Home Articles Location analytics is a part of big data initiative in Akbank

Location analytics is a part of big data initiative in Akbank

Akbank, one of the largest banks in Turkey, uses location analytics to understand its customers’ needs and behaviors. Read on for more insights on Akbank’s big data initiative.

Atilla Bayrak
Atilla Bayrak, Senior Vice President, CRM, Akbank

How relevant is location data in your analytics?

Geographical analytics is crucial in defining customer needs and behaviors as part of Akbank’s new generation analytics approach. Our ecosystem consists of our customers, their distribution networks and business partners; and location data enables us to improve the two way efficiency between service and sales functionalities via a multi-channel approach.

What sorts of data do you tap to get to insights from location analytics?

Primarily, the geographic coordinates for nearly 40 million customer addresses, 300,000 member merchants, ~900 branches and ~4000 ATMs were identified using the geocode algorithm. 500,000 Points of Interest including hotels, pharmacies, restaurants and other retailers were added to our main data sources. So the map layer, which would be the basis database for system improvements and location based analyses, was established.

Over the past decade, maps or location have become much more present in everyday life due to internet, mobile devices and social media. The globe is in our pocket now. Would you call this a technology revolution?

The technology revolution of our time does not come only with location data, but with “big data” in general. With the ability to track, record, analyze, predict, and even prescribe what data holds for us now and in the future revolutionizes our way of life. This changes the way we communicate, socialize, do our financials, plan our future or even how we pay taxes.

What are the business opportunities of location intelligence?

Applications for personnel and functionalities for customers were designed to create business opportunities using the geographical database and infrastructure. Geographical analytics and marketing functions cover different subjects.

  • Network optimization
  • Localizing marketing strategies
  • Location based customer analyses
  • Location based customer service modelling
  • Daily data update for showing the closest available ATM location in case of an ATM being out of service
  • Querying the closest branches, ATMs and member merchants by SMS
  • Web and mobile based service infrastructure and value added services
  • Acquisition of potential customers, and portfolio allocation of all potential and non-potential customers to most suited Branches and Relationship Managers
  • Sales force sales and marketing path optimization and providing the shortest path for sales force needs
  • Query portfolio functionalities for sales force, providing best sales and marketing route for the customers with the highest product propensity or customers with the highest churn rate

How do you see geo-information sector in the years to come?

Our next steps in geocode-based marketing include location based segmentation of all customers, building a tapestry database, lifestyle sensing and more customer applications made for mobile channels and social media.

There is a lot of interest both within the location industry and the consumer side that is driving location analytics. How do you see this technology connecting and impacting people?

With the impact of social media, people have started to voluntarily share their locations and their habits to enhance their experience. This consumer drive gives to companies a need to say to the consumers “we are here”.  To understand better and predict the trends of customer location and habits, the technology should run real time and with billions of data. With every bit of additional knowledge of consumer behavior, developing correct strategies around this technological capability will be a game changer for the industry.

Would it be right to say it is consumer demand and consumer market that is driving the location analytics industry?

Creating an environment for consumers to share their locations opens a new way of communication with the consumer. Consumer needs and demands show companies a methodology for thinking, acting, and guide us about what kind of a cultural medium is needed. This is an opportunity to meet consumer needs better with the understanding of location and hinterlands of consumers.

What is interesting about social media data? What are the implications of all this relatively new information for organizations doing location analytics?

For banks and many organizations, the 360 degree customer view has been limited to the customer behavior available at hand regarding the organization’s products, channels, customer transactions and some limited demographics. With location analytics and social media data, we can more accurately sense the customer’s needs and wants, and create an integrated and customized experience for each customer. The implications include sales and marketing initiatives, pricing strategies, channel prioritization, service modelling and many more.

What are the new disruptive business models of geospatial content generation?

Near real time and online applications using geospatial data can be disruptive for businesses when used in place of traditional business intelligence tools. Optimization of organization level KPIs, online tracking of profitability, sales and marketing results, trend analyses and geographical forecasting of attributes will shape the way we make decisions on a daily basis.

How does location analytics fit into the “big data” movement?

Location analytics is only a part of the “big data” initiative in Akbank. Our “big data” analytics approach covers a fast moving and expanding infrastructure that is also robust, with inner and outer data sources being integrated continuously. The movement includes the coming together of structured and unstructured data together to understand our customers and our organization.

Is there a privacy component that organizations need to be aware of with this type of analytics?

With sector regulations and customer privacy issues, the use of geo-analytics in sales and marketing for Banks is sensitive. Infrastructures should be in place to enable permission marketing rules and mobile application security and privacy settings.

When you help design a location analytics system for a customer, do you help define those parameters that could, in practice, be construed as intrusive?

Customer-needs drive the location analytics systems and applications designed for our customers. Location detection of ATMs, branches, merchants and related services for our customers to answer their instant cash related needs are designed with parameters based on their profiles, propensities and behaviors. Customer-based needs are met with customer-based parameters.