Daily Archives: July 14, 2021

Human-centered design is your first step toward a Total Experience

At IBM Design people are at the center of every problem we solve. We start this process by empathizing with customers, users, or employees depending on the challenge. This unrelenting focus on people has yielded an organizational transformation that goes far beyond our design team. Enterprise design thinking is a toolset for any organization to improve team alignment and vision setting, all with the iterative mantra of observe, reflect, make. Collaborating across functional areas and designing “people first” directly aligns to what Gartner, in its “Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021”, coined the “Total Experience”.  
However, in reviewing the framework under the lens of enterprise software solutions, there are some terms and concepts that is worth clarifying. 

Distinction between customers and users

When a business sells directly to a consumer for example a hotel stay or a four topping pizza the customer and the user are typically the same (unless the purchase is a gift). This person experiences the end to end journey with the company, at each touchpoint evaluates if they will complete the initial purchase or make a purchase again in the future. A subset of the latter being customer advocates that promote your organization in their networks. Growing customer advocates is a primary customer experience goal.
In contrast, the purchaser of enterprise software solutions are often not the end-users. End-users might have influence over the purchasing decision, however the purchaser will have other considerations to weight during the procurement process. Throughout the end to end journey, different people with different needs are interacting at different times with different employees of the vendor. 
At IBM, we have taken the approach to carefully design the nine Universal Experiences, our single shared language for delivering excellent experiences. Cross functional teams work together to review, provide feedback, and action improvements all with the goal of bringing one cohesive IBM to our customers, users, and prospects. 

A difference in kind: multiexperience

In 2020, multiexperience (MX) made Gartner’s the top 10 of strategic technology trends list. It is an important trend to watch carefully given the growing number of digital touchpoints, device types, and interaction modalities. MX, and more specifically a multiexperience development platform is essential to ensure interoperability and interconnectivity between the digital touchpoints, the variety of devices types, and interaction modalities. However we need to start with people centered improvements. 
A designer has a definitive person in mind when they are crafting improvements to Customer Experience, User Experience, or Employee Experience. Multiexperience relates more to the underlying technologies to work seamlessly and consistently for the customers, users, and employees. Therefore, a decision to add virtual reality (VR), a smart watch, or gesture interactions should only be made if it is justified by a deliberate CX, UX, or EX improvement. If not, we risk an even more fractured and confusing experience by adding another touchpoint that is not aligned to the TX strategy.  

Design and People Research are key to experience excellence

The practice of Design and “People” Research are critical to improving our customers, users, and employees experiences. Making purposeful human-centered decisions is a prerequisite for building a coherent Total Experience. IBM Design and Enterprise Design Thinking are leveraged across CX, UX, and EX in order to improve the TX for customers, employees, users, and business partners. 
As Thomas J. Watson said “good design is good business”, which is why our design team contributes to more than product design. During our rigorous design review process, an area of major focus is the digital Discovery, Learn, Try, and Buy experience.  Our teams have been working closely with our Marketing, Product Management, Sales, and Development colleagues to identify blockers and iterate.
When the IBM Documentation team was looking to revamp the customer documentation experience they started with an Enterprise Design Thinking workshop. They continued to leverage various EDT activities throughout the iterative process. The reimagined IBM.com/docs was built on a foundation of empathy and has led to a streamlined process to get the right content to users as soon as possible.
Moving towards a coherent Total Experience
Bringing a Total Experience that best serves customers, users, and employees will be the key to competitive advantage for organizations regardless of industry. As companies embark on this transformational journey, it is incumbent on teams to put into practice the design principles of “A focus on user outcomes”, “Restless reinvention”, and “Diverse empowered teams”.  Deep empathy for customers, users, and employees is the first step on the road to designing your organization’s Total Experience. 
Interested in learning more about human-centered design? Immerse yourself by applying to the User Experience Program where users work with researchers and designers to improve their experience with IBM products. Apply today.

