Category Archives: Data Integration

Learn to Put Your Data to Work

Healthcaredata

Put Your Data to Work

Informatica recently released the findings of a survey (entitled “Data is Holding You Back from Analytics Success”) in which respondents revealed that 85% of are effective at putting financial data to use to inform decision making.  However, it also discovered that many are less confident about putting data to use to inform patient engagement initiatives that require access to external data and big data, which they note to be more challenging.

The idea is that data unto itself does not carry that much value.  For example, I’ve been gathering data with my fitbit for over 90 days.  A use of that data could be to looking at patterns that might indicate I’m more likely to have heart attack.  However, this can only be determined if we compare my data with external historical patient data that exists in a large analytical database (big data).

The external data provides the known patterns that lead to known outcomes.  Thus, when compared with my data, predictive analytics can occur.  In other words, we can use data integration as a way to mash up and analyze the data so it has more meaning and value.  In this case, perhaps having me avoid a future heart attack.

Inter-organizational transformational business processes require information sharing between data sources, and yet, according to the Informatica Survey, over 65% of respondents say data integration and data quality are significantly challenging.  Thus, healthcare providers collect data, but many have yet to integrate these data silos to realize its full potential.

Indeed, the International Institute of Analytics, offered a view of the healthcare analytics maturity by looking at more than 20 healthcare provider organizations.  The study validated the fact that, while healthcare providers are indeed gathering the EMR data, they are not acting upon the data in meaningful ways.

The core problem is a lack of understanding of the value that this data can bring.  Or, perhaps the lack of a budget for the right technology.  Much as my Fitbit could help me prevent a future heart attack by tracking my activity data, healthcare providers can use their data to become more proactive around health issues.

Better utilization of this data will reduce costs by leveraging predictive analytics to take more preventative measures.  For instance, automatically culling through the family tree of a patient to determine risks for cancer, heart disease, etc., and automatically scheduling specific kinds of tests that are not normally given unless the patient is symptomatic.

Of course, putting your data to work is not free.  It’s going to take some level of effort to create strategies, and acquire and deploy data integration technology.  However, the benefits are easy to define, thus the business case is easy to create as well.

For myself, I’ll keep gathering data.  Hopefully it will have some use, someday.

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(Re)Thinking Data Security Strategy

Data Security Strategy

Rethinking Data Security Strategy

Data security is usually something people only think about when they get hacked, a place they do business with gets hacked, or they lose their credit card or wallet. It is just human nature to not worry about things that you cannot see and that seem to be well at hand. Instead I would suggest every company (and person) take just 15 minutes once a month to think about the below items that need to be part of their data security strategy.

Data security is a complex issue with many facets. I will skip past how you create and use passwords as that is the one area that gets a lot of focus. With the now well accepted use of SaaS and cloud based technologies by companies and people in their personal lives it is also time that people take a few moments to consider just how their data is secured or in some cases at risk.

Data centric security. Traditionally enterprise security has focused on access issues. What can be accessed from where and by who. The problem with this often walled garden approach is that when it comes to data these technologies and procedures do not take into account the common use cases of data usage. Most data security programs are also really outdated in a world where the majority of companies are using systems they do not own or directly manage (e.g. SaaS, Cloud, Mobile) or all the different types of data that are being created by people, systems and applications. Many enterprise security strategies need to move from focusing on access to include data usage and the ontology of data being used.

Question: Does your company have a modern enterprise security strategy or a walled garden approach?

Data about data. Long ago to make it easier to store, search and retrieve data people figured out that adding descriptive information about what is in the data file would be useful. Metadata is the actual term and it is no different than the labels people would put on a file to hold papers before we started moving everything to software based storage. The problem is that metadata has really grown and it can provide ways for people to learn a lot of personal, business and proprietary information without even getting access to the underlying information file. The richer the meta-data the more business or personal risk is created by possibly exposing information without actually exposing the underlying data.

Question: Are you accidentally exposing sensitive information in your metadata?

At rest data. The reason they use to say keep your tax records for 3 years and then destroy them is because people stored everything in file cabinets, drawers, or under a mattress. Some people do still like physical records but for most people and companies data is stored electronically and has been for a long time. The addition of SaaS and cloud based solutions adds a new wrinkle because the data is stored somewhere that you do not necessarily have direct access. And in many cases the data is stored multiple times if it is archived or backed up. Even when data is deleted in many cases it is not really gone because with the right technology data can be recovered if it was not fully deleted off the storage system that was used.

Question: Do you know where your data is stored? Archived? Backed up?

Question: Do you know how you would dispose of sensitive data that is no longer needed?

