Want a ‘Customer Data Platform’? What you really need is a data intelligence capability!
Do you want a ‘Customer Data Platform’ (CDP)? Of course you do!
Perhaps you are even one of the 78% of surveyed companies that the 2018 Forbes Report identified as having or in the process of developing a CDP. The desire is obvious. You want to exploit your myriad of customer digital touch points to extract value and insights that, for example, increase revenue or retention through an enhanced customer experience.
The wish for it is evident when you know what it offers:
- Single Customer 360 View
- Customer life-cycle and journey mapping
- Enhanced customer experience (CX)
- Customer analytics
- Customer segmentation
- Personalisation, targeting and recommendations
- Churn management
- Real-time alerts and actions.
And why wouldn’t you? There’s so much potential in your data, which is increasing exponentially. Indeed, recent events will push us even further down the #digitaltransformation road, forcing an increased reliance on and use of digital channels. And from a competition perspective, you’re going to have to jump on this train or you will be left behind. Traditional brick and mortar retailers are feeling this pinch already as they struggle to compete with the speed and agility at which the online world can operate.
So the solution is definitely a platform where you can access, manage and exploit your customer data.
I want doesn’t always mean I can have!
Well, that’s not necessarily so. Realising such a paradigm is ‘easy’ to conceive, but this isn’t click your fingers, download and start playing.
Maybe you’re one of those very future-thinking organisations and have already introduced the necessary change in your digital environment. If not, you are going to face some challenges in realising this capability. Locstat identifies these as follows:
- Data being generated or residing from / in separated systems
- Data silos
- Different data structures and its ‘cleanliness’ (ready for use)
- Not being able to handle ‘Big Data’ (volume, velocity, veracity, variety)
- No ‘real-time’ capability
- Unconnected data – weak relationships within the data
- Inappropriate technology stacks.
Much of this can be attributed to The Legacy Tech Conundrum.
Additional constraints are more human oriented, including:
- Poor articulation of a strategy and vision that will ultimately realise a Return on Investment (RoI).
- Lack of human creativity and innovation.
- Historical organisational structures which can also slow down such needed change.
- Mind-set: If the humans involved are still stuck in yesterday’s picture, where they can do everything through their Business Intelligence (BI) software or through a SQL query – they’re already constrained.
Lastly, other contributing factors include:
- High cost
- Skills shortages
- Long Implementation times
But realising this dream is possible. You just have to do it with your eyes open. For a successful CDP, you have to illuminate the unseen in your digital environment. To quote our Locstat MD, “You cannot look for operational insights only in the spotlight, more often than not they reside in the shadows.”
Put another way, you have to notice the dots before you can connect them.
So what does a CDP need?
Without context, AI applications cannot reach their full potential. AI that is focused on hybrid intelligence fuses learning (data) with reasoning (knowledge). So how can we make it generalizable across various industries and enterprise sizes?
We believe that the following is needed to realise such a capability:
- An open-minded and future-thinking leadership and mind-set.
- The necessary organisational changes in your company.
- Suitable and appropriate technologies to enable such a platform.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
- Recognition that a collaborative approach is required, utilising the best of your networked human intelligence and being computer ‘smart’. This can be summarised as Augmented Intelligence and Analysis.
The mind-set and organisational requirements are axiomatic and we won’t go into them further. But let’s explore the latter ones.
Technologies to support a Customer Data Platform
From our perspective, any capable, usable and value-adding CDP platform must, in the highly connected digitally profuse world we live in, include the following component capabilities:
- Linearly scalable Big Data Storage
- Streaming Analytics
- Complex Event Processing (CEP)
- Graph Database Technology
- Geospatial Processing
- Machine Learning Framework
- Middleware ETL base.
Augmentation – The focus on AI’s assistive role in enhancing human intelligence
Computers are not going to take over the world. AI and ML make the already powerful computers smart, but they can’t do it by themselves. They need human input.
Gartner‘s AI business value forecast states that “Customer experience is the primary source of AI-derived business value”.
This makes perfect sense and was aptly articulated by Gartner’s Svetlana Sicular:
“Augmented Intelligence reduces mistakes while delivering customer convenience and personalisation at scale, democratizing what was previously available to the select few. The goal is to be more efficient with automation while complementing it with a human touch and common sense to manage the risks of decision automation. The excitement about AI tools, services and algorithms misses a crucial point: The goal of AI should be to empower humans to be better, smarter and happier, not to create a ‘machine world’ for its own sake.”
At Locstat we love this approach and we follow it in the Data Intelligence solutions we deliver to our clients. Our capabilities all work to ultimately enhance your customers’ experience. The combination of human expertise and context and the power of very capable (AI/ML/CEP) technology is obvious if one wants to succeed.
CDP or Data Intelligence?
Locstat is a Graph-Powered AI and Event Processing capability for next-generation Data Intelligence. Our novel approach in combining future-ready technologies into a quick-to-implement, affordable, scalable and adaptable enterprise level capability is unique.
In our recommender system blogs we have waxed lyrical on the value of a personalised shopping experience. We spoke of how segmenting your database can enhance your marketing strategy; how pre-empting churn increases customer retention; and how connecting with your market promotes sales and brand loyalty. Consumer Data Intelligence brings all of this together and illuminates not only your customer’s value but your enterprise’s potential.
You see, enriching customer experience isn’t just about personalisation. It goes beyond that to developing innovative products and services that exceed expectations and put you ahead of the game. But if you can’t make sense of the data, all of that is out of reach. Why? Because consumer data is the new market research tool.
A successful data intelligence platform derives insights not only from explicit customer interactions but from implicit and historical data too. It identifies patterns and infers emerging trends and gaps in the market place.
Locstat’s consumer data intelligence platform is like market research on steroids. This new generation technology allows you to visualise real-time changes in your industry, create effective marketing strategies, personalise customer experience and make efficient use of the departments in your organisation. What better way to maximise your customer data?
The Locstat Data Intelligence platform can serve most industries and is not limited to supporting a marketing requirement and enhancing customer experience. Our platform is, however, perfectly suited to providing a Customer Data Intelligence capability.
Locstat’s unique trinity of Complex Event Processing, Graph-powered AI and Recommendation Engine makes for a potent capability and an enhanced customer experience. This translates into a more profitable customer, which is the ultimate goal anyway.
So you wanted a CDP, but we would argue what you NEED, to be future-ready, is a Customer Data Intelligence platform.
Locstat’s platform could suit you perfectly. To realise this, get in touch at https://www.locstat.co.za/contact-us/
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