“Do it big, do it right and do it with style.” ― Fred Astaire
Partners waltzing in triple time with four feet require grace and precision. Similarly, creating an effective Big Data Analytics ecosystem demands dexterity coupled with speed and accuracy. Instead of four feet dancing in triple time, enterprise-level Big Data Analytics (BDA) encompasses numerous information sources, multiple technologies (software and hardware), nimble business processes and specialized human expertise in advanced analytics.
Our recent study entitled “Boom in Big Data Analytics” researched 436 companies with greater than $4B in revenues (Fortune 500) and found how analysis of both structured and contextual business information impacts customer management best practices. Business executives that actually utilize, recommend, influence, hold budget or veto power over customer management business processes and/or the purchase of customer management software and services reported double-digit return on investment is both tangible and real. Wouldn’t you want to know how they did this?
For starters, 89.6 percent of respondents cited the importance of customer recognition across multiple channels of engagement as “important and useful” or “critical for our business” in regards to analysis of customer behaviors such as:
Interactional (engagement) and
Influence (probability to recommend products or influence others to purchase)
Figure 1: Business Intelligence & Customer Analytics: Importance of Multichannel Customer Recognition
Hypatia Research Group Announces “Exploiting Social Intelligence for Customer Service & Support Excellence”
Return on investment from social customer service tools is higher than for other business usage.
Lexington, MA (PRWEB) February 12, 2013--Industry analyst and market research firm Hypatia Research Group announces availability of a new primary research study entitled “Exploiting Social Intelligence for Customer Service & Support Excellence". Featuring the unique Hypatia GalaxyTM Evaluation, in which 27 software vendors are evaluated by 12 criteria, this report showcase current trends, organizational challenges, best practices, and return on investment metrics utilized by top performing organizations via 45+ pages, 18 tables or figures and several case studies that focus on business return on investment.
Hypatia Research Group surveyed more than 1100 global organizations for this research and found that only 246 respondents actually utilize, recommend, influence, and/or hold budget or veto power over the purchase of social media software for customer service and support initiatives at their place of employment. As a result, only analysis derived from these 246 respondents was utilized for this research.
Leslie Ament, senior vice president, and principal analyst at Hypatia Research Group stated, "Organizations that adopt social media tools for customer service, combined with best practices for rules-based business process workflows, are empowered to utilize their social channels as decision support and customer engagement for value creation. Not surprisingly, 44.4% of customer service and support executives cited "the ability to respond to customer requests for support, service or information promptly" as the highest reason for investment in social engagement tools."
Respondents with direct accountability for selection or use of social software and services for customer service & support functions were utilized for this primary research. Company size of respondents comprises: 37.5% large enterprises, 33.9% mid-market and 28.6% SMB. Geographic breakouts are: 47.3% North America, 30.2% Asia PAC: Australia, China, Japan, and Korea, 21.8% EMEA, and 0.8% South America.
December 12, 2012 Big Data Analytics: Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive, & Prescriptive Analytics!
Big Data is all the rage at present, reminding me of the growing interest in, and usage of social media conversations that began percolating about 2-3 years ago. (Anyone remember the term ‘user-generated content’?)
Much has changed as companies are deliberately shifting away from mere monitoring or listening to social channels to converting contextual customer information into actionable rules-based alerts, continuously refined business processes and predictive algorithms designed to further engage and delight customers.
Having just spent time days with IBM's Business Analytics & Optimization team viewing everything new, latest successes and hearing from live actual customers; I'd like to share observations and analysis of the summit--within the bounds of the NDA Hypatia Research Group signed.
IBM's Watson, now comprised of 40+ IBM technologies, has transitioned from a laboratory environment into commercially viable solutions. Watson (or perhaps a more appropriate moniker might be Dr. Gregory House, the fictional chief diagnostician on the TV series "House") supports medical professionals by rapidly computing best treatment options ranked by levels of confidence based on patient information such as:
Medical and family history
Preference for treatment options: aggressive, standard, minimal
Written observations of laboratory test results
Watson's capacity to learn from algorithms that analyze information "in-context" allow it to handle idiomatic expressions, slang and other types of "dirty data."
How is Watson able to perform such sophisticated in-context contextual analysis? As Sherlock Holmes might say "Elementary my dear Watson"-with the same technologies the US government uses for risk analysis of terrorism threats:
Natural language processing (NLP)
Hypothesis generation and evaluation
Increasing the number of information sources-both data AND contextual-used for analysis reduces the uncertainty of analytical results. More data/information analyzed equals higher confidence levels.
