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  • admin 9:51 am on October 19, 2017 Permalink
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    What does real-time analytics for customer experience really mean? 

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  • admin 9:53 am on July 14, 2017 Permalink
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    The future of marketing — is it really all about #data? 

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  • admin 9:56 am on February 4, 2017 Permalink
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    What People Really Do With IoT and Big Data 

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  • admin 9:52 am on July 21, 2016 Permalink
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    Can Real-Time Event Analytics Really Trump Doctor Who, The Sonic, And The Tardis? 

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  • admin 9:51 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink
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    Is Being a Data Scientist Really That Sexy? Part 2 

    I received a large number of comments on my previous blog, along the lines: “Come on! The “RACE, Learn, Play” cannot be that easy? There must be a part of the job that is not that sexy? Sure, everything in life comes at a cost.

    So here I will cover some not so “sexy” parts of my job:

    1)  I can’t always find the silver bullet. I am not a “unicorn”, not a fairy godmother and I don’t do magic. Here are a few descriptions of my Data Scientist role I found from various sources:

    “A New Breed”;

    “Part analyst, part artist”;

    “Unicorn of data”;

    “The data scientist will sift through all incoming data with the goal of discovering a previously hidden insight” and so on.

    It almost sounds like magic and too often, magic is expected. Combining multiple data sources and looking for hidden insights is very much what I enjoy and part of what I do, but it’s not always true that amazing insights are there hiding away. Realising that fact can be valuable, but it’s not so sexy!

    The Challenge: “Here, I’ve got all this data (TB of it) and I have this problem, I need a solution (yesterday), find it, please.” Sometimes I quickly realise that the data is not fit for purpose or does not contain the answer that is expected and then I face the hard part.

    The Response: Re. those silver bullets, you asked for: Well, there is not even a silver paper weight!”

    2)  Sometimes it feels like I am dredging a swamp, not fishing in a lake. The expectations that just because you have a “data lake” and hundreds of terabytes of data and “a unicorn” that magic will happen and all the problems will disappear in an instance is hard to manage. I don’t do magic, I do data!

    I like to get to the granular level of data and look at it in many different ways and test different modelling techniques against it. Some mistake data lake principles as “let’s just store all the data in whatever format so we can do some data science on it later”.

    They then refer to the idea of ‘Schema on read’ – an idea that’s increasingly popular, but it shouldn’t be the only method! The truth is that someone at some stage has to make some sense of all this data. Is it useful? What do I do with it? What format is it in? How should I analyse it? What problems can be solved with it?

    If data is sourced from different channels including documents, the web, and different databases, it means that the data is in different formats. Most algorithms require input to be in the same format and in that case be prepared that someone (“the unicorn”) will spend time to clean-up, shape and make sense of the data before any analysis can be done on it. That’s not always so sexy.

    Don’t hoard, just because there is a massive amount of searchable data, it does not mean that it would be useful to anyone.

    There is no free lunch, understand what it is that you are storing and for what purpose.

    3)   Not all tools are created equal. There’s a cost and sometimes that cost is my time. More often than not, the data I’m asked to go fish on is in HDFS. There’s no doubt that Hadoop has great value and I can get great results with the right problem. But despite numerous research showing the sweet spots, there are many that still believe it can do everything and can do it all cheaply.

    Hadoop has almost become synonyms with ‘big data’ and there are countless ‘size’ based pitches on how some companies are successfully storing Petabytes of data and delivering insights from it. What is usually lacking from these pitches is how and at what cost? And I am not talking $ per petabyte storage, it is more $ per petabyte analysis. Hey, this stuff is powerful but hard! You really need to know what you doing.

    Back in 2013 David Menninger, the head of business development and strategy for EMC’s Pivotal was quoted to say: “Hadoop is like a puppy: you get one for free, but there are the hidden costs like taking it to the vet and feeding it” . 2 years later, Fortune were still reporting that companies are not adopting Hadoop lightly. The main reasons are the shortage of skills. “Hadoop can handle huge data sets and make them useable, the capabilities needed to set up and run Hadoop remain scarce and expensive”.

    One thing is to store the data, the other side of it is to analyse it. I am not talking about simple means and averages, or data quality reporting. Doing complex machine learning on Hadoop requires skills in many different disciplines: machine learning, distributed algorithms, HDFS, Hive, Java, Python, Map Reduce, etc.

    The industry is closing this gap, but finding “the unicorns” training them and keeping them will take some time and effort. So the cost is not in the storage but in the usage of the data.

    Tatiana Bokareva is a Data Scientist for Teradata Aster, the market leader in big data analytics. Tatiana is responsible for data mining, analytics and ultra-fast analysis of unstructured, semi structured data using Teradata Aster advance analytics platform.