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Citi transforms critical internal audit with machine learning, NLP and AI

At first glance, the world of documentation reviews and risk assessments wouldn’t appear to be the next big hot spot to innovate with the newest and shiniest data and AI tools. But at Citi, Marc Sabino is building a practice he calls audit of the future, where cutting edge machine learning, natural language processing (NLP) and advanced analytics solutions available through IBM Watson DiscoveryIBM Cloud Pak for Data and IBM OpenPages with Watson will forever transform the daily work of bank’s 2500 auditors.

Internal audit: An innovator’s playground 

Being coined head of innovation for internal audit says it all. Sabino embarked on his mission almost four years ago after a long tenure at Citi spanning well over two decades. Ironically, none of those roles involved auditing, but internal audit housed a surprising wealth of data from across the company. To Sabino, the practice was just the place to use data proactively with more predictive capabilities than ever before seen elsewhere at Citi.

Sabino and his team started to re-imagine the role AI and natural language processing could play in an auditor’s workflow. They thought about how they could use that technology to scale control testing by applying it to much larger data sets than before to uncover themes and insights.

Sabino was also thinking through how to bring machine learning and AI into the full audit lifecycle to find anomalies within business monitoring, then plan and scope audits more effectively using all the fresh findings. He geared up to give auditors superpowers with greater detection capabilities and beefed-up data-driven insights—all within a unified platform that could enhance stakeholder engagement and collaboration.

In his own words 

—Marc Sabino, Head of Innovation of Internal Audit, Citi

Not just nice to have: Building AI into workflows

Citi has one of the largest audit corporate audit departments in the world. Given the scale and importance of the function, any innovation Sabino introduced would have a high degree of scrutiny because the auditors are also responsible for reporting their activities and outputs to the regulators. Replacing the bank’s standing audit platform would require careful consideration and a high degree of trust in a technology partner. Having become familiar with Watson tools, Sabino approached IBM with three requirements: He wanted a new audit platform injected with advanced analytics and AI; it must be easy to use; and it needed to be the best in the industry.

Learn how to automate and accelerates business processes based on insights from financial documents. Visit: https://www.ibm.com/cloud/ai/ai-document-insights

How IBM  accelerated Citi’s AI journey

In January 2020, IBM led a design thinking workshop that brought together five IBMers and 25 Citibankers. That was enough to both engender trust and set forth a vision. From there, a project emerged to build a solution involving people, processes and platform that could save hundreds of thousands of billable hours. The vision was differentiated enough yet realistic to achieve that Citi selected to move forward with the solution and deployment.

A significant force of IBM technical talent and subject matter expertise was brought onboard to support the project:

Eliminating manual processes and improving data quality

Initially, three projects were spawned that harnessed a broad array of IBM Data and AI solutions available through IBM Cloud Pak for Data and IBM Open Pages with Watson. The first use case gave auditors access to tooling that analyzes the control definitions and scored them based upon the 5 “W”s (Who, what, when, how and why). A second project was designed to help auditors tap into Watson Discovery to save time processing thousands of transcripts between agents and customers monthly. A third use case is now underway to bring IBM Watson® Assistant to the task of assisting auditors with identifying relevant content from within hundreds of pages of audit manuals.

And the list goes on. That’s because IBM has helped create an AI innovation space with Sabino’s team,so they can keep innovating using Watson tooling on their new auditing platform. By landing these various short burst proof of concepts, Citi has gained confidence in IBM, not only as a partner for audit transformation, but also as an innovator in AI.

 Watch this demo to see how IBM Open Pages with Watson can facilitate effective controls management.

Address multiple data and AI use cases with a wide array of integrated, cloud-native data and AI services. Visit: ibm.com/products/cloud-pak-for-data/services

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The insideBIGDATA IMPACT 50 List for Q3 2021

The team here at insideBIGDATA is deeply entrenched in following the big data ecosystem of companies from around the globe. We’re in close contact with most of the firms making waves in the technology areas of big data, data science, machine learning, AI and deep learning. Our in-box is filled each day with new announcements, commentaries, and insights about what’s driving the success of our industry so we’re in a unique position to publish our quarterly IMPACT 50 List of the most important movers and shakers in our industry. These companies have proven their relevance by the way they’re impacting the enterprise through leading edge products and services. We’re happy to publish this evolving list of the industry’s most impactful companies!