Customer Intelligence Trends & Insights 


 December 2012 - Vol. 6, Issue 11             

In This Issue
Meet Professor Harriette!
Big Boom #BigData #Analytics.
Social Analytics & Intelligence Solutions
Exploiting Social Intelligence for Customer Service & Support Excellence
Acquisitions in Social Analyics Landscape
Customer Relationship Management Assocation 
Meet Professor Harriette!


Senior Research Fellow
Harriette Bettis-Outland, Ph.D. (brings the number of doctors working at HRG up to three!) joins Hypatia Research Group with substantial experience in market research, teaching and executive sales.  Her research topics include:  Business Intelligence Analytics, Customer Information Management, CRM, Strategic Decision-Making, Marketing Strategy and Executive Trade Show Strategy.  She has been a Marketing professor for over 10 years, teaching CRM, Marketing Strategy and Sales.


Bettis-Outland's previous responsibilities include Executive Sales and Marketing at Lotus Development.  During her tenure at Lotus she was responsible for growing C-Suite, vendor & third party relationships. In addition, Bettis-Outland was a Systems Engineer at IBM for over 5 years.


Bettis-Outland received a Ph.D. in Marketing from Georgia State University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


To inquire about webinars and custom research services, contact Joe at 978-828-7062 /, or Dr. Bettis Outland directly at:

Quick Links


Upcoming Big Data Analytics Research
Big Data Analytics: Elementary Dear Watson!

Big Boom #BigData #Analytics

Having several days with IBM's Business Analytics & Optimization team viewing everything new, latest successes and hearing from live actual customers; I'd like to share observations and analysis of the summit--within the bounds of the NDA Hypatia Research Group signed.


IBM's Watson, now comprised of 40+ IBM technologies, has transitioned from a laboratory environment into commercially viable solutions. Watson (or perhaps a more appropriate moniker might be Dr. Gregory House, the fictional chief diagnostician on the TV series "House") supports medical professionals by rapidly computing best treatment options ranked by levels of confidence based on patient information such as:


  • Medical and family history
  • Preference for treatment options: aggressive, standard, minimal
  • Written observations of laboratory test results  

Watson's capacity to learn from algorithms that analyze information "in-context" allow it to handle idiomatic expressions, slang and other types of "dirty data."  


How is Watson able to perform such sophisticated in-context contextual analysis? As Sherlock Holmes might say "Elementary my dear Watson"-with the same technologies the US government uses for risk analysis of terrorism threats:

  • Natural language processing (NLP)
  • Hypothesis generation and evaluation
  • Evidence-based learning

Increasing the number of information sources-both data AND contextual-used for analysis reduces the uncertainty of analytical results. More data/information analyzed equals higher confidence levels.  


Gary Weber, representing an IBM customer, shared, "For us, it's not about Big Data, it's about relevant data." This is evident in our latest study on "Social Analytics & Intelligence: Converting Contextual to Actionable". (Figure 1 below is based on 526 global respondents that utilize, influence the purchase, hold budget or veto power over social analytics and intelligence tools)


Figure 1: Use of Big Data Across Geographies  



Read About Her Life, Strife & Many Accomplishments! 

Hypatia of Alexandria
Hypatia of Alexandria
 Maria Dzielk

Harvard University Press: Revealing Antiquity 

Customer Intelligence Research! 

Social Analytics & Intelligence: Converting Contextual to Actionable

Our study on "Social Analytics & Intelligence: Benchmarks, Best Practices & Vendor GalaxyTM Rankings" received quite a bit of coverage in publications such as Information Management, CRM Magazine, SoundCloudRadio and IBM's Information on Demand Conference Information on Demand Conference 2012 since its release in September.

With over 100 social analytics vendors to choose from, organizations seek to understand which selection criteria are most critical in making the right investment for their organization. At present, some vendors offer analysis of either Twitter and/or Facebook. Others focus on analysis of blogs, RSS feeds, and/or certain media outlets, while the most sophisticated literally "drink from the fire hose" in analyzing all online sources of user generated content.


Metrics, trend analysis, and/or key performance indicators available through dashboards, visualization or other types of reporting are another area companies struggle to assess. Our research found most fall into one or more of the following maturity levels:

  • Clients know they need metrics but are uncertain as to what to use in order to be effective;
  • Clients expect vendors to provide them with a menu of available metrics or KPI's to choose from;
  • Clients know precisely which metrics they want for each of their business objectives.

 Visit our research library for more best practices, benchmarks and vendor evaluation guides!


Big Data is all the rage at present, reminding me of the growing interest in, and usage of social media conversations that began percolating about 2-3 years ago. (Anyone remember the term 'user-generated content'?)

Much has changed as companies are deliberately shifting away from mere monitoring or listening to social channels to converting contextual customer information into actionable rules-based alerts, continuously refined business processes and predictive algorithms designed to further engage and delight customers.

