HIGHLIGHTS:

  • A data lake is a place to put all the data enterprises (may) want to gather, store, analyze and turn into insights and action, including structured, semi-structured and unstructured data
  • Data lakes are storage repositories with an analytics and action purpose
  • Data lakes are designed for big data analytics and to solve the data silo challenge in big data

To Read More:https://www.i-scoop.eu/big-data-action-value-context/data-lakes/


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Upgrading the World: Predictive analytics serves that very purpose by driving mass-scale processes empirically, guiding them with predictions generated from data. Millions of predictions a day improve decisions as to whom to call, mail, approve, test, diagnose, warn, investigate, incarcerate, set up on a date and medicate.
  • Reinventing Industries:

          Marketing: predictive remarketing

          Financial services: Paychex, Chase, insurance study

          Workforce management: Walmart, Wells Fargo, via Facebook data

  • As predictive analytics’ adoption widens and deepens across sectors and across organizational functions, an inter-industry synergy emerges. Stories are shared between sectors, and the lessons learned and proof-of-concepts viewed from neighboring industries inspire and catalyze growth, creating a cyclic effect.

To Read More:http://analytics-magazine.org/predictive-analytics-reinventing-industries-predictive-game-changer/


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 57% of enterprise executives believe the most significant growth benefit of AI and machine learning will be improving customer experiences and support.
  • Analyze and significantly reduce customer churn using machine learning to streamline risk prediction and intervention models.
  • By 2020, real-time personalized advertising across digital platforms and optimized message targeting accuracy, context and precision will accelerate.
  • Price optimization and price elasticity are growing beyond industries with limited inventories including airlines and hotels, proliferating into manufacturing and services
  • Improving demand forecasting, assortment efficiency and pricing in retail marketing have the potential to deliver a 2% improvement in Earnings Before Interest & Taxes (EBIT), 20% stock reduction and 2 million fewer product returns a year

To Read More:https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2018/02/25/10-ways-machine-learning-is-revolutionizing-marketing/#1c5224755bb6


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Analytics Adoption Rises Among Small Companies: In the SAP survey, 73% and 87% of small and midsize businesses surveyed indicated that their expectations regarding technology investments were met or exceeded. With the cost of data analysis and visualization technologies falling and investments bearing fruit, this year should see the adoption of data analytics extend to even the smallest of companies.
  • Outsourcing of Analytics Increases: One option for SMEs unable to fund full-scale programs is to outsource them to an outside agency that specializes in data analytics. Outsourcing analytics is an excellent way of enhancing your data capabilities when you lack the necessary funds, making it ideal for small companies
  • Qualitative Data Is on The Up: Qualitative data bridges knowledge gaps. It is the information found in the unstructured data of online reviews, social media, and so forth, that provides the context to help understand why something is the way it is and if it is changing.

 

To Read More:https://channels.theinnovationenterprise.com/articles/data-analytics-top-trends-in-2018


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Welcome to the AI gold rush! : AI and machine learning will become ubiquitous and woven into the fabric of society. Media headlines tout the stories of how AI is helping doctors diagnose diseases, banks better assess customer loan risks, farmers predict crop yields, marketers target and retain customers, and manufacturers improve quality control.
  • So where is the value being created with AI? Who will make money across the (1) chip makers, (2) platform and infrastructure providers, (3) enabling models and algorithm providers, (4) enterprise solution providers, (5) industry vertical solution providers, (6) corporate users of AI and (7) nations?
  • Who’s got the best AI chips and hardware? Even though the price of computational power has fallen exponentially, demand is rising even faster.
  • Who’s got the best infrastructure and platform clouds for AI? oday AI is demanding so much compute power that companies are increasingly turning to the cloud to rent hardware through Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings.

To Read More:https://towardsdatascience.com/who-is-going-to-make-money-in-ai-part-i-77a2f30b8cef


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Most analytical jobs such as that of a Business Analyst (BA) require critical thinking and rethinking decisions based on dynamically changing situations. Can Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning systems branch off to different thinking modes as humans do based on changing parameters?
  • Is the Threat of AI Technology Real? : With the re-emergence of Machine Learning (ML) research over the past decade, the global IT giants all rushed to take the lead role in bringing automated systems to the white-collar professions. In the last five years, we have witnessed a meteoric growth of robots, digital assistants, smart machines, automated bots, and apps in every industry sector from manufacturing to marketing.
  • Use of AI in Different fields
  • The Future Evolution of the Business Analyst: If humans and machines learn to work together now, then very soon the “physical-digital teamwork” can transform workplaces around the world.
  • The Hybrid Roles for Future Business Analysts: The Hybrid BA can well serve the technical team by wearing the domain-expert hat or the BA hat as needed.