In flight data. No, this is not the Wi-Fi on the airplane. This is literally the data and meta-data that as they are being used by applications in the regular course of business. The issue is that while the data is being transmitted it could be at risk. This is one reason that people are warned to be careful of how they use public Wi-Fi because any decent hacker can see all the data on the network. (yes, really is that easy). Another enterprise issue that often needs to be dealt with is data cleaning in order to reduce duplicates or errors in data. A problem that occurs is how to do this with sensitive data that you do not want the developers or IT staff actually seeing. (e.g. HR or financial records).

Question: How does your company safe guard transactional and in flight data?

Question: Does your company use data masking and cleansing technology to safe guard in flight data?

Data Security Strategy

Rethinking Data Security Strategy

Data. Yes, the actual data or information that you care about or just store because it is so easy. I would recommend that companies look holistically at their data and think of it across it’s lifecycle. In this approach the data risks should be identified for how it is stored, used, transmitted, exposed internally or externally, and integrated or accessed for data integration. There are some new and interesting solutions coming to market that go beyond traditional data security, masking, and cleansing to help identify and access data security risks in the area of Security Intelligence. The concepts of Security Intelligence are solutions that are meant to create a measurement of security risk and identify issues so that they can a) be addressed before becoming a big problem b) automated procedures can be put in place to improve the level of security or bring solution up to the desired level of security .

One example is a new solution from Informatica called Secure@Source, which is just coming to market. This is a solution that is meant to provide automated analysis for enterprises so they can determine data risks so they can make improvements and then put in place new policies and automated procedures so that the desired level of data security is maintained. There have been similar solutions used for network security for years but these newer solutions while using similar approaches are now dealing with the more specific issues of data security.

Question: What is your company doing to proactively assess and manage data risk? Are you a good candidate for a security intelligence approach?

Data security is an important issue that all companies should have a strategy. While this is not meant to be an all encompassing list it is a good starting place for a discussion. Stay secure. Don’t be the next company in the news with a data security issue.

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Posted in Architects, Big Data, Business Impact / Benefits, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Enterprise Data Management, Master Data Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Come to Informatica World 2015 and Advance Your Career

INFA15- Data Integration

Come to Informatica World 2015 and Advance Your Career

5 Reasons Data Integration Professionals Absolutely Must Not Miss This Informatica World.

If you are a Data Integration or Data Management professional, you really cannot afford to miss this event.  This year’s theme in the Data Integration track at Informatica World is all about customers.  Over 50 customers will be sharing their experiences and best practices for succeeding with for data integration projects such as analytics, big data, application consolidation and migration, and much more.

If you still need convincing, here are the five reasons:

  1. Big Data:A special Big Data Summit is part of the track.
  2. Immediate Value:over 50 customers will be sharing their experience and best practices. Things you can start doing now to improve your organization.
  3. Architecture for Business Transformation. An architecture track focused on practical approaches for using architecture to enable business transformation, with specific examples and real customer experiences.
  4. Hands on Labs:Everybody loves them. This year we have even more. Sign up early to make sure that you get your choice. They go fast!
  5. New “Meet the Experts” Sessions:These are small group meetings for business-level discussions around subjects like big data, analytics, application consolidation, and more.

This truly will be a one-stop shop for all things data integration at Informatica World.  The pace of both competition and technology change is accelerating.  Attend this event to stay on top of what is happening in the word of data integration and how leading companies and experts are using data for competitive advantage within their organizations.

To help start your planning, here is a listing of the Data Integration, Architecture, and Big Data Sessions this year.  I hope to see you there.

