Today’s interview is with Anil Kaul who is the CEO and co-founder of Absolutdata, a big data and predictive analytics firm. They describe themselves as decision engineers, where they apply decision sciences to help improve decisions at the world’s largest companies. Anil joins me today to talk about what they are up to and how predictive analytics can be used to help solve the problem of silent customer churn.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – How to use data and analytics to improve the 3R’s with your customers – Interview with Evan Carroll – and is number 169 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to their customers.
Highlights of my interview with Anil:
About Anil (taken from his Absolutdata bio)
Dr Anil Kaul is the CEO and co-founder of Absolutdata. A prominent and well-known personality in the field of analytics and research, Anil has over twenty years of experience in marketing, strategic consulting and quantitative modeling. Before starting Absolutdata in 2001, Anil worked at Personify and McKinsey & Company. He has a PhD in quantitative marketing from Cornell University.
Anil is dedicated to the cause of exploring the best practices for implementing analytic solutions in progressive organizations and building capabilities towards robust decision-making. What distinguishes him is his lens, painted by the brush of analytics, that enables him to scope out opportunities across a wide range of scenarios, be it the performance of fortune 500 companies or like the time he used his base in classical analytics to crunch an entire undergraduate semester’s syllabus into two weeks’ worth of study.
He is a recognized thought leader in the industry, having published articles in leading management and academic journals such as the McKinsey Quarterly, Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing Research and International Journal of Research in Marketing. One of his papers was nominated for the Paul Green Award by the American Marketing Association. He has also been an invited as a speaker to McKinsey and the universities of Dartmouth, Cornell, Yale, Columbia, and New York University.
In his spare time, Anil indulgences his keen interest in gadgets, apps and the latest in technology. He is as proud of having cut down his paper usage to a bare minimum (a mere 25 pages this year) as he is of his bargaining skills when it comes to airline ticket prices—ask him how to get a flight at prices less than those available on Internet sites and prepare to be amazed.
Anil thrives in high-energy environments both at work and outside. He is an avid hiker and enjoys the satisfaction of a grueling hike. He has scaled 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) in Ladakh, as well as climbed Mount Whitney (the highest peak in the continental US) and the Grand Canyon both in one day. Anil loves the break from routine that hiking allows, the communion with nature, and that it pushes the limits of what he thinks he can accomplish. He finds that a promising challenge—whether it is leading the company towards the heights of success or literally conquering lofty peaks—just has to be accepted.