Thursday, December 6, 2018

Are You Just Digging in Your Data to Make Decisions?

It is very tempting to want to dig in your data to find opportunities to find business gold, because it really appeals to get busy to mine patterns. It's a bit like wanting to run dirt into a sluice to find gold. The problem is that not all dirt has pay in it and hoping to accidentally find some seems a bad bet. There are a number of factors that make this a low probability approach.

The Amount of Data to Consider is Ever Increasing

Finding gold is easier than finding great decisions, because gold is usually found near water or in gold bearing land. There are limited areas known for gold. Data however is ever increasing by the second and most of what we do is store it for future refinement. While we can point to past successful sources, there is more data created than we can possibly refine. As Quantum computing and  other forms of speed processing come on board, the chances will get greater for finding nuggets, but it seems like a solution looking for a problem. Its just pouring through more data.

The Speed of the Data is Ever Increasing

We are finding that fast data is complicating the probability of finding finding and acting out great decisions because the window of opportunity is quite short. Fast data is moving quite rapidly and it usually contains, signals, events and patterns that lose their importance or value quickly. This data works best when it is analyzed in real time or saved temporarily to be associated with other data. It can be mined in retrospect, but the value has usually waned. Speed is a compounding effect to big data. With IoT this is a huge challenge that maybe bots/agents at the edge can help with in some cases. 

Having the Right Algorithm is Also a Challenge

Not only is the data coming faster than we can deal with it and the amount is over whelming, matching the data up to the proper algorithms or combinations of algorithms seems a difficult approach. It seems like trying to A/B test these algorithms alone or in combination a near impossible task. Of course, new forms of technology will help, but again this seems backwards to me. It seems too inside out of an approach and trial and error in nature.

Net; Net:

The odds are stacked against coming up with brilliant business decisions by just digging into data even with faster computing. While we hear of examples from time to time, but finding great nuggets that way is a lot of work and does not always pan out. While I wouldn't abandon looking at data for opportunities, especially with machine learning, deep learning within the bounds of explainable AI, but starting with great decisions and working to the data and algorithms makes more sense to me. Successful miners narrow down where the gold is likely to be for the payoffs they are seeking. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

2018 RPA Hot Vendors

Aragon research has a series of hot vendor reports for 2018 that you can access by clicking here , but there is one report that I'd like to point out on RPA. As you know automation is a hot digital topic and RPA has been making a lot of noise around it's potential for automation assistance today plus shows great promise for the future. The attraction of RPA is that it translates to cost savings pretty easily, but there is much more potential as RPA becomes smarter and used in combination with other technologies that are also aimed at process improvement. If you are interested in the future of RPA, please click here. The 2018 RPA Hot Vendor report can be accessed by clicking here

The 2018 Hot Vendors are as Follows: 

Another Monday

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Top Five Mistakes Impacting Customer Experience Efforts

Many organizations think that creating easier to use and prettier user interfaces across many channels will suffice for a better customer experience. Others believe that having more data to leverage and an inside out experience driven by a Customer Relation Management (CRM) system that is filled with rigid transactions will do it. While these are helpful, they don't seem to be having much an effect as needed to make a dent into this problem. Why are customers still so dissatisfied?  What's needed is efforts that take "outside-in" view with better customers journeys that leverage design thinking to deliver great experiences linked to better processes.

Ignoring the Impact of a Bad Experience

The numbers are scary. 80 percent of  organizations think they provide superior service, but only 8% of their customers think that they are getting superior service. It's worse than that in that most customers do not like their service at almost all the organizations they deal with in an ongoing fashion. It gets exasperated by surveys that are designed to bury the issue and reward managers despite the poor results in the customers eyes. 86 of customers that leave organizations leave because of poor customer service. What's worse is that 95% of those customers tell others of their bad experience and won't even tell the organization they leave. They will tell between 10 and 15 others about their bad experience though. This is not a pretty picture, but it is real.  