QUICK GUIDE

DATA INTEGRATION AND BIG DATA at INFORMATICA WORLD 2015

Breakout Sessions, Tuesday, May 13

Session Time Location
Accelerating Business Value Delivery with Informatica Platform  (Architect Track Keynote) 10:45am – 11:15am Gracia 6
How to Support Real Time Data Integration Projects with PowerCenter (Grant Thornton) 1:30pm – 2:30pm Gracia 2
Knowledgent 11:30am – 12:15pm Gracia 8
Putting Big Data to Work to Make Cancer History at MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) 11:30am – 12:15pm Gracia 4
Modernize your Data Architecture for Speed, Efficiency, and Scalability 11:30am – 12:15pm Castellana 1
An Architectural Approach to Data as an Asset (Cisco) 11:30am – 12:15pm Gracia 6
Accenture 11:30am – 12:15pm Gracia 2
Architectures for Next-Generation Analytics 1:30pm – 2:30pm Gracia 6
Informatica Marketplace (Tamara Strifler) 1:30pm – 2:30pm Gracia 4
Informatica Big Data Ready Summit: Keynote Address (Anil Chakravarthy, EVP and Chief Product Officer) 1:40 – 2:25 Castellana 1
Big Data Keynote: Tom Davenport, Distinguished Professor in Management and Information Technology, Babson College 2:30 – 3:15 Castellana 1
How to Test and Monitor Your Critical Business Processes with PowerCenter (Discount Tire, AT&T) 2:40pm – 3:25pm Gracia 2
Enhancing Consumer Experiences with Informatica Data Integration Hub (Humana) 2:40pm – 3:25pm Gracia 4
Business Transformation:  The Case for Information Architecture (Cisco) 2:40pm – 3:25pm Gracia 6
Succeeding with Big Data and Avoiding Pitfalls (CapGemini, Cloudera, Cognizant, Hortonworks) 3:15 – 3:30
What’s New in B2B Data Exchange: Self-Service Integration of 3rd Party Partner Data (BMC Software) 3:35pm – 4:20pm Gracia 2
PowerCenter Developer:  Mapping Development Tips & Tricks 3:35pm – 4:20pm Gracia 4
Modernize Your Application Architecture and Boost Your Business Agility (Mototak Consulting) 3:35pm – 4:20pm Gracia 6
The Big Data Journey: Traditional BI to Next Gen Analytics (Johnson&Johnson, Transamerica, Devon Energy, KPN) 4:15 – 4:30 Castellana 1
L&T Infotech 4:30 – 5:30 Gracia 2
What’s New in PowerCenter, PowerCenter Express and PowerExchange? 4:30 – 5:30 Gracia 4
Next-Generation Analytics Architecture for the Year 2020 4:30 – 5:30 Gracia 6
Accelerate Big Data Projects with Informatica (Jeff Rydz) 4:35 – 5:20 Castellana 1
Big DataMichael J. Franklin, Professor of Computer Science, UC Berkeley 5:20 -5:30 Castellana 1
  • Informatica World Pavilion5:15 PM – 8:00 PM

Breakout Sessions, Wednesday, May 14

Session Time Location
How Mastercard is using a Data Hub to Broker Analytics Data Distribution (Mastercard) 2:00pm – 2:45pm Gracia 2
Cause: Business and IT Collaboration Effect: Cleveland Clinic Executive Dashboard (Cleveland Clinic) 2:00pm – 2:45pm Castellana 1
Application Consolidation & Migration Best Practices: Customer Panel (Discount Tire, Cisco, Verizon) 2:55pm – 3:55pm Gracia 2
Big Data Integration Pipelines at Cox Automotive (Cox Automotive) 2:55pm – 3:55pm Gracia 4
Performance Tuning for PowerCenter and Informatica Data Services 2:55pm – 3:55pm Gracia 6
US Bank and Cognizant 2:55pm – 3:55pm Castellana 1
Analytics architecture (Teradata, Hortonworks) 4:05pm – 4:50pm Gracia 4
A Case Study in Application Consolidation and Modernization—Migrating from Ab Initio to Informatica (Kaiser Permanente) 4:05pm – 4:50pm Castellana 1
Monetize Your Data With Hadoop and Agile Data Integration (AT&T) 4:05pm – 4:50pm Gracia 2
How to Enable Advanced Scaling and Metadata Management with PowerCenter (PayPal) 5:00pm – 5:45pm Castellana 1
How Verizon is consolidating 50+ legacy systems into a modern application architecture, optimizing Verizon’s enterprise sales and delivery process (Verizon) 5:00pm – 5:45pm Gracia 6
A guided tour to one of the most complex Informatica Installations worldwide (HP) 5:00pm – 5:45pm Gracia 2
Integration with Hadoop:  Best Practices for mapping development using Big Data Edition 5:00pm – 5:45pm Gracia 4

Meet The Experts Sessions, Wednesday, May 14

Session Time Location
Meet the Expert: App Consolidation – Driving Greater Business Agility and Reducing Costs Through Application Consolidation and Migration (Roger Nolan) 12:00pm – 12:50pm, 1:00pm – 1:50pm and 2:55pm – 3:55pm Castelena 2
Meet the Expert: Big Data – Delivering on the Promise of Big Data Analytics (John Haddad) 12:00pm – 12:50pm, 1:00pm – 1:50pm and 2:55pm – 3:55pm Castelena 2
Meet the Expert: Architect – Laying the Architectural Foundation for the Data-Driven Enterprise (David Lyle) 12:00pm – 12:50pm, 1:00pm – 1:50pm and 2:55pm – 3:55pm Castelena 2
  • Informatica World Pavilion11:45 PM – 2:00 PM

