Friday, July 28, 2017

AI in BI – Intelligence,The Way Forward

Traditionally, business intelligence (BI) was restricted to business analysts who supplied information based on a collection of data over set time periods. The evolution of data and the collection of real-time data has greatly influenced the structuring of BI trends. The speed of data is imperative to drive timely actionable insights. Data that had been the metrics a day back would become stale within the next few days. Consequently, live access to data and its immediate interpretation has become the core of BI models. Like data, BI models too have started changing constantly with time bridging the time gap between data gathering and analysis.

The dawn of digitalization

The metrics of digitalization, consumerization, agility, security, analytics, cloud, and mobile are also simultaneously influencing the changing landscape of BI. One of the revolutionizing ideas that are taking form for better BI control is Artificial Intelligence, the AI. This has become a new face in the BI space as real-time data crunching has become more demanding for second by second analysis. Using the evolution of built in algorithms and age-old data analysis tools, businesses could build effective models through AI. It makes the data not just live but also visualized for effective analysis.

Current tech landscape of AI
The purpose of business analytics is to answer and project what the future holds. Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) are two common techniques that are enabling better BI under predictive analysis. While the ANN models work just like the neurons of the human body in trying to chain the data into visualization, the latter technique, ARIMA, is concentrated on time series analysis that predicts scenarios by synchronizing both the past and current data.

Besides providing real time data analysis tools, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is indeed engulfing the business intelligence. We have witnessed several business modules incorporating AI models for efficient functioning and success of their business models. It would be safe to say that some of the areas where AI has been quite successful would be in sales, general electric companies that deal with intricate repairing of machinery, hospitals and in certain cases to monitor machine fleets and factories. If we are not convinced with the fact that AI is slowly taking over BI – here is a fact for you – AI is now the new decision maker! If you are looking for a smart business partner, you know who to reach out to next! This brings a rather intriguing quote from Woodrow Wilson, who has stated: “We should not only use the brains we have but all that we can borrow.” Ain’t that quaint?

The way forward

We have seen upscale in BI technologies such as cloud analytics and embedded integration systems all through the year 2016 and they will continue to reign the BI world since smaller businesses are still in the process of shifting gears into bigger technology. The year 2017 has been predicted by business analysts as the year for businesses to start migrating into the technologically advanced BI models.

Here is a million dollar question – Are you leveraging BI to your strength?

Drop a comment, and I’d be happy to discuss the future of BI with you.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Why you need Newsletter Subscription Feature on Your Magento 2 Store?

One line answer for this question – As a default, Magento 2(CE) doesn’t have one and you need to increase your customer lifetime value! Agree completely? You may want to check out this Magento 2 extension.

Interested in digging deeper? Read on.

So you are all set up on Magento 2 and have a kick ass digital marketing strategy in place which ensures that your potential customers find you when they need to buy. Now what? You wait for the customers to come pouring- in on your online store and have transactions. But, is a transactional relationship with your clients is what you are aiming for, at best?

A true salesman knows the value of establishing a solid relationship with its customers. Increasing the lifetime value of your customers is the ultimate aim you should be looking for. The good old Pareto principle holds completely true here which mean 20% of your total customers are responsible for 80% of your revenues.

Customer Lifetime Value 

Customer Lifetime Value(CLV) refers to the future profits a company expects to earn from a customer throughout his or her relationship with the business. A repeat customer thus is much more valuable to any online merchant than one time shoppers. But how do you ensure that a continuous communication channel is built with the customer? Digital marketing tactics allow you to promote and re-market to your existing customers on the web but at the risk of being too intrusive and some case even on the verge of being annoying. Remember the time you felt when you kept seeing an unwanted digital ad of a particular product you just stumbled upon on an online store?
This is where email marketing is slightly better as you have the prior permission to connect with the customers. This bring us to an important question-

Does Email Marketing still work?

Among numerous innovative ways of establishing that intimate relationship with your clients, traditional email marketing still is one of the most effective & least intrusive ways of keeping in touch with your customers. In fact the engagement rates through emails are improving in 2017.

Why you need customers to subscribe?

Subscribing means you have a ready database of your actual customers who want to hear more from you. We don’t need to stress on the fact that how valuable that database is to your firm. It will ensure that your customers are aware of the best offers, company news and a ton of other relevant info right in their inboxes.

How can you enable this feature in Magento 2(CE)?
As a merchant using Magento 2 Community Edition (CE) you can either ask your store maintenance provider to help you add this feature, which might be a taxing and time taking process. Alternatively you can buy any off- the-shelf extensions at fraction of the costs on Magento marketplace.

Which extension to use?

You can try Newsletter Subscription at Checkout extension for Magento 2(CE) which is super-easy to install & configure. As a merchant you will get a zipped code with user manual & installation guide for a simple step-by- step installation process. Most valuable part of this extension is its highly customizable feature which gives you the flexibility to choose what you need.

In conclusion, we would like to stress on the fact that email marketing can be a great addition to your marketing mix but you need to ensure that you have laid a strong foundation for it by building a subscriber list. This may seem a minuscule step but adding the feature of subscribing to a newsletter on the checkout page will make all the difference when it comes to building lifetime value for your customers.
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