The Future of Retail


The National Retail Federation (NRF) kicked off it’s annual event this week, and with it comes an opportunity to consider the future of retail and the type of changes we might expect. Colleagues at Tata Consultancy Services (Kevin Mulcahy, Bill Quinn, and April Harris) pulled together their thoughts ahead of the event. You can explore the future of Retail via this Article, and/or the short video below.

Social CRM in the Insurance Industry


I recently participated in the writing of an article on Social CRM for the Insurance industry. The piece is now available online via the Insurance Networking News. The Insurance industry is showing a great deal of interest in social business – and I hear it in most discussions with industry executives. It is clear that the industry is beginning to understand that insight from social channels can drive better decision making. Companies like Farmers Insurance are driving new growth, new product development, and customer retention by sharing information from Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn with their network of Agents.

A recent study indicates that 56% of companies are planning future Social CRM initiatives, while Gartner indicates that 30% of companies will extend their Social Networking efforts to Social CRM processes within the next two years. As I note in the article, social computing will enable a powerful sales, marketing and customer service platform that improves the customer experience and elevates brand identity. The full article is a worthwhile read, and provides some insight into the future use of Social CRM in the Insurance industry.

Predictive Analytics in the Insurance Industry


This very good Article by Anand S. Rao discusses the growing use of predictive analytics in the Insurance Industry. I believe Mr. Rao is right on the mark – although I continue to emphasize the expanding role of Text Analytics in the analytic value equation. In this article, he identifies some of the drivers of predictive analytics adoption.

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The Retail Industry Turns to Analytics


In a recent Blog Post titled Where is Business Analytics Going? I describe the compelling reasons for the growing use of advanced analytics – and the challenges that organizations face in realizing value from their efforts. The Retail Industry may be the poster child for business analytics, as they face some very compelling reasons to expand their analytic footprint. Ventana Research believes that the retail industry is going through a transformation, as volumes and sources of data continue to expand. They state that “Retailers are just starting to realize that understanding and influencing customer conversations on the Internet in social media channels is a necessity and that it requires a new type of analytics that can process text and phrases that reveal consumer sentiment and opinions of their brands”. 

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Disruption in the Retail Industry


In this report from The IBM Business Value Institute titled Meeting the Demands of the Smarter Consumer, it is easy to see the impact that the smarter consumer is having on the retail industry. This is a broader indicator of the challenges facing all businesses and governments and underscores the need for customer intimacy as a business imperative. This to me continues to highlight that our current social and data-rich state represents both tremendous opportunity and considerable challenge. I recommend this report for its insight into this growing phenomena.

Analytics in the Utility Sector


According to Pike Research, the smart grid data analytics market will reach $4.2 billion by 2015. Software and service providers of smart grid analytics for the utility sector will ride a large growth opportunity over the next several years. According to Pike Research, the relatively small market will increase from $356 million in 2010 to nearly $4.2 billion in annual revenue by 2015. 

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