SmartSeg: A smart customer segmentation tool for non-specialist users

SmartSeg is a smart customer segmentation tool designed to aid non-analytics specialist users to explore datasets and to perform analytics tasks. It was invented by researchers at DIT School of Computing, as part of CeADAR - the Enterprise Ireland funded Technology Centre for Data Analytics.

With the rise of service customisation, data analytics is becoming an increasingly important tool for companies eager to understand the needs of their customers. According to IDC, the worldwide big data and analytics market in 2015 was worth $125 billion with high double-digit growth expected for the rest of the decade.

There are a number of analytics tools already on the market for customer segmentation, but most are targeted at expert users. For the potential of data analytics to be fully realised, analytics tools must be developed for those with little or no data analytics experience.

SmartSeg has been specially designed to offer a user-friendly experience for all users, regardless of level of analytics background.

SmartSeg enables users to easily select the database where the customer data are saved and the tool automatically creates a set of customer segments, along with a set of automatically generated charts and descriptive texts, which facilitate extraction insights to identify the characteristics of customers in each segment.

The charts displayed in the tool are based on research involving user studies to ensure their clarity. Presenting segmentation results in a way that is interpretable is the key to the success of SmartSeg.

While existing analytics tools have enabled widespread adoption of data analytics, they remain mostly targeted at expert analytics users, whereas SmartSeg is designed for the widest possible user base.

SmartSeg allows companies who do not have the capacity to hire expensive data analysts to perform customer segmentations.

SmartSeg’s abstract data model design can be used with data from any industry that fi ts the model of customers performing transactions.

The big data and analytics market was worth $125 billion worldwide in 2015, according to IDC, who predict that by 2020, the amount of high-value data worth analysing will double and 60 percent of information delivered to decision makers will be actionable.

More companies will begin to monetise their data, including the use of it to create changes in customer buying behaviour.

Customer segmentation allows companies to engage with customers in the most effective way and SmartSeg facilitates a level of data analytics previously denied to non-experts in this fi eld. It has been developed for use by the widest possible audience,providing them with enough insight to help them make savvy business decisions. In essence SmartSeg is designed specifi cally to empower the so called next billion users. As such it is a game changer in the world of customer segmentation analytics.

SmartSeg has a number of advantages over and above existing customer segmentation tools. It is designed for non-experts who would struggle to use existing applications due to their complexity. Its novelty within its competitive market is that SmartSeg performs the whole customer segmentation process and the subsequent analysis of the resulting segments automatically.

SmartSeg’s key advantages are:

• Automated data manipulationto prepare raw data for customer segmentation.

• Automated performance of the segmentation process including automated selection of segmentation parameters.

• Presentation of segmentation results through the generation of a set of carefully chosen visualisation.

• Automatic generation of natural language representations of the segments found by the system.

• Automatic generation of a presentation of the segmentation results including spoken descriptions.

SmartSeg has been developed in the DIT School of Computing as part of CeADAR - the Enterprise Ireland funded Technology Centre for Data Analytics. A prototype demonstrator has been built,tested and executed in order to validate the proof of concept.

DIT is currently seeking expressions of interest from potential licensees interested in using the technology for internal customer segmentation applications or business partners interested in deploying it as a commercial system.

The technology may be licensed through the CeADAR Technology Centre.