ATi – Adaptive Technologies, Inc.
ATi creates Intelligent InformationSM from YOUR data to solve your complex
and dynamic business problems.
This paper reviews how ATi’s unique approach to blending service and
software, combined with a unique, proprietary analytics environment, delivers
real world business solutions. ATi specializes in business solutions offering the
• Maximize your ROI and target your promotions appropriately
• Improve your customer retention
Thomas A “Tony” Rathburn • Define portfolio of customers to achieve your goals
• Predict your high risk situations
The Modeling Agency
www.the-modeling-agency.com • Increase your up-sells and cross-sells by targeting the right customer
As a business manager, you are involved in making decisions on an ongo-
ing basis in a highly complex operating environment. ATi is helping clients reach
higher levels of confidence in decision-making by harnessing advanced technol-
ogy and science in a way that specifically meets their client’s business objectives.
The result is improved business performance.
Clients are no longer left with the often overwhelming task of mastering
a range of technologies in an attempt to determine the right blend of software,
data and techniques that will encapsulate the best approach to achieving their
ATi’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) approach to delivering predictive ana-
lytic solutions is business oriented versus technically oriented. By taking the time
“The application of advanced
to understand their clients’ business objectives prior to initiating a project, they technologies and science to
improve business decision-
can focus on utilizing all available data and deliver custom solutions in a format making has been encumbered
tailored to the needs of their users. by an overemphasis on
technology, rather than
focusing on specific business
ATi’s areas of predictive analytics and business intelligence expertise in- goals and objectives. ATi
clude: brings the focus back to the
needs of their clients.”
• Segmentation and Profiling
• Customer Retention
• New Customer Acquisition
• Targeted Marketing
• Risk Management
The application of advanced technologies and science to improve business
decision-making has been encumbered by an overemphasis on technology, rather
than focusing on specific business goals and objectives. ATi brings the focus back
to the needs of their clients. Their project management approach is developed in
four major areas:
• Defining business objectives
• Identifying, evaluating and accessing all relevant data
• Advanced modelling to provide enhanced decision solutions
• Maintaining solutions
Unlike most intelligent decision support environments in analytics and
business intelligence tools, ATi develops custom web-based user interfaces to de-
liver specific recommendations to the business manager. These real-time indica-
tors take the form of a dashboard applet to give concise feedback to the user with
supporting customized screens and data access. ATi’s customized solution offers
unique benefits to their clients:
• Flags and alerts to customer metrics with specific recommendations for
• Dashboard view of actual activities vs. recommended, with comparative
impact on performance metrics.
• Incorporation of changes in priorities to assist in “what’s best now” adap-
• Decision impact implications in real-time.
• Incorporation of confidence levels into recommendations.
• Incremental enhancement opportunities within complex decision environ-
The technical staffs of organizations developing predictive analytics and
business decision models have traditionally been faced with three purchase op-
tions: acquire a set of technical tools, build solutions internally or a combination
buying tools and retaining an external consulting firm to build a solution.
Buy Option Build Option
Consistent approach that has been validated Development based on custom set of
for a particular problem. However, specific performance metrics and business
functionalities may not match organizational objectives
Design of operational flexibility to
Cost savings to vendor that may be adapt to changing needs
passed on to clients
Requires investment in additional
Functional area projects may not training and software
incorporate enterprise level objectives
Early adoption efforts are often wrongly
Purchasing tools that are not used or needed; targeted at technical staff rather than to the
“ATi’s SaaS model provides
however, represented in cost due to the functional areas
the expertise that cannot
be hired, yet provides
Requires accurate representation of solution flexibility that is
business objectives adopted by the not dependent on any one
enterprise and the functional units involved given technology or piece of
software. You get the best of
Developers often focus on technical technology and highest level
proficiency rather than advancing business expertise in one place.”