    The post Is Being a Data Scientist Really That Sexy? Part 2 appeared first on International Blog.

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  • admin 9:51 am on November 21, 2015 Permalink
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    Will IoT & Analytics Really Make Full Automation Possible for Utility Power Networks? 

    There are now machines that have conquered the game of chess and starred on TV game shows. Soon we may even be able to chat and befriend them, a reality that perhaps isn’t too far off, when companies like Facebook are investing heavily in it to ensure secretive development on how its apps might be able to better help you find and communicate with your friends – automatically.

    What about in our Utility firms? Will we see machines roam more freely in the area of power network control? There is much debate around the level of automation that Internet of Things (IoT) based technologies, driven by analytics, will enable in network control, and over what timescales.

    But in reality, is full automation actually even possible?

    I’ve written in a previous blog post that today, analytics within the Utility networks business falls into three categories:

    • Distributed network solutions implemented on the network itself which have “productised” analytics at the heart of what they do;
    • Virtual control and monitoring solutions that continually run and assess the state of assets based on configurable analytics algorithms; and
    • Advanced analytics, and companies with “utilities big data” offers that integrate all data from across the Utility for analysis in conjunction with other relevant external data.

    Distributed network solutions” by their nature are automated, needing little human interaction. So this area is not contentious. But in “control and monitoring”, the idea of automation certainly is more contentious.

    So is full automation possible? In my opinion, “yes”, in theory at least. Although it may well be that automation is implemented very slowly given that installed physical infrastructure is a long way off managing and responding to the sophisticated control signals required, especially on low voltage networks.

    But we have to remember that culturally, this is a big deal. Network control is safety critical, and there will always be much that is unknown about how a power system might operate. full automation is never trusted enough to be implemented.

    Today virtual control and monitoring as described above is gaining traction, and helps engineers operate networks better. But this alone will not enable full automation. However, there is a trend emerging that challenges my own categorization of the use of analytics within the Utility networks business, which could lead us towards full automation. The three categories as I outline them above are merging.

    We are already seeing control and monitoring solutions emerging that can push analytics packets onto distributed assets real time, based on internal and external analytics triggers. Advanced analytics, and big data platforms are moving ever closer to real time, allowing more and more network data to be analysed in near real time to improve network operation, in combination with more parameters that a human could nominally apply manually.

    I believe that what we’re seeing is just the start. As the industry matures in its use of IoT, and analytics on the data from IoT, network analytics will only accelerate and become ever more intertwined. The way that analytics is performed today – separately – will become a thing of the past.

    Many in data and analytics talk about merging data from IT and OT systems for analytics purposes. Longer term, I see a single environment not only “doing analytics”, but gradually automating network operation, as well as the execution of many other businesses processes in the digital network business of the future. This is the latest potential of IoT for Utility power networks.

    Interested in discovering how IoT data can generate more value for your company when combined with business operations and human behavioural data? Read on.

    Iain Stewart is the principal utilities expert for Teradata in the EMEA region, with over 13 years of experience in utilities sector. Iain also has in depth experience of both smart metering and smart grids, including how these link to and support the wider sustainability agenda. Other areas of experience include renewable energy, and smarter cities. Connect with Iain Stewart on Linkedin.

    The post Will IoT & Analytics Really Make Full Automation Possible for Utility Power Networks? appeared first on International Blog.

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  • admin 9:52 am on November 7, 2015 Permalink
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    Xerox: Innovating Marketing Applications to give clients the freedom to focus on what really matters. 

    Xerox has undergone a transformation!  Moving beyond multi-function devices like printers and copiers, more than 50% of their business is services-oriented global document outsourcing.  It’s about taking away the pain points for customers so they can focus on their strengths and concentrate on the business.  It’s all part of Xerox strategy, “Work can work better.”

    Laser focused in their offering of business processes, Xerox created a communications and marketing services division with the mission to make communications simpler. Generating more than 10K branded campaigns each year Xerox has found their sweet spot with technology, people and processes at the center.

    Michelle Facey-Taylor Head of IT Solutions Communications & Marketing Services

    Michelle Facey-Taylor
    Head of IT Solutions
    Communications & Marketing Services

    “For a lot of our clients, who are quite large in different vertical industries, it’s a new way of working for them as well. We wanted a standard platform to be able to deliver to our clients – to make us more agile in delivering quicker. Technology is technology, but having the skill set to be able to deliver and to be able to make that technology deliver what your customer wants is quite key.”  – Michelle Facey-Taylor, Head of IT Solutions, Communication and Marketing Services

    The technology Xerox depends on? Teradata Applications Marketing Resource Management (MRM).  With MRM, Xerox manages 1) planning & spend,  2) workflow & collaboration, and 3) marketing assets for multiple highly regulated industries such as pharmaceutical, financial and telcom.

