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  • admin 9:51 am on November 1, 2017 Permalink
    Tags: , , don’t, Question, Rely, Status,   

    Don’t Rely on Witchcraft: Question the Status Quo of Customer Analytics 

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  • admin 9:53 am on November 14, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: don’t, , , , , These, ValueAdding   

    Investing in New Technology? Don’t Forget These 5 Value-Adding Steps 

    By Data and Analytics Staff

    IT departments are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest technological advance that will change the way their company works. But striking a balance between IT’s desire to implement a new technology, and the impact of said technology on the company’s bottom line, often can be tricky. For organizations in the processes of determining whether or not big data is right for them, comes the important task of identifying value.

    This is why the Teradata Business Value Services team offered some helpful insights to attendees of the annual Teradata Partners Conference last month. Determining the business value of a certain technological undertaking can be a hefty load. During the process, it’s important to consider current environments, processes, and pain points to help nail down exactly what the new technology should be and, more importantly, what it should be achieving. It’s important for organizations to project what could be achieved in the future, and remain focused on identifying those potential future benefits.

    Data Points, Teradata, Investing in new tech ID bus value

    There are certain steps that can be taken to ensure that ROI is successfully realized and captured, and that the whole organization is driven to create business value:

    1. Prepare and Plan. While it may seem like an obvious first step, too often companies attempt to dive head-first into a new business technology, without proper preparation. In this stage, organizations should take a step back to get a better understanding of what’s going on within the business, collecting important data to further prove the need for a new technology project or improvement. This could be financial data of the company to-date or business data that will give IT leaders a better sense of what shape the company is in and where further technology investment can take it.
    2.  Evaluate and Recommend. Once this pertinent data is compiled, take the time to digest all of the information, make sure it’s understood, and double-check that all the necessary information has been collected in order to put together a solid business case, including metrics, for the project to come. Backing new IT projects with fact-based recommendations surrounding business needs and the current environment can help to validate the business value to the C-suite.
    3.  Educate the Business. It’s important for executives and decision makers to be educated on a new initiative so that IT can gain a better understanding of whether or not an idea under consideration makes financial sense for the company as a whole. The marriage of IT to business and finance departments is important, and educating the masses is crucial. IT should be listening to the needs of the businesses from the very start to deliver value to the organization, not just new technology.
    4.  Develop a Roadmap. Various business improvement opportunities can be achieved by understanding, articulating and quantifying the impacts of a new project. Developing a project roadmap makes it easy to prioritize opportunities and optimize results.
    5.  Refine and Confirm. Once a new program, project or technology has been implemented, people often take a back seat and let it run its course. But when an organization is making such a critical investment it’s crucial to track these processes and make sure they’re reaping the planned value. Teams should start with a solid foundation of metrics upon implementation to make regular analysis a smooth process, and use those metrics to adjust if goals aren’t being met.

    By taking these steps, IT teams can better understand the long-term value of a new technology advancement and work to convey that message to the C-suite and the organization overall. By taking an inclusive approach to a technology investment, IT teams are able to display business value, upfront, and make effective technology use a reality for their organizations.

    The post Investing in New Technology? Don’t Forget These 5 Value-Adding Steps appeared first on Data Points.

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  • admin 9:51 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: don’t, , HighTech, issue, LowTech, , Negate   

    Don’t Let A Low-Tech Issue Negate Your High-Tech Marketing Efforts 

    KeynotesWhile at PARTNERS 2015 last week, I was inspired by story after story of how individualized marketing is helping companies deliver exceptional customer experiences. But I’d barely unpacked my suitcase, when I was reminded once again that customer experience management isn’t only about high-tech, data-driven approaches. Often, the success of a customer experience rests with distinctly low-tech, offline issues. Employee engagement is critical, as are countless customer touchpoints, many of which are overlooked because they seem so insignificant (even though they could be anything but).

