NICE Systems, big data, acquisition, causata
From the NICE Systems' website

Digital customers leave a huge trail of data, and analyzing that Big Data has become a big deal for anyone looking to understand them. This week, Israel-based NICE Systems announced it was buying San Mateo, California-based Causata, whose real-time Big Data analytics technology can increase NICE’s ability to provide insights for customer interaction in contact centers and elsewhere. 

NICE Systems said the acquisition will allow predictive analytics to be applied to customers who might begin contact with the company on a website and then move to interaction with an agent at a contact center. Causata will be integrated into NICE's Customer Engagement Analytics platform, which was launched in April to capture and analyze customer data across channels throughout a customer journey, in order to improve customer experience and accomplish such efficiencies as reducing call volume.

Big Data Real Time Insights Across Channels

As companies and vendors move into the next wave of dealing with customers across multiple channels, a key tenet has been to maintain a consistent customer experience throughout. However, it is a major challenge for companies to maintain consistency as customers jump from channel to channel, especially from a digital medium like the web to a human-assisted one like a phone-based agent at a contact center. Insights derived from big data trails can help agents make the transition.

Causata offers an interaction repository of data utilizing the open-source Hadoop, and its solution is designed to provide real-time decisioning, dynamic customer profiles and web personalization.

The customer profiles are based on real-time analysis of activities conducted on various channels, and are designed to support a complete picture of a customer's history and current needs. Uses for the predictive analytics include recommending the next best action to agents.

Causata Supports the Customer Journey

A consumer survey conducted in 2012 by NICE found that customers employ an average of six different channels for communicating with a company, and sometimes those channels are used at the same time, such as interacting on a website while talking to a contact center agent on the phone. In addition to understanding a customer's steps across channels, the insights from the data analysis are intended to identify possible sales offers that might interest the customer.

Zeevi Bregman, President and CEO of NICE, pointed out that many of his company's clients still have their customer information siloed by channels. He said in a statement that the Causata purchase provides "real-time solutions which addresses the entire customer journey across touch points."

NICE Systems has been focusing on building capabilities and integration for the contact center, which still remains the centerpiece for customer service in many companies. At the end of last month, for instance, NICE announced a Contact Center Video Recording solution that enables monitoring of customer-agent interaction in order to improve agent performance.

In June, NICE partnered with gamification vendor Bunchball to use game techniques for improving the performance of customer-facing and back office employees.