Internet of Things

1月 132016
 

What if a reckless driver adopted a more responsible approach because the car insurance pricing was based on driving habits? What if the senior from next door had the insurance payments based on kilometres driven, resulting in significant savings? This may be reality sooner than you think. The Internet of Things will revolutionise […]

The post The era of smart insurance is dawning appeared first on The Analytic Insurer.

1月 112016
 
Mary's chicken family christmas

Feels like family (image supplied)

When I walk into my local chicken shop I always feel that Mary, the owner, has roasted chickens, prepared salads and put on extra rice pudding for my family’s Friday night meal. Mary welcomes me with open arms, greets me and my son by first name and always has an honest and empathetic conversation. She knows exactly what my order will be and always has new food items on offer that I may like to try and buy next time. It’s the ultimate customer experience I have on a weekly basis. I always compare other shopping experiences to my local chicken shop.

So why can’t all my online and offline experiences be like Mary’s chicken shop?

In a world where data storage is getting bigger and cheaper, technology is faster and wiser and the Internet of Things (IoT) promises to make my life convenient and happier, organisations still struggle to get my first name right! Is this because they may be over complicating the whole customer experience hype? Are they too focused on getting the product right rather than listening to the customer's needs? Many debates can be had but, I believe that if we stick to the basics in a big wide world of “things”, then the ultimate customer experience will grow naturally.

Count down! My top four ways to make customer experience like visiting your local Chicken Shop:

4. Greet your customers and get their name RIGHT!

My telco provider still can’t get my name my right on their billing system, even with numerous attempts of me telling them to update it. It often makes me wonder whether they have their data quality system switched on. Personalisation with every communication channel is crucial for customer relationships and knowing that someone really does care about getting your name “right” makes you as the consumer take them more seriously when doing business.

Unfortunately, I have seen organisations jump on the one-to-one marketing movement without proper planning. While implementation can be intricate, proper planning on how to get the basics right is critical to create that “local chicken shop” customer experience.

3. Make the store inviting and easy to buy

Before I walk into the chicken shop I am already salivating at the choices on offer that Mary’s created. She knows I will definitely buy because of how easy and inviting she has made her shop. Without even realising it, Mary has intelligently advertised the right and relevant products for her target market. That’s probably through years of experience and historical “conversations” in her head.

In a digitally spinning world, you have to make advertising intelligent. Extracting data insights from all touchpoints of digital and social can help drive your company’s marketing efforts. The benefits of applying even basic analytics to this data can provide the ability to forecast and segment, to ensure that advertising for sales are more targeted to make the customer experience richer.

2. Always listen empathetically to feedback, emotion and sentiment

Have you rung a call centre and found that the person on the other end is doing all the talking and not listening to your real needs? Why? Because – they have a script to follow and an outcome to achieve that is not at all empathetic to your needs. I recently reviewed a project where we used voice-to-text technology to further analyse the two-way conversations between agent and callers. We discovered that the agent script and sentiment led the customer down a path to churn from the company. Not the outcome expected! In my recent experience, it seems that call centres are so far behind in listening to the real voice of the customer – actual two-way conversations. Instead, they tend to extract “negative” words that the agent has transcribed from the call. See anything wrong with this picture? Yes – it’s not the “Voice of the Customer” but more like an interpretation on the transcript of the agent’s conversation. At SAS we "drink our own champagne" by listening to the true webchat voice of customers - find out more here.

1. Make it a memorable and seamless experience

If your customer enjoys their encounter with you, they will be more likely to return. So make it a memorable experience and live up to your customers’ expectations. Invest in synchronising your data and build a platform for long term relationship – not just transactional. Integrate your channels of communications so the conversation feels like one seamless conversation with your company. I get so annoyed when I am on a service call with a provider and I have to explain my story five times before I get to the right agent. Even when I have already “Tweeted”, “Instagramed” and “Facebooked” my issues.

Finally, don’t make excuses about accessing, data, legacy processes, siloed systems, limited skills or high costs. As in today’s world these excuses are longstanding and should have been resolved by now. So make it a mandate to modernise your customer experience before your customer has moved to your forward-thinking competitor.