    Planning & Spend

    Xerox and its customers can get a real-time view of the total marketing budget allowing for the agility to reallocate dollars quickly.  Spend is analyzed based on market activity, sales data and business needs while centralizing marketing data across different channels, brand and portfolios.

    “So that kind of intelligence, it’s not reporting, it’s not MI, it’s Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 4.38.22 PMintelligence, is key to Xerox. We need to know where it may not work and is this something we can advise our client.  Our client needs to see what they’re spending, what’s the return, what’s happening, how effective is what they’re asking us to do– how effective has that been?” — Michelle Facey-Taylor


    Workflow & Collaboration

    Xerox, their customers, and agencies have embraced the intuitive, flexible and cohesive workflow management process.  Critical compliance across teams and companies is achieved with an automated medical, legal and regulatory review process without the painstaking activity of rekeying data.

    “When you go to different countries especially, there are different laws, different rules, but the process is the same.  You’re raising a brief; you’re going to get it approved; you’re going to get some money for it; you’re going to get an estimate.  All of that is the same whether or not you’re in one industry or another.” – Michelle Facey-Taylor

    Marketing Assets

    Embodying “Work can work better” users maintain corporate standards with automated approvals and branding control, helping to distribute marketing assets exactly where they are needed to those that need them, giving their customers even more accessibility.

    “You could be having the best revenue generation that you can, but your profit margin is going to be down because you’ve got greater overhead costs.  So coming into a simple platform is not just an idea of really good business reasons. It’s financially viable, and we want to offer a service, and the service that we offer includes our platform.  So having that one single platform, you get the experienced personnel and you get the ability to roll out very quickly and innovate.” – Michelle Facey-TaylorScreen Shot 2015-11-05 at 4.35.14 PM

    For Xerox, it is a powerful global capability that is repeatable.

    “So communications and marketing services (CMS) is a global capability now.  Where we offer those different business verticals around the world, we will offer one solution.  We have a customer we’ve rolled out, six countries so far.  We will be rolling out another ten, and part of that includes the United States, Canada, as well as some of the developing market regions like Russia, Hungary and Czech.” – Michelle Facey-Taylor

    Congratulations to Xerox for the ultimate data-driven disruption in business to transform into a global services powerhouse.

    The post Xerox: Innovating Marketing Applications to give clients the freedom to focus on what really matters. appeared first on Insights and Outcomes.

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  • admin 9:52 am on May 8, 2015 Permalink
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    One Day People Really Will Be Considered Our Greatest Asset 

    Throughout or working lives, we’ve heard the cliché from every Board member at some point or another: “people are our greatest asset”. But too many times it’s come before a round of redundancies or during a time of financial turbulence or just as something to say when a new CxO is in front of shareholders. Mostly, we have the feeling that it doesn’t actually mean anything.


    In utilities, we all understand that there is a skills gap. Globally. Engineers and experienced technical staff are retiring faster than we can attract new ones. Sure, people are working on the problem. There’s a real focus on increasing Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) capabilities from organisations such as the STEM Education Coalition in the US. Last year, UNESCO launched the Global STEM Alliance.

    That’s all good news. But what I find even more heartening is that in recent times, I see evidence of utilities businesses not only supporting this sort of 3rd party initiative, but actually doing something internally in their organisations to value their people more, manage them better and actually treat them as that asset they’ve always told us about.

    UK Utility Scottish & Southern Energy is a great example. In April this year, they published a report that values their people at £3.4BN. They say it’s a first for a UK company. I can believe it. And it’s not just a PR exercise. Yes, they’re becoming a more media-savvy business (quite a step for a utility, remember…) and their HR Director blogs relatively frequently. But that is kind of the point: he’s not blogging about energy bills or keeping the lights on. He’s blogging about people. Their people.  I like that.

    Here’s a different example.   In the US, a long-term Teradata customer is taking another approach to more actively understanding and valuing their people. Xcel Energy began their journey with Teradata looking at meter-to-cash analytics. Since then, they’ve expanded their data & analytics capabilities into many parts of the business – most recently into HR. They’re now actively using the data available to them to create and deliver strategic workforce planning.

    And not before time: their analysis showed 44% of Xcel Energy’s workforce was already within 10 years of retirement. Clearly, time to act! Now, Xcel has the ability to more accurately predict employee churn, address talent gaps before they become a greater issue, and better inform leadership of workforce trends. Good news.

    Of course, these are only two examples in a huge, worldwide industry. But I believe they’re indicative of a growing trend. In utilities, as well as in other STEM industries, I think we are seeing the beginnings of recognition that people really, really might actually be our greatest asset. Just like we always said they were.