Gary Weber, representing an IBM customer, shared, "For us, it's not about Big Data, it's about relevant data." This is evident in our latest study on "Social Analytics & Intelligence: Converting Contextual to Actionable". (Figure 2 below is based on 526 global respondents that utilize, influence the purchase, hold budget or veto power over social analytics and intelligence tools)
November 2, 2012: Big Boom in Big Data Analytics: Are We There Yet?
Everyone is talking about big data and big data analytics, and it sounds as if every company has a big data application in production and is achieving amazing results. That’s the buzz, but what’s the reality?
Wouldn’t you like to know the answers to these big data questions:
Who really owns the budget, influences investment decisions or is ultimately accountable for results?
Which role(s) are primarily accountable for running and reporting on these programs?
What is the actual return on big data analytics investment realized by geography, industry, and maturity level and company size?
How much are companies planning to invest over the next 3 years by size, industry and geography?
Which best practices or lessons learned from other organizations’ effective big data analytics initiatives would likely benefit my organization?
What analytical techniques, infrastructures, software solutions and/or consulting services would best support our corporate objectives?
Maturity levels for big data analytics initiatives: What differentiates beginners from the more sophisticated practitioners?
October 15, 2012: Want to receive a Complimentary Executive Summary of Our Big Data Analytics Study?
Big Boom in Big Data Analytics Research!
400+ Survey Respondents from Fortune 1000 Companies
Thank you in advance for participating in our Big Data Analytics study. This survey should take less than 15 minutes to complete depending on your industry and several other factors.
If you would like to recieve a complimentary executive summary of the study when published, please fill out your contact details at the end of this survey.
Hypatia Research Group considers Big Data Analytics technologies capable of efficiently performing predictive or prescriptive analysis on large quantities of information (ranging from dozens of terabytes to many petabytes) of data and unstructured content.
September 28, 2012: Hypatia Research Group Excited to Moderate a Panel at this Year's IBM Information on Demand (#IBM #IOD12) Conference This Year!
Theme: A Closer Look at the CMO, Social & Predictive Analytics
The 21st century global information market is comprised of 24-hour news, entertainment and information delivered on billions of intelligent devices. Today’s business users and consumers have a virtually limitless set of choices on how, when and where to get the content they want from an array of providers. Companies have to be smarter than ever to grow revenue and develop business models that respond to the demand of their clients. They need to firstly understand their audience – their behaviors, personalities, likes and dislikes in order to capture, connect and leverage the valuable information that allows them to anticipate customers’ changing preferences and rapidly turn these insights into new offerings.
Using advanced analytic technologies, news outlets, journalists, movie studios, retailers and more can now better understand, respond and predict public sentiment by analyzing public tweets. By capturing data about customer behavior, usage patterns, and interest, businesses can improve production, cross-channel distribution, customer service and implement marketing strategies that are in line with customer sentiment.
Social media software was developed to facilitate online conversations between businesses and their customers, partners, and future-stakeholders as well as to provide outlets for customers to share information with each other. Hypatia reviewed nearly two dozen enterprise-level social media platforms vendors. Each offers various tools that enable organizations to create a variety of social venues for customers to utilize on either a corporate web site or on public networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, and MySpace etc… A majority of these social media tools address at least two or more of these four business areas.
•Customer Service & Support
•Product Innovation & Ideation
•Branding, Marketing & Commerce
•Customer Analysis, Profiling & Segmentation
Ideally, social software tools should help organizations measure the effectiveness of social media on business—but, insofar as measuring a tangible ROI—software alone is just a major part of an overall strategy, operational plan and solution. Organizations that adopt social tools, combined with best practices for rules-based business process workflows are empowered to utilize their social channels as decision support and customer engagement for value creation. Our analysis reveals that "customer experience" is an intangible metric. True customer engagement has a higher probability of tangible outcome. Effective usage of social media technologies may well create a differentiation for early adopters.
August 6, 2012: Join me at CRM Evolution & SpeechTek! Consultancies
As the CRM market grows with additional solutions, so, too, does its complexity, which is fueling impressive growth in the CRM consulting industry as well. While the largest consulting houses continue to dominate the market, a crop of new players has been emerging to help clients assess where, when, and how to take advantage of new cloud-based alternatives. Another crop specializes in social media monitoring.
In addition to specializations, many consulting firms have expanded beyond very basic services this year to include implementation strategies, training, release management, customizations, product upgrades and migrations, system testing, business intelligence and analytics, data integration, and product support and maintenance. Some have even aligned themselves with specific solutions vendors to ensure a steady stream of business.
