Alexa, what are my KPIs?

Our mission at trommsdorff + drüner is to establish data driven strategies within our clients’ companies, reducing big data complexity in the process. Primary goal is not only to provide decision relevant data but also actionable insights to all employees. We call this: smart data.

Our product Pulse supports our partners and us in delivering these insights. It is a web-based tool showing decision makers KPIs which drive their business and supports them with recommendations for improvements. Even though Pulse is easily accessible in any browser, we have experienced that sometimes a faster and more focused access to data within Pulse is needed.

We believe that voice based interfaces achieve this by making data available instantaneously and efficiently. Therefore, we have implemented a prototype with Amazon’s Alexa voice service, to provide our users a much more seamless source for their key data without accessing a PC or opening a browser.

What is simpler than just asking?

With Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home generating a widespread interest in and discussion about voice assistants, we have implemented a prototype with three possible use cases in mind. All focus on integrating voice services into business processes. Aiming to deliver added value to decision makers and corporations, voice services enable us to:

  1. Get fast and easy access to data which is needed right at this moment without opening a PC.
  2. Ask whenever we need a specific information. No matter which time it is, voice interfaces are always available.
  3. Retrieve data right from the same database as Pulse – they can be considered to tap into a single source of truth.

One prototype – Three use cases

As smart data and analytics promise to transform the way companies do business, they deliver a more comprehensive overview of business environments and customer needs. Therefore, we have asked our partners about their daily challenges at work and developed a prototypical day of a marketing manager within a bigger cooperation, on which we have built up three use cases for integrating voice systems in our Pulse product: The morning briefing, KPI Feedback during meetings and push notifications for KPI alerts.

The morning briefing
Today we live in a continuously changing world, where a lot of information need to be processed. Many people get up in the morning, check their social media profiles, news sites, and mail. Why should we not get updated on the most important things while we are having breakfast, taking a shower or brushing our teeth?

“Alexa, what is my flash briefing?” – by asking this, users receive a summary of current news headlines and, if configured, social media profiles as well. With our Pulse integration, users will also receive information of a currently running campaign and can receive further information of KPI development compared to a previous timeframe.

KPI feedback during meetings
Important decisions are often made during meetings. To ensure the right KPIs are always accessible when needed, our Pulse voice connection provides insights about the latest KPIs by asking e.g. “Alexa, ask dashboard for main KPIs in Germany”. During the conversation with Alexa, users can request further details of specific KPIs, KPI explanations and can even retrieve a more detailed report via mail. With our Alexa skill, a more detailed KPI-set is also sent to a user’s Alexa application on a mobile phone as a so called “card”.

Push notifications for KPI alerts
Amazon recently launched a feature in the US that signalizes remote push notifications via an Echo’s flashing green light circle. When the user asks “Alexa, ask dashboard what happened”, the voice assistant tells the user which KPI alerts have triggered this notification. Within Pulse, users can set specific targets e.g. for campaign outcomes. Furthermore, Pulse regularly reviews campaign performance and even provides the potential future development with predictive analytics. With our voice connection, Alexa can recommend the user to e.g. reduce or increase spendings in order reach a specific target.

What’s next?

The described use cases are just an example how voice services like Alexa can be integrated in an already existing business solution to improve the access to key data and provide situation based business insights.

As Google stated at their IO conference in 2016, 20% of all searches were initiated via voice and in 2017 that percentage is estimated to rise to 40%, we believe that voice systems are at a rise and soon they can add a huge value within our daily work.

Aligned to our Pulse vision we see three main topics for the future:

  1. Voice assistants will grow into personal assistants, available to everyone. They are already able to set up appointments, manage ToDo lists, etc. With a wide spread adoption, they will move more and more into a corporate context, creating an additional channel for Pulse.
  2. Voice assistants will offer personalized information: selected data is shared with users for their current context. Pulse could leverage this context for proactive information distribution.
  3. Voice assistants connect users and facilitate knowledge exchange, sharing success stories and best practices. Additionally, Pulse will base recommendations on historical actions and lessons learned, allowing access to a corporate knowledge management and emphasizing
    cooperation and communication between employees.

If you are interested on how those use cases have been implemented and what we have learned please check “Alexa, how can I build a prototype?” and “Alexa, what are my lessons learned?”. And watch our presentation at the Reply Xchange 2017 in Munich below.

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