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MACHINE LEARNING BOOSTS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND REVENUE FOR LUXURY TRAVEL CLUB 

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MACHINE LEARNING BOOSTS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND REVENUE FOR LUXURY TRAVEL CLUB

Voyage Privé, one of the largest luxury travel clubs in the world with over 25 million members, has partnered with Dataiku to create a machine learning based solution that predicts customer interest in specific offers, resulting in increase in total-unit-member transaction value by 6%.

Voyage Privé has adopted the technology behind Dataiku, maker of Dataiku Data Science Studio (DSS), to create an analytics platform that enables them to leverage multiple data sources to develop in-house predictive solutions effectively.

For one of their use cases, Voyage Prive wanted to increase customer satisfaction by providing users with personalized offer selections while simultaneously boosting the total transaction value by customer. Accomplishing that goal meant implementing a system that could capture the wide range of customer signals, which could then be used to analyze and predict patterns and preferences related to each individual customer.

But gathering the data was only the first part of the process. For the optimized targeting of offers, data would have to be quickly analyzed and turned into actionable insights that could immediately benefit customer transactions. The analysis not only had to be almost instantaneous, but also accomplished automatically with little or no human intervention.

With Dataiku DSS, Voyage Prive effectively created and implemented an application that continuously learns from historical customer data to provide highly personalised offer and travel package selections to its users. Implementing this predictive solution has improved customer satisfaction and boosted transactional value by 6%.

“Voyage Privé is determined to always make its customers’ lives easier when it comes to travel,” said Laurent Dupé, Head of International Marketing for Voyage Privé. “To answer this challenge, Dataiku DSS gives us the power to develop a machine learning approach that offers each of our customers a  customized selection. Next steps?  Implementing more external datasets to refine our scoring.”

This solution was made possible by the technology behind Dataiku (www.dataiku.com), maker of the predictive analytics software platform Dataiku Data Science Studio (DSS).  Dataiku DSS makes it possible for organizations to reap the benefits of data science thanks to a collaborative interface for both expert and beginner analysts and data scientists. Dataiku offers a complete and accessible advanced analytics software platform that leverages all the tools and technologies required to develop a data research and development department that can build data-driven solutions on their own to improve business and operations.

Dataiku DSS is used by many companies to quickly build predictive services and data products that transform raw data into business impacting products including:

  • Churn Analytics
  • Fraud Detection
  • Logistic Optimization
  • Data Management
  • Demand Forecasting
  • Spatial Analytics
  • Lifetime Value Optimization
  • Predictive Maintenance and much more

To learn more about solutions provided by Dataiku DSS visit:http://www.dataiku.com/solutions/

For a free 14-day trial of DSS Enterprise visit:http://www.dataiku.com/dss/trynow/

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Bleak budget outlook leaves Merkel’s conservatives no choice on debt

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Bleak budget outlook leaves Merkel's conservatives no choice on debt 1

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s bleak budget outlook is pushing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives towards supporting another suspension of national rules on debt next year, with the man in pole position to succeed her advocating another waiver.

The coalition is currently discussing when Berlin should end massive deficit-spending triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and return to the fiscal rules of the constitutionally enshrined debt brake. Parliament suspended those rules for 2020 and 2021 to allow combined new borrowing of up to 310 billion euros in both years.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who is expected to present the draft budget for 2022 next month, has already hinted it could be difficult to keep new borrowing below the ceiling of 0.35% of gross domestic product as required by the rules.

“The numbers are just brutal. Everyone who has looked at the budget in detail can’t help but demand another exception from the debt brake again,” a coalition source told Reuters on Thursday on condition of anonymity.

The source said it was simply impossible to cut 60 billion to 80 billion euros in the budget just to get public finances in line with the rules again – especially with Germany heading towards a federal election in September.

Armin Laschet, the new leader of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said in a newspaper interview that there was probably no other way than to suspend the debt brake again.

“Next year, we will surely have to use Article 115 of the Basic Law again for an exception to the debt brake”, Laschet told Stuttgarter Zeitung.

Laschet even suggested that it could be difficult to stick to the fiscal rules beyond next year.

“Nobody today can reliably predict how what the financial needs will look like after 2022. Whether we’ll still have to declare the fiscal emergency then depends on the further development of the pandemic,” Laschet said.

The comments increase the chances for Germany will continue its debt-financed fiscal splurge next year. This would set the tone for the wider debate in the euro zone on how much longer governments should keep spending to fight the crisis.

In January, Merkel’s chief of staff Helge Braun opened the door for continued deficit spending with a proposal to soften Germany’s debt issuance law, because Berlin would not be able to stick to the strict limits on borrowing for several more years.

But a reform of the rules would need a two-thirds majority in both chambers of parliament – a tricky task given Germany’s increasingly splintered political landscape with seven parties.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Larry King)

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UK eager to restart U.S. talks on tariff removal

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UK eager to restart U.S. talks on tariff removal 2

LONDON (Reuters) – British trade minister Liz Truss said on Thursday she would urgently seek a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative nominee Katherine Tai to discuss the removal of punitive tariffs.

Britain wants the United States to remove tariffs on exports like Scotch whisky which were imposed during its membership of the European Union as part of a long running dispute over aircraft subsidies.

Tai will appear at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday.

“As soon as that is finished I will be on the phone to her seeking an early resolution of these issues,” Truss told parliament.

Last year Britain unilaterally decided that it would drop tariffs it imposed on U.S. goods in a bid to de-escalate the conflict and provide impetus to ongoing discussion to resolve the row.

“This is the way forward, not escalating the tariff battle,” Truss said on Thursday.

(Reporting by William James, editing by Elizabeth Piper and Andy Bruce)

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Aston Martin says back on the road to profitability after 2020 loss

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Aston Martin says back on the road to profitability after 2020 loss 3

By Costas Pitas

LONDON (Reuters) – Aston Martin expects to almost double sales and move back towards profitability this year after sinking deeper into the red in 2020, when the luxury carmaker was hit by the pandemic, changed its boss and was forced to raise cash.

The British company’s shares jumped 9% in early Thursday trading after it kept a forecast for around 6,000 sales to dealers this year as new management turns around its performance.

The carmaker of choice for fictional secret agent James Bond has had a tough time since floating in 2018, as it failed to meet expectations and burnt through cash, prompting it to seek fresh investment from billionaire Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll.

The firm made a 466-million pound ($660 million) loss last year, compared with a 120 million pound loss in 2019, as sales to dealers fell by 42% to 3,394 vehicles, hit by the closure of showrooms and factories due to COVID-19.

For 2021, it expects “to see the first steps towards improved profitability” but is still likely to post a pre-tax loss, the carmaker said.

“I am extremely pleased with the progress to date despite operating in these most challenging of times,” Stroll said.

Aston said demand for its first sport utility vehicle, the DBX, which rolled off the production line at its Welsh plant in 2020, was strong in a lucrative segment of the market it entered to widen its appeal.

The model accounted for 1,516 of deliveries to dealers last year and the company expects further growth in its first full-year of sales, including in the key market of China, where rivals such as Bentley are also seeing high demand.

“We had not even a half-year DBX production in wholesome so probably we are going to see over-proportional growth in China,” Chief Executive Tobias Moers, who took over in August, told Reuters.

($1 = 0.7065 pounds)

(Reporting by Costas Pitas. Editing by Estelle Shirbon and Mark Potter)

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