Innovating With Big Data – Leading The SoLoMo Cycle

SoLoMo” – the word three partners at Kleiner Perkins coined during a 2010 brainstorming session to describe the three trends driving coming wave of technologies – has become an industry buzzword.

Social networks, location information and connected mobile devices are changing the amount and type of data customers are generating. These same changes should be informing the way banks and financial service providers understand their customers and organise their internal systems.

Interfaces, interactions and interventions

At the International SAP Conference for Financial Services, I shared our Design Thinking-based approach to big data innovation and highlighted some of the innovative approaches our customers are taking.

One customer recently transformed its core banking function, and is now turning the gains in speed and data granularity achieved to its advantage. As a proof of concept, this bank created a system able to monitor the financial “lives” of customers – tracking deposits, withdrawals and other transactions.

When an activity two standard deviations or more from the norm was detected, the system immediately alerted and briefed the customer service function. So, a real-time offer tailored to that change could be made at once.

Using immediacy and familiarity – hallmarks of a social interaction – the bank created a 60% action rate, and a 38% conversion rate, by offering relevant contact at that moment of greatest opportunity.

The same bank also explored location – by combining the when of customer interactions with the where. This gave them the power to see the flows and trends of customer activity, and to zoom in from region to area to individual branches, viewing the flow of appointments, sales opportunities and conversion rates.

This location-based data would be impenetrable to a human eye as a massive collection of rows and columns, but this geospatial representation provides immediately understandable – and actionable- information. In the hands of an executive allocating resources under time pressure, a tablet’s “pinch to zoom” can easily become “pinch to drill down” using applications like this – a form of data presentation uniquely suited to mobile.

Often mobile devices are thought of in terms of the information and interactions they generate from customers – the same bank has analysed use of “companion devices” to discover which TV shows customers are watching when they interact with mobile banking. However, they are also a vital tool for interpreting that information.

Social, location and mobile change customer expectations – towards rapid responses, location and interface-sensitive service and attractive, intuitive interfaces. But they should also change how banks and FSIs respond to the flow – and often the flood – of data.

Are you innovating in rapid, effective, data-driven interventions? Do you see opportunities in these technologies? Or do you think that branches, phone calls and desktop computers will remain as the core interaction points – and selling interfaces – with customers?

Share your thoughts in the comments to this article, or on Twitter with @sapforbanking – and I would also be interested to know what devices you are using to do so!

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