Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Pursuing the Win-Win with Personalized Learning Experience

Posted by Ventana Research on Nov 19, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Learning management technology, either as part of a larger HCM software suite or as a standalone niche solution, has evolved from its classroom-based, instructor-led origins. Modern systems deliver information the way many employees learn best, through informal social learning that is personalized and engaging. Some of these new, often mobile-enabled approaches deliver education via short (three to five minute) on-demand videos that are tailored to an individual’s specific job responsibilities or interests and increasingly involve artificial intelligence (AI) technology. AI’s role in this context is to better personalize learning content, modality and the pace of learning. In short, this is all about delivering learning the way each person learns best.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, Learning Management, HRMS, Workforce Management, Digital Technology, Work and Resource Management, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Artificial intelligence, employee experience, Chatbots, Personalization, Predictive HCM

Today’s Payroll Management Software: Strategic Value Abounds

Posted by Ventana Research on Oct 24, 2018 6:00:00 AM

The early days of my career were spent in HR and payroll systems inside brokerage houses and investment banks. The first CHRO I reported to thought the best way to develop a plan for automating payroll management was for me to run the function’s day-to-day operations. I had no previous experience in payroll but it was a good call, as the trenches of any operations area typically reveal a cornucopia of automation opportunities. Then again, it was a different time; back then the words strategy, decision support and employee experience were rarely heard in a payroll department.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, HRMS, Workforce Management, Digital Technology, Work and Resource Management, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Payroll Optimization, Artificial intelligence, Total Compensation Management, RPA, employee experience, Chatbots, Personalization, Predictive HCM

The Market of Data at Strata

Posted by David Menninger on Oct 5, 2018 11:31:50 AM

In 2017 Strata + Hadoop World was changed to the Strata Data Conference. As I pointed out in my coverage of last year’s event, the focus was largely on machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). That theme continued this year, but my impression of the event was of a community looking to get value out of data regardless of the technology being used to manage that data. The change was subtle: The location was the same; the exhibitors were largely the same; attendance was similar this year and last. But there was no particular vendor or technology dominating the event.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Machine Learning, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Preparation, Information Optimization, Digital Technology, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing

AI Energizing HCM for Better Employee Experience

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 30, 2018 9:25:27 AM

Over the last two years, investments in digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) by nearly every major provider of HCM systems and tools have transformed the HR technology landscape. Many of the investments have gone into developing distinctive product capabilities, particularly capabilities that rely on machine learning technology.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, Learning Management, HRMS, Workforce Management, Digital Technology, Work and Resource Management, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Payroll Optimization, Total Compensation Management, employee experience

AI in Business: Hypocrisy and Opportunity

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 6, 2018 8:17:49 AM

We now are well beyond the year depicted in 2001: A Space Odyssey, a cinematic perspective on the future of artificial intelligence in which HAL 9000, a computer, is able to simulate human behavior and control machines. Anyone reviewing the past two years of marketing around AI in the business technology industry can be forgiven for believing that we have arrived at the futuristic state Stanley Kubrick imagined. We have not.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Mobile, Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Machine Learning, Mobile Technology, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Preparation, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Information Optimization, Digital Technology, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Cybersecurity, Billing and Recurring Revenue, Workforce Optimization, collaboration for business

Beyond Digital Transformation: Effective Technology Innovation in 2018

Posted by Mark Smith on May 7, 2018 12:56:06 AM

Advancing the potential of any business requires continuous improvement in the processes and technology that support it. Many companies have embraced attempts at a digital transformation, and it’s become a goal to which organizational resources and budgets have been dedicated around the globe.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Mobile, Sales, Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Machine Learning, Marketing, Marketing Performance Management, Mobile Technology, Office of Finance, Wearable Computing, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Preparation, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Information Optimization, Product Information Management, Digital Technology, Digital Marketing, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Pricing and Promotion Management, Cybersecurity, Billing and Recurring Revenue, Workforce Optimization, collaboration for business, mobile marketing

Broken Analytics and BI? Natural Language and Notifications Can Help

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 15, 2017 11:43:55 PM

If we look at the focus of technology vendors for analytics and business intelligence or business applications providers deploying these capabilities in the last five years, we see that they have elevated the importance on the value of visualization and dashboards. These promotions might be understandable, but will they make business and the people using them more intelligent?

