Creating an Engine for Predictive Retailing (aka “Nostradamus”)

A 2019-2020 DHD Boot Camp Project

Developer's Help DeskAs part of the 2019-2020 DHD Boot Camp, we are building a new calculator that is intended to evaluate a membership’s relationship and status with the credit union, and based on a CU-defined set of parameters, present a list of possible things to sell to that member based on their unique situation.  For now we’re dubbing this new engine “Nostradamus,” after the 16th century French astrologer and physician known for his predictions.

DHD Boot Camp Champions

Specifications for the first phase of this project were defined after numerous contacts with some very dedicated and hard-working participants from the 2019-2020 DHD Boot Camp:

  • David Jezewski, President/CEO, and Erin Beese, Marketing and Communications Director, Community Star CU (a CU*Answers client)
  • Karen Padrevita, Marketing Manager, Metrum Community CU (a CU*NorthWest client)

Overview

The project includes two major components:

  1. The Config:  A new configuration that includes a set of evaluation criteria that can be defined by the credit union, and a corresponding list of products and services to sell based on the results of that criteria.
  2. The Engine: A new tool that lets a user enter a single account base, run that account against the settings in the new configurations, and view a list of recommended products and services to sell to that member.

 The overall philosophy used during the design process was, “Do a psych profile and I’ll figure out what these people need,” as opposed to, “Find out what the person doesn’t have, make sure they’re eligible for that, then sell it to ‘em.”

For CU*Answers, the point with this DHD project is to evaluate whether the engine we build can actually produce a result that the credit union agrees with based on their own intuitive evaluation of that same member.  Before any predictive process can truly be integrated into any retailing process (a la “next suggested product”) via CU*BASE or online/mobile banking tools, we must first agree that a machine engine can evaluate a member in lieu of an actual credit union employee and come up with comparable results.

In this phase, the list of products/services to sell will be a simple free-form text list.  This list will not tie to any actual CU*BASE product configs or tools, nor will it hook into any existing Cross Sales or Next Suggested Product features (other than a simple button to jump to Cross Sales from the new calculator).  Depending on the success of the predictive engine, future phases will address hooking the engine to other features throughout CU*BASE and It’s Me 247.

Mockups

View some mockups of the Nostradamus config and results screens

Remember that these are mockups and intended to be illustrative only.  In other words, everything is subject to change!

Ideas for Future Phases

  • Add access to the calculator/results tool from various points throughout CU*BASE
  • Create a report or dashboard that aggregates results for multiple/all members
  • Build a more sophisticated engine for determining products/services to sell, including filters for qualifying members for products/services based on their current status (i.e., if someone isn’t eligible for a loan, don’t sell that even if their profile normally suggests that)
  • Hook up the engine and sales process to additional channels (It’s Me 247 or others)

Status as of June 2020:  Project #53551 is currently waiting for availability of programming resources.  Designs for future phases will kick off only after the initial phase has been implemented and field-tested.

Your chef for this recipe:  Dawn Moore

 

Updated
June 18, 2020

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