Customer Relationship Analysis Firm Extends Reach

  • Written By: D. Geller
  • Published: September 22 2000

Customer Relationship Analysis Firm Extends Reach
D. Geller - September 22, 2000

Event Summary

thinkAnalytics began life as a specialist using artificial intelligence to compress relational databases and for data mining. They became skilled at working with masses of data and embedding data analysis into traditional applications. Purchased by Gentia Software, an OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) specialist, in 1998; thinkAnalytics was recently launched as a separate company.

The company's product suite comprises a variety of analytic tools that sit on top of common middleware and analysis functions. The middleware functions do not replace traditional ETL (Extract/Transform/Load) functions but rather augments them to provide intelligent data cleanup. Data cleanup encompasses such functions as null replacement, data scaling and deduping. These functions are driven by a number of algorithms that apply AI and fuzzy logic techniques.

CGI is a leading provider of IT services. With a base or about 80% of sales in Canada, the billion dollar company is making a move to establish a larger presence in the U.S. CGI has close ties with Bell Canada through the BCE holding company, which accounts for almost 40% of CGI sales and owns about 45% of CGI.

Under the terms of the partnership CGI will deliver consulting services to assist its customers with thinkAnalytics' flagship thinkCRA product. thinkCRA is an integrated suite containing four analytical applications

  • thinkCustomer performs customer segmentation

  • thinkLoyalty predicts churn and attrition

  • thinkProduct provides product and channel analysis and target group identification for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities

  • thinkMarketing analyzes channel and marketing effectiveness

Market Impact

The rise of the eRetail establishment, and the growth of eBusiness within traditional brick and mortar retail operations, has led to an explosion in vendors of analytic software. (see Informatica Heads for E-Business, and What Good Is Information If Nobody Sees It?). The thinkAnalytics differentiator is supposed to be their ability to solve difficult problems involving massive amounts of data. While there are certainly many vendors of analytic tools that do not seek out these challenges, there are equally certainly established companies that do, SAS Institute (see SAS/Warehouse 2.0 Goes Live) being one prominent example.

thinkAnalytics has a vertical strength in the financials industry, a good match for their abilities. We expect that the partnership with CGI will lead to inroads in the telecom industry, and probably others. We believe that thinkAnalytics has the potential to make inroads among the larger organizations. What we believe is less clear is whether there are enough companies whose data analysis needs are sufficiently complex for thinkAnalytics to become a market leader.

User Recommendations

A study by the Aberdeen group that thinkAnalytics gives out as sales material suggests that thinkAnalytics will find ready customers from among dot-coms, click-and-mortar operations, and large technology-driven analytical enterprises. While any of these certainly could use thinkAnalytics it is those at the extreme of data volume and complexity, as well as those with concerns about the quality of their data, that are most likely to find a match with thinkAnalytics.

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