Data Integrators, are you ready for X Change 2008?
I'm looking forward to X Change 2008 for two reasons: Food & Conversations.
Last year we were just starting to integrate online and offline data. To be perfectly honest, all I could talk about were the "challenges" involved in data integration. Much has happened since then. We've actually done it. For me, the most interesting integration is that of Online Support and Call Center data.
To get a good picture of what's happening, we use a scatter plot with Online Support on one axis and Call Center usage on the other. We then divide the graph into four quadrants and look at different user segments such as online tenure and customer value. Wow do the patterns differ depending on the segment. Differ is interesting, but they differ in ways that are actionable for both the Call Center and Online Support.
That is valuable because we can use those differences to improve service and reduce costs. For example in many cases, in the first month or so after enrollment, clients are light users of both the Call Center and Online Support. Very quickly, however, there is a group that uses the Call Center over and over with very little use of Online Support. After about a year, the majority of this group is in the low callers and high online user group. By comparing their call types and online behavior, we are developing training and support programs that promise to reduce Call Center volume -- eliminate or at least substantially reduce the large number of calls made by customers with two to twelve months of experience. Because we can actually monitor the customer behavior based on the training and support they have received, we will be able to tell quite accurately what works and what doesn't.
We also look at repeat Call Center usage. Pilot programs have been started in which special training is given to a sample of Call Center Callers and their subsequent behavior monitored both online and offline. Without a doubt some things work (dramatically reduce Call Center volume) and some don't. Some work with certain segments but not others. What's great is that we have facts instead of guesses to support our conclusions based on our actions.
So what has this got to do with X Change 2008?
Well last year there was a group of hardy souls who were just starting data integration projects. In the X Change 2008 sessions, I'd like to compare notes and share insights with these pioneers. Then in the evening (we were all staying at the same hotel and didn't have to drive anywhere - at least if you reserve early enough) over drinks complain, vent, and get the relief that is only possible by sharing your pain with someone who has had the same experience.
So all you data integrators who have suffered the pain of data integration (How many user ids don't match? What do you do when you get records that show a single caller called 40,000 times in a single month?) come to X Change 2008. We'll share insights, swap stories, and get revitalized.
I've met the chef at the Ritz and tasted his food. Each Ritz Carlton has a specialty and the San Francisco Ritz's specialty is food. It really is special. I've also seen all the rooms (dinning, conference, and bedrooms). Very, very nice.