Breakout Sessions, Thursday, May 15

Session Time Location
Enterprise Architecture and Business Transformation Panel  (Cisco) 9:00am – 10:00am Gracia 6
The Data Lifecycle: From infancy through retirement, how Informatica can help (Mototak Consulting) 9:00am – 10:00am Gracia 4
How Allied Solutions Streamlined Customer Data Integration using B2B Data Exchange (Allied Solutions) 9:00am – 10:00am Gracia 2
How the State of Washington and Michigan State University are Delivering Integration as a Service (Michigan State University, Washington State Department of Enterprise Services) 9:00am – 10:00am Gracia 1
Real Time Big Data Streaming Analytics (PRA Group) 10:10am – 11:10am Gracia 1
Extending and Modernizing Enterprise Data Architectures (Philip Russom, TDWI) 10:10am – 11:10am Gracia 4
Best Practices for Saving Millions by Offloading ETL/ELT to Hadoop with Big Data Edition and Vibe Data Stream (Cisco) 10:10am – 11:10am Gracia 2
Retire Legacy Applications – Improve Your Bottom-Line While Managing Compliance (Cisco) 11:20am – 12:20pm Gracia 4
How a Data Hub Reduces Complexity, Cost and Risk for Data Integration Projects 11:20am – 12:20pm Gracia 1
Title? (Cap Gemini) 11:20am – 12:20pm Gracia 2
What’s New in PowerCenter, PowerCenter Express and PowerExchange? 2:30pm – 3:30pm Gracia 4
Title?  Keyur Desai 2:30pm – 3:30pm Gracia 2
How to run PowerCenter & Big Data Edition on AWS & connect Data as a Service (Customer) 2:30pm – 3:30pm Gracia 1
Accelerating Business with Near-Realtime Architectures 2:30pm – 3:30pm Gracia 6
  • Informatica World Pavillion12:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Hands-On Labs

