Predict the future and analyze the present.
Shaku Selvakumar 060001XT47 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  websphere websphere_business_events bizagility business_agility ibmimpact bpm
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Part 3 of the Practical Innovation series contributed by Hessel Pijpker, WebSphere Business Integration Tiger Team and the WebSphere Netherlands team
The movie Minority Report – by Steven Spielberg takes place in the year 2054 – presents a reality where murders do not occur anymore. Three genetically modified psychic ‘precogs’ can seamlessly predict the future and thus catch the murderers even before they can commit a crime.
The Minority Report is a cool science fiction movie with an utopian character and a high level of popcorn entertainment. However the main idea in the movie – analyzing the future – is closer than we think. Also in 2011 we can already use precogs.
The precogs of 2011 – fortunately no genetically modified people but simply very advanced software programs – are not able to prevent all the murders yet. Nonetheless, they are able to analyze the real-time behavior of consumers in a manner that enables the prediction of their future actions. However this happens insufficiently or in an incorrect manner. As a consequence companies miss a pool of commercial opportunities. Despite the economic depression, today’s customers are prepared to spend money, but only on products that they really need. But to present the right product in the right format to customers, you must be able to predict their wishes.
Results from the past do not offer guarantees for the future.
Today’s precog software – better known as ‘Business Event Processing’ – is still in its early years. This is caused by the fact that marketers and business experts are busier analyzing statistic data from the past to understand customer behavior. They always see the data from a historical perspective. There is insufficient understanding and awareness, about the possibilities to analyze the dynamic present.
Of course a customers past does also provide insights into the future. However, this information is limited in several ways. First of all, the information is not up to date which causes a delayed picture of the reality. Besides that, the information is structured, which means that relations already have been made and new relations are no longer revealed. In the traditional Business Intelligence systems for example, it is possible to see if a customer recently placed less orders, or to see how the average order size decreased. Is this customer unhappy with the service? Is he doing business with a competitor? Often this means that you are already too late for action. This make the analysis very one dimensional, and as a result the vision of the future remains limited. By only analyzing the past, you will only partly understand your customers.
Understand the chaotic behavior of consumers
To serve the critical consumers, companies need to be able to look into the future. Structured information from the past is not enough. By analyzing a complex ecosystem consisting of separately related events that are now taking place, you will get a more complete image of the consumer. Why is a loyal customer suddenly not coming back? When will a customer unsubscribe? All of them are consumer patterns you can predict with Business Event Processing, and on which a company can respond by using personalized services.
For example, imagine the following situation - a customer is on your website, fills in an order, but does not press send and leaves the website. The next day he might visit your shop again, contacts the call center, or undertakes no action. When this pattern gets noticed, Business Event Processing is able to proactively initiate customer contact. Therefore they can offer assistance and with the next customer contact you could offer a small gift. This way an intelligent and coordinated front office exists that will use customer potential and will result in more customer satisfaction.
There is already much possible. And who knows, maybe in 2054 we will be able to offer our customers a product seconds before they would even think of it. A bright future!
Interested in finding out more? Some additional resources below.
IBM WebSphere Business Events V7.0 helps businesses detect, evaluate, and respond to the impact of business events based on the discovery of actionable event patterns. http://www-01.ibm.com/software/integration/wbe/
Whitepaper: The Business Value of Event Processing by MWD Research https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?source=sw-app&S_PKG=swg-kuo-bvep&S_TACT=109HE4TW&S_CMP=web_ibm_ws_bpm_cntr_wbeovw
Video: Maximize the value of business interactions with business events https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?lang=en_US&source=sw-app&S_PKG=maxvalbusint&S_TACT=109HE7DW&S_CMP=web_ibm_ws_bpm_ctr2_wbeovw
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