Artelligence 2021: Behavioural data analysis offers opportunities for greater revenue

Session highlights how various industries are being impacted by tech acceleration

Organisations that are investing in capturing data on customer behaviours should look into monetising their findings by creating a personalised customer strategy, experts said at the Artelligence 2021 forum.

Speaking on the role of data, AI and machine learning to attain insights on customers and enhance business capabilities, experts in a panel session highlighted how various industries are being impacted by the acceleration in technologies.

Ramana Kumar, CEO of Magnati, the payments subsidiary of First Abu Dhabi Bank, noted that as a consumer driven industry, banking and finance has already witnessed a shift in terms of how big tech companies are taking away a large chunk of the business. This, he added, is also bound to happen across various other industries. He shed light on how Magnati has championed data mapping over the years.

“Our journey with AI and data started three years ago, when we started capturing tokenised data of every unique payment performance of a customer,” he said.

Elaborating on the way the technology works, he offered an example of a person being fond of coffee from Starbucks. While people around him might be aware of how much he loves grabbing a coffee from the store, they might not be aware of how many times in a day he places an order, when he places his orders, or what else he purchases along with his coffee. An organisation, he explained, can use data mapping to get an idea about these preferences, predict buying behaviours, and sell them their next product.

He also offered another example where Magnati worked with an automobile merchant during the Covid-19 pandemic. “When Covid-19 hit, everyone was at home, and no one was buying cars. We used our data analytics and AI tools to pick the potential customer set, who were willing to buy, and worked with the merchant to send them an SMS with a link to make their first payment. You won’t believe the number of cars that the merchant sold.”

This, he said, is a great example of being proactive with technology. “We could have sat around and said ‘let us wait for Covid-19 to pass’, but we used behavioural analytics to identify an opportunity.”

Hesham Al Ghamdi, group chief data & analytics officer at Abdul Latif Jameel Automotive Company, KSA, noted that there is an evolution in technology revolving around the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which has improved connectivity across various industries. What is important, from a business perspective, he said, is to focus on change management and reskilling workers.

“When it comes to the skill sets of people, you have to educate them on new tasks and abilities, and how they can collaborate with machines to ensure the success of their operations,” he said. “We have been working with robotic process automation (RPAs) over the last couple of years and they have been very successful in increasing revenue and efficiency.”

Similarly, Dr Abdelrahman AlMahmoud, principal researcher - Cloud and Big Data - at the Technology Innovation Institute, shared how the institute’s strategy revolves around three main pillars. The first pillar, he said, has to do with talent and talent management.

“We are able to get access to AI talent - people who know how to build machine learning models - and we have great programmes all across the country to develop this sort of talent,” he said. “Where we run into challenges is getting data engineers. This is not something that you can easily train people for, but something that you have to experience. So, we are focused on attracting excellent data engineers, and having them interact with the data just to build their skill set so that they are at the point where they can build production level data pipelines.”

The second pillar, he said, revolves around how we think about data. “We have researchers that understand the data that they need and they approach us with what they need, and we make sure that they have good quality to work with. Lastly, our third pillar looks at infrastructure from a data collection point of view, such as IoT (Internet of Things) devices. This data is crucial in creating your future strategies.”