Man or Machine? Making an Argument for the Former

November 18, 2015

Those who work in or manage a call center are already well aware of the value of data. It’s one of the current buzzwords of the year, and that buzz is only getting louder.

And while a new report out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT (NewsAlert)) recently touted a supposed breakthrough in the study of data, sticking with the basics will also yield strong results.

That’s the gist of a recent blog from Annette Miesbach, product marketing manager at cloud call center leader inContact. She pointed to MIT’s announcement that the school is working on taking the human element out of big-data analysis.

“Their new system – [a] ‘Data Science Machine’ – not only searches for patterns in data, but also determines which features of the data to scrutinize for the data analysis to have predictive value,” Miesbach wrote. “This selection process has required human intuition and experience. While MIT’s results are amazing, I believe the contact center ‘human touch’ will continue to be needed well into the future.”

Her point is well taken, as human intuition is something that has value when parsing data, something which machines have not yet perfected.

To that end, Miesbach touted some offerings from inContact to help call centers better understand callers and what they want. Those improvements include:

  • Access to data based on a different summarization methodology, the company’s “Contact Start” paradigm. “This summarization method is frequently used for auditing and third party billing. And choosing the paradigm suited for your report is easy – just a mouse-click,” she notes.
  • New Personal Connection data model: This new data model provides access to metrics directly related to outbound dialing list management. Inbound and outbound, in one convenient, intuitive tool.
  • API-based access to both real-time and historical reporting: This option offers complete access to contact records directly from a contact ID in easy-to-use API calls. “Furthermore, the calls contain the complete contact information in both real time formats for active contacts and historical for completed contacts,” she writes.
  • A new IVR Press Path report in Central offers permission-based access to 90 days of history in a 30-day window. It has filtering, too, Miesbach adds.

In short, while MIT’s efforts are impressive, similar results can be achieved by letting your people do what they’re best trained to do.

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