Most consulting firms deliver a solution approach that has been general-
ized to the needs of the client base they serve. By offering a set of semi-custom,
or off-the-shelf solutions, they achieve a level of consistency and cost savings in
the operation of their consultancy. Unfortunately, this approach is more consis-
tent with commodity items and typically results in requiring the client to adapt to
the developed solution. A more desirable approach would involve the develop-
ment of a solution that enhances performance based on the particular business
objectives of the firm, while simultaneously being able to adapt to the opera-
tional flexibility required in managing a sophisticated business in today’s environ-
The alternative to retaining a consultancy requires that the technical staff
of an organization acquire a set of technologies or tools that are significantly
different in their purpose and operation than those currently utilized for general
business intelligence. The technical staff in most organizations are tasked with
the capture, storage and dissemination of data required to support the daily op-
erations of a firm. Their focus, appropriately, has been based on the data man-
agement requirements and implementing information technologies to meet these
Developing quantitative models of an organization’s business decision
processes involves the utilization of data for the specific purpose of enhancing the
performance of an organization. This goal-oriented utilization of data requires an
accurate representation of the business objectives adopted by the enterprise, and
by the various functional units. Few firms possess well documented, standardized
metrics to measure performance at all levels of the organization. Instead, perfor-
mance metrics are often implied and the understanding of performance is typi-
cally subjective and inconsistent across the organization. Additionally, individual
functional areas often focus only on the performance of their understanding of
their primary responsibilities without taking larger enterprise level metrics or con-
sidering the impact of their decisions on other areas of the organization.
The adoption of quantitative techniques often inappropriately elevates the
mastery and utilization of advanced model development technologies in an at-
tempt to force performance enhancement through purely technological solutions.
This approach generally fails, not because the technology is lacking, but due to
poor project understanding and design. There is limited expertise of professional,
skilled scientific modellers.
Technical Summary: ATi SaaS Advantage
ATi addresses the limitations associated with both build and buy ap-
proaches by: developing an understanding of the various overlapping sets of goals
recognized within the organization; understanding the requirements of the indi-
vidual decision makers within the organization; analyzing the cross-area impact of
various scenarios in an if-then environment; and delivering solutions that adapt
to “what’s best now”. ATi delivers SaaS solution with a view of customer-centric
User Benefits Design Benefits
Zero footprint implementation Focus on utilization of technology rather
than raw technology
Flags and alerts to customer metrics with
specific recommendations for decision changes Recognizes the unique requirements of each
client, their existing environment, and what
they are trying to achieve
Dashboard view of actual activities vs.
recommended with comparative impact on
performance metrics Custom performance metrics matching
Incorporation of changes in priorities to assist
in “what’s best now” adaptation Incorporation of confidence levels into
Decision impact implications in real time
Incremental enhancement opportunities
within complex decision environments
ATi supports organizations’ development of quantitative, data-driven deci-
sion models shifting their orientation to the utilization of technology. The meth-
odology begins with a focus on planning to predict. This approach emphasizes
the unique requirements of each client, their existing environment, and what they
are trying to achieve.
ATi encourages a building block approach that implements an effective so-
lution development platform to support incremental enhancement development.
The systems are built and maintained by ATi’s science and technology experts.
This platform has its own data structures, which allows for multiple perspectives
Technical Summary: ATi SaaS Advantage
on the data and delivery of robust output in either real-time or batch operations.
The decision models developed from this environment give the decision-
maker a set of custom dashboard indicators based on the unique objectives and
metrics of the decision process at hand. Development of these dashboards is
performance driven with the design based on how they are to be used, where
they are used and why.
An additional enhancement that ATi has incorporated into their develop-
ment SaaS methodology is the ability of the user to consider adopting various sce-
narios and the impact of each on performance. This provides the user with the
unique ability to perform if-then predictive analysis and consider the impact of a
given prospective solution on other systems, prior to implementing a particular
decision. Under each of these scenarios, the user maintains ultimate control of
the individual solution to be implemented, the level of confidence to be expected
in the outcome, and a dashboard view of “I did” vs. “recommended”. ATi’s solu-
tions then adapt to user imposed course changes recommending a “what’s best
now” next step.
ATi’s solutions within an organization are based on the development of an
agent factory of specific decision support modules. These agents, who adopt the
role of human experts in this scenario, reinforce or refute decisions based on cur-
rent and past experiences captured in the data stored in the development plat-
form. Unlike most other approaches, ATi’s agents allow for higher resolution in
the decision process. This approach supports decisions at the individual level, not
just decisions where individuals are a member of a group. ATi’s development of
agents also allows for the support of multiple sets of goals throughout the organi-
zation with pre-determined levels of effectiveness.
