/* ---- Google Analytics Code Below */

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Google Plus

For the purposes of an experiment, some posts of my blog are now being echoed into Google+ here: http://www.google.com/+FranzDill    Feel free to link with me there.

App Stores for the Defense Enterprise

Enterprises are looking for ways to ride the ease of use and simplicity of task partitioning and integration in App stores.   Even the US Department of Defense. 

Samsung Design America

Samsung Putting Design First.  A new era of design connectivity.  " ... Dennis Miloseski, head of the design studio for Samsung Design America, said that Samsung’s new design arm is “in the business to turn science fiction into science fact. ... " 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Focusing Effort with Data, Leveraging it with Analytics

In preparation now for a talk to local executives on the use of analytics in the enterprise I reviewed some of the work done with Business Sphere.   Its been some thirty years since I arrived at a global soap company, degree and government experience in hand,  to see how I could help them with improving their manufacturing and supply chain.  I finished my direct work there thirty years later, with a three year hiatus in a startup.

Analytics then was called Operations Research, and we applied the mathematics and the principles of the approach in many places.  Early on we were introduced to the concept of focus, and how systems could provide that ability at every level of the company.  One of the first examples we explored was how the top executives used computing power.  At the time it was unheard of for executives to have computers available directly to them, it was their admin people than ran their email, made sure they got the right reports, and were altered to key issues by phone call.

In those first efforts, we worked with the CEO to develop a method by which he would get information he needed for specific tasks.  We had not yet reached a world where we could organize information to make it easily and directly usable by the decision maker.  Make it as easy as possible to do their job with the right data.

Then, years later, as software and hardware became pervasive and mobile, a key extension was understood.  People work as individuals, and in multiple groups.  So why not give every person, every group, of any size, from new hire to CEO, the right data to do their job?  This gives you the advantage of doing their job, with the right data, as efficiently as possible.  It was also discovered that this would also focus their jobs in new ways.   Data can drive the work.  Analytics can be added to sculpt and leverage  the data.   The work is not done, it continues to move on under new names and implementations.  Stay tuned for new progress.

For more about this see my previous writings about what is now called Business Sphere.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Engineering Software Development

In Computer.org:  Software development fails more often than most other engineering endeavors.   How can this be better addressed with engineering principles?

Continued Progress of Design Thinking

Our enterprise added a design function, and I was involved in a number of introductory meetings.   There was a slight skepticism between the groups that were design oriented versus those that were had been pushing quantified analysis.  I always a believer that they could work together, each providing their own expertise.  In particular, simulation methods could bring them together.   This came up today in a conversation today in a analytics group.  More about the progress of design thinking.

Data Variety as a Dimension

Data variety is one of the key dimensions of Big Data applications.   Which are said to deal with Volume, Variety and Velocity of data.  Here a post about how it is often an issue.  Variety of data is often a problem in many kinds of problems, it is usually solved by pulling all data into one form for fast analysis.   Big Data, though, makes claims that it can deal with 'very' different kinds of data, such as structured corporate data and unstructured text.  Its another challenge to fit these dimensions together to make them work in concert.  I don't see it as a bigger than any other aspects of the mix.    As is usually context is key.  " ... When it comes to data variety, a large part of the challenge lies in putting the data into the right context. Nothing exists in isolation in today’s networked world as most of the big data available for analysis is linked to outside entities and organizations. Making sense of the context takes time and human understanding and that slows everything down. ... " 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

P&G at Teradata Partners Session

Good piece that covers many of the issues of the large CPG enterprise today:

Via Gib Bassett  Teradata Industry Partners

Lessons the CPG industry can take away from Procter & Gamble’s 2013 Teradata Partners Session

This (past) week at Teradata Partners 2013, representatives from Procter & Gamble (P&G) talked about their Teradata-powered direct-to-consumer global digital marketing efforts. Tony Hudnell and Dennis Devine explained in business terms why the world’s largest advertiser was taking steps to develop direct, one-to-one connections with as many of their consumers as possible.... "

Kroger Knows Your Shopping Habits

In Forbes:  Good overview of what is fairly common practice in the use of analytics in retail/CPG today. " ... Working with dunnhumby, the customer data specialist which so impressed the UK’s Tesco that the grocer bought the firm, Kroger tracks each customer as an individual.... 