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Mobile, Machine Learning, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Information Optimization, Digital Technology, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing

Salesforce Fails Again in Customer Experience

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 14, 2017 2:02:59 AM

More than a year ago I wrote from personal experience about the challenges our firm encountered with Salesforce’s cloud computing systems and customer service and if we can trust them for business in the cloud. That perspective covered a range of issues that the behemoth cloud computing applications and platform company is facing regarding its service and technology. While Salesforce has shifted its customers like us and others to a different cloud computing environment, as it did in moving us off its #NA14 cloud computing instance, core challenges of its customer experience and billing processes persist. After the last customer experience incident, I contacted its executives about the need for operational improvement; it was clear in the dialogue that they saw some but not all of our experience as issues important to improving its customer processes. It was good to get some immediate attention, but my hope was to speak for all SMB companies in pointing out the importance of effective communications and escalating notifications and interactions when those customer moments go sour, so the customer isn’t forced to turn to social media to be heard. This was an area where Salesforce had significant room for improvement in customer engagement, reflecting a pattern we see in our benchmark research, which finds the most common challenges in almost half of organizations are integration of channels of engagement and managing activities as silos.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Office of Finance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Commerce, Sales and Operations Planning, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Sales Enablement and Execution, Machine Learning Digital Technology, Sales Planning and Analytics

The Year of Machine Learning

Posted by David Menninger on Jun 1, 2017 10:26:15 AM

This year various types of organizations are embracing machine learning like it is going out of style – or maybe it would be better to say coming into style. And now with a little investigation on LinkedIn finds over half million professionals with machine learning in their job title. Machine learning is the application of specific data science algorithms that become more accurate as the system records more outcomes and processes more data. This improvement is referred to as “learning,” hence the name. There are good reasons machine learning is growing so rapidly, but there are pitfalls to avoid as well.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Machine Learning Digital Technology

Informatica Asserts Its Commitment to the Cloud and Machine Learning

Posted by David Menninger on May 27, 2017 12:20:03 AM

Informatica reintroduced itself to the world at its recent customer conference, Informatica World, in San Francisco. The company took advantage of the event to showcase its new branding in an effort to change the way customers think about the company. Informatica has been providing information services in the cloud for more than a decade. Even though cloud revenue comprises a minority of Informatica’s business, in absolute terms, the revenue is significant, and company executives want the public to recognize Informatica as a leader in cloud-based data management services for enterprises. Presenters also made notable product announcements, discussed below, including the application of machine learning to the data management process.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Preparation, Information Optimization, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Machine Learning Digital Technology

Supercharge Sales Analytics with Digital Technologies

Posted by Mark Smith on May 12, 2017 8:44:07 AM

Our firm regularly explores the impacts of new technologies on business. Analytics is foremost among recently emerging technologies, which our benchmark research consistently confirms. In our research on next-generation sales analytics, fourth-fifths (82%) of participating organizations cited analytics as the most important technology trend for sales; however, several other technologies also are adding power and flexibility to the use of sales analytics.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Mobile Technology, Office of Finance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Commerce, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Sales Enablement and Execution, Machine Learning Digital Technology, Sales Planning and Analytics

Prepare and Wrangle Data for Sales Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on May 5, 2017 8:28:34 AM

The importance of analytics for sales organizations is clear and, as I pointed out in my recent analyst perspective on the next generation of sales analytics, these capabilities optimize revenue potential. However, utilizing sales analytics requires a set of data skills that most organizations still find challenging and are thus not fully prepared to support. The efficient access and preparation of data underlies any analytics processes, which must meet demanding needs that are not always automated. Our research into next generation sales analytics has found many impediments that must be addressed and is a critical part of our expertise agenda for sales organizations.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Machine Learning, Office of Finance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Sales and Operations Planning, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Sales Enablement and Execution, Sales Planning and Analytics

New Generation of Sales Analytics Can Optimize Revenue Potential

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 27, 2017 11:22:52 AM

I have been following advances in sales analytics since the 1990s. Over the last five years, however, I have seen evolution, not innovation. In most cases the information that analytics provides is too complicated and not contextualized enough for sales people who are not analytics experts to understand, let alone take action on. As I pointed out in my 2017 research agenda on sales, analytics is essential for planning that improves the impacts of sales efforts and meets the goals of the organization.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Mobile Technology, Office of Finance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Commerce, Sales and Operations Planning, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Sales Enablement and Execution, Machine Learning Digital Technology, Sales Planning and Analytics

Domo Innovates Analytics for Business

Posted by David Menninger on Apr 15, 2017 12:37:06 AM

Some 3,000 people attended Domo’s recent customer event, called Domopalooza. That’s nearly double the attendance of the previous event, which my colleague Mark Smith covered. Formerly a bit “stealthy,” Domo has started sharing more information, some of which I’ll pass along, as well as observations about product announcements made at the event.

