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Data Stewards, Say Goodbye to Painful, Rules-based Matching.

Nalini Mohan, Senior Manager-Technical Product Marketing, Reltio

Bring on the data and teach the machine to make your life easier

Too much data, too little time! Today’s data management problem is not one of lack, but that of excess. With the proliferation of communication and transactional channels and the big data systems to hold huge volumes of data and process it, there is a need to ensure the reliability and quality of data to derive precise insights and run transactions at the speed of business. As the volume of data grows at a much faster rate than can be manually reviewed and remedied, companies are looking for advanced ways to solve the data quality problem.

Modern data management uses the power of machine learning to monitor, manage and improve data quality and stay ahead of data-driven challenges. A  key area where the integration of machine learning into data management systems can help improve data quality is Data Matching.

Don’t lose precious sleep over data quality anymore

If you are a data steward responsible for maintaining and improving data quality, you will agree without a doubt that rules-based data matching is your number one headache. Creating a true 360-degree view of anything, including customers, employees, products and suppliers requires you to bring together data from all internal, external, and third-party sources. This blending requires careful matching and merging of the data. Your main challenge is that defining the rulesets for matching takes time and a deep understanding of data profiles. As the number of sources increase and the format and data types grow, you find that defining the rules becomes a complicated endeavor.

As your experience proves, accuracy in data matching is always a challenge. Most often it is inaccurate and requires backup processes and manual interventions. The complexity of data matching is the main reason behind the phenomenally long time-to-value for most of the master data management tools in the market today. Organizations spend months, iteratively defining the matching, testing, and fine-tuning match rule sets. Besides, setting match rules is an expensive, tedious and lengthy process.

Today’s third-generational data management platforms with a machine learning component, help you derive the matching rules automatically from the data and also offer you the capability for active learning/training of the machine. You can take a set or a sample of data and run it through the matching rule sets, then evaluate the data matching quality to indicate to the system which matches were good, which were inadequate or inaccurate.

With a single click, you can now show the machine how to treat the data and determine new match rules. The system adapts to your customer data and user behavior.

Limitless, reliable data for Analytics through Machine Learning

The current release of Reltio Cloud, a third-generation data management platform, introduces Match IQ, an advanced data match capability using machine learning to enterprises for their analytics and transactional needs. Reltio Cloud 2019.2 features this External Match App that is powered using Machine Learning (ML). Enterprise users like you can match data and resolve conflicts without having to setup tedious match rules, regardless of the huge data volumes and the variety.

Reltio Cloud’s ML component allows you to verify and accept the match criteria which in turn progressively trains the machine toward finer levels of match. Just specify the attributes that you want to match against, and you will be taken through a series of questions (active learning) that will help optimize the ML algorithm to make more accurate predictions.  For the first time ever, business users have a consistent way of matching and merging data for better quality, reliability and business value.

  • ML- based Match IQ: Reltio Cloud’s current release deftly combines the manual Match using match rules with ML based matching. The ML-based External Match feature allows you to verify and accept the match criteria which in turn progressively trains the machine toward finer levels of match. There is no need to set up any match rules from the ground up. You will be taken through a series of questions (active learning) that will help optimize the ML algorithm to make more accurate predictions.
  • Data Modeler: You can now create new Entity Types and new Relationship Types through the Data Modeler application. The intuitive UI of the Data Modeler allows you to easily enrich the new Entity Types and the new Relationship Types by adding attributes. Creating and editing of new entity types and relationships is another important feature in this release.
  • Data Loader: The data loader can now onboard Entities as well as Relationships. You can on-board data using the UI of the Reltio Console.

Reltio’s new ML-based matching and active learning capabilities are valuable for data stewards since it automates work by matching the right data and also training the system to register these match patterns for future accuracy. Data stewards can now focus their time and efforts for the greatest business impact, increasing productivity, aligned to business value.

Take control of your Enterprise Data Security, Governance and Compliance

The current and latest release from Reltio (2019.2) introduces Reltio Shield, a new security product that puts key management under the control of enterprise users. Enterprise users can generate new keys in accordance with customer security policies and practices. You can generate on demand with background re-encryption of data using the new keys or automatically, according to a schedule. New keys are automatically distributed via secure automated processes without any manual involvement or handling by Reltio and with no service downtime.

Reltio Shield provides several benefits that include :

  • Fine grained access control
  • Policy-driven, fool-proof security management
  • Self- service security through scheduled or on-demand generation of keys
  • Zero down-time from automated keys distribution

Advanced Data modeling, Scalability, Connectivity, Fine-Grained Role Management, Flexible Data Privacy and Protection and Continuous Compliance enhance the very powerful feature sets offered in this release. In addition to the above new features, Reltio Cloud 2019.2 offers many other enhancements such as workflows task management, data quality dashboards, and environment management that improves end user experience and productivity.

Reltio will be the Platinum sponsor of MDM & Data Governance Summit. The event will be held from July 10th to 12th in Chicago. Click here for event details.

Watch this video on how “Machine Learning puts Data Front and Center for Business”

Great Loyalty Programs Start with Knowing Your Customers

Ankur Gupta, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Reltio

I was in Boston last week. Coincidently, Martha had dropped a mail and wanted to talk. So I decided to take the opportunity and meet her. Martha earlier worked with one of our customers and had recently moved to another company as VP – Customer Innovation and Experience. She was delighted that we could meet in person and suggested an early morning breakfast meet. At a café near my hotel.

“So how’s everything, Ankur?” Martha greeted enthusiastically.

“Good, and busy as usual.”

“Hope you don’t mind me stealing your time here, but I really need your advice on something.”