Session Time Location
General Interest
PowerCenter 9.6.1 Upgrade 1 Table 01
PowerCenter 9.6.1 Upgrade 2 (repeat) Table 02
PowerCenter Advanced Edition – High Availability & Grid Mon 1:00, 3:00
Tue 7:30, 11:45, 2:40, 4:25
Wed 10:45, 12:45, 2:55, 5:00, 7:00
Thu 9:00, 11:20, 1:15
Fri 7:30, 9:30, 11:30
Table 03a
PowerCenter Advanced Edition – Metadata Manager & Business Glossary Mon 2:00, 4:00
Tue 10:45, 1:45, 3:35
Wed 7:30, 11:45, 2:00, 4:05, 6:00
Thu 7:30, 10:10, 12:15, 2:15
Fri 8:30, 10:30
Table 03b
Data Archive Mon 1:00, 3:00
Tue 7:30, 11:45, 2:40, 4:25
Wed 10:45, 12:45, 2:55, 5:00, 7:00
Thu 9:00, 11:20, 1:15
Fri 7:30, 9:30, 11:30
Table 06a
Test Data Management Mon 2:00, 4:00
Tue 10:45, 1:45, 3:35
Wed 7:30, 11:45, 2:00, 4:05, 6:00
Thu 7:30, 10:10, 12:15, 2:15
Fri 8:30, 10:30
Table 06b
Analytics- Related
PowerCenter Big Data Edition – Delivering on the Promise of Big Data Analytics All other times not taken by 11b. Table 11a
Elastic Analytics:  Big Data Edition in the Cloud Mon 4:00
Tue 11:45, 3:35
Wed 12:45, 5:00, 7:00
Thu  9:00;1:15;2:15
Fri 10:30
Table 11b
Greater Agility and Business-IT Collaboration using Data Virtualization Mon 1:00, 3:00
Tue 7:30, 11:45, 2:40, 4:25
Wed 10:45, 12:45, 2:55, 5:00, 7:00
Thu 9:00, 11:20, 1:15
Fri 7:30, 9:30, 11:30
Table 12a
Boosting your performance and productivity with Informatica Developer Mon 2:00, 4:00
Tue 10:45, 1:45, 3:35
Wed 7:30, 11:45, 2:00, 4:05, 6:00
Thu 7:30, 10:10, 12:15, 2:15
Fri 8:30, 10:30
Table 12b
Democratizing your Data through the Informatica Data Lake Table 13
Enabling Self-Service Analytics with Informatica Rev Table 14
Real-time Data Integration: PowerCenter Architecture & Implementation Considerations Monday 1pm
Tuesday 7:30am, 1:45pm
Wed 7:30, 2:00, 4:05
Thu 9am, 11:20am
Fri 8:30am
Table 15a
Real-time Data Integration: PowerExchange CDC on z/OS Monday 2pm
Tue 10:45, 2:40
Wed 10:45, 5pm
Thu 12:15pm
Fri 9:30am
Table 15b
Real-time Data Integration: PowerExchange CDC on i5/OS Monday 3pm
Tuesday 3:35pm
Wed 11:45am, 6pm
Thu 1:15pm
Fri 10:30am
Table 15c
Real-time Data Integration: PowerExchange CDC for Relational (Oracle, DB2, MS-SQL) Mon 4pm
Tue 11:45am, 4:25pm
Wed 12:45pm, 2:55pm, 7pm
Thu 7:30am, 10:10am, 2:15pm
Fri 7:30am, 11:30am
Table 15d
Healthcare Data Management and Modernization for Healthcare Providers Table 16
Data Management of Machine Data & Internet of Things Mon 1:00, 3:00
Tue 7:30, 11:45, 2:40, 4:25
Wed 10:45, 12:45, 2:55, 5:00, 7:00
Thu 9:00, 11:20, 1:15
Fri 7:30, 9:30, 11:30
Table 17a
Handling Complex Data Types with B2B Data Transformation Mon 2:00, 4:00
Tue 10:45, 1:45, 3:35
Wed 7:30, 11:45, 2:00, 4:05, 6:00
Thu 7:30, 10:10, 12:15, 2:15
Fri 8:30, 10:30
Table 17b
Application Consolidation & Migration Related
Simplifying Complex Data Integrations with Data Integration Hub Table 18
Implementing Trading Partner Integration with B2B Data Exchange Table 19
Operationalizing and Scaling your PowerCenter Environment Mon 1pm, 2pm
Tue 7:30, 10:45, 2:40, 3:35
Wed 10:45, 12:45, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm
Thu 7:30, 9am, 11:20, 1:15
Fri 7:30, 9:30, 11:30
Table 20a
Effective Operations management and Administration – What’s New M: 3:00 – 3:45pm
4:00 – 4:45pm
Tu: 11:45 – 12:30pm
1:45 – 2:30pm
4:25 – 5:15pm
W: 7:30 – 8:15am
11:45 – 12:30pm
2:55 – 3:40pm
4:05 – 4:50pm
Th: 10:10 – 10:55am
12:15 – 1:00pm
2:15 – 3:00pm
F:  8:30 – 9:15am
10:30 – 11:15am
Table 20b
Getting the Most out of your Data Integration & Data Quality Platform – Performance and Scalability Tips & Tricks Mon 1:00, 3:00
Tue 7:30, 11:45, 2:40, 4:25
Wed 10:45, 12:45, 2:55, 5:00, 7:00
Thu 9:00, 11:20, 1:15
Fri 7:30, 9:30, 11:30
Table 21a
Getting the Most out of your BigData Edition – Performance Best Practices Mon 2:00, 4:00
Tue 10:45, 1:45, 3:35
Wed 7:30, 11:45, 2:00, 4:05, 6:00
Thu 7:30, 10:10, 12:15, 2:15
Fri 8:30, 10:30
Table 21b
Modernizing and Consolidating Legacy and Application Data: Leveraging Data Services, Data Quality and Data Explorer Mon 1:00
Tue 10:45,  2:40, 4:25
Wed 10:45, 2:00, 2:55, 4:05, 7:00
Thu 11:20, 2:15 PM
Fri  9:30AM, 10:30AM
Table 22a
Connect to *: Connectivity to Long Tail of Next Generation Data Sources Mon 2:00, 3:00pm
Tue  7:30AM, 11:45, 1:45
Wed 7:30AM,  12:45pm,, 5:00pm
Thu 9:00am, 10:10am, 1:15pm
Fri 7:30am,8:30AM,
Table 22b
Modernizing and Consolidating Legacy and Application Data with PowerExchange Mainframe and CDC Mon 4:00PM
Tue 3:35
Wed 11:45, 6:00
Thu 7:30AM, 12:15, 2:15
Fri 11:30
Table 22c
Retire Legacy Applications and Optimize Application Performance with Informatica Data Archive Table 23
Protect Salesforce Sandboxes with Cloud Data Masking Tue 3:35, 4:25
Wed 6:00, 7:00
Thu 1:15, 2:15
Fri 7:30
Table 24a
Optimally Provision Test Data Sets with Test Data Management Mon: all times Monday
Tues: 7:30,10:45, 11:45, 1:45, 2:40
Wed: 7:30, 10:45, 11:45, 12:45, 2:00, 2:55, 4:05, 5:00
Thurs: 7:30, 9:00, 10:10, 11:20, 12:15
Fri: 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30
Table 24b
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Great Customer Experiences Start with Great Customer Data

TCRM

Are your customer-facing teams empowered with the great customer data they need to deliver great customer experiences?

