Data-Driven Customer Engagement Is a Mindset, Not a Toolset

Posted by Ishan Kumar on 9/1/16 9:16 AM

Jon Singleton is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of DatumLabs. He has almost two decades of experience designing and implementing database solutions across multiple platforms, for Fortune 500 companies including Automotive, Healthcare, Pet Nutrition, Digital and Direct Marketing Agencies, Technology, Finance, Sports and Retail. 

UnboundID: Many companies are striving to gain a single view of the customer or close to it. What are the data management challenges behind this?

Singleton: It requires a master data management (MDM) process. Implementing MDM in an enterprise is really hard, which is why people don’t want to do it. The challenges stem from the systems they use to compliance needs and defined IT processes. It’s not just the data itself but dealing with the processes that protect the data and manage the data’s movement. When you deal with decision-makers to get budget, they often think about MDM as an out-of-the-box solution, but MDM is not just a toolset. It is a mindset and a combination of processes applied across the enterprise and different data stores to accomplish the MDM goals. Clients with the most success focus on what they want to accomplish, and how can they set things up from a data standpoint to accomplish that. Once they talk through those factors and determine what they want for ROI, selling internally becomes a lot easier.

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Topics: Big Data, Security Best Practices, Expert Interviews

Why You'll Regret DIY Customer Identity Management

Posted by Keri LeBlanc on 7/14/16 9:00 AM

Digital business is rapidly changing identity management. In the past, organizations only had to focus on managing workforce identities. Today this scope has expanded to managing millions of customer identities in support of new mobile apps and digital services—and the requirements are entirely different. From extreme scale fluctuations (like holiday sales spikes) to complex data security and privacy policies, customer identity management demands more capabilities.

It can be tempting to opt for a homegrown solution when evaluating customer data management solutions. A do-it-yourself identity management solution built with a NoSQL database is attractive. These big data systems can be simple to deploy and they are often cheap, or even free. Developers, in particular, are drawn to them because NoSQL is schema-less, it’s easy to write apps in this environment, and these databases can be deployed in the cloud. Plus, they offer infinite scalability. What’s not to love?

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Topics: Big Data, Consumer Identity and Access Management, Videos

Big Data Is Not an IT Trend; It's Business

Posted by Ishan Kumar on 11/24/15 8:30 AM

Phil Simon is a frequent keynote speaker and recognized technology authority. He is the award-winning author of seven management books, most recently Message Not Received. He consults organizations on matters related to communications, strategy, data, and technology. His contributions have been featured on The Harvard Business Review, CNN, Wired, NBC, CNBC, Inc. Magazine, BusinessWeek, The Huffington Post, Quartz, The New York Times, Fox News, and many other sites.

UnboundID: Big Data has been a big IT trend for a few years now. But what sets apart those companies great at it and those who aren’t?

Simon: Big Data is not an IT trend. If you say it’s an IT trend, then lines of business don’t think they are involved. Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google all excel at this. It starts at the top and in these companies, the CEO really gets it. The companies that do Big Data well don’t go out and buy a bunch of technology and hope that it works. They see the need for accountability.

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Topics: Big Data, Expert Interviews

From Access to Customer Engagement: The Evolution of Identity Management

Posted by Chris Surdak on 10/19/15 12:22 PM

In the hyper-interconnected, instant-gratification, appified world that we all live in, it’s more important than ever for organizations to be able to engage deeply with their customers. In the past organizations maintained identity management systems that were primarily systems of access. They ensured that users were who they said they were, and allowed them appropriate access to appropriate systems. These solutions were adequate for most organizations through the ages of the mainframe, client server and the early days of the Internet.

In the late Internet and then social/mobile era, these systems of access are rapidly being replaced by systems of engagement; where the entire experience delivered to users is generated dynamically. We now expect organizations that serve us to know us intimately, to understand our wants, needs and desires, and to deliver to us exactly what we want, exactly when we want it. Indeed, we’re now starting to expect our needs to be met predictively, before we even know that we have them. And, once one organization starts to deliver what we want in this manner, we’re ruined for anything less.

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Topics: Big Data, Customer Experience, Expert Interviews

Making the Most of Customer Data to Improve Customer Experience

Posted by Michael Tarbet on 10/16/15 10:46 AM

The digital world of mobile apps, the web and social media is generating vast amounts of customer data at a rate organizations have never encountered before. Termed the "Data Crush" by data industry expert Chris Surdak, this phenomenon is fundamentally changing the relationship between customers and businesses.