“Sure.” We ordered our breakfast and began talking.

Martha was in the midst of designing an upgrade to her company’s brand loyalty program. Being in clothing and accessories business, their customers were always looking for the best deals. In brick-and-mortar shops as well as online. While these shoppers happily enrolled in the loyalty program, there was not much traction and the company wanted to revamp the loyalty program.

“Martha, the modern customers are not averse to changing their minds at the last minute to pick a great deal.”

“Very true. They are a connected generation and don’t rely only on information pushed by us. They can pull online reviews and trends at will. That is where we are struggling, not able to get their pulse in real-time.”

She explained that they had trouble getting the next best action for individual customers which meant losing the market share was hurting the top-line growth.

“I think we don’t really have a good hold on customer data. I mean relationships across people, products, locations, devices, and other entities are not fully leveraged to get a complete customer profile.  We are not able to segment customers by loyalty, price-elasticity, impulsivity, or need, as we cannot continuously align and correlate interaction and transaction data with customer profile. We also have trouble identifying and deploying relevant new data, either internally or from external sources. That’s where you can help us.”

“Let’s see how we can solve that. Do you come to this café often?”

“I like it for breakfast. They have a good breakfast menu, their service is quick, and it’s not too crowded at this hour.”

“So you like the whole experience.”

“Yes. Oh, you want us to leverage customer experience for loyalty?”

“Exactly! In the modern connected age, customer expectations have changed. Millennials in particular, place a premium on experience and at times are ready to forego financial rewards of loyalty. Especially for CPG, retail, or hospitality business. To stay relevant to the changing expectations, your loyalty program must include customer experience.”

“You are right. But we need to know how. We are not able to get data that can help us differentiate with experience and we end up being the same as competition. Naturally we keep going for generic promotions or similar marketing campaigns. No wonder our ad spend does not give the expected sales lift, and we falter on brand loyalty.”

“Loyalty is not what it used to be. Its meaning and management has changed. Customers want to be recognized and rewarded individually. And they want to see your loyalty through such programs. Recognizing that every customer is driven by different needs, the program must respond suitably and provide a personalized experience. Delivering omni-channel, consistent, and delightful customer experience is critical in retail, and it can be leveraged further for successful loyalty programs.”

Once Martha agreed, I emphasized that the next-gen customers need a next-gen loyalty program that delivers a hyper-personalized experience with rewards that are not just financial, but also experiential.

“Building everything around customer experience is the key, Martha. It already has proven to boost annual revenue. Make it work for loyalty, too. Repeat purchase may be your key objective for loyalty, but don’t just measure everything in terms of purchase. Financial transactions is one facet, make sure that customer experience complements it. Let both work together, and they will give you much more than their sum.

Take your case. Clothes and cosmetics may be a year-round buy, but winter boots are a seasonal buy. Right? Say a customer comes every winter to buy these boots, how would you keep him engaged for the rest of the year?”

“Hmmm. I hadn’t really thought about it.”

“You need to think on those lines for the next-gen loyalty program. That’s where the engagement incentives offer more opportunities to earn rewards. Deliver the omni-channel customer experience seamlessly across the customer journey, even when customers don’t buy or browse. Engage customers in reward-based experience. Include rewards for sharing in social media, participation in discussion forums, customer advocacy, and customer referrals.”

“This is so good! Let’s have another helping and keep discussing.”

“Consider this café. How should it reward you for tweeting its new menu? Or sharing their photos on Facebook?”

“That should add to my reward points!”

“Yes, and the rewards should include unique experiences not just a discount coupon or a free cookie. What if they surprise you with a Martha-special breakfast? Or invite you do a personalized brunch with friends?”

“I’d love such experiential rewards. Much more than a discount.”

“That’s what I’m driving at.  Open the gates for the next-gen loyalty to include these aspects and see how the program remains relevant to modern customers. Your customers will be continuously engaged and invested in the brand. Now before you ask, such hyper-personalized experience is only possible when you have a real-time full 360 degree customer view and actionable insights.”

Martha needed no introduction to how an enterprise data hub can unlock the value of data relationships across people, products, locations, and devices. She had seen in her previous company a uniform customer view across all teams delivering role and goal-based recommendations. Soon we were discussing getting deeper customer insight at every touchpoint and dynamic segmentation, which are essential to drive loyalty in the increasingly complex digital business landscape.  

“I’ll give you a real example. Reltio has successfully powered a personalized loyalty program for a top global fast-food restaurant chain. With the objectives of driving differentiation and sustaining a competitive advantage, we worked on the program across their forty thousand plus outlets in over a hundred countries.”

“That’s huge.”

“Yes, it is. We created a continuously updated trusted customer data foundation that feeds the real-time information to all customer engagement channels. See what it means? Consistency across touchpoints. The program accesses the system in real-time for every order to understand customer preferences and personalizes the experience with relevant offers. The program has resulted in increased wallet share, higher customer satisfaction, and higher customer lifetime value. That’s the strength of loyalty through hyper-personalized customer experience.”

“A great achievement, I must say!”

“So let’s see what the enterprise data hub should do for customer engagement and experience. To begin with, it must bring together your key customer experience applications to create a comprehensive 360 degree view of customers. This part is critical, as all the personalization decisions will be based on this view.”

“Very true.”

“We live in the age of data explosion, and the scalability of the enterprise data hub is a significant factor.”

“Yes. It should be able to support all our current and future touchpoints, and any new datasets we decide to onboard.”

“Of any size and any type. This flexibility makes your solution future-ready. Now this hub must have the inbuilt capability to automatically uncover customer insights, relationships, and the context of the business they are doing with you.”

