IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Acxiom (NASDAQ:ACXM) today announced a planned alliance designed to empower data scientists to make faster and more accurate predictions by providing powerful analytics tools and curated data. Together, IBM and Acxiom will collaborate to help enterprises utilize advanced predictive customer analytics on IBM Cloud combined with extensive datasets to reduce time spent wrangling data, allowing them to focus on delivering key insights and driving growth.
Data scientists typically spend up to 80% of their time and effort on data preparation1, leaving little time for deriving insights. This planned alliance anticipates bringing together capabilities such as curated data sets, a client’s customer data and IBM configurable predictive models, all of which help decrease the time to action for these data scientists as well as bringing highly predictive variables to inform decisions on key marketing objectives.
“As clients look for speed and accuracy to improve outcomes, the journey is not just about rich, curated customer data but how you can predict trends in customer behavior and engage them in interactions relevant to a customer base,”said Alistair Rennie, General Manager of Solutions, IBM Analytics. “In order to drive faster time to value, it is necessary to develop ecosystems that provide data and analytics solutions to deliver the best possible decision making in the face of a dynamic market place. Our customer analytics strategy is to help clients with their data, analytics, actions and outcomes.”
IBM is working with industry leaders to make more curated data available, then applying powerful analytics capabilities to uncover actionable insights. Last week, IBM announced the first cloud-based development environment for near real-time, high performance analytics, giving data scientists the ability to access and ingest data and deliver insight-driven models to developers. Available on the IBM Cloud Bluemix platform, the Data Science Experience provides 250 curated data sets, open source tools and a collaborative workspace to help data scientists uncover and share meaningful insights with developers, making it easier to rapidly develop applications that are infused with intelligence.
This anticipated combination of the benefits of IBM’s and Acxiom’s offerings may help marketing analysts and data scientists fine-tune their understanding of their customer base and predict future behaviours with more accuracy and higher confidence. The insights they gain could be used to drive campaigns that are more precise, successful and profitable. Both companies are already, independently, helping enterprises apply data for business insights, and this planned alliance is anticipated to deliver even greater value. For example:
– Insurance companies could use the anticipated solution to improve behavioural customer segmentation to improve customer service and responsiveness to their policy holders. IBM has independently worked with an insurance company, which worked with partial data sets and lacked precise predictive outcomes. Using IBM’s predictive customer analytics, they were able to quickly build a full, variable-rich data set to build a production model with increased accuracy. This has helped them create more relevant interactions for each end customer.
– Retailers could use the anticipated solution to drive promotions targeting a competitor’s customer base –a route to growth in a static market. Acxiom has independently worked with a retail client to quickly exploit a gap in the competitor’s marketing strategy. Identifying what made the best prospects for the upcoming season and identifying others from Acxiom’s database, the retailer achieved response rates five to eight times better than in previous campaigns and an incremental lift in the average sales ticket by almost 50%.
“Acxiom has a long history of helping marketers generate better results from their own customer data, by applying the power of our consumer recognition technology, AbiliTec®, and our other proprietary technologies to customer databases,”said Rick Erwin, president and general manager, Audience Solutions at Acxiom. “By collaborating with IBM, we’re excited to help bring those capabilities directly into the hands of the marketing analysts and data scientists that can best apply those insights to their companies’unique needs.”
Organizations who rely solely on their own data to perform analytics may struggle to create successful marketing campaigns. This anticipated alliance could boost an organisation’s current customer data set with a wider variety of predictive variables and advanced analytic techniques and accelerators. The combination of these may lead to a better understanding of key drivers, which could help improve key customer performance metrics such as retention rates, campaign effectiveness and lifetime value.
“In an era when consumers increasingly expect personalized engagements, organizations are typically hindered by incomplete data, which can lead to underperforming marketing engagements,”said IBM’s Rennie. “Most companies only use a little over a quarter of their semi-structured data and less than a third of unstructured data for business insights and decision-making1. With IBM’s predictive customer analytics solutions, marketers can harness disparate data sources to gain a deep understanding of customer behavioural-based segments and develop ‘next best action’recommendations for execution across any touchpoint.”
For more information about IBM Customer Analytics, please visit http://www.ibm.com/analytics/us/en/business/customer-analytics.html
Acxiom is an enterprise data, analytics and software-as-a-service company that uniquely fuses trust, experience and scale to fuel data-driven results. For over 40 years, Acxiom has been an innovator in harnessing the most important sources and uses of data to strengthen connections between people, businesses and their partners and ensure the ethical use of data. Utilizing a channel and media neutral approach, we leverage cutting-edge, data-oriented products and services to maximize customer value. Every week, Acxiom powers more than a trillion transactions that enable better living for people and better results for our 7,000+ global clients. For more information about Acxiom, visit www.acxiom.com. Acxiom is a registered trademark of Acxiom Corporation.
1 The Forrester Wave™: Customer Analytics Solutions, Q1 2016, Forrester Research, Inc., March 7, 2016