Customers realize that with every mouse click and screen tap, companies can collect their information, but they expect businesses to use it to treat them as individuals, with a personalized experience. Companies that think of customers as mass audiences are missing out on opportunities to not only grow revenue, but to expand their brand with innovative products and services precisely aligned to customer needs and wants. As digital interactions become increasingly entrenched in consumer behavior, the brands that don't provide meaningful, personalized engagement will fall further behind.

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Topics: Big Data, Customer Experience

The CIO's Changing Relationship with Customers

Posted by Dave Malcolm on 10/14/15 10:00 AM

Martha Heller is President of Heller Search Associates, an IT executive recruiting firm specializing in CIO, CTO and senior technology roles across all industries, and author of the book, The CIO Paradox: Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership

UnboundID: Recently, you wrote about IT consumers and how CIOs need to convert them into investment partners. How should a CIO view the IT consumer versus the external consumer?

Heller: First let me set the stage a little bit. Back in the ‘70s, IT was a mainframe.No one really cared about it and only a couple of people had a key to the room where the mainframe was housed. 

Over time, IT installed some big systems that a few people in the company used, like finance and operations. Fast-forward to today and everyone is a consumer of IT. Employees are using all the tools all the time. It’s been such a rapid revolution in the adoption of technology that IT has never had the opportunity to evolve into a comfortable integration with the rest of the business. That has now led to shadow IT and all these weird notions. That’s not healthy, when people are going behind the CIO’s back. CIOs should be responsible for driving adoption of technology across the business. It’s interesting that finance has developed a good relationship with the business, but not IT. A related problem is that IT departments now have every skill set under the sun. When something becomes everything, is it anything? Companies are working hard to redefine IT and determine its operating model.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Management, Expert Interviews

The Promise of Big Data Is Finding the Needle in the Haystack

Posted by Caroline Castrillon on 8/21/15 10:24 AM

Jyothi Swaroop is a product marketing executive at a large enterprise technology vendor. He has worked in enterprise software marketing and business development at companies including RainStor (acquired by Teradata) and Oracle.

UnboundID: What are some of the capabilities that enterprises are looking for right now when it comes to supporting consumer big data solutions?

Swaroop: There are four different ones at a high level. The first one is storing data at scale. Companies need to be able to store petabytes of data without spending a ton of money. The second capability is analyzing the data. The third is securing that data and ensuring that it’s not accessed by unauthorized users. Last but not least, is performance. If you run a query against big data, the response needs to come back in time to make a decision that can have an impact on your business.

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Topics: Big Data, Expert Interviews

How to Get the Most Out of Big Data

Posted by Emeka Obianwu on 5/12/15 9:56 AM

Claudia Imhoff, PhD, is President of Intelligent Solutions, Inc. , a professional services firm that helps clients plan, design, and execute their BI and CRM initiatives. She is also founder of The Boulder Business Intelligence Brain Trust, a consortium of 185 independent analysts and consultants, has co-authored five books, and writes regularly for technical and business magazines.

UnboundID: What are some top trends going on right now in customer analytics? 

Imhoff: The first one is the ability of business users to serve themselves, create their own reports, and present the data in their own portals and dashboards. Companies are moving toward the reality that they can’t have week-old data so they’ve got to keep up with these rapid customer data algorithms. That leads to the second trend of obtaining analytics on fresher and fresher data. You don’t want to wait 24 hours for campaign results--you need it in minutes or seconds. If customers aren’t buying on a certain channel you want to know why so that you can shift plans. Finally supply and demand chains are acquiring more oversight, so that companies can meet demand as it changes. There’s now the ability to predict demand with accuracy, and that has improved the whole supply chain management side of things.

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Topics: Big Data, Expert Interviews

Counter Big Data Paranoia With Little Data Optimism

Posted by Bjorn Aannestad on 10/30/13 11:43 AM

We covered the idea of "Little Data" in a previous post on this blog, and this week our Director of Corporate Marketing, Kami Haynes, was published on the Direct Marketing News site with an article titled "Counter Big Data Paranoia With Little Data Optimism".

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Topics: Big Data, Privacy and Preference Management

Just Because They Say We Are Anonymous, Are We?

Posted by Neil Wilson on 7/24/13 4:00 AM

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Topics: Big Data, Privacy and Preference Management