    Here’s what happened to me. A few days ago, I stopped to fill my car at a local gas station. Initially, the pump provided a pleasant, and now familiar, experience. Its digital screen welcomed me, told me to insert my credit card, prompted me to enter my zip code, asked if I was a loyalty member, suggested that I might like a car wash and inquired if I wanted a receipt. After that, I was instructed to lift the nozzle and press the button for my preferred grade of gasoline. All of this was agreeable enough, right up until I wanted to use that little gizmo on the pump nozzle – you know, that very “low tech” mechanical device that lets the gasoline flow from the pump into the car tank without someone having to hold the handle. I tried to take advantage of that latch, but it kept slipping, again… and again… and again.

    I continued to fill my tank, but by the time I was finished, I was annoyed and grumbling. For me, the faulty “open flow” device had totally negated all the brilliant technology that had greeted me when I first started filling up my tank.

    This “missed opportunity for awesome” was one more real-world example of what can go wrong if you become so preoccupied with data driven marketing that you start neglecting customer service basics. Remember: Any break in the customer experience, whether online or offline, disrupts the relationship you’re trying so hard to nurture. Your goal is to integrate data and analytics to glean the insights needed to create rich customer experiences, the kind that real, live people can relate to and enjoy. The only way you can achieve that goal is to make sure things are flowing just as smoothly offline as they are online. After all, your customers are people – not data points, not numbers or columns on a spreadsheet – but humans, with needs, desires, expectations… and gas tanks to fill.

    The post Don’t Let A Low-Tech Issue Negate Your High-Tech Marketing Efforts appeared first on Teradata Applications.

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  • admin 9:55 am on August 31, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , Burner, don’t   

    Don’t Put Your Brand On The Back Burner 

    back burnerThere’s never been a more exciting time to be a marketer than right now.

    On the one hand, our jobs are growing increasingly complex, thanks to the seemingly endless streams of rich, relevant customer data, the proliferation of digital channels and platforms, and the constant evolution of marketing technologies. But on the other, it’s the combination of those things that make what we do so effective… and rewarding. Make no mistake about it: Today’s marketers have unprecedented capabilities to deliver individualized interactions and compelling customer experiences –and to me, that’s absolutely thrilling.

    Still, amidst all this transformation, I’m finding that many are losing sight of one of the most fundamental mandates of our industry.

    We all know that, as marketers, we are charged with engaging new customers, fostering loyalty among existing customers and ensuring that we stay on top of — and hopefully ahead of — the competition. But let’s not forget that we’re also charged with something that isn’t as easily quantifiable, even though it’s absolutely critical to the health of our enterprise: brand building.

    In today’s omnichannel world, a strong brand is as essential as ever; however, if you get too caught up in tactics, content deliverables and process, it may be easy to lose sight of the big picture. You might start to forget that every nuance of how you’re seen, experienced or felt as a business is actually what makes up your brand. Brand-driven marketing remains a world where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

    These days, the people who love what you do have more ways than ever to champion your brand publicly. But at the same time, detractors have just as many ways to make a dent in your reputation. That’s why, ultimately, the best way to maintain and evolve a healthy brand is to be intentional and consistent about establishing it – so much so that the “noise” can’t drown out the tune you want the world to hear.

    What’s your approach? Do your marketing campaigns and strategies put brand first — or are you hoping that your long checklist of tasks will get you there in the end?

    Not so long ago, you could publish some online marketing collateral peppered with the appropriate tags and keywords, and hope for the search engines to deliver the right eyeballs and dollars. You could identify optimal channels, establish tactics and track your results. Those were the days of “linear” marketing, and they’re drawing to a close… if they’re not already over.

    Now it’s time to make way for data driven marketing and the Internet of Things, when technology, people and things interact in ways that greatly enhance the customer experience. It starts with listening to your customers via all channels and touchpoints, and companies are already being rewarded for building smart interactions that empower the consumer to connect, while minimizing the effort required to transact, communicate or enjoy products, services and brands. But even if you’re using the latest and greatest technology… even if you’re effectively analyzing and leveraging your data… even if you create and manage individualized content across channels… without brand management at the core, “steering” it all, you’re going to fall short of what’s possible.

    Fortunately, the wealth of marketing applications available today are as useful for establishing brands as are they are for putting content out into the world — IF you start with your brand as your priority, instead of hoping it’ll take care of itself as you go.

    The post Don’t Put Your Brand On The Back Burner appeared first on Teradata Applications.

