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Managing data for a single customer view

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Companies need to examine whether they are capitalising on the technology at their disposal to gain a single customer view or if they are missing out on key opportunities, writes PETR HAVLIK, MD of CyberPro Consulting.

Master Data Management (MDM) has a critical role to play for companies looking to gain a single view of a customer. With the New Year well underway, organisations need to start examining whether they are effectively capitalising on the technology at their disposal to achieve this view – or whether are they missing out on key opportunities.

According to a survey undertaken by Gartner, 89 of respondents believed that customer experience will be a primary basis for competition by 2016. Well its 2016 now, so businesses need to pay attention to their customer’s needs if they want to remain competitive – and a good place to start is through MDM – as MDM provides a common language to all the data that a business deals with.

So what does this mean?  Well, firstly, MDM is very business-focused; as opposed to a pure technology-driven approach.

Previously larger companies have struggled with silos of data that exist within the organisation, as it becomes very difficult to consolidate data, especially when divisions inside the business have different approaches around data management. So this meant that in the past, companies relied on customer relationship management to try gain a consolidated view of their customers. However, today a more effective approach is to examine a dedicated MDM strategy that seeks to combine data quality and matching, as well as integration into the source system – all strung together with a golden thread that will unify all information inside the organisation.

Ultimately, it boils down to gaining an understanding of a customer – to present data into a business format, one that actually works for the organisation. The present reality that exists, is that if you phone your bank, for example, many will not have a common view of you, as a customer. So the credit card division might have one view of you, while the home loan department another – which can cause frustration and wasted time.

The good news, however, is that the move to embracing this single view of the customer started in earnest for most large enterprises around five years ago. Unfortunately, many organisations are still struggling to fully realise the value of these projects.

Which leads to my point on MDM, as it can offer a consolidated report of a customer’s needs to a business all while, allowing the organisation to cross-sell and upsell tailored solutions to a customer – which can be very valuable to an organisations ongoing growth and ability to remain sustainable in a very competitive marketplace.

However, like all solutions, to capitalise on its benefits correctly, companies need to understand the data they actually have. This means ensuring data is kept clean and up-to-date, as well as keeping data synchronised across all divisions. Traditionally, this had to be done with a lot of custom software development and human intervention, but thanks to MDM, it can now be automated, although it still requires a substantial commitment to get right.

Of course, if you want MDM to work effectively, the data quality has to be there, given that MDM strives to match all the data in the organisation and define a golden record (which is one master data set of a customer, supplier, and so on).

So, while MDM can deliver value, the value is underpinned by its ability to understand a customer and the relationship that person actually has with the company. This means that in 2016, where customer understanding and value is a priority for many organisations – MDM can provide the organisation with the ideal way to get ahead – so what are you waiting for?

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LHI is coming to save your car from hazards

Local Hazard Information will give drivers advance warning of potential dangers lurking around the corner

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There are many times when knowing what is around the corner could be useful. But for drivers that knowledge could be critical. Now, thanks to Ford’s new connected car technology, it is also a reality.

Local Hazard Information (LHI) marks a significant step on the journey towards a connected transport infrastructure by helping drivers prepare for and potentially avoid dangers on the road. When drivers ahead encounter sudden tailbacks, accidents or spilled loads, the driver behind – and possibly out of sight – is given advance warning. This could also apply to everything from freak hailstorms, to sudden flooding, or even landslides.

The triggers for the system come from what is happening in the cars ahead. It could be that airbags have been activated, hazard warning lights are flashing, or windscreen wipers are in operation. Previous traffic incident alert systems have relied on drivers to input information in order to generate alerts. LHI works autonomously, without the need for any driver interaction, to generate information and issue warnings.

Hazards are only displayed – via the dashboard display – if the incident is likely to impact on the driver’s journey. LHI is designed to be more beneficial to drivers than hazard information from current radio broadcasting systems, which often deliver notifications not relevant to them.