“I remember how in my earlier company we were thrilled with the machine learning benefits like these, when we implemented Reltio platform.” Martha was now getting into the right mode of decoding the steps towards her goal.

“The next step is leveraging the insights for engagement and customer experience.” I sipped more coffee and continued. “Your enterprise data hub must be able to provide your customer engagement applications relevant customer data in real-time. Then the store assistants, or customer support staff, or any customer-facing personnel or process will be equipped to make the best decisions. Note that you need to operate all this at internet-scale for offering a seamless customer experience. No customer likes delays. They want you to respond immediately.”

“I get the picture!” Martha laughed. “If Jane Doe has tweeted our latest range of scarves, we should amaze her by offering a good deal on scarves, right? Or if John Doe has accompanied Jane to the store, we should be able to present a combo set of men-and-women perfume. Wow! This is so thrilling!”

“You got it so right! You got them engaged totally. And if they are also thrilled with this experience, you know they’ll be invested in the brand right away. That kind of hyper-personalized experience-based loyalty we are talking about.”

“Absolutely!”

“And before we close, a final piece of advice. Make sure you comply with your data privacy and regulatory requirements, and above all capture and comply with how your customers want to engage with you.”

“Thank you so much, Ankur. Wow! I know which customer experience enterprise data hub will help us build our next-gen loyalty program. So let’s do a meeting to make a formal proposal for Reltio.”

Martha had her plan chalked out – a successful next-gen loyalty program that complements the brand and consistently engages customers by delivering best-in-class hyper-personalized customer experience.   

Do you have yours?

Do you have new depths of insight and understanding of your customers by automatically mining the value of relationships between customers and the people, places, and things they interact with every day?

Do you ensure that your customer insights are made available across the company, enabling one-call problem resolution and loyalty recognition, delivering individualized service and creating brand loyalty?

Can you act on the new customer information faster than competition by providing system-level capabilities to automate the process of value discovery when new data sources are added?

Time to open the gates for next-gen loyalty.

Reltio Cloud – Your Key to a Successful SAP S/4HANA Migration

Guy Vorster, Principal Solutions Consultant, Reltio

Weekends don’t get any more entertaining than a good game of rugby. And I’ll let you in on a secret, we talk business too!  Yes, the scores, physical exhaustion, tees in place of suits – they don’t deter us from sharing the occasional business tip. In fact, the relaxed atmosphere brings out some real wisdom in us.

Last Saturday I spotted Ralph as I reached the club. “Why so glum? Not feeling up for today’s match?” I teased. But he was in a real sore mood.

“Not sure I can stay for the game, my team is stuck at work.”

“What’s the problem? And why can’t they resolve it themselves?”

“It’s the sheer mental fatigue and they can’t think anymore. You know we have been at this SAP S/4 HANA migration for well over a year, and nothing seems to go as planned. My team is fast losing steam and I have to lend a hand constantly!”

“Don’t I know that feeling? Let’s sit somewhere and talk about it for a bit, maybe I can offer some advice.”

“Is that even possible? We are facing a budget overrun, the legacy data seems to be a mess, and the expected timeline makes little sense now!”

Ralph sat on a stool across from me, but not before a quick phone call to his team members.

“We thought we had properly analyzed all the risks when we started. While we were aware that 50% of these types of projects fail, lag badly or greatly exceed the budget, we thought we would be the exception.” Ralph wiped his brow.

“When you started this project, did you also think about the data-related risks? The projects that succeed are often the ones where the data is thought about as a core asset by itself. And not just a by-product of the operations of the ERP application that needs to be moved to the new app.”

“That’s an interesting point.”

“But to do that, you need to think a little differently, and improve the efficiency where it matters, especially when it comes to your master data.”

“Are you going to tell me about how Reltio does it?”

“Exactly!”

“At Reltio we deliver innovative data solutions that help to reduce risk and increase efficiencies during complicated data migrations such as yours with SAP S/4 HANA.”

“How so?”

“Even though your migration project is already underway, you still have a long way to go. So it’s not too late to think about including a purpose-built data management solution to reduce the data related risk in your project”

“What exactly do you mean by data related risk?”

“Think about why you are doing this migration in the first place. The fact that your ECC version will go onto extended maintenance in 2025 is not the main reason, is it?”

“No, this is part of a complex digital business transformation we are undertaking and we have decided that HANA is the best platform to support this business transformation.”

“Exactly. At the heart of that transformation is your master data about customers, products, suppliers etc. If you’re like most companies, the quality of your master data has naturally degraded over time, leading to duplication and inconsistencies within and across your applications. These inconsistencies impact productivity of your users and also impact customer experience across channels.”

“Agree, what we have seen so far indicates that our data is a real mess. It seems that people are busy doing one-off cleanups all over the place.”

“We see that all the time. If you don’t use this opportunity during the migration to fully address your data quality problems in a formal manner, you run the risk of moving bad data from ECC to HANA, which is a recipe for disaster. It would be like putting diesel into a new Ferrari and hoping it will work. The car may not even start, and if it does, it’s not going to run well at all, and your big investment will be wasted. Would you ever put anything but the best fuel into a Ferrari?”

“No way!”

“Exactly right. Your HANA investment is a big one and you need to fuel it with master data that is what we call “fit for purpose.” Think premium fuel for a premium car, OK? Two added complexities when going to HANA are the new business partner construct and the new architecture of the database itself.”

“Yes, it looks like a very different beast compared to ECC.”

“It sure is, and you can’t take on a beast with your bare hands alone. So what worked in the past will not work now. You need a different approach because this is not a lift and shift. The business partner construct in HANA requires a different level of master data consolidation compared to ECC.  Because a bunch of disparate objects from ECC have been combined into a single construct in HANA. This one is all about the data because a significant amount of data remediation and cleanup is going to be needed.”