Those quarterly mailers contain 12 coupons specific to an individual household and are carefully designed. The upper left may offer a slightly esoteric product like a special cheese, while Tide may be lower on the flyer and the last two coupons might be experiments, such as adjacent products — a purchaser of baby food who doesn’t buy diapers might see an offer for diapers, for example. Eighty percent of dunnhumby’s effort is focused on what it knows about a customer and 20 percent is focused on discovery. ... " 

Solving a Big Data Conjecture

Interesting, but technical:  " ... A mathematical problem related to big data was solved by Jean-Francois Puget, engineer in the Solutions Analytics and Optimization group at IBM France. The problem was first mentioned on Data Science Central, and an award was offered to the first data scientist to solve it. ...  " ... You can find details about the competition, the result proved by Jean-Francois (including the proof), the new metrics used for big data, the advantages of these metrics, and the curse of big data at http://bit.ly/133S6ns . ... " 

Reacting to Google Algorithm Changes

Another Algorithm Change.  Is there no other feasible reaction to the ongoing changes by Google?

" ... Every online publisher and her brother has since rushed to spill ink on the topic because we all want to know: how can we please Google? Not like souless robotic spammers, of course. But like people who sincerely believe they deserve to rank highly (even if that becomes a less meaningful metric by the day). Because, well, think about it …

If we all knew the ins-and-outs of how Google ranks content, and if we knew which factors they use and the exact weight each carries in ranking, then all we’d have to do is just tick off our check list, publish the post, and bask in the light of steady traffic pouring in from our high rankings! .. " 

Math and Music

An upcoming concert and lecture on patterns in math and music.  If you are nearby Santa Fe, drop in.  If you need to impress on someone the relationship between math and music, the link is also worth reading.   " ... "The Majesty of Music and Mathematics,” takes place at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, November 2, at The Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe. Tickets are available through The Symphony box office (505) 983-1414 or (800) 480-1319. ... " 

Improving Application Development

Creating reliable systems is still quite inefficient.  McKinsey reports on enhancing efficiency and effectiveness. " ... Software has become critical for most large enterprises. They should adopt a reliable output metric that is integrated with the process for gathering application requirements. ... "

How Fast is Broadband Fast

Its fairly rare that I need broadband inside a project.  Yes it is certainly useful for general browsing, or up and downloading files.  This Readwrite Web article is about a comparison of speeds.   A recent project made me think about how to refresh points from a distant algorithm on a screen.  Which made me consider how fast such a network could be refreshed for a simulation.    It is still far slower than a video refresh needs to be.

Monday, October 28, 2013

No Such Thing as Electronic Privacy

In Computerworld:  With more stories coming out about NSA, this short post explains how there is no such thing as privacy in electronics. Privacy as a delusion.  Well OK, if the NSA is involved.  But reasonable personal privacy with encryption exists.

Kellogg Mobile Augmented Reality Marketing

A nice example of using augmented reality in marketing by Kellogg.   With music. " .... Kellogg is joining General Mills and Mondelez International in bringing augmented reality to packaging. In Kellogg's case, users with the brand's mobile application and rewards program can scan boxes to bring up an offering of four different musical artists and the chance to buy tickets to a Live Nation concert ... "

Last Chance: Analytics for Executives.

LAST CHANCE.  Regional interest talk from successful professional practitioners.  In particular, suitable for executives seeking to understand the practical use of Analytics.

TIBCO Spotfire and the Data Analytics Foundation personally invite you to the Analytics Value Proposition Series – From Mess, to Models, to Insight 

Wednesday, October 30th, 10am-1pm  (complimentary lunch)
Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
35 W. 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

Register Here NOW .
This seminar takes a unique perspective to analytics and Big Data.  It introduces the full cycle of how analytics can simply and effectively be introduced into business process.  This method not only includes decisions and data, it allows for the integration of analytics into the decision process itself.  Integration can vary from installation into an App used by employees, inclusion in a mobile device, or used as a template for strategic action.   We will describe this approach, and provide a number of real examples of its use.  Examples at the talk will be drawn from supply chain, retail, marketing, financial services, energy awareness, manufacturing and executive information delivery.


Jeffrey D. Camm, Head of Operations, Business Analytics and Information Systems, Founding Director of the Center for Business Analytics, Fellow, University of Cincinnati

Franz Dill, Advanced Analytics Practice Lead, Data Analytics Foundation

Mike Fry, Associate Professor and Linder Research Fellow, Department of Operations, Business Analytics and Information Systems, University of Cincinnati ... 

(If you can't attend this meeting, contact me and we will arrange another session to present it  - Franzdill@gmail.com)

Idio Platform

I see that longtime  correspondent Damon Ragusa of Thinkvine is now connected with Idio.   Which "... understands your customer’s interests and intent through the content they consume and uses this to deliver personalized and relevant multi-channel communications  ... " .  Learning more and will report. See also their blog.

