Humankind has undergone a series of revolutions that have had a fundamental impact on the world – from the Stone Age to the taming of fire, the Agricultural Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and most recently, the Computing Revolution. These major transitions have altered the course of human evolution at a pace that’s accelerating exponentially.
Today, we are at the genesis of the next significant inflection point: the Intelligence Revolution. We’re at the cusp where machines can be as (if not more) intelligent than humans, modern technology has provided huge advancements in analytics, and the cost to compute has decreased substantially.
This is the age of data, analytics, intelligence creation, and decisioning that drives actions to create consequential momentous outcomes. To succeed and partake in this revolution, businesses need to become intelligent enterprises by deliberately transforming their people, machines, and culture. That means putting mechanisms in place so you can harness the value of the data you have access to and infuse intelligence into each next action.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen digital disruption turn an already competitive banking industry into a hyper-competitive one. The “primary bank” notion is at risk, as customers are willing to manage multiple financial services relationships if they perceive higher value.
If you’re not building a customer-centric moat around your customers, you’re leaving them exposed to disruptive overtures and eager competitors. This is why an applied intelligence platform is essential for banks that want to lead the Intelligence Revolution by being smarter, faster, and more customer-focused.
What Is an Applied Intelligence Platform?
Most financial institutions are already using digital data-based decisioning to help improve customer experiences and drive better outcomes, and applied intelligence is the latest innovative manifestation of this technology. In order to stay ahead of the competition, banks need a unified, scalable decision platform across the enterprise that optimizes and monetizes the use of people, data, and analytics.
Essentially, applied intelligence is a matter of taking the intelligence that’s garnered from data, converting it into decisions, and operationalizing those decisions into actions at scale. It’s a holistic method that connects everything involved in the customer journey and enables each interaction to optimize the next, therefore, it cannot be implemented piece by piece. An applied intelligence platform enables organizations to offer more personalized digital customer experiences, which cultivates customer satisfaction and loyalty – and, in turn, increases business value and portfolio growth.
It’s become crucial for banks to have the ability to create personalized customer treatments, at scale, while simultaneously addressing economic, business, and regulatory challenges. An applied intelligence platform empowers business users to create and manage the strategies, rules, and analytics that drive decisions and actions – without requiring IT intervention. It allows users to validate and simulate decisions before they’re put into production, with dashboards displaying predicted and compared-to results. Additionally, it re-uses and leverages connected decision assets across the customer lifecycle to improve decisions, while making them transparent and explainable. By utilizing the platform’s power, banks can also unleash their human capital and empower their employees to deliver better experiences.
Given the current hyper-competitive landscape and escalating consumer demands, it’s important for a financial institution to adopt a single extensible digital platform rather than implement their digital infrastructure piecemeal. A flexible, extensible decisioning platform can be consumed in a “big bang” for the greatest business acceleration, but it can also be deployed as a point solution to a specific departmental need, or as individual platform services that allow banks to deliver fast time-to-value while laying the foundation for future success and inherently enabling their next best action when they’re ready to put that in place.
Here’s how an applied intelligence platform works to drive better outcomes for your business and your customers:
Transforming Data Into Decisions
“Data without a decision is a distraction.” – Gartner
The world is producing more data every year, but data on its own isn’t powerful or productive. You need to apply advanced analytics in order to garner intelligence so you can arrive at the most optimal decisions, but you can’t stop there because it still isn’t driving an outcome. You have to convert those decisions into actions and operationalize them, which is what an applied intelligence platform is built to do – and does at scale unlike any other digital solution.
A decision management platform makes the most of current technology by bringing together industry-leading analytics, decision modeling, and artificial intelligence in an open and extensible architecture that can pull from virtually any data source. It provides supporting tools and technologies so experts can focus time and effort on creating and refining business-enhancing innovations, and it empowers users to rapidly and cost-effectively develop new analytically driven applications.
Making Every Decision Matter
According to a recent Gartner survey, 65% of decisions are more complex than they were two years ago. As more organizations start to invest in horizontal decision technologies relative to point solutions, industry analysts are coalescing on the fact that the concept of decisions is going to be the heartbeat of enterprises moving into the future.
It used to be prohibitively expensive to conduct test scenarios, and the few companies that could afford it were forced to focus only on the most important decisions and how to optimize those. Now we have the ability to implement a platform that looks at the entire customer journey and ties together all the touch points between those decisions on a unified operating engine.
With an applied intelligence platform, simulation capabilities are built into the engine, enabling you to get a sense of various outcomes while avoiding unintended consequences. Furthermore, you’re able to reuse data from one part of the journey to enrich and improve another part; you’re able to reuse intelligence that you might have created across different parts of the journey; and you’re able to reuse capabilities in the system that you might have already configured.
This allows organizations to bring down their cost to serve – to make every decision in the value chain (including manufacturing, supply, and distribution chains) and customer lifecycle better than it was previously.
Operationalizing at Scale
For decisions to become actions, they must be operationalized with the platform. With scalable platform-powered decisioning, banks can get more predictive models into production more quickly and leverage the latest advances in machine learning and responsible AI. You gain 360-degree customer insights, which means you can break down barriers to gain a single view into critical areas such as risk exposure and individual propensities in the context of lifetime value.
An applied intelligence platform does all of this at scale so your decisioning can be faster, more intelligent, more cost-effective, and more profitable. It enables users to continuously learn and gives your enterprise the tools to beat the competition by establishing a customer-focused, iterative learning loop that accelerates your digital transformation. It also ensures that each solution is “right sized” for your opportunity so you can maximize ROI and ensure success for strategic projects.
Harnessing Human Intelligence and AI
We talk a lot about AI as a society, but our conversations are mostly just theory. An applied intelligence platform, however, is a digital solution that actually operationalizes AI models. It gives banks the power to bring process and people together, ensuring that an institution is able to harness the human intelligence that sits within their organization as well as artificial intelligence, and integrates them to maximize the productive use of both.
Re-Defining the Customer Experience
Modern consumers spend a lot of time online. The customer journey is not as orderly and linear as it used to be — customers don’t simply start with broad-based marketing offers and then get onboarded. Each customer has personalized needs and wants that must be considered, and by thinking about the customer from an event-based and profile-driven perspective, this allows you to consider each key customer decision in the context of a larger relationship.
A recent FICO survey found that 34% of consumers have at least one shadow financial account or engage in a shadow financial activity with a non-bank financial services provider.70%of consumers said they would be “likely” or “very likely” to open an account at a competing provider if that provider offered products and services that address their unmet needs.
Platform-powered decisioning drives customer engagement and takes a personalized approach with predictive analytics that drastically improves digital experiences. It allows enterprises to make data-driven customer decisions by predicting, analyzing, and optimizing customer interactions in real time. It enables organizations to be truly customer-obsessed and gives you the power to anticipate customers’ needs before they even realize they have that need.
With an applied intelligence platform, there is explainability and transparency for how decisions are being made. Each engagement becomes part of a strategic, data-driven pattern of customer treatments and offers. Customers receive consistent, personalized service across all channels that radically enhance their interactions and help cultivate engagement, loyalty, and lifetime value.
For banks competing in today’s market, these capabilities are quintessential to delivering real business value and exceptional customer experiences.
Nikhil Behl is CMO of leading predictive analytics and decision management software company FICO.