Centralized Decisioning Key to Consistent Customer Engagement: FICO

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FICO, a leading global analytics company, is helping businesses improve their bottom lines by using analytical models and data to create solutions and efficiencies for organizations and consumers. 

“We’re really an analytics company and we’ve been in business for 60 plus years. Our focus is around helping clients meet the needs of their customers and helping consumers have a better customer journey,” said Kevin Deveau, vice-president and managing director for FICO Canada and the North American insurance practice leader.

FICO believes that centralized decisioning is key in allowing businesses to collect and utilize personalized customer information, resulting in a faster time to market and consistent customer engagement.

“We have a number of solutions, or tools, if you want, that allow us to do that. A lot of our business is in the financial services sector – probably 70 per cent of it – and then the remaining 30 per cent is in retail, government, supply chain and other industries.”

In the retail space, he said, it really comes down to how you do one-to-one marketing. How do you serve the end-consumer so that the services, solutions and products that you sell are relevant to that individual consumer, are timely, and that the journey the consumer has is seamless?

Being able to directly market to customers and provide them with a unique experience is how organizations will set themselves apart and create a returning customer base. This is where centralized decisioning is beneficial.


Deveau said many different technologies and tools are used by FICO to come up with that critical information for retailers.

“Centralized decisioning uses a combination of various tools and capabilities, ranging from analytic models, machine learning and AI, in order to stream data from various sources, to build rules and optimize the data into decisions, all in a sub-second time frame,” said Deveau.

Most businesses store their information in siloed business units, making it difficult to pull the information when needed. Centralized decisioning allows organizations to store all customer data in one unified system, letting businesses view and understand their relationship with consumers by providing a 360-degree view of customer data. 

“For us, when you think of central decisioning it’s a multitude of things bringing together data in a common repository,” said Deveau. “And leveraging that data to be able to determine a specific action or an event and being able to manage that for the full consumer base or the individual retail customer.”


A prime example of centralized decisioning in the retail space is the PC Optimum loyalty program. 

“We have a great customer here in Canada, Loblaw and the Shoppers Drug Mart “Optimum” and the “PC Plus” loyalty programs, which were recently merged together to form “PC Optimum” – creating a true vision of the implementation and execution of direct marketing.”

“We work with Loblaw to bring in all kinds of data on their end consumers. What are their previous purchases? What are their preferences? From there, the system Loblaw has implemented takes all these different combinations of data from the billions of different food skews and the 19 million combined loyalty consumers from the two combined programs, and generates billions of scores, based on buying preferences each week.”


“At the end of the week, each of the 19 million combined loyalty members can log onto their accounts and get up to 20 of the most relevant offers specific to them. These solutions and product offers are tailored to those individual consumers based on weekly and monthly basket types, sizes and frequency of purchases.”

Deveau said there is still a lot of work to be done for retailers as technology becomes a more integrated part of the retail space. As the digital mindset expands, retailers that are not able to keep up with this fast-paced, constantly changing world will be left behind. Those who are leveraging data, analytics and are able to support multiple channels will be the leaders going forward.

FICO is an acronym of Fair, Isaac, and Company which was founded in 1956. William Fair, an engineer, and Earl Isaac, a mathematician, were the original founders of the company which is today based in Silicon Valley. It was created to help businesses focus on making smart business decisions by using math and engineering.

*Partner content. To work with Retail Insider, email: craig@retail-insider.com

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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