    If you’d like to hear more about what Xcel are doing on data-driven HR and people management, I can recommend the webinar they recorded earlier this year. Or, if you’d like to learn more about how Teradata can help you turn those tired old “people…” clichés into something real and valuable, we’d love to hear from you!

    David Socha is Utilities Practice Manager at Teradata International. He works with local and account-focused teams to bring Teradata’s unrivalled data and analytics capabilities and knowledge to the International Utilities sector. Connect with David Socha on Linkedin.

    The post One Day People Really Will Be Considered Our Greatest Asset appeared first on International Blog.

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  • admin 9:51 am on April 30, 2015 Permalink
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    What Are Your Customers Really Thinking? 

    PrintHave you been trying to figure out what customers truly think about your products and services only to find yourself challenged to take advantage of social feedback? Now, it’s possible to perform analytics on text data to gain insights into consumer priorities and determine what words are commonly associated with positive and negative reviews.

    By fully integrating text analytical functions with SQL, the Teradata® Aster Discovery Platform can perform rapid in-database analytics directly on text data. This capability makes it quicker and easier to better understand customer attitudes, uncover trends and find certain words that can be assigned high or low ratings based on sentiment.

    For a real-world example of sentiment analysis plus more on text analytics with the Teradata Aster Discovery Platform, check out “Mine the Voice of the Customer” in the Q1 2015 issue of Teradata Magazine. 

    Brett Martin
    Teradata Magazine



    The post What Are Your Customers Really Thinking? appeared first on Magazine Blog.

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  • admin 9:51 am on November 19, 2014 Permalink
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    What Does Successful Data-Driven Customer Engagement Really Look Like? 

    untangle“Data-driven.” At the Teradata 2014 Partners Conference last month, that word was everywhere. “Data-driven” was used to describe successful companies… and effective marketing campaigns… and compelling customer experiences… even the event itself was billed as a “data-driven conference.”

    Yes, “data-driven” is capturing plenty of buzz these days – and for good reason. As our recent research shows, more and more marketers know they need to use data to drive decisions and uncover new opportunities. They understand that mastering data is essential for maintaining a competitive edge, improving business performance and increasing revenue.

    But how, exactly, are marketers using data to transform the way their companies do business? What does data-driven customer engagement really look like?

    While at our Partners Conference, I had the pleasure of participating in a panel that explored those very questions. Today, I’d like to share a few of the highlights from our discussion.

    For starters, I want to be perfectly clear. When I talk about “mastering data,” I’m not just talking about feeling in control of data. I’m not just talking about how you collect and store all the data that’s now available to you. Aggregation, storage, feeling in control – it’s all necessary, of course; but it’s not sufficient. When I talk about “mastering data,” what I mean is that you need to make the data you have actionable. You need a comprehensive data strategy, one that includes gathering, storing and most importantly, mining for insights. You need to be able to use data to understand your customers, all the way down to the individual and whatever it is that’s important to that one, unique person.

    That’s what I call “real personalization.” It’s not the kind of personalization where you send out an email to your entire list and the only thing that changes is the name after the word “Dear.” No, real personalization is true individualization – and it represents a new era in marketing. As I mentioned on the panel, data driven marketing gives birth to “no marketing.” That’s marketing where you’re not pushing and you’re not spamming with irrelevant messages. “No marketing” moves beyond conversations. It’s about truly connecting. It’s about truly engaging with the brand, across all departments.

    Getting there will undoubtedly require some skill set retooling within your organization. You’ll need a new mindset and the proper analytics tools. Every marketer needs to evolve from a product/service focus to a customer and market focus. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that will be easy. But it absolutely can be done.

    Take a look at what’s happening with Etisalat Misr, the Egypt division of telecommunications giant Etisalat, which operates across 17 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. By using the Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud, the company has been able to shift its strategy from mass marketing to a segmented and targeted customer-centric approach. As a result, response rates and customer satisfaction levels have improved, and with data analytics, the company is able to respond to inbound requests with the right offer at the right time. Campaigns that previously took six months to bring to market now take 15-30 days – and even better, Etisalat Misr is launching 300 percent more of them. In fact, the company has increased its B2C campaigns to more than 1,000 and improved the outreach 40 percent, all thanks to multi-channel personalized marketing. Find out even more in this video.

    Everyone on the panel agreed that the time to adopt a data-driven strategy is now. Over the next few months, we’re going to be hearing more and more about “data-driven” successes, and I truly believe that if you haven’t begun to move to real personalization in real-time, you’re going to be seriously lagging behind in just a few short years.

    The full panel discussion What Does Successful Data-Driven Customer Engagement Really Look Like? is available here on YouTube. And to access other virtual, on-demand sessions from the Teradata 2014 Partners Conference, please visit http://www.teradata-partners.com.

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