Managing Discontinuous Innovation

Manager at Unisys Posts:  How do we manage disruptive trends?  Some good thoughts here.  Match our own experiences in the enterprise.  Remembering that roughly 20 percent of these efforts fail in private industry.  About 50% in government applications.  " ... Nick Evans draws on his experience managing global innovation programs and consulting to clients over the years on emerging technologies including cloud, mobile and social computing, big data and Cybersecurity. ... "  

Doing Data Science

Now available for order: Doing Data Science Paperback by Cathy O'Neil, Rachel Schutt: I like the general premise,  do not have yet:

" ... Each chapter-long lecture features a guest data scientist from a prominent company such as Google, Microsoft, or eBay teaching new algorithms, methods, or models by sharing case studies and actual code they use. You’ll learn what’s involved in the lives of data scientists and be able to use the techniques they present. ... " . 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Enterprise and Big Data

On Enterprise Big Data:  some good points made here.  There is still relatively little understanding, and thus investment in the techniques.  This is not new, it has operated this way in the whole history of analytics,  but the costs are higher now.    " .... Given the market conditions and the financial situation of most enterprises, only small budgets are being dedicated to prove the value of big data initiatives before committing to large scale, enterprise-grade projects to fully leverage the value. Most enterprises I’ve had the opportunity to talk with over the last couple of years are in some phase of initiating or carrying out a pilot project or proof-of value initiative to build the case for bigger budgets. But this journey has been a challenging one. I see it as the classic situation of the “teething” problems experienced with any new major technology adoption, and big data clearly fits into this category. All the clients I’ve had conversations with over the last couple of years appear to be in fairly similar situations.  ... " 

A Personal History of Blogging

According to the Wikipedia, Blogs were invented in 1998.  In 2001 I started an internal enterprise blog that was the most read in our global company.  It connected me to many new people.  A follow up effort sought to connect blogs to Wikis to capture corporate knowledge.  After retiring I ran blogs for other companies.  I had started a public blog around 2003, and this blog eventually arose from that effort.   I have experimented with many offshoots of blogging, like Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterist.  All copy the element of logging things on the web, and recording the stream.   So I consider them a form of Blogging. Various estimates exist, but hundreds of millions of people participate in these activities globally today.

Where is the Power of the Crowd?

A good thought in Innovation Excellence:  " ... Crowdsourcing may have also benefited from the recent recession with firms finding an inexpensive army of recently unemployed service providers.  In fact, most of the negative stigma associated with crowdsourcing is the idea of finding cheap labor. That said, the roots of crowdsourcing lie in open-sourcing ... " 

Tagging Forward

This blog started in 2003, replacing an older internal blog. Starting last year I started to tag items in this blog.  All new items are now tagged.  I have also been able to back tag old items using a search script.   Several thousand posts have now been tagged.  I also started to add a number of new, more descriptive tags on areas of current interest.  When I do research on my own work I have found this to be very useful, rediscovering work I have done before.  Give it a try on some of the popular tags below. You can still search for words or phrases in the blog with the search box on the home page, at the upper left.  Substantive comments on process welcome.

Free BI Apps for Mobile Access

In an interesting play, Microstrategy has introduced free Business Intelligence Apps.  A not unsurprising direction to make basic BI capabilities generally available.  Although I have never used Microstrategy,  this will make me take a closer look.  In our own work, we have seen growing insistence that BI capability be available wherever and whenever people need it.  Mobile is now key and essential.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Turning Maps into 3D Spaces

From a recent gaming competition.  The use of historical maps that are then mapped into a 3D gaming style world.  Watch the linked-to video.   Will this ultimately mean we can combine 2D maps with pictures and models to make navigable spaces?  Yes, it has been done for limited spaces,  but can the process be universal and automatic?   I would like a model of a manufacturing space augmented with maintenance and process efficiency data. 

Interactive Dynamic Map Example

MJ Perry points me to this interactive data visualization map that shows the number of living US presidents since 1789.  I like the general design, although the implied drill down really does not have enough data.  It's really just a list of numbers.  Suppose there were more horizontal layers of data? Debt,  GNP, etc.  Suppose we could create interactive simulation-style visualizations that were as sexy as 'infographics', to make interactive just as interesting?

