Generating Customer Insights Using the Digital Shadow of the Customer
Smart products, Social Media and innovative market research lead to an abundance of customer data, yet due to their heterogeneous sources and structures, they are scattered throughout the company. Joining these different types of data can lead to a large gain in customer insights that would not have been possible by analyzing the data individually. It is a necessary step for the transition of the current mostly hypothesis-based product design process towards a data-driven one and enables accelerated product development with truly innovative products tailored to the customer. This paper explains the holistic approach to identifying customer needs and requirements: the digital shadow of the customer. It is a concept transferred from the Internet of Production and its digital shadows of products and processes. The paper first gives an overview of customer data that form the customer data lake and reviews current data analysis methods using an explorative literature review. We then explain the concepts of the digital shadow and data lake, their main principles and benefits of using digital shadows for product development.