Chris J Powell

Big Data and the Land of Customer Experience

I find it interesting that over at IBM Big Data Hub the 3 V’s also expanded to 4 (they include Veracity where I called it Viscosity).  It is even more interesting the look from top down at Big Data is not about how to make decisions faster, the article implies a need to enhance the Customer Experience through the effective use of Analytics!

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Pat Gelsinger the President and COO of EMC stated that there are four key areas that are changing the way data is changing in this world of Big Data:

  1. It’s a rich data model, it contains both structured and unstructured data, so it could be things like video, or Twitter feeds, as well as structured data.
  2. The size is big—no longer terabytes but petabytes of data. And it is multisource data.
  3. It is real time. “If my Google search took me to Monday morning to do, I wouldn’t do very many of them.”
  4. It is collaborative. Many people will be working on it at the same time.

So if we look to these four key areas what does that do to change the world of Customer Experience? To see that we need to take a step back and look to three key areas that Jaspersoft CEO Brian Gentile says will be the main points of the drive to an ever more data centric customer experience:

  1. Interactive Exploration – good for discovering real-time patterns from your data as they emerge
  2. Direct Batch Reporting – good for summarizing data into pre-built, scheduled (e.g., daily, weekly) reports
  3. Batch ETL (extract-transform-load) – good for analyzing historical trends or linking disparate data sources based upon pre-defined questions. Sometimes called data federation, this approach involves pulling metrics from different data sources for purposes of understanding how all the metrics are related (in a correlation sense) to each other.

When we start to piece together these different “bits” it starts to build a clearer picture that the world needs better analytics to provide me with the “unique” point of view that I want when I am “shopping” or interacting with a company either online or in a brick and mortar store.  While there is not a way to change a store around when I walk into it but the customer experience can be changed when I get to the check out and become far more engaging than me plopping items in front of the cashier and paying.

The article over at IBM Big Data Hub goes on to lay out some very interesting concepts and processes that make a huge difference in the building of a Data Driven Customer Experience Management solution.

What is even more interesting is that in my full time job we are also looking at building a better long term customer experience and engagement solution, one that will better serve and provide our own customers with what they want, while empowering our company to build what they need to get the most out of what they need us for.

Will this new Customer Experience model be something that happens overnight?  Absolutely not.  It is going to take time, dedication and a great deal of effort to ensure that the mix of structured and unstructured data and the analytics and applications to place the insights down to the lowest levels of the customer experience are available…but it is not too far down the road.


Chris J Powell

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