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Text analytics reaches new territory

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Fine-tuning customer interactions

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was founded in Edinburgh in 1727 and has grown to be one of the largest banks in the United Kingdom. It now has more than 70,000 employees and about 700 branches. RBS is aware that lifetime loyalty to a bank is a thing of the past, so it set a goal of becoming the number-one bank in the U.K. for customer service, trust, and advocacy. Central to this initiative was better use of analytics to drive its decision making. In addition, RBS wanted to make enterprise data available to as many employees as possible so they could better understand the impact of their actions and decisions and drive better discussions with customers. SAS Visual Analytics was selected as the solution that had the right functionality for the analytics and the greatest usability for the workers.

RBS has an extensive amount of quantitative data that flows from customer transactions and, using SAS Visual Analytics, employees can readily create and share graphs and charts for easy data visualization that is relevant to their activities. RBS leveraged SAS Visual Analytics to power an internal application they refer to as “Genie” to do this. Anyone from the organization can access data and ask questions. Genie measures how the bank is doing relative to its performance metrics. Now rolled out to front-line relationship managers, Genie has helped RBS improve performance by making it easy to access quantitative enterprise data.

However, the bank also has a great deal of data in unstructured text formats, including customer surveys, has had and zero in on where the problems occurred. During a pilot study, one team was able to reduce the number of complaints it received from 20 per month to just one per month. This deployment was greatly aided by the design of SAS text analytics and visualization software, which made very large datasets accessible to thousands of users via an intuitive interface that supports data-driven decisions.

More accessible analytics

SAS Visual Text Analytics in SAS Viya, the latest text analytics offering from SAS, combines a visual interface with powerful text analytics capabilities. It is designed for users with limited or no coding experience. “This allows more people to turn unstructured text into usable, high-value information without having to be a data scientist,” said Katie Tedrow, senior global product marketing manager for AI at SAS. Being able to analyze text data in conjunction with quantitative data maximizes the value that can be gained. “SAS Visual Text Analytics integrates a visual element in an easy-to-consume way,” continued Tedrow.

The use of text analytics has become much more widespread, and the market predictions support an expectation that it will continue to expand. “We are seeing industries across many verticals increasingly mine their unstructured data, such as in customer surveys and online chats,” said Tedrow. “In today’s climate, for example, we’re seeing an uptick in healthcare, government, and the public sector industries.” Often this data is voluminous. In the case of RBS, the 250,000 chat conversations per month provided a valuable source of data to reveal the voice of the customer. More organizations are realizing that these sources can provide a perspective that numbers alone cannot.

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