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Finding critical business data -- fast

Howard Baldwin | Dec. 16, 2014
These CIOs are jumping on a fast-moving trend — mining small data sets to deliver valuable insights quickly to the right people at the right time.

Like many fast data pioneers, Security First Insurance realized that it needed a customized solution. So the company co-developed software it calls SMC4, which stands for "social media capture, control, communication and compliance." According to Kruck, the application runs on a public cloud from business partner Integritie and incorporates IBM Enterprise Content Management and IBM FileNet.

"It integrates social media technology and email communication into a single interface, making it easier and faster for our company to assist our customers following a storm," says Kruck.

"In the past, if all our emails went into public folders, they weren't visible to everyone," he says. "With this platform, they're both visible and searchable. We can effectively control the flow of communication by designating people or roles in the organization that are authorized to create and submit responses." "When you're answering email traditionally, you're handling them in order -- first in, first out," says Kruck. "But with SMC4, we can prioritize messages automatically by reading sentiment and getting a sense of urgency. Is it a routine question? Is there frustration? Profanity? We use multiple levels of customized dictionaries, and they continue to evolve."

A recent American Red Cross survey indicated that 75% of citizens affected by a disaster would expect a response to a social media message within three hours. "Those became our client expectations," says Kruck. "Our objective is to respond as closely to real time as possible. We want people to be glad they insured with us and not our competitors."

Faster verification
Heritage Auctions hosts both online and in-person auctions for a wide variety of memorabilia, and it uses fast data to verify the identity of each online auction participant. "We want the brand-new customer who's wealthy enough to pay $2.2 million for Francis Crick's Nobel Prize to have a friction-free signup and bidding experience," says Brian Shipman, CIO at the Dallas-based company. "At the same time, we don't want a 9-year-old in another country to be able to bid anonymously."

To address what Shipman calls a real threat, Heritage Auctions developed a threat matrix that relies on data and analysis from a variety of internal and external sources. As for external sources, Heritage currently uses credit reporting service TransUnion and has plans to work with TeleSign, a provider of mobile identity services.

TransUnion provides credit reports in real time; TeleSign can determine whether a bidder's phone number is from a land line, a mobile phone or even a "burner" phone set up for temporary use. Bidders have to register their name, address and phone number on the Heritage system. "We can send a text message containing a personally identifiable number to the phone number on file to confirm that the phone actually belongs to the person registered," Shipman says.


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