Top 7 Customer Intelligence Platforms of 2021

Top 7 Customer Intelligence Platforms of 2021

logo Hadley D’Souza
June 15, 2021 | 8 Min Read

Today, customer experience is not only about solving your customers’ problems with template solutions when they approach you - but about how well you are proactive in helping them out, and about personalizing customer service for them. Bad experiences - even one single instance - can spell disaster for your business. That’s why, smart businesses are now looking at smart solutions - and Customer Intelligence is one of them. 

According to Accenture, 48% of customers expect to be treated special for being good customers. But let’s face it - personalization of customer service is not always so easy to achieve. However, we are in 2021 - and today, we have more tools than ever before to create personalized experiences for customers. CI is key to delivering a personalized customer experience, and that is what we are going to empower you with through this article.

Customer Intelligence - CI Meaning

Simply put, Customer Intelligence or CI is a strategy wherein you understand your customer deeply. This can be done by collecting and analyzing customer data that includes vital information such as geographical location, purchase habits, the issues they usually come up with, their interests and likes and so on.

How well you know each customer through Customer Intelligence can prove to be a powerful catalyst in pushing your business to the next level. Let’s look at the importance of CI to know it can help your business.

The Importance of Customer Intelligence

Customer Intelligence is important to businesses on multiple levels. 

Let’s start from the bottom. CI helps you communicate with each customer in a tone that they would be comfortable with and not in one that suits you best. 

As a result, you can expect better engagement with your customers. Customer Intelligence will help create an environment or experience for your customer that makes them feel at home - and that is exactly what you would want your customers to feel.

Next, when you have spoken to your customers in a tone they are comfortable with, they begin to feel valued and respected. Customer Intelligence enables you to put them into a kind of comfort zone with you.

Now that they feel valued and are in a comfort zone, they likely are reluctant to switch over to competitors. Why would they? After all, the business they are currently with knows them well - but the competitor does not!

In the end, you will see better figures in terms of customer churn and will be enjoying the benefits of recurring business. Don’t forget, acquiring new customers is always expensive. And acquiring new customers while your existing customer churn rate is high is a bad place to be. This is how much of a game-changer Customer Intelligence can prove to be!

What is the Future of Customer Intelligence?

What do you think is one of the biggest challenges that Customer Intelligence is facing right now?

The answer is another question: how much data is enough data?

Needless to say, the more data you collect, the better will you be at giving your CI meaning. However, today Customer Intelligence is facing some major roadblocks such as:

1. How can deeper insights into the customers’ patterns and preferences be gained?

2. How can so much data of all customers be stored?

3. How do we safely store this data?

4. To what extent can the data collected be transformed into personalized experiences?

So the future of Customer Intelligence is going to see a major disruption in current CRM and customer-experience tools. Big Data will play a massive role in customer experience, and highly sophisticated security systems will have to be made part of customer experience to safeguard data. 

In 2021, we are already standing at the threshold of this revolution, in the form of various Customer Intelligence platforms and tools that are available out there. But before we get into discussing each CI platform we have listed, let’s take a look at how a CI strategy has to be built. After all, without a good strategy, no CI platform can be leveraged to its full potential. 

How to Build a Customer Intelligence Strategy

Despite having a lot of data, giving your CI meaning is not easy. A CI Strategy will streamline things better so that you can make impactful decisions. Here are a few steps that must go into building a good Customer Intelligence strategy:

  1. Know what you are looking for: first identify what exactly you are trying to study and why, so that the data that you gather will be meaningful, and so, useful.
  2. Identify data-collection touchpoints: figure out which are the main ways in which you can collect data.
  3. Leverage technology: a lot of Customer Intelligence tools and software exist out there that can give you astonishing insights. Invest in a few that suit your needs and budget.
  4. Have a team of experts on board with you: to make the best of the data you have, you need to hire a team of data scientists.
  5. Make sure your teams collaborate: your sales, marketing, data science, customer service and any other related departments should work in tandem for the best Customer Intelligence insights.
  6. Revise and improve: regular checks are needed to see if your existing CI strategy is suited to the needs of that particular point in time. You’d be very surprised to see how quickly things can go outdated - constant reinvention is very important.

Top 7 Customer Intelligence Platforms of 2021 

Now that we have understood what CI is and have also gotten an idea about how to create a CI strategy, here are 7 great CI platforms to help you get started in 2021.

1. Alida (formerly known as Vision Critical)

Alida (formerly known as Vision Critical)

Alida enables companies to gather Customer Intelligence data on an ongoing, highly focused basis across industries - be it healthcare, finance, retail, media, etc., and industry requirements. With Alida, you do away with the typical ways of gathering information for Customer Intelligence, and rather focus on understanding the wants of your customers through ongoing engagement and conversation instead.

