The Beginning Of A New Age For AI

Brandon Purcell

These days it seems like you can't open a newspaper (ok, web browser) without coming across an article on artificial intelligence. Well publicized breakthroughs like Google AlphaGo's unprecedented victories over human Go champions have heralded the promise of a new golden age for AI. Add to that the personification of personal assistants in Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa coupled with Salesforce's “resurrection” of Albert Einstein and the rampant proliferation of AI-related startups - and the AI buzz becomes more of a cacophonous clamor.

To put it mildly, this is confusing for businesses, who are trying to determine what is real and what is mere snake oil. Will AI achieve its transformational promise, or will it join the trash heap of over-hyped technologies?

Forrester believes AI will significantly disrupt the way organizations win, serve, and retain customers... eventually. To do this, it will take massive amounts of data to train artificially intelligent systems to perform their jobs well enough to replace their human counterparts.

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Context Matters: Functional Or Domain Challenges Cross Industries

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

In a previous blog, I outlined how context matters, and specifically how the industry context in which you are doing business matters to the strategic decisions you make. But there are also commonalities across industries. Some business challenges plague multiple industries such as how to improve customer experience, retain loyal customers, and improve sales whether in the retail or hospitality sector, or how to get the inputs you need to make your products and to get your products to market in a timely manner in  the manufacturing or pharmaceutical sectors. And, everyone these days is increasingly concerned about fraud, risk and security.

 

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Uber's Movement In The Right Direction

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Uber’s new initiative, Movement, is a step in the right direction. Facing criticism, the company decided to open its treasure trove of data to the cities in which it operates. Hidden in the anonymized ridership data are potential insights about the impact of major events, rush hour, lane closures or other factors on traffic flow and congestion.While the details remain to be seen, the website shows dashboards and data visualizations. Uber plans to build out the Movement platform, and will roll it out across cities and eventually to the public.

 

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Missed Some Of Our Business Insights Research In 2016?

Context Matters, And That Means Your Industry

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

It’s likely not news to you that your business context matters.  Your vendors and services providers must understand the reality you’re doing business in.  They’ve got to have the experience and knowledge to intelligently "speak the language" of your internal stakeholders, identify relevant insights, and recommend appropriate actions. And that means knowing the industry in which you operate.  And, that’s even more so for someone providing you with the insights you need to improve your business. 

Some of these industry differences include:

  • Top priorities. Although business priorities are often similar, each industry pursues them with varying levels of urgency. Decision-makers in retail see improving customer experience as a do-or-die requirement, with 80% reporting that it's a high priority over the next 12 months; in oil and gas, only 49% report that it's a key area of focus. Under intense competitive pressure, telecoms look to reinvent themselves: Over two-thirds of decision-makers report that improving innovation is a high priority, while only 47% in healthcare say it's a top initiative.
  • Strategic objectives. Strategies for growing revenue, a unanimous priority, vary greatly by industry. Decision-makers in the consumer goods industry emphasize acquiring new customers as well as launching and selling new products over retaining, upselling, and cross-selling to current customers. In contrast, decision-makers at financial services firms see enriching current customer relationships as key to growing revenues. Other verticals, like utilities and primary production, have a greater appetite for pursuing new opportunities in emerging markets. Yet only a quarter of decision-makers in retail responded that this initiative was on their firms' agenda. It is clear that one approach doesn't fit all industries.
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Context Matters, And That Means Your Industry

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

It’s likely not news to you that your business context matters.  Your vendors and services providers must understand the reality you’re doing business in.  They’ve got to have the experience and knowledge to intelligently "speak the language" of your internal stakeholders, identify relevant insights, and recommend appropriate actions. And that means knowing the industry in which you operate.  And, that’s even more so for someone providing you with the insights you need to improve your business. 