ATi provides a zero-footprint development SaaS solution to its clients. It
requires neither new software nor additional staff. When maintenance is re-
quired, ATi provides the expertise to quickly make adaptations.
What’s In It For You?
ATi combines the advantages of a traditional software platform with those
of a consulting engagement and overcomes the limitations of both. Their con-
ceptual approach blends development expertise with advanced technologies in a
seamless SaaS development and delivery predictive analytics solution.
Traditional software platforms require the client to develop the skills to
conceptualize a project appropriately, gather and analyze related data from a
variety of sources, evaluate an array of potential quantitative techniques, validate
potential candidate models, and maintain delivered solutions.
Consulting firms possess development expertise but generally deliver
“black box” solutions that may not be optimized to client metrics.
ATi’s SaaS solutions eliminate costly hardware and software investments to
offer substantial business justifications:
• Lower risk than either a buy or a build approach “Clients are no longer left
with the often overwhelming
• More rapid implementation task of mastering a range of
technologies in an attempt to
• Higher ROI determine the right blend of
software, data and techniques
• No new tools to purchase that will encapsulate the best
• Custom web-based solutions approach to achieving their
• Models and scientific expertise provided by ATi
• ATi maintains platform application
ATi offers a unique service to blend the build vs. buy technical decision
faced by most firms.
Development Cycles ATi Solution Benefits
Project Definition Solutions optimized to client specific business
objectives and performance metrics.
Incorporation of goal sets, not
limited to individual goals.
Custom solution development, not
productized general solutions.
Implementation support - how, where
and why to use developed solutions.
Incremental enhancement planning
and development environment.
Data Leverage all relevant data.
Development of solution-specific data
structures to support the project.
Analysis of all available data not restricted to
data with assumed importance.
Explainable relationships between variables
Multi-perspective view of data generating
Solutions updated as additional data
Modeling Consideration and evaluation of multiple advanced
quantitative techniques appropriate to solution.
Experimental design that ensures development
and validation of solution models.
Incorporation of confidence levels into recommendations.
Decisions at the individual level... not the
individual as a member of a group.
Allowance for “what-if” comparison of recommended course
vs. actual activity and impact on performance metrics.
Models learn and adapt.
Development Cycles ATi Solution Benefits
Solution Delivery Web-based delivery environment.
Decisions in either real time or
Output available across the client organization.
Custom dashboard applets supporting
screens and data access support.
Inclusion of confidence levels
Solutions adapt to “what’s best now”.
Flags and alerts reflecting impact on client
metrics adapting to recent modifications of decisions.
Agent factory reinforces/refutes decisions
based on current and prior experiences.
Model Maintenance & Updates Adaptive incorporation of new
experiences into models.
Confidence reporting enhanced with
on-going utilization of decision history.
Technical Solution Client Benefit
Statistical Modeling Advantages: ATi Solution:
• Expertise and software • Manages large, dynamic
packages are readily data sets most commonly
available associated with business
• Often powerful in static data issues with ease
sets with less variance • Uses multiple statistical
• Most powerful in data sets modeling techniques
with fewer variables • Compensates the weaknesses
• Simplest techniques are easily of one model by combining it
understood by most with another
• Large number of possible • Able to identify outliers and
models available absence of data without its
affecting the accuracy of the
• Models are static
• Outputs are transparent with
• Often used outside its scope the key reasons “why”
• Oversensitive to outliers in
• Not ideal for larger data sets
• No guidance on what model
• No magic bullet model, every
one has weaknesses
• Needs expert modeler
to compare models and
decide which are the most
Artificial Intelligence Advantages: ATi Solution:
• Able to learn from new data • Agent-based where an agent
within the data set can represent a statistical
• Handles large data sets with model or an artificial
broad statistical distribution intelligence model
well • Multiple types of models
• Doesn’t require perfect data within the platform allow the
weaknesses of one modeling
technique to be overcome by
• Must be “trained” and the strengths of another
maintained by an expert in
• More accurate predictions
order to keep it “tuned”
through agent consensus
• Results are very sensitive to
• Outputs are transparent
user experience and expertise
(no black boxes)— include
• Lack transparency and the key drivers and level of
interpretability confidence associated with
• Requires high performance predictions
computing environment • Analyses are the functionality
of the technology and hence
the iterative processes are
• Maintained by ATi’s team of
experts on a 24/7 basis
Solution Functional Area
Prospect Ranking Sales, Marketing
Customer Ranking Sales, Marketing
Customer Valuation Sales, Marketing
Non-Standard Transaction Compliance, Customer Service
Product Feature Enhancement Product Development, Custumer
Customer Attrition Management Sales, Marketing
Cross Sell/Up Sell Sales, Marketing
Lead Scoring Sales, Marketing
Risk Management All Areas of Business
Event Based Marketing Sales, Marketing
Customer Loyalty Sales, Marketing
Customer Profitability All Areas of Business
Predictive analytics is emerging into the mainstream business environment
as the next wave of technologies tries to provide a true competitive advantage.