As the first industry analyst firm to focus on Customer Intelligence--defined (2001) as the "capture, management, analysis and application of customer insights towards accelerated performance and profitable growth--this is very exciting and gratifying to be a part of for those of us here at Hypatia Research Group. Many of us have contributed to these best practices, guided end-users, and published pragmatic vendor evaluation guides during the last 12 years. Next up are several uniquely end-user focused primary research studies focusing on best practices, benchmarks, maturity models, and of course, vendor selection guides such as our recently released major primary research GalaxyTM study entitled: 

Also recently released were these two related reports:
More to come in our next newsletter.  Report topic suggestions are always welcome!

Happy Holidays,

Leslie Ament 

SVP Customer Intelligence Research & Senior Analyst 

Twitter: @Hypatia_LeslieA 


Hypatia of Alexandria (c.370-415 AD), invented several scientific devices--the astrolabe, plane-sphere, and hydro-scope (hydrometer). These instruments were used to calculate the distance between planets, the position of visible stars at any time of the year, and the gravity of liquids respectively.

New Research: 

Exploiting Social Intelligence for Customer Service & Support Excellence: GalaxyTM Evaluations


Business Case ROI Justification 

Driven by high volumes of online user generated content, social analytics is actually, an exploding category. There is no dearth of software and service vendors offering sentiment analysis, twitter analytics, content analytics, and speech analytics tools.  Each offers dashboards, drill-downs, graphs or other types of visualization that illustrate metrics for online sentiment analysis (positive, neutral, mixed  or negative), such as influencer or net-promoter scores, share of voice, volume, product quality issues, crisis management, share price cause and effect or media and brand reach.


The good news is that organizations that seek to leverage SA&I solutions on an enterprise-level for multiple business initiatives are motivated to develop discrete multi-phase business objectives, key performance metrics, and operational execution plans before engaging with a vendor or provider of services. We expect that most enterprises will begin their use of Social Analytics & Intelligence tools in the customer service, brand and marketing communications and competitive intelligence functions initially, before expanding to other business areas. Not surprisingly, 44.4% of customer service and support executives cited "the ability to respond to customer requests for support, service or information promptly" as the highest reason for investment in social intelligence tools.


Our research of 526 organizations, (based on survey respondents that utilize, recommend, influence, hold budget or veto power over the purchase of social analytics and intelligence software) show that return on investment from customer service and support initiatives is higher than other business use cases. In fact, 17.8% of customer service and support executives realize greater than 5% return on investment--defined as a percentage of total annual marketing spend.  Another 20% realize between 3%-5% return on investment.    


Figure 1:Leveraging Social Channels


Our assessment: Organizations that adopt social intelligence tools, combined with best practices for rules-based business process workflows are empowered to utilize their social channels as decision support and customer engagement for value creation. Our analysis reveals that "customer experience" is an intangible metric.  True customer engagement has a higher probability of tangible outcome.  Effective usage of social intelligence technologies may well create a differentiation for early adopters. (Excerpted from "Social Analytics & Intelligence: Converting Content to Actionable Insights", �2012 Hypatia Research Group.) 

For advisory, licensing or further analysis on this topic by company size, industry, job function or geography, please contact or call 978-828-7062 or 781-862-5106.  

Acquisitions in Social the Analytics & Intelligence Software Landscape

Was it Something We Wrote?
Interesting. Exactly 6 weeks after
Hypatia Research Group announced its primary research study on "
Social Analytics & Intelligence: Converting Contextual to Actionable", [Published Q3 2012] Oracle announced its intent to acquire Collective Intelligence. In addition,, who previously acquired Radian6, announced its acquisition of BuddyMedia  in a deal valued at $689M.

Microsoft is now the latest to jump in with an announced acquisition of Yammer for $1.2b. What really caught our attention was the verbiage used in each separate announcement--words such as  "engagement", "actionable intelligence", "insight" etc....

So are we futurists? Have a magical crystal ball? More likely, we are fortunate to operate globally using primary end-user research combined with industry expertise, pragmatic hands-on experience, and a modicum of humility:-)  Typical for industry analysts. For a quick preview of our study, here is a  draft of our executive summary. Please note our usage policies before sharing our research.

Hypatia Research Group delivers high impact market intelligence, industry benchmarking, best practice, and vendor selection research for how businesses use technology and service providers to capture, manage, analyze and apply customer intelligence to enhance performance and to accelerate growth.  Coverage areas include: CRM, Business Intelligence, Customer Analytics, Social Intelligence, Contextual/Text Analytics, Marketing Automation, Database Marketing, Customer Data Integration and Quality, Information Management and GRC. Since its inception by co-founder Leslie Ament in 2001, clients have relied on Hypatia for industry insight, expertise and independent research for guidance in assessing various technology and service options.  Like our namesake, Hypatia, we are committed to Calculating ResultsTM for our clients.


Hypatia of Alexandria (c.370-415 AD), invented several scientific devices--the astrolabe, plane-sphere, and hydroscope (hydrometer). These instruments were used to calculate the distance between planets, the position of visible stars at any time of the year, and the gravity of liquids respectively. Hypatia was the first woman to make substantial contributions to the development of mathematics, astronomy & philosophy. 


�2012 Hypatia Research Group. All Rights Reserved.


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Phone: 781-862-5106   

Twitter: Hypatia_LeslieA