How knowledge graphs can help businesses better mine their data and target their customers more effectively.

We are living in an age of the “smart consumer.” Constantly connected to the Internet, shoppers are able to quickly find out information about products and companies, compare them with competitors, and share their opinions about both via social media and online reviews.

“For many years, companies would size up consumers based on demographic and household information,” notes Navin Sharma, Vice President of Product Management at Pitney Bowes. “Now, consumers are in a unique position to size up companies and their products.” To keep up, he says, businesses must also become “smart,” which means gathering and analyzing data more skillfully and quickly than their competitors.

“What makes a business smart is how agile their systems and people are in being able to rapidly identify and capture opportunities better than their rivals,” says Sharma. “At the end of the day, a lot of products and services are fairly commoditized. A bank account is a bank account. What makes the difference is a company’s ability to understand where customers are in their journey faster than their competitors.” For example, if a car manufacturer can figure out a customer is in the market to buy a new car because he or she has blogged about it with friends, it has a better chance of selling him or her a car.”