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Finding Your Voice in the Data Stream

by Tom Goodmanson, President and CEO, Calabrio, Inc. - June 24, 2013

Finding Your Voice in the Data Stream
 By Tom Goodmanson, President & CEO, Calabrio, Inc.

Data that your organization is storing doubles every six months. No one should be surprised by that figure when you consider that every minute there are 48 more hours of YouTube videos uploaded, two million more search queries on Google completed and 3,600 more photos shared on Instagram.

Companies are also discovering that the volume of data coming into their organization is exponentially growing and there are many more channels of customer communications to which they need to pay attention. What is a company to do with all that information? How can they tell when all those social interactions with customers are just noise or real issues that need attention?

This changing dynamic is becoming a strategic challenge within organizations as companies try to figure out who owns these conversations and what the response should be. Every business is actively engaging with their customers every day—whether it’s helping them pick out a product that best suits their needs or by simply hosting a Facebook fan page. Customer interactions no longer fall into the traditional silos that have existed in the past. To make the most of these interactions companies need to start thinking of themselves as one large contact center, constantly listening and talking to the customer through a broad set of mediums.

The element of voice has traditionally been a highly untapped resource for big data. Because voice isn’t organically 1’s and 0’s, businesses don’t think about it as a usable resource. Contact center transactions have historically been hard to search, difficult to use and time consuming to process all of the information coming into the organization. That is beginning to change.

To most effectively analyze the voice data coming into an organization three things need to work seamlessly work together:

• Make it Easy – With Web 2.0 functionality, data coming into the organization no longer needs to be limited to mathematical analysis. Visual consumption of data is becoming much more standard. It is not only a more intuitive way to consume data, but it also enables the information for business decisions to be spread across the organization. This is key as much of the traditional voice analysis that has been available is cumbersome to set up, requires linguistic experts to mine the data, and as a result, becomes much too complicated to leverage across the business. What good is the data if you cannot easily use it to enhance your company’s business objectives?

• Personalize the Data – Each function within the organization has a need to access the same data but for a different purpose. One way that I like to think about it is how my son and I use We both have access to the same set of data, but I use it merely for keeping up with my favorite teams to see how things are shaping up at Spring Training. My son on the other hand is a fantasy baseball guru – he wants to know every on-base stat and batting average available so that he can build out the perfect team. Organizations should be able to use data in a similar way. A marketing manager should be able to easily pull the information she needs for her latest campaign, the sales manager should have instant access to his data and the operations manager will no longer have to depend on the research department to make his job easier.

• Be Smarter – You can now use analytics to phonetically listen for unique and personalized search terms within a voice transaction that can reveal patterns and insights into what your customers are saying. All of a sudden you now have the ability to see certain words or phrases jump out at you that you can address from a customer service perspective or know that a marketing campaign you just ran was successful. With this type of technology you can scale your analytics environment to be as extensive or real-time as your business needs. The technology no longer needs to be complex, daunting and inflexible. You now have the ability to make analytics a simpler resource within your organization.

By weaving these three concepts together, you can harness the power of conversation to understand what’s trending in your business. You gain valuable insight into what is happening and will be able to better understand all the conversations taking place. This in turn will allow you to sync critical information across the organization and give all business owners the data they need to make their individual functions, and your business, successful.

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