All four of this year's leaders have been around for a while, and while some of them have changed their focus slightly, most have stayed true to what has placed them at or near the top in the category since CRM magazine began presenting its Market Leader Awards more than 10 years ago.
Accenture, for example, ably produces in its ability to execute, earning a score of 3.9. However, Leslie Ament, vice president and senior analyst at Hypatia Research Group, says the company's accomplishments will go far beyond. "Accenture has certainly made inroads into the customer management arena with its digital marketing offerings," she says. But that comes with a caveat: "Customers should carefully evaluate whether they require the full portfolio of resources that a management consulting firm brings to the table or whether a digital marketing agency or marketing services provider would serve as well," Ament says.
Deloitte continues to demonstrate its ability to execute, where it scored a 3.9. While the company's main focus has been on compensation management, it has "been busy developing intellectual property around social risk and reputation management," Ament says. "Coupled with its comprehensive portfolio of risk intelligence services, Deloitte is well-differentiated from its competition."
IBM, a powerhouse in the areas of analytics and compensation management, garnered a respectable score of 4.0, and its ability to execute (3.9). Ament attributes its leadership position to a much broader reason. "While navigating global services is often challenging, IBM's portfolio of CRM-related consulting and software offerings is unmatched," she says.
Cognizant, a newcomer to the leaderboard, shared the top mark in ability to execute, with a 3.9, but where it really impressed analysts was its company direction (4.3) and cost (4.0). Ament is enthusiastic. "Cognizant's rapid growth in the B2C sector after carving out impressive wins in the manufacturing sector and supply chain operations make this consultancy one to watch in the customer management service line," she says.
Current estimates put the waste associated with poor data quality—blamed for duplicate mailings, lost contacts, and missed sales opportunities—at about one sixth of the company budget at many organizations. That unacceptable loss has prompted an uptick in the data quality market.
DataFlux, a part of SAS Institute, maintains its leadership position mostly on the strength of its customer satisfaction, for which it received an industry-leading score of 4.4. The company also scored an impressive 4.3 in depth of functionality. Leslie Ament, senior analyst and vice president at Hypatia Research Group, calls its flexibility an asset. "DataFlux enables its brand-name retail apparel clients that sell direct via multiple channels…to consolidate customer records via multiple channels," she says. Moreover, its data management platform supports any domain, any data source type, in any time frame—real, batch, or virtual."
Trillium Software, a division of Harte-Hanks, sits proudly among the industry elite for the ninth straight year. Its depth of functionality score of 4.3 was among the highest in the industry, but it also attracted attention for making its solutions cloud-ready (with support for the Amazon and Microsoft Azure clouds), and offering on-premises and hosted offerings. Its partnership with Microsoft, which positions it as the first and only choice for data quality profiling and cleansing within the Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment, will only expand its reach. Beyond that, "Trillium has amassed an impressive quantity of clients," Ament says, noting that the company "is now engaging directly with customers by offering ROI value propositions that attract both upstream and downstream decision-makers."
The editors of CRM magazine would like to extend their deepest appreciation to those who took part, in degrees large and small, in evaluating this year's CRM Market Awards. This issue, and the Market Awards themselves, would not have been possible without the contributions of these judges, assessors, commenters, and raters. Thank you to: Leslie Ament, vice president, customer intelligence research and client advisory service, Hypatia Research Group;...
Enterprise CRM:One to Watch
KANA came in as our One to Watch, and while the company didn't make it to the leaderboard this year, Leslie Ament, senior analyst and vice president of Hypatia Research Group, says she is "favorably impressed" by the company's spring launch of the Service Experience Management platform, which is targeted for the enterprise. "Ease of use is provided via a single sign-on with one interface for agents, so that CRM data is available to them for history and decision support without having to access multiple screens," Ament says.
Mid Market Suite CRM: One to Watch
Being snapped up by Oracle last year for $1.5 billion did not hurt RightNow Technologies' position as a strength player, as it scored a 4.0 in customer satisfaction and retained its title as One to Watch. "This vendor has a significant offering with a good reputation for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality, and company direction," says Leslie Ament, senior analyst and vice president of Hypatia Research Group. "After being acquired by Oracle, along with ATG, Endeca, and other front-office vendors, it will be interesting to see if RightNow will be able to maintain the level of customer satisfaction built up over many years."
Small Market Suite CRM: The Winner
Zoho stepped up its game and stole top spot as our winner with a 4.5 for cost and a 4.0 for functionality. Analysts had plenty of positive things to say about this vendor. "Zoho CRM is cost-effective, easy to use, and continues to add on attractive functionality priced like an a la carte menu, which enables smalle