Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. Readers of this blog will recall the emergence of cognitive computing late 2016 with posts highlighting an HBR case study on Unilever’s cognitive search and recognition of Market Logic’s underlying cognitive technology with the 2016 Marketing Innovation of the Year award.
More recently, Forrester has predicted a “true insights revolution” in 2017, see Predictions 2017: Artificial Intelligence Will Drive the Insights Revolution. In the article, analyst James McCormick argues that the CI function will be “liberated by artificial intelligence – 2017 will be the year when businesses gain direct access to powerful customer insight via new cognitive interfaces and other AI-related technologies.”
So, why this year? Probably because the escalating volume of social media and behavioural data is really starting to make insights leaders lose sleep. The pressure is on as marketers challenge their insights teams to synthesize and make sense of big data, or worse, hunt for other teams and resources to do the job for them. The secret to success is to contextualize the data, or as our cognitive guru Martin Rückert puts it, to enhance all the “what is happening” data with the underlying “why”. McCormick sees customer context as the emerging CI norm, asserting that “the ability to derive insights from contextual customer data from mobile and other IoT devices will become mainstream in 2017.”
How does cognitive deliver context? At Market Logic, clients train their insights engines to think like marketers and deliver actionable insights. This means their machines “understand” that consumers have needs which can be fulfilled by competing for the brand, by embedding the fundamentals of the market in a knowledge graph we call the Market Logic. This makes it easy to look for patterns and identify business concepts that uncover the “whys” within the data – to cluster drivers or barriers, detect trends, track topics and recommend actions.
McCormick says revolutionary capabilities such as these will empower CI to drive change across the enterprise, because “the appointment of data and insights executives and investments in enterprise customer data projects will place CI pros at the centre of business transformation.”
The long and cold AI winter is coming to an end, and with a little luck, insights will take their rightful place at the board table.