Analytics & Optimization Enterprise Decision Management and the Payments process

Apr172006

Interesting article on the payments process in Bank Technology News - Collapsing the Payments Process for an Enterprise-Wide View of the Business. One of the key approaches identified is "Process automation and support driven by a dynamic rules engine", with which I agree completely. There were some quotes that I thought were particularly apropos for illustrating why Enterprise Decision Management is a perfect fit for this view of payments."elevating payments processing from a back-office function organized by distinct lines of business ... into a strategic business that needs to be managed with an enterprise-wide view"Absolutely, and this is a key tenet of Enterprise Decision Management - stop taking decisions in silos or lines of business and start taking decisions across the enterprise. Treat decisions, like payment decisions, as corporate assets and manage them as such."The benefits of an enterprise-wide approach are many and include the ability to more easily meet regulatory requirements... to provide near real-time positioning for...

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Analytics & Optimization Take a Gamble with EDM

Apr142006

James Taylor – great fount of EDM truisms, from whom all rules- and analytics-based wisdom flows – likes to ask a question.  It sounds like it should set up the punchline to a joke, but unfortunately it doesn’t.  “How do you know when you’re ready for EDM?” he says.  “You can segment your customers 30 ways—but you deal with them 3 ways.”  Or words to that effect. As such, James is likely to be extremely pleased by this example of EDM in action that I found in The New York Times: From the Back Office, a Casino Can Change the Slot Machine in Seconds.If you believed that somehow you weren’t being exploited when playing slots at the casino, then perhaps these excerpts from this intriguing article will change your mind: From his small back office in the Treasure Island casino, Justin Beltram may soon be able to change the wheels of fortune instantly…  With a few clicks of his computer mouse, Mr. Beltram can reprogram the 1,790 slot machines on the casino floor, adjusting the denominations required to play, payback...

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Analytics & Optimization Some great McKinsey stats on call center automation

Apr142006

Another nice McKinsey piece today - Automated self-service comes to telcos (registration required). In particular it has some nice numbers: A typical call-center transaction costs $8 to $10; the same transaction online costs $0.15 to $0.80 Printed bills cost four times as much as e-bills, and customers can be served online 24 hours a day without significant additional costs. It goes on to use these numbers as part of a rationale for Telcos in particular to provide more automated options for customer service. It's a great article and it highlights some factors that I think should push you towards EDM-style decision automation in the call center. Personalized or tailored pitches work better and allow the automated system to do a better cross-sell and up-sell job. EDM is perfectly suited to this as using rules and analytic models to precisely target marketing offers is a well-honed science these days An EDM approach also means that these decisions can be re-used across the self-service and call center channels, improving the cross-sell/up-sell proficiency of...

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Analytics & Optimization Segmentation in insurance – knowledge management or operational challenge?

Apr122006

Insurance and Technology carried an interesting article by Cynthia Saccocia, Research Director in Tower Group's Insurance Practice - Know Your Customers. This summarized a key trend for insurers - approaching demographic bubble in retirees - but really focused on the use of analytics as a back-office tool for assessing how to segment these customers. While this is key, it seems to me that insurers also have to face the challenge of operationalizing this kind of thing. Not only do many more of these retirees use the web (meaning that they want more and better self-service options and that cross-sell and up-sell must be done by automated systems), but the range of options available to them from companies competing with their traditional insurer has grown. Insurers trying to protect their customers as they near retirement and sell them more items will need to turn the analytic insight Cynthia describes into actionable decisions that can be embedded in call centers, websites, agency management systems etc.  This additional focus - not just insight but action -...

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Analytics & Optimization Dell, healthcare and decision automation

Apr112006

Interesting piece in Business Week - Dell Takes Health Care Online - about Dell's use of technology in helping its employees manage their health. There is a clear movement to the use of Consumer Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) and this is just one example of using technology to move in that direction. Now if we were to take an Enterprise Decision Management approach to this, what else might we do? We might use a rules-based approach to automate data management and integrate data coming in from disparate sources, perhaps incorporating medical best practices with our own procedures and policies. We could use business rules to make the employee records more accurate and informative by capturing not only what was done for the patient, but why. Rules, for example, can intelligently append relevant patient data to the procedural record, document the governing protocol and associate reasons codes with the treatment. We could give the employees better decision-making tools by using rules, predictive models and medical decision strategies to help employees and their...

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Customer Engagement Mr. Disney, Be A Member in OUR Club

Apr102006

For many people, this story must be some kind of dream: free episodes of "Desperate Housewives" available on the net? (Disney to Make TV Shows Available Free on Web.) "In an effort to extend its broadcast economic model to the Internet, the Walt Disney Company said today that it would offer some of its most popular ABC television shows free on its Web sites but with commercials that cannot be eliminated," reports The New York Times.  'The shows include Desperate Housewives, Lost, Commander-in-Chief and Alias." This seemed like something of a non-event to me at first, because I have a guilty secret: I've never seen a single episode of the Desperate Housewives - or for that matter, Lost, C-I-C, or Alias.  I know that must put me into a small minority of the US population.  But it's true.  My TV viewing is really limited to two categories: The Simpsons and interesting live sports events, such as yesterday's Masters Tournament. The absence of TV from my life is driven by several factors.  First, being the father of...

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Analytics & Optimization Segmentation, segmentation, segmentation

Apr102006

This post - Segmenting Customer Support Services Yields Higher Financial Returns, Says ServiceXRG - caught my eye over on the Tekrati weblog. "Customer service programs and practices based on customer segmentation yield higher support contract value and performance" This is not just true of customer support but of any interaction with a customer that might yield profit - check out a previous post on this topic. Any time you can use the data you have about customers, or third party data you can integrate, or predictions about their likely behavior in the future, to segment them you are likely to make better decisions about how to treat them and thus make more profit."less than one-third have formal strategies in place to segment customers based on service needs"Terrifying. What are the rest doing - guessing? I suspect that, in most companies,  some aspects of how customers are treated are segmented but that many are not. Even if they are doing segmentation, I wonder if they are applying it every time their interact with a customer - even if...

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Customer Engagement Pin All Your Romantic Hopes on Google – With Contextual Marketing and EDM, Presumably?

Apr092006

I have to admit that, when I first ran across this site (http://www.google.com/romance/) early on Saturday, April 1, I was taken in for at least 15 seconds - probably because I wanted so much for it to be true.  Not because I wanted to make use of the service myself, but rather it just seemed such an excellent opportunity to apply the principles of Enterprise Decision Management. For those of you who haven't yet clicked through, let me present Google's own summary: "When you think about it, love is just another search problem. And we’ve thought about it. A lot. Google Romance™ is our solution.  Google Romance is a place where you can post all types of romantic information and, using our Soulmate Search™, get back search results that could, in theory, include the love of your life. Then we'll send you both on a Contextual DateTM, which we'll pay for while delivering to you relevant ads that we and our advertising partners think will help produce the dating results you're looking for."  [My emphasis.] So how would a Contextual Date...

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Customer Engagement Welcome Ian Turvill as a guest author

Apr092006

Well it had to happen – another author joins the team. Ian Turvill, a colleague here at Fair Isaac, is an expert on applying EDM to solving marketing problems, among other things. He is also a regular collaborator of mine including some work we are doing to see if we can get a podcast series going. Welcome.