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Minimizing Risk With Big Data & Analytics

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) is a global risk for governments and financial institutions.  Many financial institutions such as banks and government departments like the United States Department of State deal with AML. AML is also a topic covered in academic research.

The U.S. Department of State defines a major Money Laundering country as a country “whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking.” Given that fact AML occurs in many countries across the globe from Argentina to Canada to Mexico and more.

However, the risk level in Anti-Money Laundering differs by country.  The Basel Institute on Governance published its third Basel Anti-Money Laundering Index that ranks countries based on their AML and Terrorist Financing risk.  The chart below shows the Top 15 riskiest AML countries according to Basel AML Index:

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Financial institutions such as banks need to minimize risk where Anti-Money Laundering is one of the biggest risks. In order for companies to analyze and minimize AML it is important for the analyst to:

  • Understand the Customer
  • Understand the Nature of the Transaction
  • Location of Transaction
  • Be Aware of Cultural Differences
  • Acknowledge Economic Sanctions (Cuba, North Korea and etc.)

Analyzing AML with Hadoop

Since the recent popularity of Big Data and demand for analytics, analyzing risk in AML has become much more economical and efficient. Analyzing Anti-Money Laundering across the globe means larger amounts of data for a business to store and examine. Financial institutions such as American Express, JP Morgan and Barclays have started to solve this issue of data storage by using Apache Hadoop, an open source software framework that allows for distributed storage and processing of large data sets.

Prior to Hadoop companies used traditional databases that did not support very large volumes of data and analysis was solely based off of small data sets. The introduction of Hadoop allows access to large volumes of data and enables the company to extract and transform that data into information used for decision-making, fraud and AML detection.

Due to this advantage Hadoop can store historical data. This information is especially helpful for financial institutions analyzing risk. With historical data a bank can create prediction models to control risk and can also run various algorithms, such as matching, to detect patterns in fraud behavior and provide a model to decrease the levels of risky behavior.

Bluestar Technology Solutions provides analysts, data scientists and developers the technological and statistical skills needed to conduct this analysis and provides knowledge of finance and risk management needed to create prediction models and use cases. Having this knowledge and technological skills enables the firm to successfully minimize the risk of Anti-Money Laundering.

How Effective E-commerce Strategy Benefits you to sell your Products in Current Competition Era

Small/Medium category entrepreneurs are shy away from modernization and techniques to sell their product effectively and at high volume, in turn market is captured by giants and their growth goes immense vertically up. It is all about how you make your own strategy and make it works to stand in competitive market and see yourself to compete giants. E-commerce is something small/medium category entrepreneurs could use as a tool or a mean to grow them exponentially in competitive market.

How it works:
Retailers are now at the end of cold season and started coming out of their caves for buying stuff and enjoying out in coming monsoon with family and we are reaching to holidays to come in 2015 too. School, College Grades, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas are on the boards. In 2015, shoppers are expected to spend 33% of their shopping time online – up from 2014. 2015 will be smashing 2014 by the new record of turnover and this is all with the help of online shopping which we call as e-commerce. This means, small or medium e-commerce merchants have lot of opportunity to increase their sales, showcase by leaps and bounds. If you are thinking how you are going to beat big guys such as Amazon and Overstock.com, don’t. With that in mind, here are some proven tactics that will help you adopt a scientific approach to addressing business problems and driving the right decisions.In this competitive market Bluestar Technology Solutions’s provide you the tool to implement the following five tips to reach your goal immediately:

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1. Unique marketing strategies: You need to be innovative, different and unique with your marketing strategies. You need to implement those strategies that e-commerce giants such as Amazon don’t. One such tactic is to include a blog on the store that offers useful information to your target audience. You just need to identify your target audience/customer and understand their needs and make your campaigning accordingly. For example, if you are having a store that offer sports accessories, blog about basketball and football. Talk about different types of gear that’s required. When consumers are flooded with discount coupons, offer something unique to them that helps them make better shopping choices.

2. Be original: Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the right time to showcase your originality. Along with offering useful discounts and combo offers, launch a new product that only you are offering. This is especially advantageous if those products aren’t offered by other major e-commerce stores. In short, position your store as a specialty store to gain recognition and credibility.

3. Shipping threshold: Don’t try to compete with big giant’s shipping discounts. They are infeasible and next to impossible for small e-commerce merchants. If you want to offer some kind of “deal/discounts” with shipping, then set an order threshold or some limit of buying items. For example, you can design promotional campaigns offering free shipping over orders worth $30.

4. Personally connect with customers (Reach): Try to do what big e-commerce stores can’t do: personal connection with the customers. Reach out your customer base and know them at a more personal level, more mouth publicity and hoardings. Offer them personalized shopping experience and customer support during holidays because your customers just don’t pay for the product. They pay for the entire shopping experience. So some people will just go to your e-commerce online store without even searching for alternatives. As a result, you can sell items without ever having to market them

5. Don’t annoy your current customers: Just don’t overdo email marketing and make them frustrate. It’s really annoying to receive 10 emails in a week from your favorite online store. If you are having a niche store, better connect with your customers personally and discuss how you can improve their shopping experience in the upcoming season. Also, narrow your search based on what customer is looking for, don’t offer side things which annoy him and make him a decision to not to come to you again.

Why Digital Targeting Is Important?

