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Event recap: data driven innovation and strategy development

On the evening of October 27th, 2016, boobook and its 55 guests were invited by the Belgian Ambassador and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Trouveroy, to their London residence. The event? A unique collaborative meeting on data driven innovation organised by boobook and the Belgian and Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, and hosted and endorsed by Ambassador Trouveroy.

A big thank you to our collaborators!

A great venue for learning about data’s important role in business today

What a venue! The residence, located in Belgrave Square, has every element that you’d expect to find in such a place: expansive rooms, high ceilings, a stunning interior and wonderful paintings and carpets.

However, our guests didn’t simply come to enjoy the location – they also came to learn from our two keynote speakers.

Two experienced keynote speakers

Joost Visser, Strategy Development Director at boobook, introduced the topic of the evening: data driven innovation and strategy development.

Data, whether big or small, is playing an increasingly vital role in driving the success of a business. While most companies are aware of this fact, few know how to incorporate data into their decision-making processes.

Boobook invited two early adaptors considered thought leaders in the field of data analytics: Marc Decorte, President & CEO of Shell Belgium, and James Scutt, Head of Customer Value Management at Post Office UK.

Real-life examples of data-driven innovation in a large company

Marc discussed driving business value with analytics, covering changes in the energy market (growing cities, populations and demand). He explained how he drives innovation in a large organisation such as Shell, and illustrates how critical data is in the process. At Shell, innovation needs to happen quickly (i.e. new processes are implemented within nine months), and it needs to pay for itself – return on investment from the get-go is key.

Next, he covered three case studies in which data plays a defining role: real-time rending of reservoir data, predictive maintenance and optimising customer service and value at retail stations. Connected customers and cars, mobile applications and personalised contextual offers are examples of how Shell leverages analytics to better serve its customers.

Marc concluded his talk by emphasising that analytics and digitisation are not pure technological changes, but changes propelled by the right mindsets and business needs.

Using real-time customer feedback to drive decision-making

James Scutt from Post Office UK spoke about trends and innovation in customer feedback. It’s no secret that requesting customer feedback via traditional surveys is becoming more difficult – not just because customers have less time to fill out long questionnaires, but also because they simply aren’t interested in giving feedback that is not relevant to them.

Nevertheless, businesses need to survey their customers, since their responses form the basis of KPI measures that are often critical to decision-making. The same is true for Post Office, which tracks its performance according to wait time, professionalism, understanding of needs, etc. Typically, these KPIs are measured using standard on- or offline surveys.

However, Post Office realises that the response quality from traditional surveys is decreasing, prompting them to look for more innovative approaches. Their solution? Real-time prompting and text analytics. The company’s new surveys start out with a recommendation question, followed by a free form text box. Depending on what respondents write, and on real-time text analytics, concise and targeted questions follow along with additional text boxes and prompts.

This new way of collecting customer opinions, which can be used on- and offline, comes with significant advantages. First, customers are only asked about aspects of services that are important to them. Second, it provides rich insights into what went well and what didn’t. Finally, text and sentiment analyses performed on unstructured responses can be converted into traditional KPI values.

Blazing a new trail in customer surveys involves the collection of rich insights (text, audio, video) without losing the ability to convert them into traditional KPIs. These insights are key to understanding KPI values and, more importantly, to identifying next steps.

Using data to optimise the customer journey

Nicole Huyghe, Managing Director at boobook, wrapped up the event by illustrating how customer analytics can help companies optimise their customer journeys with specific examples. She discussed a case study involving a health care provider aiming to reduce churn. To accomplish this goal, boobook collaborated with the client to identify all customer touchpoints and the data relevant to each one. Like many businesses, the client possessed a greater amount of data about its customers and their behaviours than initially known.

After linking all the data (CRM, behaviour, complaints, surveys, web data, etc.) for current customers and those who had left the client, boobook developed a model of churn. This resulted in a dynamic churn score for each customer, which is now part of the client’s CRM database. The model is now actively used by the client’s marketing, communication and customer service teams.

A big thank you to our collaborators!

After the presentations, Ambassador Trouveroy invited us all for a buffet dinner featuring a selection of great Belgian beers. It was a great evening!

We’d like to extend our thanks to the Ambassador and his wife for their hospitality, as well as to the BLCC for helping us organise this event.


by Nicole Huyghe,
Managing director
on 07-11-2016

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