Some of these industry differences include:

  • Top priorities. Although business priorities are often similar, each industry pursues them with varying levels of urgency. Decision-makers in retail see improving customer experience as a do-or-die requirement, with 80% reporting that it's a high priority over the next 12 months; in oil and gas, only 49% report that it's a key area of focus. Under intense competitive pressure, telecoms look to reinvent themselves: Over two-thirds of decision-makers report that improving innovation is a high priority, while only 47% in healthcare say it's a top initiative.
  • Strategic objectives. Strategies for growing revenue, a unanimous priority, vary greatly by industry. Decision-makers in the consumer goods industry emphasize acquiring new customers as well as launching and selling new products over retaining, upselling, and cross-selling to current customers. In contrast, decision-makers at financial services firms see enriching current customer relationships as key to growing revenues. Other verticals, like utilities and primary production, have a greater appetite for pursuing new opportunities in emerging markets. Yet only a quarter of decision-makers in retail responded that this initiative was on their firms' agenda. It is clear that one approach doesn't fit all industries.
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It's Here! Forrester's Consumer Privacy Segmentation

Fatemeh Khatibloo

For over a year now, I and several colleagues on our Technographics and Data teams have been working on a completely new way to understand consumers' complex feelings about privacy and personal data. The effort was inspired by Forrester's brand mission to challenge thinking, and lead change. We've been researching consumer privacy for a while now, but we wanted to bring it to life, and to provide our clients a way to assess their own customers' privacy sensitivities in order to best understand how to apply the frameworks we've developed over time.

Dozens of hours of survey design and data analysis later, I'm incredibly proud to introduce Forrester's Consumer Privacy Segmentation. We've defined four distinct segments of consumers, based on their attitudes and behaviors surrounding personal data collection and use:

Gina Fleming, my co-author and our Manager of Data Science, will soon write a post about the tremendous work she and her team did to develop this segmentation, but for now, I thought I'd share a few of my own big "a-has!" from the study.

  • Privacy isn't binary, no matter how much pundits try to convince you it is. Individuals have a nuanced sense of privacy, and the degrees to which it matters in certain circumstances. Our willingness to share data with others -- from people to government to businesses -- isn't static, and our motivations to share information vary widely. That said...
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Do You Have A Digital Intelligence Strategy That Will Win?

Cinny Little

Your digital intelligence strategy and implementation is struggling to keep up with your device-hopping customers.  You’re trying.   And it’s difficult – so many obstacles.   But you face the Digital Dilemma, introduced by colleague Nigel Fenwick:  your customers’expectations of digital experience keep rising.  When any digital experience they have with you doesn’t meet their expectations, their perception of the value your firm provides falls … which leads to risk of customers taking their business elsewhere.  Ouch.   So, tackle the Digital Dilemma head on.  Focus your digital intelligence strategy like a laser on the customer experiences that matter most to your business outcomes.  How?  With an actionable digital intelligence strategic plan.  Here are 3 of the key components your strategic plan must include.

1.       Align the plan to the right metrics and KPIs.  The optimal approach is to align measurement with customer-focused KPIs that stakeholders are already measured on.  Simple, but not necessarily easy.  But this is how you get that laser focus on the experiences that matter most to outcomes.

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How To Get Resources For Digital Intelligence

Cinny Little

Congrats.  You, like digital customer insights pros in many firms, continue to advance your ability to provide insights about your customers’ digital behavior.  However, you’re leaving money on the table. Too many digital analytics teams still operate in separate silos aligned with the firm’s channels and org chart, which means that you're not keeping up with today's device-hopping customers. You need to invest in changes that measure customers wherever they actually are, which is across all of your digital touchpoints. And to do that, you need an effective business case. 

A business case is not a blah, blah, blah checklist item.  No matter what your firm’s processes may be for budget requests, headcount requisition, or procurement, you need a management tool that tells the story of the business value you’ll deliver with the investment you’re requesting.   And that tool is a business case.  We’ve done the work to help you pull together an effective one. See the bottom of this post for a summary of the key elements you'll need.

Here’s where you’re heading with your business case.  Your analytics must mature to become what Forrester calls “digital intelligence” - a holistic view of your customers that drives continuous optimization of the digital customer experiences that matter most to business outcomes.   This integrated approach to your data and analytics technologies and practices reaps value such as growing sales by connecting customer data that lets you see across formerly siloed product lines or channels.  Visibility across channels enables insights that can drive improvement in holistic business metrics that matter, such as churn, lifetime value, customer satisfaction, efficiency.  Your business case will outline that holistic story.

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Fighting FOMO: Join The Customer Analytics Party

Brandon Purcell

The first U.S. presidential debate was the most watched in history, with 84 million people tuning in.  Sure, many of us wanted to educate ourselves before practicing our solemn duty as democratic citizens in November.  However, many of us also didn’t want to miss out on what (hopefully) promised to be a once in a lifetime political event .  We were motivated by FOMO.

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