Customer data is an important asset for organizations. Forward-thinking business leaders are investing in companywide strategies to collect customer information, measure and analyze it, and then use it to make improvements to the customer experience.

According to Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee, today's multichannel reality is making it even more essential for companies to leverage data to understand their customers' journeys. "Organizations need to understand how they're doing in the eyes of their customers, [identify] areas of improvements, and benchmark themselves," Freed notes.

Smart data analysis also allows organizations to plan ahead. Freed notes data can be used to determine the next step that a customer is likely to take and prepare for it. Craig Vore, Outsell's design and integration lead, says if a regular customer suddenly stops doing business, a company can reach out to determine the problem, giving it a chance to retain a loyal customer.