Not Understanding the Upside of a Great Experience 

86% of customers say they would pay more for a superior experience, This translates to around a 10% increase in revenue and 20% reduction in ongoing operating costs. The real benefits come form looking at the economics of the cost of gaining a customer as it is six times as expensive as taking care of your customers. The cost of getting a customer back after they leave is probably a much more shocking number. Investing in a new business model that is based on a great experience might just open up some bigger numbers.  

Thinking that Just Drawing Journeys Delivers

Many organizations go through creating customer journeys either that reflect their existing journeys that represent common paths of service, but not necessarily "happy paths" Others create a target journey that ends up being a highly marketed target. The best efforts consider both and design a migration path from the current to the target usually in an incremental fashion. The best organizations tie these journeys to their processes in new and inventive ways. 

Not Considering the Organization and the Employees Supporting the Journey

If organizations consider only the customers view point without looking at the skill silos in organizations and the employees that support the customer journeys, there will be only short term improvements. This will be at the expense of the end to end customer journey, driven by the customers compound goals. Since happy employees can make a significant difference, their journeys should be considered too in the context of the customers journey. 

Thinking that Customer Improvements are One and Done

The is a common belief that customer experience efforts tend to happen in a big bang fashion and its time the move onto other efforts. Even if there is a slow roll out of a new experience, you are never done. The customer experience is a living, breathing and changing asset that needs constant attention. New channels and new technologies are one thing, but how customer expectations are morphing over time also need to be considered. 

Net; Net

Organizations will be competing on customer experience over time, so avoiding common pitfalls is crucial. Keeping customers happy over time is much better than losing them to a new business model not anticipated. Your competitors are looking for every advantage to steal your customers by leveraging better products and services, but the customer experience is their next target. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Art for 3Q 2018

I was asked to paint a dinosaur by my granddaughter in Austin. Specifically she want a Carnotaurus, so I worked the Internet to find a good starting point. Of course I did my own thing, so it may not be scientific. The emphasis on this painting is the creature coming out of the mist. I've also included last quarters digital pieces that were just fun :) Please see my other pieces at


                                                                Lit Sky

                                                          Color Blizzard 


Monday, September 10, 2018

Driving Momentum on Your Digital Efforts

I'll be doing a free webinar on "How Business and IT Leaders Can Drive Transformation Momentum" on Sept 14th at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. Hear about the Strategies and Tactic that are linked and working to drive success with real examples laced through out the presentation. One organization changed it's positioning from last to first in it's industry.


How can you mitigate Digital Transformation stalling?
While many businesses have taken initial planning steps towards transformation, it's challenging to ensure that progress continues. Join Jim Sinur, VP Research and Aragon Fellow, for a webinar on how to use a Digital Business Platform to initiate transformation, measure progress, and accelerate your digital business goals.
This webinar will cover:
  • The current state of Digital Business transformation
  • How a Digital Business Platform accelerates business transformation
  • What to look for in choosing a Digital Business Platform provider

Thursday, September 6, 2018

TIBCO NOW 2018: Innovation at the Edge

TIBCO held its user conference in Las Vegas this week and TIBCO delivered to it's theme. TIBCO is serious about providing innovation assists with it software assets and an offer to collaborate together with clients and prospects in a lab environment of it's own. This is a pretty unique offering in the days of intense digital pressure to transform. While TIBCO is a leader in the Aragon Globe for Digital Business Platforms (DBP), TIBCO shines in the areas Augmented Intelligence and Interconnected Everything (resources of data, systems, services and people). For a quick overview of the TIBCO platform, please see the honeycomb chart in Figure 1. While many of the pieces work together seamlessly now, each can be leveraged in usable clusters.