Already featuring as standard and free of charge for the first year on the new Ford Puma, LHI technology is being rolled out across more than 80 per cent of Ford’s passenger vehicle line-up by the end of this year. Crucially, the benefit will not be limited only to those travelling in Ford vehicles. Information sent can be used to alert drivers of other manufacturers’ vehicles, and vice-versa.

“What makes Local Hazard Information different is that it is the cars that are connected – via the Internet of Things. There is no reliance on third party apps. This is a significant step forward. Warnings are specific, relevant and tailored to try to help improve your specific journey.” Joerg Beyer, executive director, Engineering, Ford of Europe

How it works

Sensors monitor activities including emergency braking, fog lights and traction control to detect adverse weather or road conditions. Data from these activities is then computed to determine the hazard location and whether a traffic incident has occurred.

The vehicle automatically provides updates through a secure connection to “the cloud” using the Ford Pass Connect modem. Ford’s technology partner HERE Technologies operates the central cloud-based platform that collates information from multiple vehicle brands, governed by a business-to-business agreement.

The more cars are connected to the network, the greater the efficiency of the system. When many vehicles generate the same warning, others in the vicinity receive incident information from the cloud via the cellular network, enabling drivers to reduce speed or take appropriate action.

Additional information is sourced from public authority incident databases and traffic reports to provide drivers with further advance warnings including approaching vehicles driving on the wrong side of the carriageway, animals or people in the road ahead, and roadworks.

The on-board modem will be connected at the time of vehicle delivery. Customers may choose to opt in/opt out of certain data sharing.

Local Hazard Information data provided by HERE Technologies.

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Bundesliga plans to “revolutionise football viewing”

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Germany’s Bundesliga football league has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its official technology provider to deliver more in-depth insight into every live broadcast of Bundesliga games and enable personalised fan experiences. 

Bundesliga says it will use AWS artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), analytics, compute, database, and storage services to deliver real-time statistics to predict future plays and game outcomes. It will also use the technology to recommend personalised match footage across mobile, online, streaming, and television broadcasts.

Using AWS technology, Germany’s premier national football league will build new cloud-based services that automate processes, increase operational efficiency, and enhance the viewing experience for the league’s rapidly growing global fan base. By developing a new, next-generation statistics platform on AWS, using Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed service to build, train, and deploy ML models, Bundesliga will offer fans real-time predictions on when a goal is likely to be scored, identify potential goal-scoring opportunities, and highlight how teams are positioning and controlling the field, based on live data streams and historical data from over 10,000 Bundesliga games. Bundesliga also plans to leverage AWS ML services, such as Amazon Personalize, an ML service to create real-time and individualized recommendations, to offer fans personalized game footage, marketing promotions, and search results based on their favourite teams, players, or matches.

Using other AWS ML services, including Amazon Rekognition, an intelligent image and video analysis service, Bundesliga will build a cloud-based media archive that will automatically tag specific frames, from its more than 150,000 hours of video, with metadata such as game, jersey, player, team, and venue, so that the league can easily search historical footage and surface pivotal plays for in-game broadcasts, in more than 200 countries. This archive will enable Bundesliga to search across its entire history of football footage to provide a more enhanced viewing experience for fans and automate the current manual process of searching and tagging match highlights.

“We are extremely excited to be working alongside AWS to develop the next generation of football viewing experience,” said Christian Seifert, CEO of Bundesliga. “Innovation means challenging the status quo. Working closely with AWS, as one of the most innovative technology companies in the world, significantly enhances the investment we’ve made in innovation over the past two decades, all of which contributes to us being able to deliver a world-class football experience for our fans.”

“As the league with the highest average number of goals per game, and the highest stadium attendance globally, the Bundesliga is one of the most entertaining sports leagues in the world,” says Andy Isherwood, Vice President and Managing Director EMEA, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “We are thrilled to work with the Bundesliga and help them use cloud technology to give football fans around the world a more engaging match day experience and look forward to helping them leverage our deep portfolio of ML and AI services so they can deliver even greater insight into the world’s favourite game.”

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