“Yup, that makes sense.”

“Also, if you’re like most complex organizations out there, you probably have thousands of custom Z code programs running in ECC today generating additional data. In HANA, many tables have been removed or modified, and you need to consider where the data generated from the Z code should go. Here you have data coming up again. It’s at the heart of this whole thing as I said earlier.”

“We are facing that problem right now. I can see now why a data-centric approach is necessary.” Ralph nodded.

“Exactly. Now you throw in the fact that these migrations can last a long time because each instance needs to be moved in a phased manner without business disruption. That’s a tough ask, and it needs very careful planning. Think how hard it would be if our entire rugby team had to change our rugby cleats during a final rugby match, change our shirts and carry the water bottles from one side of the field to the other side without letting the opposition score, while the clock is ticking down to the end of the game that we must win or we will be relegated to a lower division of play!”

“Ha! That would be a tough ask for sure and you’re right, some serious planning would be needed!”

“That’s where Reltio Cloud platform comes in. We focus on three objectives – reduce risk, increase efficiency, and accelerate post-migration business transformation.”

“Guy, many customers don’t assess the post-migration scenario enough. We have burned our fingers already.”

“That’s where Reltio is different. For us, there are two parts to this story just like we have 2 halves in a game of rugby. The migration itself can be thought of as the first half of the game,  and all we are doing in this half is setting ourselves up for victory in the second half by making the hard yards and wearing the opposition down. So after the first half, your ECC instances are migrated, and in the second half we focus on further enabling your transformation by modernizing the architecture supporting your third applications and external data sources that were previously tightly coupled to your ERP.”

“That sounds really interesting.  I was thinking of this whole thing as a one-off migration and we are done.” Ralph was looking positive.

“Your migration to the new ERP app may be done when you’re live on HANA, but the business transformation and innovation continues!. Your business is about way more than the new ERP app after all. It’s like the painting of the Sydney harbor bridge. The job is continuous because when the painters reach the one end, they circle back and start on the other side again to keep it pristine and in good working order. Your business transformation is like that Ralph, it’s never really one hundred percent finished. In fact tomorrow your business leaders may come and say “hey we are acquiring company x” and guess what comes with that acquisition, more migration work, more apps to integrate, old apps to deprecate etc. So the reality is what you are doing now should be thought of as part of a constant stream of work to make you stronger and protect you from threats. You can make that work truly rewarding if you do it in a smart, innovative way and always ensure the data is treated as an asset in and of itself to continually support your transformation.”

“Agreed. I can see how your data-centric solution will help us do that.”

“Exactly! So what Reltio Cloud does here is act as an intelligent API-driven container for the core master data being migrated. You can accurately consolidate different data records from ECC in Reltio to provide the foundation for the Business Partner shared entity in HANA. Get it?”

“Yes. That makes sense.”

“Reltio Cloud has a flexible model and its extensible architecture can also offer a home to the additional master data elements. Remember the data generated by the Z code in ECC? Data that may not have a place to live in HANA?”

“You are not letting any data escape!”

“That’s our game plan, just like we don’t let the opposition get past us in a rugby match! So once you have your master data sorted, your process improves considerably. Then during the phased migration, the Reltio Cloud acts as the bridge between ECC and S/4HANA. That ensures proper sharing of any common master data required until ECC is fully deprecated.”

“Excellent!”

“Play smarter not harder, that’s the key. Reltio Cloud also acts as the governance platform to address the data quality problems before S/4HANA ingestion. This approach of creating a separate layer between ECC and S/4HANA significantly reduces the risk of a failed migration. See,  your stakeholders can be remediating problems with the data in Reltio while the heavy lifting goes on behind the scenes to build all the data movement routines and get them ready.”

“I can see that if we separate the data from the applications and treat it as a standalone construct, we can offer a dedicated solution for our users to actually visualize the issues and deal with them. I mean compared to spreadsheets and SQL code flying around everywhere!”

“Yes. With automated rules and machine learning data quality monitoring built in out of the box, the Reltio Cloud gives you a reliable modern data management platform to get visibility into the data. With that, your team can focus on remediating the exceptions only and not looking at everything out there. See where I am going? More time to think. More intelligent solutions. Higher efficiency. Lower risk of failure. And for you, no more frantic calls from the team!”

“You got me there, Guy!”

“You can also run more end-to-end load simulations to increase confidence in the quality of the migration process itself. The more you can uncover issues in the data early and issues with the end-to-end tests, the more you move risk to the left side of your timeline vs. the right when you’re deep in testing and ready to go live. This is exactly why we run our rugby plays so many times at practice so that we can get them perfect come game time.”

Ralph was visibly relaxed. So I decided to share the last bit about the post-migration value realization and get ready for the game.

“Ralph, a successful migration to SAP HANA creates a strong platform to accelerate business growth, that’s why you’re doing it as you mentioned.  Remember that after the migration you now have the master data as a freestanding asset in Reltio Cloud and a fully operational integration to S/4 HANA. You don’t want to throw away this valuable asset that you have created because it can now add a huge amount of additional value in your business. If you’re truly transforming your business, it’s about much more than just the ERP app, it’s about all the touchpoints in your business.”

“Absolutely!”

“The Reltio Cloud can now power the experience you aim to deliver across all your touchpoints because each one requires accurate, updated data about customers, suppliers, or products. You can now introduce new applications much more rapidly to meet your changing business needs because you have the data available for all to use in a separate intelligent container.  You can now think about the myriad of third party apps you have out there. Think warehouse management, logistics, CRM, e-commerce, loyalty, and what not! Work on integrating those with Reltio to add more agility into your environment and to improve the experience delivered by all those apps.”

