the most valuable asset in delivering an exceptional experience. If you don't curate it and value it as an iterative process, you're going to lose it.

But look at how companies treat their data: blank fields, data scattered across systems and outdated, duplicate or incorrect information. Data is how companies know their customers -- their interests, intentions, buying habits -- and customer experience is only going to be as good as your data.

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