Customer Engagement Insurance Cross-Sell and EDM

Sep232005

This article on the slow progress insurance is making towards cross-selling effectively caught my eye today.  The article highlights many of the problems that insurers face in broadening their relationship with their customers and with then using their data and experience to effectively cross-sell them new products. There is a role for Enterprise Decision Management in this kind of environment. Once you have the data and are managing it around a customer-centric view, what do you need to be effective in cross-selling? Good predictive models for which products will be attractive to which customers Good predictive models for risk and fraud to make sure you can price these products correctly for those customers Good segmentation models for tiering etc Business rules to make sure that you don't offer products to people excluded by law (federal or state) or company policy Perhaps very fluid rules based on what's current, the news of the day etc Delivery of scripted or automated cross-sell offers at your call center, your agents, your website etc. The...

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Analytics & Optimization What is an Analytic Application?

Sep222005

Still at the Teradata conference today and I watched Wayne Erickson of TDWI present on Analytic Applications and the various available development options for them. His presentation was based on a report that he did that can be downloaded from TDWI's site here.Anyway, he used the following definition for an analytic application:An analytic application consists of a series of logically integrated, interactive reports, including dashboards and scorecards, that enable a wide range of users to access, analyze and act on integrated information in the context of the business processes and tasks that they manage in a given domain, such as sales, service, or operations.Wayne gave a great summary based on this definition but it is with the definition itself I would like to take issue. I believe that EDM offers a way to deliver analytic applications that do not, necessarily contain "reports" at all. Indeed I would offer the following definition of analytic applications instead:An analytic application enables a wide range of users to act on integrated information...

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Analytics & Optimization Windows Workflow Foundation – rule engines and rule management

Sep202005

This great white paper, Introducing Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation: An Early Look posted to his blog by David Chappell, is a nice, succinct overview of this new technology platform from Microsoft. This paper does a great job of differentiating between the kinds of business rules that belong in a process management or workflow tool and which ones deserve a rules management approach - I discuss the difference between a rules engine and a rules management system in my business rules FAQ in this item. So what does this white paper say about business rules. Well it uses an insurance underwriting example, a classic use of business rules as I have discussed before. In this example rules controlling routing and simple conditions and threshold checks are managed directly and conditions can be managed dynamically so that they can be changed in an operational system. Slightly more complex groups of activities dependent on conditions can also be defined and executed. However, it goes on to sayFor evaluating complex sets of business rules, building and maintaining an...

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Analytics & Optimization IT Priorities, leaders and EDM

Sep202005

This article in Computerworld - Are IT Priorities in the Wrong Place? struck me as I was reviewing my email newsletters today. Several aspects of leaders identified in the article struck me as particularly relevant for those of you wondering if EDM is right for you. Leaders Are Frugal -- and InnovativeEDM is both a platform for innovation and frugal. By allowing the automation of otherwise manual decisions and by leveraging data to improve those decisions it drives innovative customer service and company decision-making. By focusing on improving, not replacing, existing systems and by driving down the long-term cost of systems by empowering business users to do their own maintenance it is frugal. They are focused like a laser on the business and IT.Top performers evenly divide attention between reducing costs and improving the business. This is the essence of the Decision Yield concept for measuring return on decision automation and it is the basis for a business rules approach - keep IT and the business aligned. They see agility as more important than being...

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Risk & Compliance Still little technology use in Risk Management

Sep202005

I'm still at the Teradata show but I saw this interesting article - Despite Growing Concern to Manage Risk, Most Companies Struggle to Take Action - in which a recent survey was quoted. One quote, in particular, caught my eye:"The use of technology in risk management appears to be in its infancy, with only a quarter of companies using technology to identify existing risk, project future risk, and reduce risk. More than a quarter of the survey's respondents don't leverage technology to enhance risk management," Hermanson said. "As the practice and implementation of risk management mature, more executives will recognize and rely upon technology solutions to provide the infrastructure of risk management."Clearly the potential for executable, predictive analytic models and business rules management system technology is out there but it is not widely recognized by those who must take on critical risk management issues. There's more on this in the Compliance section of this blog and I think we can expect to see more of this. Encouraging stats from...

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Analytics & Optimization CRM Analytics and EDM – a Gartner perspective

Sep182005

Got an interesting perspective on CRM analytics from Gareth Herschel of Gartner today (I am at the Teradata Partners conference) that I thought meshed really well with some of the EDM concepts I have been discussing elsewhere on this blog. He was discussing real-time or right-time analytics in a CRM context. In particular there were three things he said that resonated with me: What's critical is the time it takes you to act not the time it takes to analyzeIn other words, it does not matter if you have real-time data and real-time analysis tools if the time it takes to persuade others of the analysis and the time it takes to implement is still measured in weeks or months. It matters how long it takes you from when you could know something to when you do, in fact, change your behavior based on it. Optimizing this decision process is a key element of Enterprise Decision Management. There is a gap between the data we have, how much we can analyze and how much analysis we can act on.The amount of customer data the typical company has is growing exponentially. There...

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Analytics & Optimization Preventing Identity Theft

Sep162005

Identity theft is a hot topic these days. There is a lot of talk about steps you can take to help prevent it - myFICO has a great set of suggestions for instance - and one can also be very alert to it having happened. All that said, how can technology help PREVENT it? Well early detection and effective resolution involves combining several distinct things: A broad data set to help identify people accurately Sophisticated analytics to leverage this data to make predictions of risk The ability to manage rules defined by privacy and other regulations The additional ability quickly change or add rules to respond to new fraudster approaches An efficient human review capability Let's take each of these. Data is a double-edged sword these days - there is more data available to verify someone's identity but all this data is also available to be hacked or abused, increasing risk. Data of different types, drawn from a wide variety of sources, can  be used to cross-reference facts that have been stolen, for instance, with data that has not and...

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