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Code Halos: An untapped digital resource?

24th Mar 2015
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What are Code Halos? Paul Roehrig, who heads up Cognizant's Centre for the Future of Work once described them as ‘our digital selves’; the virtually stored information – which can include everything from what music we’ve been playing to what books we’ve been ordering, from the journeys we make to our exercising habits, who we socialise with, what our favourite foods are and even how we take our coffee – that forms the unique, individual ‘Code Halo’ that surrounds each of us.

And according to new research conducted by both Cognizant and Oxford Economics, very few marketers are currently making the most of this Code Halo phenomenon.    

Interviewing 150 senior executives in companies based in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordics, the joint study found that, while 59% of businesses say analysis of digitally derived customer data is key to their company’s innovation efforts, there is little confidence in the quality of their digital offerings. Only 33% of respondents believe their customers’ digital experience could qualify as “high quality” and only 3% believe that it is “excellent”.

The research, which also looked at how digital assets such as websites, apps, mobile services, in-store digital devices and wearables are used to engage with customers to offer them new experiences, found that just 24% of respondents claim to be effective at collecting and using digital customer data, while only 17% are using analytics generated by application programming interface (API) traffic to understand their customers’ purchasing journeys both online and offline.

Finding staff with the right digital skills also remains a hindrance to these efforts, with only 44% saying that they have the adequate tools and talent to analyse digitally generated data.

Perhaps as a result of these views, fewer than four in 10 respondents (38%) said their organisation has made adjustments to its business model to pursue strategies driven by digital information on their customers.

“The digital experience that companies offer to customers can be expanded upon, personalised and tailored,” said Ben Pring, co-director of Cognizant’s Centre for the Future of Work.

“We can now clearly see just how far many companies have to go on their digital journeys, especially when it comes to job one: collecting, analysing and distilling meaning from the data that swirls around every digital interaction that every organisation now has with its consumers. These findings should serve as a call to action for those in charge of their organisation’s digital future.”

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