Despite their best intentions to focus on customers’ needs, many companies spend more time looking inward. If you are not convinced of your organization’s internal focus, try this experiment: In your next internal meeting, divide a piece of paper in two. On the left side, record each mention of an internal topic, such as financial or operational performance, plans, metrics, organization, employees, or culture. On the right side, record each discussion of an external topic, such as competition, technology, innovation, purpose, testing, social media conversations, or customers’ behaviors, needs, and wants. If your “introverted” score is higher than your “extroverted” score, keep reading.Consumer-facing companies in developed economies have experienced little or no growth since the global recession of 2008 and 2009. As a result, CEOs, business unit (BU) leaders, chief marketing officers (CMOs), and executive teams are looking outward, trying to spur growth by turning to new sources of customer information. These include “implicit” data such as biometrics, “structured” batches of big data such as online behavior, and “unstructured” data such as social media and call center conversations.In addition, these companies are experimenting with predictive methods for anticipating customers’ behavior, and they are evolving customer insight (CI) functions that can provide more relevant recommendations and ongoing execution support.