We’re dealing with a data downpour from social media posts, Google searches, Amazon reviews, financial transactions, smart meters, and smart thermostats. And much of that information goes unanalyzed because the context around it is missing.
Data without context provides only a reasonable approximation of the truth. Without context, much of life becomes misinterpreted. When you study the problem rather than presupposing a solution, you generate ideas to explore, and you don’t box yourself into one answer.
The best way to add context is by sharing experiences with your customers and building empathy for them.
The best way to add context is by sharing experiences with your customers and building empathy for them. Walk a mile in their shoes, have compassion for their struggles, feel joy for their victories, because on the other end of the data is a human being.
Empathy helps get rid of biases we often apply to data to add context, like personal experiences, confirmation bias, and expertise bias. It can help predict how customers will react to your offerings because you know what their personal experiences are. If you spend time with your customers, sharing their experiences, you’ll get a better-informed version of the truth—their truth, not yours.
At the 2017 E Source Forum session “Customer Data Storytelling,” Tom Rosholt, principal and vice president of analytics at market research firm Morpace Inc., talked about the importance of this strategy. Watch an excerpt from his presentation where he explains why utilities need to take an empathetic approach to designing and promoting their products and services.