On Saturday, I got a call from my broadband company on my mobile phone. The sales rep pitched a great limited-time offer for new customers. I asked him whether I could take advantage of this great offer as well, even though I am an existing customer. He was surprised.  “Oh, you’re an existing customer,” he said, dismissively. “No, this offer doesn’t apply to you. It’s for new customers only. Sorry.” You can imagine my annoyance.

If this company had built a solid foundation of customer data, the sales rep would have had a customer profile rich with clean, consistent, and connected information as reference. If he had visibility into my total customer relationship with his company, he’d know that I’m a loyal customer with two current service subscriptions. He’d know that my husband and I have been customers for 10 years at our current address. On top of that, he’d know we both subscribed to their services while live at separate addresses before we were married.

Unfortunately, his company didn’t arm him with the great customer data he needs to be successful. If they had, he could have taken the opportunity to offer me one of the four services I currently don’t subscribe to—or even a bundle of services. And I could have shared a very different customer experience.

Every customer interaction counts

Executives at companies of all sizes talk about being customer-centric, but it’s difficult to execute on that vision if you don’t manage your customer data like a strategic asset. If delivering seamless, integrated, and consistent customer experiences across channels and touch points is one of your top priorities, every customer interaction counts. But without knowing exactly who your customers are, you cannot begin to deliver the types of experiences that retain existing customers, grow customer relationships and spend, and attract new customers.

How would you rate your current ability to identify your customers across lines of business, channels and touch points?

Many businesses, however, have anything but an integrated and connected customer-centric view—they have a siloed and fragmented channel-centric view. In fact, sales, marketing, and call center teams often identify siloed and fragmented customer data as key obstacles preventing them from delivering great customer experiences.

ChannelCRM

Many companies are struggling to deliver great customer experiences across channels, because  their siloed systems give them a channel-centric view of customers

According to Retail Systems Research, creating a consistent customer experience remains the most valued capability for retailers, but 55 % of those surveyed indicated their biggest inhibitor was not having a single view of the customer across channels.

Retailers are not alone. An SVP of marketing at a mortgage company admitted in an Argyle CMO Journal article that, now that his team needs to deliver consistent customer experiences across channels and touch points, they realize they are not as customer-centric as they thought they were.

Customer complexity knows no bounds

The fact is, businesses are complicated, with customer information fragmented across divisions, business units, channels, and functions.

Citrix, for instance, is bringing together valuable customer information from 4 systems. At Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, it’s about 25 systems. At MetLife, it’s 70 systems.

How many applications and systems would you estimate contain valuable customer information at your company?

Based on our experience working with customers across many industries, we know the total customer relationship allows:

  • Marketing to boost response rates by better segmenting their database of contacts for personalized marketing offers.
  • Sales to more efficiently and effectively cross-sell and up-sell the most relevant offers.
  • Customer service teams to resolve customers’ issues immediately, instead of placing them on hold to hunt for information in a separate system.

If your marketing, sales, and customer service teams are struggling with inaccurate, inconsistent, and disconnected customer information, it is costing your company revenue, growth, and success.

Transforming customer data into total customer relationships

Informatica’s Total Customer Relationship Solution fuels business and analytical applications with clean, consistent and connected customer information, giving your marketing, sales, e-commerce and call center teams access to that elusive total customer relationship. It not only brings all the pieces of fragmented customer information together in one place where it’s centrally managed on an ongoing basis, but also:

  • Reconciles customer data: Your customer information should be the same across systems, but often isn’t. Assess its accuracy, fixing and completing it as needed—for instance, in my case merging duplicate profiles under “Jakki” and “Jacqueline.”
  • Reveals valuable relationships between customers: Map critical connections­—Are individuals members of the same household or influencer network? Are two companies part of the same corporate hierarchy? Even link customers to personal shoppers or insurance brokers or to sales people or channel partners.
  • Tracks thorough customer histories: Identify customers’ preferred locations; channels, such as stores, e-commerce, and catalogs; or channel partners.
  • Validates contact information: Ensure email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses are complete and accurate so invoices, offers, or messages actually reach customers.
PCRM

With a view of the Total Customer Relationship, teams are empowered to deliver great customer experiences

This is just the beginning. From here, imagine enriching your customer profiles with third-party data. What types of information help you better understand, sell to, and serve your customers? What are your plans for incorporating social media insights into your customer profiles? What could you do with this additional customer information that you can’t do today?

We’ve helped hundreds of companies across numerous industries build a total customer relationship view. Merrill Lynch boosted marketing campaign effectiveness by 30 percent. Citrix boosted conversion rates by 20%. A $60 billion global manufacturer improved cross-sell and up-sell success by 5%. A hospitality company boosted cross-sell and up-sell success by 60%. And Logitech increased sales across channels, including their online site, retail stores, and distributors.