“You know what, after this game today I’m going to go back to the team with a clearer head. Don’t know how much to thank you! I have a couple more proposals coming up for SAP S/4 HANA Migration, and I am going to pitch for the Reltio Cloud solution. No two ways about that!”

“I like it.”

“Yes. It’s an elegant solution. Don’t fret about data during the migration, just get Reltio Cloud deployed as part of your migration architecture and at least take one big worry off your plate.”

“It’s still going to be a tough journey because there are a lot of moving parts. But the risk of failure will be significantly reduced if you add Reltio into the migration architecture. It’s all about setting yourself up for victory by doing the hard yards early. That’s why we focus on this preparation. Like how we do for a game. You know the dictum. It’s what you do before the season starts that makes a champion!”

We had a wonderful game that night.

Great Customer Experiences Start with Enterprise-ready Customer 360

Ankur Gupta, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Reltio

Blake Morgan, Customer Experience Futurist, makes her point in the Forbes article Five Trends Shaping the Future of Customer Experience In 2019. According to her, “customer experience (CX) is now seen as a key business strategy for every brand.” In a customer-obsessed business culture of the likes of Amazon, customer experience is the game changer and no one can afford to ignore it.

So if the future belongs to customer experience, how ready are you? Who is in charge of customer experience in your organization? How do you ensure security and privacy while personalizing the customer experience? How does your customer experience strategy fit in your organization’s digital transformation strategy? If you have not considered these questions before, it’s time to ask them. Whether you sell toothpaste or cars, customer experience is the key business driver you need to focus on.

While discussing the five emerging trends, Blake Morgan insists that customer experience is not a function of any individual or a specific team. It involves every employee from every facet of the business. Needless to say that such organization-wide participation cannot rely on a point solution for limited use. Customer-first mindset needs customer-first organizational infrastructure to deliver the best experience at every stage of the customer journey. Modern enterprise-wide customer data platforms with Customer 360 present a real-time single customer view to all the business teams to ensure consistent omnichannel customer experience.

You also need to appreciate that the unique and consistent customer experience is not something static, or a design-once task. It is an ongoing activity, constantly responding to the changes in market and customer expectations, new products and services, and technology evolution. Successful organizations are always willing to transcend and continuously re-evaluate processes, products, and business models. Blake notes that transformation triggers like digital growth and a changing economy can dramatically impact customers and completely change the face of customer experience.

Can your business then quickly adapt to these rapidly changing expectations from customer experience? Can you discover, validate, and scale innovative use of existing and new data-sets to deploy products and services faster? Are you able to maximize the ROI of customer experience by continuously unlocking the value of data relationships across people, products, locations, devices, and other newly added data-sets in an increasingly complex digital and regulatory landscape?

The answer is YES if you master data on ML & digital ready data platform with rapid data on-boarding via a flexible data model, to integrate customer data at scale across web, mobile, digital, and in-store touch-points in real time. The highly responsive platform delivers rapid data relationship resolution and data discovery via graph and machine learning technology with Google-like search and visualization of all data objects and their relationships.

In one recent survey by Gartner, 87% of senior business leaders affirm digitization as a top priority and in many cases a do-or-die imperative. The urgency is natural as a Harvard Business School study shows digital leaders posting a three-year average gross margin of 55%, in a sharp contrast to just 37% for digital laggards. For digital transformation to be effective, Blake points out, it must be long-term, continuous, and involve every employee.

If the digital transformation doesn’t have an end date, then is your data platform able to scale infinitely to support your long-term, evolving customer experience? Can it continuously collect and correlate all customer data from internal as well as external, public, and social media? Not just personal data, but all interaction and transactional data across all possible channels? Can your data platform ensure access to the full customer data at all your customer touch-points to fulfill operational responsibilities and provide a delightful customer experience? Can it manage not just the scale of data but the agility and complexity that comes with it? Not just now but in the future, too?

It’s a tall order, especially for team-specific partial solutions designed to deliver only customer experience. Fulfilling every challenge of customer experience across the entire journey and involving every employee is possible only with an enterprise-wide Customer 360 solution.

With a firm handle on managing data across the entire enterprise to continuously refine the customer experience, the next question to ask is if you are leveraging modern technology to achieve it. As Robotic Process Automation (RPA) gains ground, and Machine Learning (ML) makes deep inroads in enterprise systems, the customer experience of future will be fully technology-driven. In this scenario, can your data platform deliver the goods? Can it easily integrate with your ML and AI initiatives as well as upcoming technologies, to automatically uncover customer insights, relationships, and the context of the business they are doing with you? If not, it’s time to switch.

While businesses routinely get hit by disruptive technologies, your customer experience must not. Top companies are investing in future-ready enterprise data platforms to ensure that they can tackle the technology leaps and disruptions. With enterprise-wide Customer 360, they are already reaping the benefits of machine learning to derive actionable insights and weave them in their strategy of delivering the finest and most exciting customer experience.

Blake’s vision of the future of customer experience is strongly rooted in ethics. You must have experienced the rigorous regulations for customer data privacy including GDPR. With the explosion of data in the current times, partly voluntarily given by individuals and partly collected digitally from various sources, protecting customer data is fast becoming critical for organizations. While you need to collect customer data at every touch-point to get a complete profile, you also need to ensure that customers have control of their own private data. Do you have fail-safe processes to guarantee security of customer data? Do you have a data platform that organically lets you capture and comply with how your customers want to engage with you? Does your platform do it in a manner compliant with the ever changing data privacy and regulatory requirements?

