Making Decision Intelligence a reality in your businessBy Andrew Pyrah on March 1, 2021
As a Customer Success Manager at Peak, it’s my job to take our customers from the point where they’ve decided they could make better business decisions with AI, to being truly Decision Intelligence-driven across their operations.
It’s a journey we’re well practiced in helping teams navigate – so I’m here to tell you a little bit about it!
Firstly though, let’s take a step back. What exactly is Decision Intelligence? Decision Intelligence is the commercial application of AI to grow revenue and profits for companies. In simple terms, it involves using machine learning and AI techniques on your business’ data to help you make better decisions across your entire organization.
Being able to use AI to make smarter, better, faster business decisions is no longer a nice-to-have for businesses, but an essential for those operating across all sectors. We know, that sounds grandiose and kind of complicated, but don’t worry about it. We’ve been helping customers use AI to make their businesses more effective for years. And, whilst we’re passionate about this end goal, we’re also well practiced in actually making it happen.
So, it’s a journey – a transformational piece that takes time, and there’s all the usual facets of an agile delivery method. Ours is called Peak Delivers, and it’s made up of eight interacting stages. There’s Kick-Off meetings, a Vision Statement, time spent articulating processes and value, regular stand-ups, documentation, Zoom calls, children and pets interrupting those Zoom calls, user-stories and absolutely no such thing as a silly question. But to our mind, above all else, there are three critical success factors that are essential in making your Decision Intelligence journey impactful and transformational.
- A solid understanding of your business processes
- True partnership
The data part isn’t about you having well structured, neatly maintained, easily accessible and workable data. It’s just about you having enough data to turn into better – and ultimately more profitable – decisions. A key milestone in the Decision Intelligence journey is us taking this data – from across different sources, systems and parts of the business – and unifying it in our Decision Intelligence platform.
We work closely with you on mapping your existing data sources and create a bespoke plan for moving that data from current locations into Peak. We’ll find the best method for you and work quickly to make this happen in an automated and live manner. Things can really move quickly, too. It’s been known for us to take just ten days to get all of your data sitting proudly in Peak. Some of our customers choose to bring their own data lake, too, as a way of connecting directly and speeding things along.
The result? No. More. Siloes. We’re here to make your information work for you. At the end of the ‘Data Ingest’ process (cool name, huh?) we’ll have an understanding of your data architecture and will have unified and cleansed your data in one central place. It’s a huge achievement, and the first step in your Decision Intelligence-led transformation.
Understanding your business processes
So, your data is unified, all in one place and being cleansed by our Data Science team – it’s a major milestone. However, this is just the beginning. In order to be able to drive Decision Intelligence and put meaningful outputs into the hands of teams working across your organization, we need to understand your data, the decisions you want to make more effectively, and the overarching goals that drive this. So, we take the time to do this, through a structured programme of data and business exploration.
Our team map and audit any inbound data, ensuring we understand its contents and constraints clearly, communicating regularly throughout and providing early insights back to you. In tandem with this, we’ll deep dive into your processes, and the world of the team members that oversee them. When we’re allowed to, we’d love to come and visit in person and get a first hand look at your operations. We love being on the factory floor, drinking tea with the planners, quizzing CRM managers, and sampling the finest delicacies of your staff canteen. For now, though, we run interactive sessions to get to know you really well.
One of our core measures in knowing if we’ve understood your data, processes, and solutions well enough is to play back to you exactly how you’ll power better decision making in your business with AI. This gives stakeholders, from C-level to subject matter experts, a highly contextualized and detailed story of how you’ll win with our offering. We hope it acts as the springboard to lots more possibilities and further solutions. It gives us clarity that we’re on the right track with your Decision Intelligence outputs and the solution we build together.
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Above all else though, the most important aspect of your Decision Intelligence journey is the partnership we’ll build with your team. Your Peak team will become an extension of your own; a cross-functional unit that will take on the practical, technical and, of course, AI-related aspects of your journey.
Your Customer Success Manager (hello!) is your dedicated contact point. Aligned to industry verticals and familiar with a range of Decision Intelligence solutions, they guide both your team and the Peak team to ensure projects are delivered on time and focused on enabling end-users to get maximum value from Peak, make better decisions, and generate increased revenue and profits.
A Technical Integration Engineer will work closely with your subject matter experts to get data in to, and out of, Peak. We have a variety of tools available to support this and have connected with a wide range of ERPs and systems.
A dedicated Data Scientist, working with an industry-aligned Data Science Team Lead, will use AI and machine learning to build models that turn your data sources into actionable insights. They will explore and understand your data in detail and be transparent with their learnings – allowing you to iterate on internal processes as we work with the data.
Your Peak team will work alongside your end-users and subject matter experts to make the Decision Intelligence we provide a fundamental part of your daily working pattern. Testing, output integration and training is a core focus of this team – and the same team will be with you from project kick-off to go live.
So, that’s it. The things we think are fundamental in chaperoning our customers, first class, on their Decision Intelligence journey. It’s a new term, but an increasingly familiar path for us – and one we’re always iterating on to suit the needs of our customers.
It may be that your Decision Intelligence journey varies a little from this. It may be that you’ve already started yourselves, or it may be that you hadn’t even thought it a possibility until you began reading this blog. Whatever your current setup, by focusing in and acting quickly on elements we’ve outlined above, we’re confident in our ability to move you from hoping you’ve made the right decisions, to knowing, all the time, that you’re making the right decisions.