There’s no place like home… maybe
Data and technology alone will not bring wins from data mining. It’s people that drive this technology, people analyse and people bring insights. Many organisations mistakenly believe that if they just plug-in speech analytics and have it analyse their calls, the software will instantly deliver insights about their business. Unfortunately magic is usually not that easy.
Speech analytics, and data mining software, needs to be driven by the individual business requirements of each organisation. Needless to say, we don’t believe in ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions. Speech analytics takes time to develop and in order for this to happen, skilled business analysts need to be closely involved with every speech analytics project – it cannot be treated as another expensive IT venture in which we buy licenses, server space and training only for the project to be shelved indefinitely. Speech analytics offers more benefits than tracking your most recent campaign, but it only becomes ‘more-than-data’ when it’s operated by someone who knows your business.
This is the biggest challenge when introducing speech analytics to your organisation. The need for people who are very familiar with your business, and who also harbour the aptitude to become proficient enough with speech analytics and data mining to be able to draw ground shattering insights from your data.
A team populated entirely by contact centre supervisors and quality assurance people will not cut the mustard. The best solutions we’ve seen always involve a team who really understands the business, the solution and that work together toward a clear goal.
In-house or managed data mining?
The well-documented shortage of workers with advanced, data-science skills has sent nearly every organisation on a hiring frenzy to acquire the capability or be left behind. Some have sent current employees back to school, taking advantage of courses in data management and advanced analytics. Others have responded by trying to hire data scientists from the expensive, existing, small pool of talent.
Unfortunately, neither of these in-house approaches are likely to fill the need. As Gartner recently estimated, only about one-third of global demand for big data-related jobs will be met.
There is a third option: Outsourcing.
By far the top benefit of working with an outside organisation is speed, you can get the results faster, and don’t have to hire hard-to-find and expensive data scientists. Tomorrows business is about agility and right now, outsourcing is the way to be agile. If the goal moves or the scale of a project goes beyond expectations, you can expecting outsourcing to step in and save the day. Alas most organisation cannot outsource forever, so there does need to be a strategy around knowledge transfer.
A subtler advantage of using an outsider is the chance to examine the data with fresh eyes, without old assumptions, bad habits and other baggage. Often in-house analysts look at the data in the same way, and it’s sometimes harder to step back, to diverge and walk away from history and process. This also leads to exploratory analysis which in-house teams rarely find time to do.
Organisations deploying speech analytics really need to consider skills and training from top to bottom if they are to give the initiative the best possible chance of success – from the technical expertise dealing with the data, to those on the frontline who may need a period of acclimatisation.
The potential impacts to company culture and the impact of the change management ripple effect when acting on speech analytics insights must be considered in advance and adequately planned for. Speech analytics is a change agent and is essential for today’s business optimisation.
Follow that yellow brick road and outsource speech analytics with us