A enterprise-wide Customer 360 solution makes it easier for organizations to comply with regulations, by creating a single source of customer information blending profile, interaction, and transaction data from all sources, complete with data governance and trace-ability to meet all compliance needs. With integrated workflows to manage customer change requests and data updates, you can efficiently maintain rights and consents to get a faster time to compliance.

Blake Morgan articulates in her timely and relevant article that “we’re entering a time of great transition in customer experience.” The future belongs to customer experience, and you must take a long-term view to fulfill all future mandates of customer experience. Successful customer-centric companies focus on establishing a data fabric that syndicates the data to every function impacting customer experience, with a strong data foundation that can integrate, harmonize, and organize customer data to drive contextual insights and personalized recommendations.

Time to drop the incomplete and incompetent solutions and invest in a scalable, agile, sustainable Enterprise Data Platform that can deliver the most engaging, truly consistent, and highly personalized customer experience throughout the entire customer journey. Today. For Future.

Case 1. A Large Operator of Golf Courses & Luxury Clubs: Delivering Memorable Experiences and Retaining High-net-worth Members

On a recent business trip a member guest checks in to a country club that is not her home club where she plans to spend a night. The receptionist surprises the member guest by upgrading her stay, giving her a great deal at a local award winning restaurant, and offering to secure discounted tickets for VIP seating for an upcoming concert near her home club as a great way to celebrate her wedding anniversary next month.

The club operator can deliver this delightful experience because it has access to its members’ fresh, rich, and actionable member profiles fueled by Reltio. The company can empower the receptionist with the next best offers and actions aligned with member profile, relationships, preferences, and interaction history. Reltio empowers the club operator to do this for every club member while adhering to privacy and preferences to deliver memorable experiences and retain their high-net-worth members.

Case 2. A Top Global Fast Food Restaurant Chain: Delivering Personalized Customer Experiences across all Engagement Channels

A business traveler is in another town on an international business trip and spot a popular fast-food restaurant which has global footprints. Striding inside in a hurry, he swipes his loyalty card, and the sandwich artist cheerfully asks if he wants to go for his favorite a toasted turkey and cheddar sandwich on wheat bread with extra pickles, or he wants to try out a tuna sandwich this time. With the access to his profile in the POS system, the sandwich artist is well aware of his usual preferences, and that this customer has occasionally chosen tuna sandwich. The dynamically presented customer profile also identifies that the person is traveling from another country, and the sandwich artist offers him a delicious local specialty. A delightful surprise, and the fast food restaurant is already registered in customer’s mind as his best bet for a perfect bite in any new town.

Digital Enterprises: Built on Modern MDM

Ankur Gupta, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Reltio

The third Modern Data Management annual summit (#DataDriven19) had great minds sharing their MDM success stories and assessing where MDM is headed.

Modern enterprises put data at the heart of every decision to stay competitive. Nice line. But that’s easier said than done. Understanding data to make it work is perhaps the biggest challenge enterprises face today. The reason is simple. With a constant onslaught of data from everywhere, in all shapes and sizes, just “managing” data is not enough. You need much more than that, to make sense out of that huge volume holding a great amount of potential business value.

But how? The picture gets clearer when you hear the top brains in MDM (Master Data Management) sharing their take on it.  

Manish Sood, CEO, Reltio nails it when he labels data as the new sunshine. It’s ubiquitous, powerful, adaptable, and trusted. With the right solution, enterprises can leverage data to adapt faster, compete faster, and deliver faster. And that right solution is modern MDM that goes beyond managing the master data. A modern MDM helps businesses to continuously unlock the value of data relationships among customers, households, stores, locations, products, devices, and suppliers in an increasingly complex digital and regulatory landscape.

While sharing his outlook at the third Modern Data Management Annual Summit in 2019, Aaron Zornes, Chief Research Officer, The MDM Institute, outlined the capabilities required for the next generation MDM platform. According to him, Graph Technology provides the missing link between domains, data analytics, and IoT. He predicts that more and more reliance on Graph will evolve MDM towards “master relationship management”, where analytical upstarts from Graph world will increasingly add operational capabilities for performance and robustness.

Peter Diamandis, CEO, X-Prize Foundation once said, “Every second of every day, our senses bring in way too much data than we can possibly process in our brains.” And that is what Machine Learning offers:  process scalability beyond the human capacity. Aaron Zornes believes that Machine Learning will definitely play a bigger role in the modern MDM, increasingly solving scalability, complexity, and agility issues.

For Aaron, cloud economics is compelling, and the native cloud MDM must keep advancing in the next 2-3 years to meet market expectations while delivering business value.

Michele Goetz, Principal Analyst at Forrester says the new goal of data management should be to “democratize and monetize insights,” eliminating bottlenecks like ownership or enterprise architecture. These insights can reveal valuable customer information, never perceived before. She points out that your customer is hiding in plain sight, you need to tap into all the data to get him out. The modern MDM is the right step in that direction to develop a deeper understanding of the customer. To ensure no wall between data, governance, and insight, she shares her mantras: invest intelligently, source strategically, and collaborate.

Ray ‘R’ Wang, Principal Analyst and Founder, Constellation Research has a very interesting take on data and insights. He suggests that if data is the foundation of digital business, then the future of digital business models will be built on insights. He points out that in an on-demand attention economy, you’re not competing with another company, you’re really competing for time and attention. Every touch point, every click, every digital exhaust is relevant insight, which must be leveraged to get that attention.

