What do modern-day business leaders and CIOs have in common with the eponymous (anti?) hero of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
(Yes, I know that’s not how you spell “rhyme”. But spelling has long been, and continues to be, a flexible construct in the English language, and that was how Coleridge spelled it in the late eighteenth century.)
Well, in Coleridge’s longest-ever poem, the mariner of the title, and his ship mates, are stranded in uncharted waters near the equator, and tormented by thirst.
“Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink”, says the mariner, as he relates his unhappy tale.
Fast-forward to the twenty-first century, and so might business managers, planners and executives lament that they are awash with data about their business.
But that data is yielding precious little insight into the what, where and why of how their operations’ performance can be improved.
Nowhere is this more true than when considering the vast, and increasing, amounts of interaction data gathered by businesses on a daily basis. While this data has long been known (or at least suspected) to contain intelligence useful to the management of operations and strategic planning, the reality is that many organisations are struggling with the volumes, complexity and accessibility of their interaction data.
The proliferation of new communication channels, coupled with customers’ growing preference for digital interactions has—along with the pandemic—driven a rapid expansion of digital interactions, making this task even tougher.
Captured interaction data is now coming from many different systems, including voice, chat, face-to-face, self-service and other customer touchpoints. It is stored in different formats and is frequently unstructured and conversational in nature—making it difficult to compare and analyse alongside other data sources. And to top it all, is usually stored in multiple, siloed locations.
Joining the data-dots of this multi-format, multi-silo data may prove impossible to achieve in any reliably meaningful way. And managing it for data governance and compliance is equally challenging.
How to Crack the Customer Engagement Data Challenge
So how can we address the issues created by this growth in channels and interactions, and the data it results in?
With the launch of Engagement Data Management (EDM), Verint is pioneering a new approach designed to make it easy for organisations to unlock the true value of their interaction data.
This fundamentally different approach recognises the reality for most organisations—where multiple solutions process and capture engagement data. EDM simplifies this landscape by connecting those islands, joining structured and unstructured data in a harmonised whole.
Part of the Verint Customer Engagement Platform, and embracing Verint’s open imperative, EDM will accept interaction data from any source (Verint or otherwise). It creates a data hub of normalised and harmonised interaction data that can be analysed, enriched and managed in one place.
Even the nightmare of managing data access, governance and compliance is simplified by the provision of a single set of sophisticated, granular access controls and common management and compliance workflows for data retention, legal hold, deletion and more.
Open APIs make it easy, not just to ingest data from multiple sources, but also to export it for processing, enrichment and analysis by external solutions and data lakes.
For any individual organisation, to build a data hub that reliably embraces the full range of interaction data sources and formats could be an extraordinarily complex and expensive endeavour. With Engagement Data Management, Verint makes it easy to adopt this approach—one that can help organisations succeed where others are failing.
A Lively Debate
Addressing this conundrum—which faces any business striving to put its engagement data to work—was the subject of a lively discussion during a recent webinar.
During the course of their discussion, available on-demand here, Dan Miller and Derek Top, analysts at Opus Research, and Verint’s Dave Singer and Iain Daws looked at a range of issues surrounding the capture, management and use of interaction data. They discussed how addressing this challenge will set up organisations for the future, enabling them to better understand customer needs, drive better real-time guidance for agents and chatbots, and create more enduring customer relationships through better experiences.
And, they examined an important principle, made possible by the unique nature of Verint Engagement Data Management: that the lifecycle and usefulness of interaction data is likely to exceed the communication platforms which process it. With EDM it is possible for organisations to separate their interaction data strategy from their communications platform strategy—breaking the tie that too often shackles the storage, management and analysis of interaction data to the communications platform that captured it.
And, in so doing, to unlock the true value and understanding of customer engagements.
To find out more about Engagement Data Management and the series of Opus Research webinars, click here.