The versatility of analytics is still underexposed. All too often, analytics is lumped together with reporting and tracking, while it is a so much richer domain. That is why in this series, we will take a closer look at the many possibilities analytics has to offer. In order to gain more insight in various business processes, AE developed three useful tools: a Dive into Customer Journey’s, the Smart Meter Project and the Churn insights tool.
In the first instalment of this series, we introduce the Customer Journey tooling. We talk to AE consultant and data scientist Jan Vercammen, who has already developed several tools for our partners in the utilities sector.
Tools for the utilities sector
The Customer Journey tooling was, just like the other two tools we mentioned above, specifically developed for business analysts. Jan Vercammen explains his working method:
“I primarily concentrate on open questions and numbers that require some detective work. I focus on specific business problems that are of particular interest to the utilities sector. So-called "churns' are quite common in this sector. Customers of utility companies are quick to switch over to the competition and thus 'churn' from one utility company to the next. AE studies how we can address this problem through analytics.”
In doing so, user-friendliness is decisive for Jan:
“I think it is very important to directly engage all divisions of the business I'm developing for. For instance, the marketing department must be able to quite easily interpret my analyses as well."
A treasure trove of information
The tooling was co-created with one of our utilities clients and automates the various steps to reporting. In this way, more room is created for process optimisation. Jan Vercammen emphasises the importance of the tool:"Our partners need analytics to strengthen the business side, so they can more quickly focus on their core tasks. From experience, we’ve learned that only 20 percent of the customers of a specific utilities partner made no less than 80 percent of all calls to their call centre. Our utilities customer traditionally collected all information from these calls in so-called call logs. In collaboration with AE, our client was able to convert this treasure trove of information into usable insights.
Journey Miner simplifies the work of business analysts
"We started process mining in this data source,"Jan tells us. "A huge number of ideas resulted from that in a very short time. A few graphs showed how people behaved after interacting with their energy supplier. It most certainly had potential!”This is how the idea to develop a Customer Journey tool came about, which would allow business analysts to make and visualise their datasets on their own. Based on these visualisations, the analysts could subsequently monitor their customers' behaviour.
Thanks to the tooling, business analysts know exactly what events make customers call the help desk. They also find out in how many cases a payment reminder makes a customer 'churn'. They can focus on finding out why these events occur. In other words, the tool does not interpret anything, but does substantially simplify the work of business analysts.
According to Jan Vercammen, it is a perfect example of how analytics generate valuable business insights: “Insight does not necessarily result from the most advanced machine learning techniques. The focus must always be on the concrete value being generated."
What our customers have to say about the innovativetool? First and foremost a tool that works very fast and efficiently. People no longer have to search for data, because they are ready and waiting for them. In addition, when new events are added, they are immediately made available to everybody. This way, any bugs are easily fixed. Testing hypotheses is also made simpler.
And finally, the tool creates a common language within the company: all users immediately know how to read the model. This is a major advantage compared to the manual analyses that were carried out in the past. Back then, everybody had their own style, which often led to a confusing variety in graphs. With the Customer Journey tool, the chaos is forever a thing of the past and our utilities partner has valuable knowledge at his disposal!
Would you like to know more about our Analytics work in the Utilities sector? Be sure to keep an eye on d-sides and its social media, as they will further supplement the series with a churn prediction model and a Smart meter data project in the upcoming weeks.