                                           TIBCO Offers a Lab for Innovation 

                                Figure 1: TIBCO's Digital Business Platform (DBP)

The Edge:

At the edge, TIBCO is doubling down it's efforts with Flogo and adds it's ability to sense event streams and aggregate them into patterns by leveraging rules. All of this is at the edge with a tiny footprint and superb performance. To this end TIBCO and JABIL announced an important IoT partnership that will support all kinds of devices and boards at the edge including telematics for the insurance industries. JABIL is one of these best kept secret companies that provides manufacturing support services and products. This will put AI at the edge over time and help with predicting down time and sensing important activity at the edge.


TIBCO announced a new version of Spotfire that is aimed at analytics in an accelerated fashion by leveraging NLP and even more advanced dynamic behavior. TIBCO also announced a New Data Science Offering exclusive to AWS market place. This approach mimics their rich offering to TIBCO's client base. See Figure 2 for TIBCO's overall  vision for it's Data Science Offering

                                Figure 2  TIBCO's Data Science Platform Vision

Rapid Development & Low Code:

TIBCO also unveiled their approach to citizen development with Live Apps leveraging starter kits. There were numerous sessions dealing with citizen development which is needed to keep up with the new digital pace. In the case of lighter applications that need integrated resources, collaboration between citizen developers and IT professionals are encouraged in Live Apps. One of the demos used NLP with a light weight process to the point of impressing Amazon

Net; Net:

TIBCO is focusing it's strong resources in an ever improving fashion towards their customer's challenge of Digital Transformation while transforming itself into a more potent offering in their areas of strength. More to come on customer proof points and case studies in my next post.

Friday, August 31, 2018

BoxWorks 2018: Morphing into a Bigger BOX

Attending BoxWorks 2018 this week, there were some new and compelling themes for organizations on their digital journeys. There were over 7000+ participants, a big leap from my last BoxWorks two years ago. Since 2016 Box has grown in size and ability to help organizations with content, to be the "Switzerland of  Content" that is open to all streams of content including image, voice and video. Well Box is not satisfied and is moving to add intelligence and context to support a wide range of digital challenges.

Defining a Huge Box: 

Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box, laid out some ambitious goals for his organization to become not just a content platform, but a platform the can support both the Digital Work Place which according to Aragon Research requires a Digital Work Hub  and Digital Business which according to Aragon requires a Digital Business Platform (DBP). While Box can certainly expand it's impact to both, but this is going to require a significant evolution of Box and it's supporting technologies and partners. Since Box is extreme in it's openness and is investing north of 20% of it's revenues in R&D, there is a a good chance this can happen. Aaron painted the Digital Challenge well and unveiled some if the aggressive steps Box was taking with some proof points to came later in the show with many enthusiastic clients on stage.

                                                        THE BIG BOX GOAL


                                                                BOX TODAY

 Efforts to Expand Box:

Box is leveraging it's growing metadata around content to find new and exciting uses in tagging,  visualizing and enabling action from those tags including finding objects in videos in context. By adding machine learning (ML) the skill level of Box rises to learn, tag and categorize all forms of content for various uses downstream. This is called Skills and there are basic and custom skills for identified metadata tags. (see the turtle picture below)  Box will use various ML and AI partners starting with the normal known players of Google, IBM and Microsoft.

Box is also expanding it's notification of the presence of specific content and events through feeds. Box is also expanding it's ability to automate tasks in and around content and making those automation patterns available for reuse. While Box has some process definition and execution of processes inside, they plan to partner with others for production processes on operational data. Today they work with Nintex and Pegasystems mostly, but are open to working with others.

Net; Net: 

Many of the Box case studies on stage were around sharing and securing masses of heterogeneous sources of content.  There were glimpses of use for the new capabilities, but it is early. Box is gaining momentum and wants to be the "Switzerland of AI and Process" to help expand the scope of digital efforts, it's clients are dealing with and only develop features that the market doesn't support or can do better than it's partners. This is ambitious, but doable if they exercise a great level of wisdom and discipline in developing only what they do best. I was encouraged with the strategy and initial steps taken. Time will tell how far this will carry Box forward.