Digital Transformation is also on the mind of Scott Taylor, Data Whisperer & Principal Consultant, MetaMeta Consulting. For him, after unlocking value from data with modern MDM, the next logical step is to leverage the master data as the foundation of Digital Transformation and maximize the technology investment. He recognizes that digital transformation brings People, Technology, Processes, and Data together. Of these, master data is the data in-charge!  He strongly believes that master data as the foundation of digital transformation provides semantic consistency, enables deeper interoperability, and drives greater value.

As a closing thought, Aaron Zornes emphasizes that all enterprises need to focus on the next-gen MDM requirements as we move from a “system of record” to add a “system of reference” and ultimately move into a “system of engagement.” He, too, believes that relationship-driven analytics will form the foundation of future MDM, and data-driven, context-driven cognitive applications will fully enable the Digital Enterprise.  

These unique perspectives of the industry thought leaders piece together a holistic picture of the future digital enterprise. A future where modern MDM empowers enterprises to democratize and monetize insights, by unlocking value from data with AI-powered relationship-driven analytics.

If you missed this event, check out the video presentations here to get the latest buzz in the data management industry (Login: dd19@reltio.com | Password: berightfaster)

The Magic of Modern Master Data Management: Making Data Work for Healthcare and Life Sciences

Ankur Gupta, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Reltio

Digital transformation, big data analytics, and machine learning – the buzzwords echoing the Healthcare & Life Sciences industry signify a new era of delivering connected and personalized customer experience through 360 customer profile.  If you are rethinking customer engagement and planning a better customer experience, we have a very special event lined up for you.

Learn from the experts, catch ideas in panel discussions, and network with top professionals.  The Modern Data Management Summit 2019 taking place in San Francisco, over February 26-27, 2019 is your ticket to discover how modern data management, data science, and business facing data-driven applications are transforming the Healthcare & Life Sciences organizations.

Dedicated Healthcare and Life Sciences Track

My earlier blog posts The Fastest Way to Learn Modern MDM & Personalized Customer 360 and Organize Master Data, Personalize Customer 360: Learn from the Top Industry Experts highlight some of the sessions discussing capabilities of modern data management, reliable customer data for maximum business impact, and best practices for data governance and compliance.

Healthcare and Life Sciences industry is freshly discovering how the huge data they collect can be efficiently and productively managed. We have a dedicated track for this industry covering the specific challenges and success stories in managing data.

Healthcare needs never remain the same for members. They change with time and life events. Delivering members the best experience relevant to their life stages is a top priority for healthcare providers.

The key session on Managing Experience throughout Member Lifecycle will focus on how a data-driven approach succeeds in always delivering value for their member’s needs. An expert panel from Optum, with Maria Perkins, Vice President, Growth Technologies & Proposals, Shanky Krishnan, Sr. Director, Growth Technologies Cloud Platform, Reinaldo Amaral, Director, MDM Data Quality, and Hugh Flood, Program Manager, MDM will discuss leveraging data to manage the experience throughout the member lifecycle.

In a special session, Joanna Walker, Global MDM Architect, AstraZeneca will illustrate how they leveraged Modern MDM for business-driven expansion to tap new markets in North America and Africa. She will elaborate how the cloud-based solution helps them manage more than 15M Healthcare providers and organizations, delivering consistent, reliable data to field reps in diverse global markets.

While business users focus on data analytics for improving business performance, they also know results will be as good as the quality of data they come from. Data quality and ranking capability is valuable for data stewards since it automatically prioritizes work by identifying data high in business value but low in quality.

Jamie Yates, AstraZeneca and Ramya Krishnan, Product Management, Reltio will describe how data stewards can steer their time and efforts for the greatest business impact and increasing productivity, while business users can use these ranks and scores to segment data and maximize business outcomes.

And there is more. Discover the journey of a Top 10 life sciences company through evolving data strategy, various data management use cases, and lessons learned along the way.  Vivian Wu, Senior Manager of Enterprise Data Operations, Marketing Analytics & Business Insights, AbbVie, and Bernie Tucker, Director, Data and Analytic Services, US Commercial Business Technology Solutions, AbbVie will share their insights.  

Master Data Management (MDM) in life sciences has evolved from being the traditional matching of records and creating clean data, to automating the process of collecting and linking disparate data into a single trusted source, and effectively managing the data assets shared across the enterprise. Mukesh Sharma and Suhas Joshi will talk about the Digital Transformation at Syneos Health, the MDM journey, experiences, and learnings.

Get to know what preparing the right data for the first product launch involves, especially when bringing biotech ingenuity to medical dermatology. It needs rigorous planning, correct data strategy, cross systems coordination, agile deployment, and onboarding with failover options. Sahithi Paleti, Manager IT commercial/Medical Affairs Systems, Dermira and Bharat Tandon, Manager, Data Management and Analytics, ZS Associates will discuss their experiences around their data management approach, key challenges, and takeaways while enabling commercial readiness for Dermira’s first product launch.

John Hayes, Associate Vice President, Data Management, Sanofi, David Eller, Associate Director, Commercial Information Strategy, Grifols, and Scott Isaac, Director Global Business Intelligence Lead, Pfizer will explore customer data management strategies in the light of new customer expectations, new business models, and new compliance requirements.

Mark your calendar: February 26-27, 2019

The most focused #DataDriven19 event for all you need to know about modern data management and delivering personalized customer experience.

Learn more and request an invite at https://www.reltio.com/events/dd19

Organize Master Data, Personalize Customer 360: Learn from the Top Industry Experts

Ankur Gupta, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Reltio

If connected and personalized customer experience is your immediate goal, and if you want to know everything about achieving it, look no further. Focusing on the modern way to organize master data, the upcoming Modern Data Management Summit 2019 is the best event to learn about big data analytics and machine learning to deliver personalized customer experience through 360 customer profile.