Informatica’s Total Customer Relationship Solution empowers your people with confidence, knowing that they have access to the kind of great customer data that allows them to surpass customer acquisition and retention goals by providing consistent, integrated, and seamless customer experiences across channels. The end result? Great experiences that customers are inspired to share with their family and friends at dinner parties and on social media.

Do you have a terrible customer experience or great customer experience to share? If so, please share them with us and readers using the Comment option below.

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Posted in B2B, Business Impact / Benefits, Business/IT Collaboration, CIO, CMO, Customer Acquisition & Retention, Data Integration, Data Quality, Data Services, Enterprise Data Management, Master Data Management, Total Customer Relationship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Easy to Solve Problems on a Whiteboard

data architecture and Markitecture

A Combination of Marketing and Architecture for IT Solutions

This post is about Markitecture – a combination of marketing and architecture for IT solutions. Whether it is on a whiteboard or a PowerPoint slide, markitecture is typically a one page informal illustration of a system’s structure and interactions. It shows the major components, their relationships and has a few carefully selected labels and text that describes the design philosophies embodied in it. While it is easy to create and there value in a markitecture, it doesn’t qualify as Architecture and it isn’t sufficient for solving the real underlying problems. (more…)

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Who is your Chief Simplification Officer?

business-architecture

Implementing a Business Architecture Practice

One of THE biggest challenges in companies today is complexity.  To be more specific, unnecessary complexity resulting from silo behaviors and piece-meal point solutions. Businesses today are already extremely complex with the challenges of multiple products, multiple channels, global scale, higher customer expectations, and rapid and constant change, so we certainly don’t want to make the IT solutions more complex than they need to be.  That said, I’m on the side of NO we don’t need a CSO as this blog recently surveyed its readers. We just need a business architecture practice that does what it’s supposed to. (more…)

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Posted in Architects, Business/IT Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Integration, Integration Competency Centers, Professional Services | Tagged | 1 Comment

Data Wizard Beta: Paving the Way for Next-Generation Data Loaders

data transformation

The Data Wizard, Changes the Landscape of What Traditional Data Loaders Can Do

The emergence of the business cloud is making the need for data ever more prevalent. Whatever your business, if your role is in the sales, marketing or service departments, chances are your productivity depends a great deal on the ability to move data quickly in and out of Salesforce and its ecosphere of applications.

With the in-built data transformation intelligence, the Data Wizard (click here to try the Beta version), changes the landscape of what traditional data loaders can do. The Data Wizard takes care of the following aspects, so that you don’t have to:

  1. Data Transformations: We built in over 300 standard data transformations so you don’t have to format the data before bringing it in (eg. combining first and last names into full names, adding numeric columns for totals, splitting address fields into its separate components).
  2. Built-in intelligence: We automate the mapping of data into Salesforce for a range of common use cases (eg., Automatically mapping matching fields, intelligently auto-generating date format conversions , concatenating multiple fields).
  3. App-to-app integration: We incorporated pre-built integration templates to encapsulate the logic required for integrating Salesforce with other applications (eg., single click update of customer addresses in a Cloud ERP application based on Account addresses in Salesforce) .

Unlike the other data loading apps out there, the Data Wizard doesn’t presuppose any technical ability on the part of the user. It was purpose-built to solve the needs of every type of user, from the Salesforce administrator to the business analyst.

Despite the simplicity the Data Wizard offers, it is built on the robust Informatica Cloud integration platform, providing the same reliability and performance that is key to the success of Informatica Cloud’s enterprise customers, who integrate over 5 billion rows of data per day. We invite you to try the Data Wizard for free, and contribute to the Beta process by providing us with your feedback.

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Posted in B2B, B2B Data Exchange, Big Data, Business Impact / Benefits, Cloud, Cloud Application Integration, Cloud Data Integration, Data Integration, Data Integration Platform, Data Services | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Data Integration is Exploding Right Now

Data Integration

Mashing Up Our Business Data with External Data Sources Makes Our Data Even More Valuable.

In case you haven’t noticed, data integration is all the rage right now.  Why?  There are three major reasons for this trend that we’ll explore below, but a recent USA Today story focused on corporate data as a much more valuable asset than it was just a few years ago.  Moreover, the sheer volume of data is exploding.

For instance, in a report published by research company IDC, they estimated that the total count of data created or replicated worldwide in 2012 would add up to 2.8 zettabytes (ZB).  By 2020, IDC expects the annual data-creation total to reach 40 ZB, which would amount to a 50-fold increase from where things stood at the start of 2010.

But the growth of data is only a part of the story.  Indeed, I see three things happening that drive interest in data integration.

