Saturday, December 20, 2014

Big data? well, try to get little data right first

National Australia Bank reminds me of a football team mate of a long time ago. When he asked you if you wanted a beer and you said no, he would give you one. If you said yes, he would give you three.

NAB sends a banks statement by mail even if we said we don't need one and will get them online. If  we say we want one, we get two. They just can't get it right. Somewhere in their computer system they have missed the concept of the shared account. We have tried to rectify this a few times, but without success.

The dutch ABNAMRO bank is not much better. They have problems creating a new account for my son because his details sit somewhere deep in the system. Staff can't find him when you call their helpdesk or visit a branch. But the account can't be created. We'll give it one more try.

If companies can't get their basics right, they should be careful with trying to be smart with big data. Of course a single error does not matter too much when driving market trends or bother people with so called targeted personalised advertising.

But even the specialist organisations can get things horribly wrong. The dutch bureau of stastics (CBS) sent my son a survey relating to his driving experience one and a half year before his legal driving age. I won't repeat what I said when I saw this letter.

The problem with the bank examples are probably bad user interface design or bad information architecture. Besides this, probably a bit of uncaring employees who don't want to go all the way to provide a good service, both during building and maintaining the system as during customer service.
 

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