To Read More : http://www.dataversity.net/business-analyst-world-artificial-intelligence-machine-learning/


How Big Data Science and Analytics is the Lure for Businesses Today

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Coexistence of Two Systems: The leveraging of machine learning and traditional algorithms to analyze the Big data for any organization can solve problems in multiple verticals and forecast the business future with greater speed and reliability.
  • Point Solutions: Data analytics has been in the Business Intelligence space for quite a long time providing ‘Point solutions’ for specific problems in any business.
  • Advantages of Using Big Data Analytics:
  • Turnaround speed: virtually adopting any data source, and ability to churn much greater volumes of data.
  • Hybrid data clouds: Hybrid data clouds are being implemented, that divide data and work zones between in-house and offshore. As a result of these two complexities, the Decision makers of the companies, IT heads and service providers have to actively design the Big Data Ingestion Pathway, otherwise it could diminish the ROI significantly.
  • Impact of Big Data:
  • There is tremendous scope for machine level or customer interface level interventions to increase the business opportunities manifold. These interventions typically include customer marketing opportunities and risk reduction needs.

To Read more:https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/316057


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Dark Data: data that has been collected, but is unstructured and, therefore, not currently being used.
  • Real time Example of Dark Data: One example of dark data is a customer call record. Potentially holding valuable information on a customer’s thoughts and geolocation, these types of records are regularly recorded and stored, but rarely organized or analyze

To read more:https://medium.com/@jillplatts/what-is-dark-data-1beef317bb2e


Problem Definition :
A manufacturing company based in India, was facing uncertainity in its business due to accounting errors and limited knowledge in forecasting its future business due to absence of any statistical or analytical tools. The client approached Align Associate to come up with a solution for better risk management in their business.

Approach :
Align Associate’s knowledge of business standards, best practices, key performance metrics were used to assess the problem. A team of experts from finance, operations, and sector specific experts were drawn to research & identify the root cause of the problem.

From the research, it was found out that the root cause of the problem was primarily due to inability of the internal auditors of the company to audit and check accounting errors on a real time basis. It was observed that identification of fraudulent accounting transactions and other accounting errors were done only at the end of every business quarter and not on a regular basis. This way, the client was exposed to huge financial risks that could negatively impact their future business if proper risk management practices were not put in place.

Team members at Align Associate had to spend sufficient time to assess the problem in detail. It was found out that multiple accounting errors such as over purchases, duplicate payments, non verified transactions, payment rate mismatches, purchased items actually not required for business were overlooked during the client’s existing internal audit process controls thereby increasing their overall costs. Once identified Align Associate worked towards putting in a comprehensive solution.

Solution:
To address this issue, Align Associate had recommended the client to utilize its proprietary governance, risk and compliance tool – “AuditBots” which runs on ERP Systems such as SAP and Oracle, for real time monitoring of accounting transactions.
Various risk libraries were created for different type of accounting risks. An algorithm was created for every risk library and these algorithms were run across millions of accounting transactions on a real time basis to analyse data and spot patterns. If there were any exceptions, the system would identify and throw errors.

AuditBots tool was adopted by the client after realizing its numerous advantages. The client was able to closely monitor accounting transactions on a real time basis using AuditBots tool.

Challenges  Faced :
Accounting frauds can bring down a company into disrepute and in worst cases, companies can even go bankrupt due to lack of faith among key valuable clients thereby resulting in loss of reputation and business. The client wanted to uphold its corporate image by following ethical business practices and values, and wanted to avoid this unexpected situation at all costs.

This prompted team members at Align Associate to identify all the accounting risks from all angles which could occur in their business and take necessary measures to prevent these errors for better risk management in future. They had to deep dive into the data and through sophisticated data analytic tools, identify multiple ways in which the company can be defrauded which was an extremely challenging task and required high intellectual and business acumen.

Further, team members at Align Associate, initially using the client’s existing internal audit controls, took painstaking efforts to check millions of accounting transactions, which was a time consuming process for spotting various accounting errors.

Extreme attention to detail was required to identify ghost employees, cash leakages and dummy vendors.

They had to literally put themselves into the fraudsters shoes and have a keen eye to identify fraudulent accounting transactions and expose malpractices of fraudsters. These claims need to be valid and proved in order to coerce and remove fraudsters from the company by making them admit to their mistakes.