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  • admin 9:51 am on June 22, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , don’t, , , ,   

    Don’t Let Your Data Lake Turn into a Swamp 

    by Rick Stellwagen and Paul Barsch

    Q2-15_DataLakeenable smarter business decisions. However, the simple installation of a Hadoop cluster does not constitute a data lake. In fact, without following best practices, the investment will result in wasted time and money. 

    Manage from Start to Finish

    Imagine a single place in the enterprise where both transactional and multi-structured data types (Web logs, sensor data and other machine-to-machine communications) can be captured, stored and accessed. Also, in this same place, data can be profiled and reviewed before extensive modeling efforts occur so business insights can be gained more quickly.

    This hub of enterprise activity—where all data types can reside and be accessed for fast discovery—is called a data lake. It is primarily built on Hadoop because the technology has the ability to effectively scale in terms of volume, support higher data velocity and ingest all data types.

    Think Big, a Teradata company, has defined, implemented and managed data lakes for dozens of organizations while codifying best practices. By taking advantage of the practices outlined here, businesses can start their data lake initiatives effectively without spending time on rework and sorting through clutter.

    Think Big, Start Smart

    Developing a strategy and architecture is important to ensure big data success. The strategy does not need to take several months or years to complete. In fact, in as little as six weeks, Think Big can help a company identify and prioritize use cases, define an initial architecture, understand organizational readiness and decide which initiatives to launch first.

    And when it’s impractical to gather all the data owners to work on a strategy in a timely manner, Think Big offers a fixed-price starter service. This approach rapidly builds out two or three well-governed data streams to show business value quickly—without sacrificing a big data architecture and roadmap.

    This enables the creation of effective data management processes, ensuring that information propagated into the data lake is high quality and traceable. These processes can then serve as a foundation for discussions with other data stewards to promote expansion of the solution.

    Integrate Data Management Practices

    The well-known adage “garbage in, garbage out” also holds true for data lakes—some of which have turned into dumping grounds for corporate data. The idea that a tangled web of data can be useful for analysis without first considering and enforcing acceptable data management practices is a costly misconception. To provide tangible business value, careful attention must be given to how data is consumed, moved, tagged, transformed, managed, accessed and secured.

    Processes for data quality and metadata management must be established prior to bringing in the information. The journey to better quality starts by tracing both data and metadata from their sources. One example is to go beyond schema to include operational and business security metadata to enable proper governance.

    Metadata capture should be a continual process for good governance as the organization deploys profiling, masking, modeling and archiving techniques in its data lake. All points for access should be tracked and traced including how, when and who will use the information.

    Strive for Measurable Business Value

    For decades, the lion’s share of IT budgets has typically been dedicated to monitoring and maintaining technology systems rather than promoting innovation. Even though IT budgets are projected to increase slightly in the coming years, there is still not a lot of spend available for experimentation with new technologies.

    With this in mind, it’s extremely important for IT to set goals for showing measurable business value. For Hadoop-based data lake projects, follow these best practices:

    • Secure business sponsorship. Obtain a named leader and funding from one or more business units.
    • Commit to clear objectives. Work with the business to establish metrics and expectations not only for the project’s performance but also for what each group will do to achieve success.
    • Report regularly. Deliver results to sponsors and management every 60 to 90 days or other pre-arranged interval.

    With business committing to sponsorship and business objectives, and IT providing timely results and reporting, the project will be positioned as vital to both and more likely to stay on time and on track.

    Maintain Momentum

    There are many reasons why a data lake can fail. If it is not implemented correctly with data management, metadata capture, governance, security and a business focus, it could turn into a data swamp that costs millions and no one uses.

    An initiative that may span several million dollars should not be left to chance. By following the best practices of thinking big but starting smart, incorporating data management practices continuously and regularly reporting on business value, your data lake will continually fill, expand and benefit your company for years to come. 

    This article originally appeared in the Q2 2015 issue of Teradata Magazine.

    Rick Stellwagen is the Data Lake Program Director for Think Big, a Teradata Company. Paul Barsch directs marketing programs for Think Big.



    The post Don’t Let Your Data Lake Turn into a Swamp appeared first on Magazine Blog.

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