The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI) conference held on April 29 in Philadelphia showcased how data and analytics is vital to every organization and industry. Analytics leaders from such varied companies as American Apparel, Comcast Spectacor, Google, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, and Microsoft shared detailed insights on how to maximize sales, customer retention, and returns on marketing investments with the well-informed use of analytics.

Check out photos from the event here 

The Wharton School’s Dean, Geoffrey Garrett, began the day by addressing the audience with an introduction that emphasized the importance of analytics in the business world and why this field is crucial for future business leaders, “Better leaders make better decisions by analyzing data. We’re the analytics school.”

Better decisions come from analyzing granular, customer data. Which was the main theme from the event. The opening keynote address, Sandra Nudelman, Head of Customer & Marketing Analytics across Chase spoke about the evolution of the analytics field from simple and straight forward channels (think billboards and magazine ads) to complex channels and diverse audiences (social media, the Millenial generation) and the expanding capabilities of data and analytics in the short time that it has been in existence. To stay competitive, Chase is striving to enhance customer experience by continuing efforts in cross-channel analysis. In other words, Chase endeavors to understand customer behavior across different mediums by leveraging data collected from the website, mobile apps, and brick-and-mortar branches to develop a 360-degree view of their customers.

View video footage of presentations here

Ian Di Tullio, the closing keynote, spoke about how Qatar Airways’ shift to customer centricity has been invaluable. Qatar Airways has invested in finding their most valuable customers by leveraging data and learning everything they can about their most profitable customers. As a result, the airline holds a competitive edge in the industry because they can make accurate, data-driven decisions that keep their customers coming back.

This year’s conference included an audience of over 200 industry practitioners, and 90 unique organizations from across a wide range of business sectors.

The event articulated not only that customer analytics is truly industry-agnostic, but how vital it is for an organization’s success. Customer analytics provides instrumental insights about customer’s that drive better business decisions across any industry. Video content from the day is available here.