Perhaps that is why Alida says that they will enable you to make your decisions ‘with’ your customers and not just ‘for’ your customers. Alida believes in developing Customer Intelligence through the formation of customer communities, coupled with other features such as customer profiling, segmentation, engagements, etc.

Alida is an old player and has been helping companies with their Customer Intelligence needs for over 20 years. They provide global support, and are multilingual too.

2. Signal


Signal jumps straight into business - the moment you sign up, their first focus would be to analyze the data you have already collected and transform it into useful Customer Intelligence insights. Not just that, Signal also promises to help you know how to use those CI insights to make actionable, impactful business decisions.

Signal values high accuracy at great speed above everything else. Once they are in action, they will collate all the offline and online data that you have across your business within just a few seconds! 

Signal may not be a great option if you are looking for a Customer Intelligence solution that helps you to gather fresh insights from customers through surveys or engagements. However, if you are a company that already has a good amount of data and are just confused about what to do with it, Signal can prove to be a powerful platform to transform your data into actionable decisions quickly and accurately.

3. NGDATA’s AI-powered CDP

NGDATA’s AI-powered CDP

We already discussed earlier about the sheer quantity of data there can exist when it comes to Customer Intelligence. We also saw the challenges this can pose and how Big Data solutions would be key to addressing these issues. NGDATA’s AI-powered CDP is one such solution that promises to handle all that massive data, and also sensibly organize them so that useful insights can be made. 

But that’s not all - NGDATA will also help you understand customer behavior and trend changes as well as keep you connected with your customers in real-time. The quality of Customer Intelligence greatly depends on the level of one-to-one interaction you have with each of your customers, and NGDATA lets you do exactly that by taking care of all the complicated aspects of Big Data for you.

4. Zeotap

I-COM welcomes back global data platform zeotap as a Member — I-COM


Zeotap relies on highly sophisticated tech to make the best possible recommendations purely based on data. This sophisticated platform believes in keeping things simple and will integrate your online and offline data together before their algorithms apply a series of permutations and combinations to make assessments that are as mathematically accurate as they get. 

Zeotap’s Customer Intelligence platform not only focuses on understanding existing customer trends, but also promises to make predictions on customer behavior. For businesses that are looking to up their CIgame to gain an edge in the future market as well, Zeootap can prove to be a powerful ally.

5. Lifesight


Lifesight focuses on helping businesses create strategies for Customer Intelligence. Lifesight addresses the issue of constantly changing customer behaviour by offering data as a solution to help you to keep adjusting to those changes. Lifesight assesses the customers’ journeys across platforms, giving your a holistic view of their patterns and tendencies.

Lifesight begins with helping you identify your customer’s attributes and personalities, which they then use to develop the right strategies to cater to each of them. Lifesight also focuses on constant measurements and learning more and more to make the existing Customer Intelligence strategies more effective and impactful.

If you are looking for a CI solution that takes care of every step in this area along with helping you develop a concrete, data-backed strategy, then Lifesight is probably the right solution for you.

6. Oracle


How can any conversation around Data not include a mention of Oracle? Once again, Oracle can come to your rescue with its amazing Data solutions to ramp up your Customer Intelligence needs. 

Oracle is itself a database platform that has now spread out its abilities to other key business areas - including Customer Experience. Yes, Oracle may not be a platform engineered specifically for Customer Intelligence, but the applications it provides can definitely be leveraged towards enhancing your Customer Intelligence insights.

Oracle is a trusted name when it comes to product intelligence - and if you are leveraging their applications for your business you can be sure of great outcomes. However, you may need someone on board who will know how to leverage Oracle to specifically level up your Customer Intelligence.

7. SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud

Just like Oracle, SAP Analytics Cloud may not specifically be engineered for specifically Customer Intelligence, but unlike Oracle (which has broader applicability), is highly focused on using data and analytics for business growth and predictions. 

SAP Cloud Analytics is a useful product intelligence tool for quick, easy and efficient analysis of data that you have gathered. It has an interesting feature that lets you ‘talk’ to your data! The conversational AI that powers this platform lets you gain Customer Intelligence insights by actually asking conversational questions to the data.

The platform, upon understanding your query, then runs its algorithms to give you any kind of information you need - patterns? Check. Relationships and connections? Check. Predictions? Check. Needless to say, SAP Analytics Cloud is very useful to gain meaningful Customer Intelligence insights along with other kinds of insights.

Concluding Thoughts

We have shown you how important Customer Intelligence is, we have shown you what it is, and we have also introduced you to seven options that we believe fall in the Top 7. But that does not mean that you should limit yourself to using only these - when it comes to product intelligence, you need to research a lot and figure out what suits you best. We have done our bit to help you get started. 

Do share your insights with us - we would love to hear from you.

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