We all remember the times when internet was only synonymous to terms like email and chat. E-commerce and communication have been the greatest by products from the evolution of the internet in the past decade. Concepts like Digital Marketing and Customer segmentation were only theoretical in the late 1990s and e-commerce websites were the natural option for such concepts to get implemented and evolved. For a long time internet advertising/marketing model was focused around showing random ads to disinterested audience and it made money based on the sheer hope that the user would somehow click on the advertisement.

With the influx of internet users over the years, Digital Marketing progressed towards an intelligent model which uses customer attributes like behavior, demographics and browsing history to paint a customized experience for the customer. A typical example of this use case is a potential customer searching for a keyword like “High Speed Internet” on google and when this customers go to any webpage they would see advertisements related to High Speed Internet; clicking on this advertisement would take them to a targeted shopping experience. Another use case is that of existing customers who log in using their credentials and are presented with a customized experience based on what they purchased or the service they currently have.

E-commerce giants like Amazon created their own digital marketing solutions which were designed to fit their product catalogue and the range of services they offer. This gave them an early edge over their competition and helped them convert Clicks into Sales. While the amazons and the googles were busy with their custom designs, startups like Bluestar Technology Solutions (https://bluestar.technology/) were working towards standardizing and streamlining the Digital Targeting implementation model. They defined and standardized three major components to deliver a comprehensive Digital Targeting solution – (1)    WHO – Potential Customer, (2) WHAT – Content to be displayed, (3) Rules – WHO should see WHAT.

The first and the most important component– ‘WHO’ defines the digital persona of the customer we intend to target. In layman terms, it is the process of grouping potential customers based on customer browsing history/ demographics/ existing services/ previous purchases. Bluestar Technology Solutions specializes in building this component using billing data, cookie information for clients who want to stay away from huge infrastructure investments for Digital Targeting.

The second component is the content – ‘WHAT’ can be maintained in the existing Content Management Systems being used by the clients. Bluestar provides services to integrate in house CMS with the WHO. They have implemented similar solutions for various clients with different Content Management Systems; Site core and Documentum to name a few.

Last but not the least are the ‘RULES’ – WHO should see WHAT. Clients have specific requirements to build these rules based on what products they offer and the operational flexibility they want. Bluestar has successfully designed and integrated various versions of the rules engine (from simple to complex) at various client locations. Non-technical users prefer this component to be a simple interface for the more complex underlying components. Bluestar has implemented Samples of these rules engines that are available upon request.

The retail business has revolutionized in the past decade and the modern day shopping experience is going digital. The modern buyer is impatient and busier than ever. It is critical for websites to know their customers and offer them a customized experience and that is the best business strategy of all times.

VizMaster – Insightful Business Intelligence with 4D Data Visualization

Market dynamics have made it imperative for companies to assertively adapt for greater customer engagement at every stage of interaction, while objectively assessing the returns from such marketing investment. What should they do to deal with it?

Finally, Businesses are realizing the value in business intelligence & analytics and increasingly making decisions based on the facts rather than intuition. Companies have improved customer conversion, identified what behaviors causes churn and increased revenue by a significant figure. Customers interact with companies through various touch points such as social media, call centers, retail stores etc. But there is a gap, in many companies, Bi & Analytics team can’t keep up with the requirement and demand from their business colleagues. This will lead to several problems which are unfortunate to face:

  • ul-new Making decisions without the complete data, because internal clients can’t wait. Most of the times, analytics team don’t use the external data like social media, data captured through mobile applications, census data which leads to make improper decisions.
  • ul-new Creating dashboards using traditional sources, it leads to invest a lot of time of higher management  in just compiling the data.
  • ul-new Investing huge time in doing simple analysis will lead to delay in output with no result ultimately.

Above challenges raised some key questions like what companies should do to improve the BI & Analytics practice? What kind of data they should use to enhance the quality of decision making?

Any potential solution? – Exploring and visualizing the business growth from new perspectives

BI tools were complex in the past, wherein modern analysis tools are much simpler to use: meaning the average businessperson can often access them to conduct their own queries and produce their own reports. But users need significant technical and analytics expertise, which meant your average business person needs to partner with someone in BI or IT for any queries or analysis.
This is particularly easy and the right fit if the application can be configured as a dashboard,

  • ul-new Enabling business users to get a view into the metrics which they want to perform
  • ul-new Representing data on world map
  • ul-new Representing competitor  data
  • ul-new Analyzing social media data
  • ul-new Target the right set of customers using census data

The requirement of making right decision will lead to a tectonic shift in the way companies create and also in the way they leverage data to navigate business hurdles.

Here’s what Bluestar Technology Solutions’s ability to boast about experimentation and evidence comes from technological advancements in the form of VizMaster.

VizMaster simplifies the big data analytics environment into a single application on top of the powerful Hadoop platform. It is the only end-to-end big data analytics application for Hadoop designed to make data simple for everyone, VizMaster combines self-service data integration, analytics and visualization functionality that provides the fastest time to insights.
It allows users to perform analytics on large volumes of data that is stored in the Hadoop Distributed File System. It allows us to perform basic operations on the data like Filtering, Joining, Grouping, Sorting etc. and also allows us to create a variety of visualizations based on this data.

What is your company doing to make faster and accurate decisions?