Why The “Always On Customer Brain” is Big Data in Action

Pegasystems held its PegaWORLD Conference this week (June 2015) with excellent keynotes showcasing today’s leading big data, analytics solutions for sales and marketing.

In the “The Always On Customer Brain“(1), Dr. Rob Walker, Pegasystems, presented the future of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as an enterprise brain, leveraging big data, analytics and automated decision-making systems:

The Customer Brain is evolving, it’s learning…and it’s not the human brain.  It’s not the brain of a customer.  It’s an enterprise brain, worrying about customers.

This “brain” can now listen to very granular events that come in with very high velocity.  And it never forgets anything.

Listening to these millions of interactions, this “brain” is discerning different patterns…and that’s what it uses…to choose between different actions.

Dr. Walker shows compellingly how big data is combined with deep learning algorithms to sense customers’ needs and automatically present the next best actions.  These interactions happen in the retail environment each and every day – and these new solutions are scaling them to include today’s fully digital environments as well.

Christian Nellisen, The Data Guy, Royal Bank of Scotland, described the RBS experience and reflected on the Branch Managers of the ’70s:  as the business evolved and became more complex through the multiple new channels the bank serves its customers, the Branch Manager role essentially couldn’t keep up in a cost effective manner.  Nellisen described a period of suffering without the Branch Manager and, in bringing back the service qualities from intimate customer knowledge, he showcased the customer service capabilities RBS has today:

Customers want to be known individually.  Most of our customer interactions aren’t with a human…What we’re building, using the data that we have and our decisioning capability, a replacement for our Branch Managers.  We’re created an environment where we know our customers individually and we’re having one-to-one conversations with them about what’s right for them.

With an integrated set of customer data, including customer social data, RBS has built a system to present the customer with the ‘next best action’ and that the next best action is in the customers’ best interest.

The analogy of the “enterprise brain, worrying about customers” illustrates the power of combining big data with leading edge digitally automated processes.  Examples such as the new automated RBS ‘branch manager’ for deciding next best actions show how the solutions can scale across channels and the entire customer base.

Keep the conversation going. Connect with me on LinkedIn.  Follow me at Twitter @alanwunsche (bit.ly/alanwunsche) and @algonomic


1. “The Always On Customer Brain“, presented by Dr. Rob Walker, VP Decision Management and Analytics Pegasystems, and Christian Nelissen, The Data Guy, RBS.

Today’s customers expect organizations to provide relevant, consistent and personalized experiences in all phases of their engagement journey. To do this, you need an evolved CRM system, one with a brain at its center that leverages Big Data, is analytical, learns, contextually adapts, manages your decision making across all your strategic customer relationship applications and choreographs your actions. Pegasystems’ Vice President for Decision Management and Analytics, Rob Walker, will explain how the Customer Decision Hub can play this role, and increase the effectiveness of your customer interactions in all channels – leading to optimal experiences for your customers and vastly improved value to your company. Christian Nelissen, The Data Guy, will show how RBS is using this concept to transform the way the bank interacts with customers to deliver the personalized customer experience of the 1970’s at the scale and complexity of today.

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