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Cracking the OI barrier

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On a busy Friday afternoon, a call from a high-value customer with an urgent problem is placed at the back of a slow moving call queue in your company’s call center. Following a 15 minute wait, he hangs up but calls again 10 minutes later only to be placed again at the end of the now longer queue. At this point, the customer is so frustrated that he seriously starts to question whether you deserve his business.

Most likely all the information needed to detect and understand what just happened is available in your company’s IT systems, but overwhelming odds are this activity is only registered as two missed calls and only the time the caller spent waiting is accounted for.

If possible, an organization would want to know about and immediately react to this scenario, or a stream of business activity as we like to call it. Typically the clever reaction would be a senior team member responsible for customer success placing a call to help protect the interest of the customer. The system and processes, however, needed to do so are in most cases not in place because of one or more of the following barriers:

1) Fragmented business data

Dedicated IT systems, typically, support different needs of an organization (billing, sales, accounting, CRM, telephone, website, etc), and hold only business data that is relevant to the operational scope of a particular purpose and are missing a common link to detect, and react to a scenario only relevant with real-time information from one or more additional sources. Although a data warehouse, as a part of an IT infrastructure, eventually becomes the final destination of most data, likely through updates scheduled to run hours apart throughout the day and night. When finally the picture is complete, valuable opportunities have faded away.

2) Technology deficit

The dire need for real-time data processing and analytics in a world of an ever-increasing volume of data collected from the Internet of Things (IoT), direct digital communications with customers, and data-driven operations, is most likely a fairly recent, unresolved challenge of most business operations.

3) Size of investment

Several open-source solutions for a real-time analysis of data streams are not always expensive but paid or “free”, the implementation of such systems into your technical infrastructure is not trivial. Projects of this nature require the acquisition of expensive resources with competence in fields still foreign to most businesses as most data streaming platforms have a complex architecture and rely on programming or query languages currently not widely used. Project in the data streaming paradigm can be quite different from what an already thinly spread IT resources are taking on and with the addition of an analyst who makes sense of how and where to look for insights the investment is already substantial. Then there is the strain on other resources during implementation and the need for a continuous development and maintenance of both infrastructure and business practices.

Activity Stream: Everybody’s perfect assistant

Activity Stream is designed to provide a practical and efficient solution for an organization to start making the most of their business data with the least amount of time and expense possible.

Activity Stream is a next-generation business intelligence solution that continuously monitors and analyzes business events taking place in your IT systems to give you a 360° real-time view of what is happening within your company and alerts you of things that need attention. We are not only a management reporting tool but a solution specifically designed to make every employee in your organization more productive and informed.

To provide actionable intelligence to the right employee at the right time, we continuously analyze your business data using various techniques from machine learning, complex event processing, and data science. This is frequently called Operational Intelligence (OI), which Wikipedia defines as:

“… a category of real-time dynamic, business analytics that delivers visibility and insight into data, streaming events and business operations.”

Activity Stream approaches OI in a broad way, focusing not only on what is happening right now but also monitoring and analyzing processes that have long life-cycles. This allows us to extract as much value from business data as possible for your benefit. To name a few examples, our range of capabilities covers everything from detecting situations like the one described above, catching a suspicious online purchase that might be fraudulent, and suggesting a reaction to under-performing sales of a product variant.

Our OI team, which consists of experienced artificial intelligence and data science experts, is constantly working on new ways to tease business value out of your data using the latest techniques from machine learning and other relevant fields commonly referred to as Artificial Intelligence. The rate of progress in these areas is at an all-time high as witnessed by several new innovative applications in recent years that empower us or improve our lives in one way or another. Whether it’s automated personal assistants, reliable speech recognition, machine language translation, curating personalized content like news or even self-driving cars, all of these tasks can be automated today at a level of reliability and accuracy that was the stuff of science fiction only a few short years ago. We closely monitor cutting-edge results from the latest research in order to acquire new tools and techniques to let you generate as much value from your business data as possible.