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Topics: Data Science, Mobile, Mobile Technology, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Machine Learning Digital Technology

SAS Brings Portfolio of Data Science with Viya

Posted by David Menninger on Apr 5, 2017 9:46:58 AM

I recently attended SAS Institute’s analyst relations conference. There the company provided updates on its financial performance and its Viya platform and a glimpse into some of its future plans.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Mobile Technology, business intelligence, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Preparation, Internet of Things, Information Optimization, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Machine Learning Digital Technology

Digital Process Reengineering Drives Business Change

Posted by Robert Kugel on Mar 23, 2017 9:28:07 AM

Business process reengineering was a consulting fashion in the early 1990s that spurred many companies to purchase their first ERP systems. BPR proposes a fundamental redesign of core business processes to achieve substantial improvements in market and customer responsiveness, productivity, cycle times and quality. ERP systems support business process reengineering by guiding the step-by-step execution of the redesigned process to ensure that it is performed consistently. They also automate the handoffs between individuals and departments to accelerate completion of that process.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Mobile, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Machine Learning, Office of Finance, Wearable Computing, Continuous Planning, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data Integration, Internet of Things, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Marketing, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, ERP and Continuous Accounting, Sales Planning and Analytics

Optimizing the Business of Selling in 2017

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 20, 2017 9:22:16 AM

I am happy to provide my personal perspective on the potential of sales organizations, processes and technology to supercharge business activity in 2017. The sales processes of organizations – whether they involve digital commerce or direct or indirect physical selling – should be part of continuous optimization efforts to reach maximum results. To do this, the people leading and running sales processes must be able to use technology that supports their responsibilities and analyzes the crucial information coming into the business. For almost 15 years, we have advocated for sales applications and tools that are necessary to optimize sales effectiveness and improve the outcomes of their sales efforts. The available portfolio is much larger than sales force automation (SFA) and involves more than the continued use of CRM, which has clear limits in its ability to manage customer relationships. The applications on offer include many facets of sales:  coaching, compensation management, contract management, configure price quote (CPQ), forecasting, quota and territory management, planning and optimization, pricing and revenue optimization, and target or market intelligence. New applications designed for sales also enable digital effectiveness that can transform organizations. Let me provide my perspective on six topics that are shaping the way sales can and should operate in 2017, and which are part of our sales research agenda for the year.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Machine Learning, Mobile Technology, Office of Finance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Sales and Operations Planning, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Sales Enablement and Execution, Sales Planning and Analytics

The Office of Finance Research Agenda for 2017

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 16, 2017 6:33:20 AM

Senior finance executives and finance organizations that want to improve their performance must recognize the value of technology as a key tool for doing high-quality work. Consider how poorly your organization would perform if it had to operate using 25-year-old software and hardware. Having the latest technology isn’t always necessary, but it’s important for executives to understand that technology shapes a finance organization’s ability to improve its overall effectiveness.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Mobile, Human Capital Management, Mobile Technology, Office of Finance, Continuous Planning, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Financial Performance Management, Price and Revenue Management, Inventory Optimization, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, Sales and Operations Planning, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, ERP and Continuous Accounting

Research Agenda Will Track Big Data and Information Management in 2017

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 15, 2017 9:09:50 AM

Big data has become an integral part of information management. Nearly all organizations have some need to access big data sources and produce actionable information for decision-makers. Recognizing this connection, we merged these two topics when we put together our recently published research agendas for 2017. As we plan our research, we focus on current technologies and how they can be used to improve an organization’s performance. We then share those results with our readers.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Analytics, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Preparation, Information Management, Internet of Things, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Machine Learning Digital Technology

Research Agenda Will Guide Business Analytics in 2017

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 8, 2017 8:19:39 AM

Ventana Research analysts recently published our research agendas for 2017. As we put together these plans we think about the forces that are shaping the markets that we cover and then craft agendas that study these issues to provide insights for our community. I’ve been working in the business intelligence (BI) and analytics market for nearly 25 years, and throughout that time the industry has been trying to make analytics useful to increasingly wider audiences. That focus continues to today. Better search and presentation methods, including visual discovery and natural-language processing, are promising ways to engage more users. We also see organizations supporting their users in specific functional roles with relevant and accessible analytics. My colleagues examine these issues as part of their agendas in the Office of FinanceSalesMarketingCustomer ExperienceOperations and Supply Chain, and Human Capital Management. While their agendas include analytics within specific domains, my own research focuses on a range of analytics issues across domains including cloud computing, mobility, collaboration, data science and the Internet of Things.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Mobile Technology, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Internet of Things, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Machine Learning Digital Technology

IBM and The World of Watson

Posted by David Menninger on Dec 16, 2016 11:52:10 PM

IBM recently held its inaugural World of Watson event. Formerly known as IBM Insight, and prior to that IBM Information on Demand, the annual event, attended by 17,000 people this year, showcases IBM’s data and analytics and the broader IBM efforts in cognitive computing. The theme for the event, as you might guess, was the Watson family of cognitive computing products. I, for one, was glad to spend more time getting to know the Watson product line, and I’d like to share some of my observations from the event.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Machine Learning, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Internet of Things, Information Optimization, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing

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