First, the growth of cloud computing.  The growth of data integration around the growth of cloud computing is logical, considering that we’re relocating data to public clouds, and that data must be synced with systems that remain on-premise.

The data integration providers, such as Informatica, have stepped up.  They provide data integration technology that can span enterprises, managed service providers, and clouds that dealing with the special needs of cloud-based systems.  Moreover, at the same time, data integration improves the ways we doing data governance, and data quality,

Second, the growth of big data.  A recent IDC forecast shows that the big data technology and services market will grow at a 26.4% compound annual growth rate to $41.5 billion through 2018, or, about six times the growth rate of the overall information technology market. Additionally, by 2020, IDC believes that line of business buyers will help drive analytics beyond its historical sweet spot of relational to the double-digit growth rates of real-time intelligence and exploration/discovery of the unstructured worlds.

The world of big data razor blades around data integration.  The more that enterprises rely on big data, and the more that data needs to move from place to place, the more a core data integration strategy and technology is needed.  That means you can’t talk about big data without talking about big data integration.

Data integration technology providers have responded with technology that keeps up with the volume of data that moves from place to place.  As linked to the growth of cloud computing above, providers also create technology with the understanding  that data now moves within enterprises, between enterprises and clouds, and even from cloud to cloud.  Finally, data integration providers know how to deal with both structured and unstructured data these days.

Third, better understanding around the value of information.  Enterprise managers always knew their data was valuable, but perhaps they did not understand the true value that it can bring.

With the growth of big data, we now have access to information that helps us drive our business in the right directions.  Predictive analytics, for instance, allows us to take years of historical data and determine patterns that allow us to predict the future.  Mashing up our business data with external data sources makes our data even more valuable.

Of course, data integration drives much of this growth.  Thus the refocus on data integration approaches and tech.  There are years and years of evolution still ahead of us, and much to be learned from the data we maintain.

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Posted in B2B, B2B Data Exchange, Big Data, Business/IT Collaboration, Data First, Data Integration, Data Integration Platform, Data Security, Data Services | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Why “Gut Instincts” Needs to be Brought Back into Data Analytics

Gut_Instincts

Why “Gut Instincts” Needs to be Brought Back into Data Analytics

Last fall, at a large industry conference, I had the opportunity to conduct a series of discussions with industry leaders in a portable video studio set up in the middle of the conference floor. As part of our exercise, we had a visual artist do freeform storyboarding of the discussion on large swaths of five-foot by five-foot paper, which we then reviewed at the end of the session. For example, in a discussion of cloud computing, the artist drew a rendering of clouds, raining data on a landscape below, illustrated by sketches of office buildings. At a glance, one could get a good read of where the discussion went, and the points that were being made.

Data visualization is one of those up-and-coming areas that has just begin to breach the technology zone. There are some powerful front-end tools that help users to see, at a glance, trends and outliers through graphical representations – be they scattergrams, histograms or even 3D diagrams or something else eye-catching.  The “Infographic” that has become so popular in recent years is an amalgamation of data visualization and storytelling. The bottom line is technology is making it possible to generate these representations almost instantly, enabling relatively quick understanding of what the data may be saying.

The power that data visualization is bringing organizations was recently explored by Benedict Carey in The New York Times, who discussed how data visualization is emerging as the natural solution to “big data overload.”

This is much more than a front-end technology fix, however. Rather, Carey cites a growing body of knowledge emphasizing the development of “perceptual learning,” in which people working with large data sets learn to “see” patterns and interesting variations in the information they are exploring. It’s almost a return of the “gut” feel for answers, but developed for the big data era.

As Carey explains it:

“Scientists working in a little-known branch of psychology called perceptual learning have shown that it is possible to fast-forward a person’s gut instincts both in physical fields, like flying an airplane, and more academic ones, like deciphering advanced chemical notation. The idea is to train specific visual skills, usually with computer-game-like modules that require split-second decisions. Over time, a person develops a ‘good eye’ for the material, and with it an ability to extract meaningful patterns instantaneously.”

Video games may be leading the way in this – Carey cites the work of Dr. Philip Kellman, who developed a video-game-like approach to training pilots to instantly “read” instrument panels as a whole, versus pondering every gauge and dial. He reportedly was able to enable pilots to absorb within one hour what normally took 1,000 hours of training. Such perceptual-learning based training is now employed in medical schools to help prospective doctors become familiar with complicated procedures.

There are interesting applications for business, bringing together a range of talent to help decision-makers better understand the information they are looking at. In Carey’s article, an artist was brought into a medical research center to help scientists look at data in many different ways – to get out of their comfort zones. For businesses, it means getting away from staring at bars and graphs on their screens and perhaps turning data upside down or inside-out to get a different picture.

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