The above described are the old school, traditional customer experience basics that your grandmother may talk to you about. My visits to the local Milk Bar (General Store) when growing up are memorable because of the experience created. We just need to take the basics and apply them to the wide world of Big Data and Analytics. I'd suggest you view this checklist to get started Analytics checklist for Customer Intelligence.

All opinions are my own based on conversations and feedback from the professional field and customers looking to create the ultimate customer experience.

tags: customer experience, Internet of Things, IoT

Four ways to make customer experience like visiting your local chicken shop was published on Left of the Date Line.

12月 302015
 

I get the most interesting insights from questions my kids ask me about my work. Why? Because they know very little about big data or analytics, and the questions they ask are sometimes about things that I’ve taken for granted. Every time that happens, it reminds me that the questions you ask are just as important as the answers you get, and that different perspectives are often needed to see the whole picture of a situation.

Elephant1

Photo: Barry Butler, Chicago, IL, taken in Botswana.

That last point is colorfully laid out in the old Indian story of the Blind Men and an Elephant, which is described in Wikipedia as:

A group of blind men (or men in the dark) each touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one feels a different part, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then compare notes and learn that they are in complete disagreement.

The issue, of course, is that none of them have all the information to describe the entire beast.

The elephant story and my kids’ questions also remind me of a lesson I learned years ago using SAS in a college econometrics class – don’t ignore the outliers in your model for two good reasons:

  1. Outliers highlight potential flaws in your model – or aspects of your data that your model does not do a good job of explaining.
  2. Outliers may be the leading indicators of a new trend that will completely upend your original model.

So the opportunity before us this coming year relates to elephants – how we’ll recognize them and what we’ll do with them once we see them. And one thing is for sure – we all have elephants. The key is to find them and to recognize the opportunities they represent.

From the old story, we can appreciate how in order to recognize the elephants, we need all the data so analytics can describe the relationships to gain meaning and compel action. For individuals, this process is (and should be) fairly simple because rarely are we so complex that we need advanced analytics to manage our personal matters. For organizations, getting all the data is more complex the more products and customers you have. But that complexity comes at a time when big data technologies make it easier and faster to find the insights and turn them into business decisions due to:

Many organizations have embraced big data and time and time again have found that it provides key answers but it also prompts questions that previously weren’t known to be asked. And because of that cheaper computing and distributed processing, we now can forgo sampling and extrapolating to analyze entire populations of data, and do it more quickly and efficiently than ever before. Restated in terms of the elephant story - not only can we recognize the elephant, we can do it more quickly. And we can find out if the elephant is alone or in a pack, whether or not the elephant is healthy or ailing, and so on.

Big data also should prompt us to question assumptions, especially in marketing. The reason is that our customers' behavior and expectations have changed so radically, we need to ask if our marketing has changed in kind? How has your marketing changed in the last 5-10 years? Have you changed how you’re organized and how you do your planning? Has your approach to engaging your audiences changed? If the answer is no to any of those questions - simply ask yourself why and then think about whether or not the answer you get is good enough.

Elephant2

Photo: Barry Butler, Chicago, IL, taken in Botswana.

One thing is for sure – our customers have changed. They also have access to more data, and easier access to computing power. And mobile devices are a key part of that empowerment, but the more important change is how mobile is changing customers' behavior and expectations, as we found in research with Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and summarized in a report titled, Understanding the Mobile Consumer.

Along with mobile devices, social media are creating expectations of immediacy and relevance that are redefining what constitutes a satisfactory customer experience. The relationships between customers and brands are changing, but opportunities await all organizations that modernize their marketing to keep pace with their customers by using big data.

To me, that’s the kind of elephant to watch out for in 2016. And however you choose to ring in the new year, enjoy the moment and mark it with the optimism that great things are on the horizon thanks to big data.

And as always - thank you for following!

tags: analytics, big data, Hadoop, Internet of Things, mobile

The elephants to watch out for in 2016 was published on Customer Analytics.

12月 302015
 

I get the most interesting insights from questions my kids ask me about my work. Why? Because they know very little about big data or analytics, and the questions they ask are sometimes about things that I’ve taken for granted. Every time that happens, it reminds me that the questions you ask are just as important as the answers you get, and that different perspectives are often needed to see the whole picture of a situation.

Elephant1

Photo: Barry Butler, Chicago, IL, taken in Botswana.

