Ikea and Big Data

The author chose to read the Ikea case study.

Ikea’s goals were to forge deeper relationships with customers through the use of social media. As an extension of this, Ikea sought to use the big data available through social media to connect different departments and regions by detecting insights and sharing them with the relevant department so that they can act on them. Ikea has achieved global success via traditional business techniques. It is often more difficult to implement changes to practice in a successful company than an unsuccessful one as many employees do not see the need for improvement. Once Ikea started to use social media in an analytical way, they found that lots of the findings were not facilitating improvements in the business as they were not reaching the right people due to the size of the company and lack of integration. To solve this issue, Ikea installed a ‘Listening Hub’ at their HQ. The Listening Hub is essentially a social media command centre for distributing, detecting and sharing insights across the organisation. Staff and teams can also meet at the Hub to discuss their findings. As a result of the Hub, Ikea found that customers had different perceptions of their customer service in different regions. Their in depth report on this issue found that general US and UK online Ikea discussions were more positive than negative. However, they also found that US and UK discussions focussed on Customer Satisfaction were more negative than positive.

Main points of the case study:

  • The conservative notion of ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ can hinder improvement, even in successful multinational companies
  • Social Media/Big Data can be employed by businesses to gain a greater understanding of their successes and/or failures by a particular market or region and implement measures for improvement

T-Mobile use big data to aid the reduction of their customer turnover rate. They do this by analysing the data and extracting the core reasons behind customer turnover. Once they had obtained this information, they were able to introduce effective measures for keeping customers on board.

In conclusion, Business Analytics have a large role to play in E-Commerce and Market Intelligence.


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