Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Ocea Garriock, Technical Professionals Leader,  IBM South Africa

Ocea Garriock, Technical Professionals Leader, IBM South Africa

By Ocea Garriock

Banks have become particularly good at analyzing the data for trends, patterns and insights to help boost efficiency, ensure compliance and increase revenue.

But not all of this data lives conveniently in a structured database or data warehouse. Sometimes it comes from real-time data feeds and social media. These growing sources of structured and unstructured data are potential treasure chests. But big data without analysis is just a lot of data.

Most South African / African companies are still just experimenting with big data technologies, looking to understand how big data should slot into their world views. The same is true of organisations in the rest of the world.

The Big Data @ Work Study, conducted by the IBM’s Institute of Business Value and the SaïdBusinessSchool at the University of Oxford, reported that most enterprises are currently in the early stages of big data planning and development efforts.

Most are focused either on understanding the concepts (24%) or defining a roadmap related to big data (47%). Some (28%) are implementing big data pilots, proof of concepts (POCs).

These are the companies that choose to leapfrog their journey into big data.

Nedbank Limited is a leading financial services provider throughout Southern Africa. One of four “big banks” in the country it holds it own in the fight for the consumer. Having embraced social media into their marketing remit, the bank found itself frustrated by the cost and time to analyze social media data – and in particular text-based comments.

They wanted to make a sizable leap in the ability to extract actionable insights from social media feedback.

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So with the help of IBM and its Business Partner OLRAC SPS, they embraced a predictive modeling solution that integrates social media analytics into the bank’s systems. By doing so, decision makers across the bank’s operations now have access to deep, near-real-time analysis of social media data through flexible dashboards. This gives marketers potent insights regarding preferences, sentiment and satisfaction that help to craft and deliver more effective sales promotions and customer messages.

With custom built dashboards and a dedicated social media customer response team in place,  the analytics solutions are helping the bank not only respond to customers in real time improving  their customer experience  but also enabling the bank to respond to consumers beyond their client base. And this is helping to drive more effective marketing results. As a result, social media monitoring costs are down by over a million rand a year (US$105,000 per year) and customer service productivity levels are up by 20 percent.

When properly analyzed the data offers benefits like these. From channel interactions to social media, banks like Nedbank are getting to know and understand their customers both individually and demographically, enabling them to better serve their clients.

And if you consider that on an average day Twitter takes in more than 500 million Tweets a day which means about 5,700 Tweets a second. And given the news of the day, your company could be front and centre – just like when the IBMWatson Group was announced and the world responded with 61 million estimated  tweets  – you’ll want to know if the sentiment was positive and how your customers felt about it.
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