Many new books on the subject targeted at the business user are being published
while software developers in the area are rapidly gaining access to both tactical
and strategic level managers in many organizations. However, for the business de-
cision maker the initial entry into the work of advanced analytics can be daunting.
The skill sets required to merge the business and technical issues are rarely found
in one individual, or even in one company.
In view of this, traditionally, users have faced a buy vs. build decision. Is it
better to engage a consulting firm and potentially lose the customization desired?
Or better to give up the technology capture to build future projects and become
dependent on an outside resource for critical decision enhancements?
“ATi combines the advantages
of a traditional software Or, do we make the investment necessary to purchase the talent and skill
platform with those of a sets necessary to explore a highly experimental set of technologies, uncertain of
consulting engagement and
overcomes the limitations the risks and with a high probability of unsuccessful results.
of both. Their conceptual
approach blends development
At first glance, ATi’s solutions can be difficult to embrace because of the
expertise with advanced
technologies in a seamless applications of complex science and advanced technology to address real business
SaaS development and
delivery predictive analytics needs. Not because they lack merit. Rather, because they do not fit neatly into
the traditional solution model. They are neither a software vendor, nor a consult-
ing firm. But they do offer an exceptional opportunity to overcome many of the
challenges facing even the experienced predictive analytics solution developer.
ATi’s SaaS model provides the expertise that cannot be hired, yet provides
solution flexibility that is not dependent on any one given technology or piece of
software. You get the best of technology and highest level expertise in one place.
About Adaptive Technologies, Inc. (ATi)
Adaptive Technologies, Inc. (ATi) was founded in 2001 by two world re-
nowned physicists with a passion to use the power of science, human insight and
technology to solve real business challenges. From this vision ATi has evolved into
an elite, research-driven enterprise combining the skill sets of business profes-
sionals, scientists, software engineers and sophisticated data specialists. ATi’s
team has created a proprietary predictive analytics platform so leading companies
make better data-driven decisions. For details about ATi’s product and services,
reference: www.adaptiveinc.com, e-mail email@example.com or call
About the Author
Thomas A. “Tony” Rathburn is a senior consultant with The Modeling
Agency (TMA) and the primary instructor of TMA’s “Data Mining: Level I”
(http://www.the-modeling-agency.com/training) course. Tony has worked with
commercial and government clients to develop data mining solutions to signifi-
cant business applications since the mid 1980’s. Mr. Rathburn delivers custom
workshops and consults on a wide range of commercial assignments -- many
involving CRM applications. He holds extensive data mining experience in the
banking, insurance, and financial industries.
Mr. Rathburn’s Experience includes seven years teaching MIS and statistics
at both the graduate and undergraduate level while an instructor in the College
of Business at Kent State University. Tony’s consulting expertise has been concen-
trated in the business utilization of advanced knowledge discovery techniques.
He served as Vice President of Applied Technologies for NeuralWare, Inc., a neural
network tools and consulting company. He was also the Research Coordinator for
LakeShore Trading, Inc., a successful futures and options trading firm on the Chi-
cago Board of Trade. Reference details about The Modeling Agency at:
www.the-modeling-agency.com or call (281) 667-4200.