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Adobe today unfurled an enhanced Adobe Customer Journey Analytics cloud service that enables organizations to apply AI to data from both online and offline sources to gain deeper insights into customer behavior.

Available as an extension to the Adobe Experience Platform, the Adobe Customer Journey Analytics service extends the analytics capabilities based on its Sensei AI platform that is already widely employed to track online engagements into the realm of data collected offline.

That omnichannel approach to tracking a customer journey is becoming more critical as customers begin to return to retail outlets as more people receive COVID-19 vaccinations, said John Bates, director of product management for Adobe. He spoke during an Adobe Summit event.

Democratizing analytics

Adobe Customer Journey Analytics provides a unified view of a complete customer journey using real-time analytics dashboards that can be accessed from anywhere on any type of device, including via a mobile application for accessing Adobe dashboards that was also unveiled today.

That approach is intended to democratize the advanced analytics enabled by the Adobe Sensei platform as an alternative to relying solely on data scientists to sift through data. Alerts that are generated by Adobe Customer Journey Analytics will automatically surface insights that would have otherwise gone unnoticed, Bates said.

In comparison, legacy analytics applications assume the end user knows what queries should be launched to answer a set of already known questions. Adobe Customer Journey Analytics “will help you identify the unknown unknowns,” said Bates.

Over time those alerts, currently available in preview mode, will become more personalized as the Adobe Sensei platform identifies what data is being accessed most often, added Bates.

Tracking customer data

Adobe is also making it easier to collect and process data. A data views feature allows organizations to ingest more of their data in its original format, then apply logic at the time of reporting. That capability will make it easier for organizations to slice and dice data without having to first normalize it into a specific format. The goal is to enable organizations to track customer behaviors more easily whenever they see fit, noted Bates.

As part of that effort, data collection tasks that once occurred on a mobile device or in a browser are being shifted to the Adobe server that is part of Adobe Experience Platform Collection Enterprise. The Adobe Experience Platform Edge Network then makes it possible to receive and send an event or individual piece of data in milliseconds in a way that enables privacy and governance controls to be applied.

In effect, Adobe is making a case for extending the level of visibility that many organizations have into online customer behavior to include offline activities such as the number of times they visit a mall. Customers may never return to retail outlets in the same numbers they did prior to the pandemic, but it’s also clear many have become more adept at moving back and forth between an online application and a brick-and-mortar experience. It’s not uncommon these days for shoppers to employ a mobile application within a retail outlet to check, for example, inventory availability before deciding whether to make a purchase now at the store or later online.

Adobe isn’t trying to replace data scientists. In many instances, Bates noted, data collected by the Adobe cloud offerings will be shared with data scientists that will be using tools from Adobe and others to analyze massive amounts of data. However, it’s also apparent business executives want to be able to identify and track different types of customer journeys in near real time. The challenge and the opportunity now is to enable that capability in the most frictionless way possible.

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