That last point is colorfully laid out in the old Indian story of the Blind Men and an Elephant, which is described in Wikipedia as:

A group of blind men (or men in the dark) each touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one feels a different part, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then compare notes and learn that they are in complete disagreement.

The issue, of course, is that none of them have all the information to describe the entire beast.

The elephant story and my kids’ questions also remind me of a lesson I learned years ago using SAS in a college econometrics class – don’t ignore the outliers in your model for two good reasons:

  1. Outliers highlight potential flaws in your model – or aspects of your data that your model does not do a good job of explaining.
  2. Outliers may be the leading indicators of a new trend that will completely upend your original model.

So the opportunity before us this coming year relates to elephants – how we’ll recognize them and what we’ll do with them once we see them. And one thing is for sure – we all have elephants. The key is to find them and to recognize the opportunities they represent.

From the old story, we can appreciate how in order to recognize the elephants, we need all the data so analytics can describe the relationships to gain meaning and compel action. For individuals, this process is (and should be) fairly simple because rarely are we so complex that we need advanced analytics to manage our personal matters. For organizations, getting all the data is more complex the more products and customers you have. But that complexity comes at a time when big data technologies make it easier and faster to find the insights and turn them into business decisions due to:

Many organizations have embraced big data and time and time again have found that it provides key answers but it also prompts questions that previously weren’t known to be asked. And because of that cheaper computing and distributed processing, we now can forgo sampling and extrapolating to analyze entire populations of data, and do it more quickly and efficiently than ever before. Restated in terms of the elephant story - not only can we recognize the elephant, we can do it more quickly. And we can find out if the elephant is alone or in a pack, whether or not the elephant is healthy or ailing, and so on.

Big data also should prompt us to question assumptions, especially in marketing. The reason is that our customers' behavior and expectations have changed so radically, we need to ask if our marketing has changed in kind? How has your marketing changed in the last 5-10 years? Have you changed how you’re organized and how you do your planning? Has your approach to engaging your audiences changed? If the answer is no to any of those questions - simply ask yourself why and then think about whether or not the answer you get is good enough.

Elephant2

Photo: Barry Butler, Chicago, IL, taken in Botswana.

One thing is for sure – our customers have changed. They also have access to more data, and easier access to computing power. And mobile devices are a key part of that empowerment, but the more important change is how mobile is changing customers' behavior and expectations, as we found in research with Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and summarized in a report titled, Understanding the Mobile Consumer.

Along with mobile devices, social media are creating expectations of immediacy and relevance that are redefining what constitutes a satisfactory customer experience. The relationships between customers and brands are changing, but opportunities await all organizations that modernize their marketing to keep pace with their customers by using big data.

To me, that’s the kind of elephant to watch out for in 2016. And however you choose to ring in the new year, enjoy the moment and mark it with the optimism that great things are on the horizon thanks to big data.

And as always - thank you for following!

tags: analytics, big data, Hadoop, Internet of Things, mobile

The elephants to watch out for in 2016 was published on Customer Analytics.

12月 182015
 

You’d better watch YouTube, you’d better not cry You’d better not post, I’m telling you why Big data is coming to town He’s making many lists (and selling them too), he’s writing it twice (for redundancy’s sake), He’s gonna find out whose naughty or nice Big data is coming to town […]

Big data is coming to town! was published on SAS Voices.

12月 162015
 

When we talk about the Internet of Things and “analytics at the edge,” we’re talking about modeling data as close as possible to the device – not far away in some warehouse or data storage appliance. So, generally, the edge is anything with a sensor that is transmitting data: an […]

Introducing the Internet of Turkeys was published on SAS Voices.

11月 142015
 

I brushed aside some sawdust on the workbench and set my laptop down. It wasn’t really mine. SAS Library Services had kindly lent me a new laptop for the “Making Sense of Sensor Data” workshop at UNC’s BEaM Makerspace. I had just set the laptop down…in sawdust. Like any normal […]

Sawdust and SAS Studio: Thoughts on a liberal arts education during an IoT workshop was published on SAS Voices.

11月 092015
 

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become the new It Girl of the IT world. Of course her big brother big data continues to generate big buzz. My sis from another miss Tamara Dull has blogged about the relationship between big data and IoT, positing big data is a subset of IoT on […]

The post The Integration of Things appeared first on The Data Roundtable.