Benefits:
The client realized the importance of better risk management using AuditBots on a real time basis. Business derived significant benefits with the help of AuditBots include:
• Prevention of Accounting Errors on a real time basis
• Reduction in Internal Audit process time using stringent financial controls
• Reduction of costs by avoiding undesirable expenditure
• Improvement in financial results
• Increase in bottom line performance
• Tackle segregation of duties issue where multiple internal company employees conspire and collude
together in committing accounting frauds.
• Identify ghost employees, cash leakages and dummy vendors
• Plugs all loopholes to override control procedures designed to check fraud.
Please contact Align Associate for exploring possibilities of providing your organization similar support.


Align Associate
Old No.9,New No.12,
18th Avenue, Ashok Nagar
Chennai – 600083, Tamil Nadu, India


Problem Definition :
A major Retailer was facing issues with customer engagement and low sales. The sales did not match the footfall recorded by the retailer and there was no mechanism to track the customer satisfaction. The client approached Align Associate to come up with a solution to overcome the problem.

Approach :
Align Associate’s knowledge of business standards, best practices, key performance metrics were used to assess the problem. A team of experts drawn from finance, operation, and sales were vested with the task to research & identify the root cause of the problem.

From the research, it was found out that the root cause of the problem was primarily due to lack of effective customer tracking mechanisms and absence of proper strategy to maintain customer relationship. The company had bare minimal knowledge about the exact data pertaining to the number of walk in’s entering the retail outlet, number of actual customers, ratio of walk-in to sales conversion rate, product preference of the customers and the reasons for purchasing the product.

Team members at Align Associate had spent sufficient time to assess the problem in detail. They analysed the CCTV footage of the Retail outlet for the last one month to find out the exact number of walk in’s and recorded the observation. This value was compared with the existing Customer Relationship Executive (CRE) report day-wise, week-wise and month-wise. The values didn’t match in any of the above mentioned scenarios and significant discrepancies were noticed in both the values.  The CRE report which collated data about the walk in’s from the security guard as well as the overall counters in the retail store was found to be misleading. Once identified Align Associate worked towards putting in a comprehensive solution.

Solution:
To address this issue, Align Associate had recommended the client to implement Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System in order to analyse customer data and improve customer relationship. Customer Tracking process was streamlined effectively to a simple procedure and closely monitored by team members of Align Associate. The procedure used for customer tracking was as follows :

  • Feedback form from potential (walk-in’s) and actual customers was collected during their exit by the security and counter billing stage respectively
  • With the help of this feedback at the end of 6 months, data pertaining to the number of walk-in’s per day, hour, week could be easily retrieved. Also the salesmen most actively involved with customers, and maximum time spent on a product category as well as the counter most visited by the customer could be identified.
  • The feedback provided extensive clarity on walk-in’s and the reasons why they were not purchasing products at the client’s retail store. The reasons were categorised to multiple issues like product quality, design, staff behavior, shopping experience, price, product non availability and customer satisfaction.
  • Further deep analysis was carried out to determine   when the customer conversion rates was highest, and  on which day, hour or month as well as across which product category. High performing Salesmen involved with maximum customer conversion rates were identified.
  • Various Walk in, customer Key performance Indicators (KPI) were set for all the salesman and managers to maximise their capability and efficiency. Employee Scorecards were generated for the entire staff and monitored regularly.
  • Surprise Audits were also carried out to check the accuracy between the CRE report and CCTV data.
 Jewellery shop Footfall analytics

                   Jewellery shop Footfall analytics

Analytics integrated CRM System was adopted by the client after realizing its numerous advantages. The client was able to closely monitor and review customer conversion rates, sales performance,  employee performance rating on a regular basis with ease using CRM System.

Challenges  Faced :
The Salesmen at the retail store had to be convinced about the Align Associate’s procedure of customer tracking using CCTV as they were opposed to the idea initially and felt that it was not a proper method to judge their performance and their way in dealing with customers may be minutely scrutinised.

Further, team members at Align Associate took painstaking efforts to carry out the in-depth historical data analysis from CCTV footage and feedback forms and gather various useful insights for the client.

Benefits:
The client, after initial hesitation, realized the importance of Analytics integrated CRM System. Business derived significant benefits with the help of CRM System include:
• Walk-in clarity levels increased to 95% accuracy
• Increase in Customer conversion rates from 50% to 75%
• Improvement in Customer Service levels
• Increase in Employee Productivity
• Better Sales Performance
• Enhanced quality in shopping experience
Please contact Align Associate for exploring possibilities of providing your organization similar support.


Align Associate
Old No.9,New No.12,
18th Avenue, Ashok Nagar
Chennai – 600083, Tamil Nadu, India