Sounds impressive? Don’t just take our word. Discover yourself. Join us in the most exciting #DataDriven19 event in San Francisco, CA. The summit promises the choicest real-world knowledge sharing sessions, unique panel discussions, and delightful industry networking opportunities.

Mark your calendar: February 26-27, 2019

With over 40 sessions featuring 60 speakers, the summit has three tracks – Modern Data Management, Personalize Customer 360, and Healthcare & Life Sciences. The best minds in industry discuss the hottest topics relevant to master data management, customer 360, data science, and business facing data-driven applications.

Rob Fuller, Digital Solution Architect, Principal Director, Accenture, will present the business and technology challenges of achieving true omni-channel marketing, and how Accenture and Reltio are joining hands in significantly reducing the time and effort required to deliver the finest omni-channel customer experience.

The master data management platforms are evolving to meet the needs of the digital economy. Aaron Zornes, Chief Research Officer, The MDM Institute will speak about the capabilities required for the next generation MDM platform that incorporates graph technology, infuses insights from the data using advanced analytics and machine learning, and offers big data scale performance in the cloud.

Michele Goetz, Principal Analyst, Forrester will discuss how businesses can transform customer experience, business models, and market competitiveness by investing in the right technology innovation, embedding intelligence into all tiers of their data management systems, and work toward customer insight systems that accelerate results.

Success Stories and Industry Best Practices

When the European regulation GDPR came into effect last year changing the way we manage personal data, it was time for businesses to rethink their data management. Srilakshmi Goparaju, Master Data Management Expert at Equinix will explore the key business benefits of using MDM to address compliance needs and how they can be smartly turned into business opportunities.

Modernizing data infrastructure and building an enterprise customer master across all acquired businesses help improve the end-to-end customer experience and uncovers new business opportunities. In an exciting session, Suresh Jawahar, Director Data Governance & MDM, Advance Auto Parts (AAP) will discuss the best practices for data management including data governance, and leveraging reliable customer data for advanced analytics to create the maximum business impact.

Omer Iqbal, Senior Vice President – Global Architecture – Digital Center of Excellence, Shiseido, will share what digital experience means for one of the leading beauty products enterprises, and how a new vision of beauty is delivered through data-driven digital strategy.

Enterprises recognize the value of connected experiences through every stage of customer journey, and want to provide relevant offers to maximize the customer lifetime value. Shree Seshan, Director – Digital IT – Data Management & Strategy, L’Oreal will explore how some of the leading organizations are succeeding in digital transformation to achieve personalized, connected customer experience in a compliant manner.

My earlier blog post The Fastest Way to Learn Modern MDM & Personalized Customer 360 highlights some more sessions on digital transformation, machine learning-enabled data management, and mega-trends around Customer 360.

Make the most of this #DataDriven19 event to stay ahead of the curve on your data strategy, digital transformation efforts, and business goals.

Learn more and request an invite at https://www.reltio.com/events/dd19

#DataDriven19 – The Fastest Way to Learn Modern MDM & Personalized Customer 360

Ankur Gupta, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Reltio

Learn more and request an invite at https://www.reltio.com/events/dd19

The third Modern Data Management annual summit (#DataDriven19) will be held on February 26-27 2019 in San Francisco. It will have over 40 sessions and panels featuring 60 speakers.

There will be three tracks – Modern Data Management, Personalize Customer 360, and Healthcare & Life Sciences. This year’s theme “Organize Master Data. Personalize Customer 360” will cover the hottest topics relevant to master data management and customer 360, big data analytics, data science and business facing data-driven applications.

Some of the not-to-be-missed sessions are –

Learn from Ray ‘R’ Wang, Principal Analyst and Founder, Constellation Research how AI driven analytics will transform the future of business.

Michele Goetz, Principal Analyst at Forrester will discuss the pragmatic approach to machine learning enabled data management that delivers real business outcomes.

Manish Sood, CEO, Reltio will look at how leading digital organizations are using technology to meet the trust, privacy and customer experience needs today and preparing for the future.

As a data professional you face the convergence of mega-trends around Customer 360, AI, Big Data, programmatic marketing, ABM, and globalization. Scott Taylor, Data Whisperer & Principal Consultant, MetaMeta Consulting would discuss how to survive these unrelenting business pressures by putting your data to work!

Kevin McBride, Director, WW, Sales Data Management, HP Inc. will discuss the digital transformation journey at HP and how data management at scale helped enabled the transformation. Session will review multi-domain use cases for using data management at scale to build single view of customers with complex hierarchies.

Joanna Walker, Global MDM Architect, AstraZeneca (AZ) will discuss how AZ Center of Excellence team manage their cloud MDM platform as a service globally and innovative ways in which the AZ business is using MDM to provide reliable data to field reps.

Rick Camp, Principal & Founder Forward360 LLC will discuss a modern definition of patient centricity and provide insights into how agile Master Data Management (MDM) enables relevant & personalized patient engagement and commercial success.

There will be many more exciting sessions and panels from across the industry to set you on the right path for data-driven digital transformation for 2019.

Summit will also recognize leaders in IT and business with The Data Genius Awards. The recipients have blazed the trail for their creative use of data for the benefit of their companies raising their Enterprise Data IQ every day through continuous Data Organization and Customer 360.

Overall the event promises best in the industry networking opportunity and educational sessions that will offer new ways for companies to think about their data in the new digital economy. It will not be just about work; a fabulous evening reception on 2/26 will give you ample opportunity to mingle and play while enjoying amazing view of the beautiful San Francisco city!

We are all hands on deck working to make #DataDriven19 the most informative data management event of 2019.