Innovation at the Tipping Point

Poses an interesting question:  " ... We all know innovation is important because it is the lifeblood of any business. But compare upcoming digital era to previous industrial era, is innovation becoming more important or less, does the content or context of innovation stay at the same or be different, is innovation trying to reach the next level, but what is tipping point? ... " 

I am convinced it is about understanding the real decision process for innovation in a company, and acquiring the right data to make it work well.

Reputation Risks from Technology

In CIO Insight:  A low information slide infomercial accounts the means by which corporate reputation can be endangered from new technologies.    Though the information content is low, the statistics that lay out the risk are useful.

Decline of the Wikipedia

We followed Wikipedia from the beginning.  We attempted to use the Wiki model to store and retrieve corporate knowledge internally.  Learning much about what worked and does not work using wikis for corporate knowledge.  You do see a decrease in the use of the wiki model, but it is still used.  The Wikipedia did  take over the general encyclopedia industry, first making printed encyclopedias obsolete, and then dominating the online industry.  Now is the Wikipedia being threatened by the volunteer system that creates and edits entries? 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Talk: From Mess to Analytical Models

A few seats left:

TIBCO Spotfire and the Data Analytics Foundation personally invite you to the Analytics Value Proposition Series – From Mess, to Models, to Insight 

Wednesday, October 30th, 10am-1pm (complimentary lunch)
Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
35 W. 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

Register Here.

This seminar takes a unique perspective to analytics and Big Data.  It introduces the full cycle of how analytics can simply and effectively be introduced into business process.  This method not only includes decisions and data, it allows for the integration of analytics into the decision process itself.  Integration can vary from installation into an App used by employees, inclusion in a mobile device, or used as a template for strategic action.   We will describe this approach, and provide a number of real examples of its use.  Examples at the talk will be drawn from supply chain, retail, marketing, financial services, energy awareness, manufacturing and executive information delivery.


Jeffrey D. Camm, Head of Operations, Business Analytics and Information Systems, Founding Director of the Center for Business Analytics, Fellow, University of Cincinnati

Franz Dill, Advanced Analytics Practice Lead, Data Anaytics Foundation

Mike Fry, Associate Professor and Linder Research Fellow, Department of Operations, Business Analytics and Information Systems, University of Cincinnati ... 

(If you can't attend this meeting, contact me and we will arrange another session to present it  - Franzdill@gmail.com)

Facebook Teaching Machines to Learn

In Wired: It is interesting how companies are deciding to play in the machine learning Artificial Intelligence space.   On cursory examination Facebook seems to be the least intelligent user interface and model of interaction I have seen of the big social players.  At least Google and Linkedin and IBM appear to have making inroads.  Facebook has a way to go.

FTC to Investigate the Internet of Things

In GigaOM: It should be regulated. But I have my doubts that governments will do a good job.  Think too of the implication of governments knowing the location, status and interaction of all tagged things. Has to be a stronger privacy assurance.  When a thing, a medical device, communicates with your Doctor, who could possibly be listening?

New Mobile Apps from Linkedin

Linkedin has done some creative things that leverage their considerable database.  Here are some new Apps.  Back to credibility again.   And emphasizing mobile. " ... LinkedIn Intro could enable a new level of credibility for new connections, suggested Engauge's Lindsay Howard. For example, "recruiters may use email to reach out to new connections because using InMail through LinkedIn comes at a cost," Howard noted. "Now, recruiters may consider using LinkedIn instead because the in-mail profile makes it easier for the recipient to determine the sender's credibility ... " 

Butterflies for IT Management

Another old idea come around again.  Can you use it for IT management?  Perhaps in a theoretical sense, but I am skeptical about its predictive power.  " ...  So far so good — but is it enough? Do we have enough of theoretical engine power to encapsulate the intricacies, complexities and unpredictability of a) software development and, perhaps more crucially b) those human beings who will work to produce it in real world humanoid scenarios. The answer is no, we need chaos theory too. ... " ... Chaos theory: the behaviour of dynamic systems is highly sensitive to initial conditions ...  . 

Big Data Explored and Vindicated

Review of:   Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, and Kenneth Cukier.   Strongly recommended, for reading through or browsing.

This books does an excellent job of making the Big Data argument.  That we have changed from a fundamental world of Why?  to a  world of What?  And that by simply having more data we can, in many cases, depend on correlation that does not require causality.

Key sections:

Now:  Why are we at this point now, what is driving us to the use of more data productively using analytics.  Some excellent examples. Letting the Data Speak.
More: Why is More Data Better?  Why should we rely on using some of the data when the sample size can be all of the data?  How this facilitates drill down into the data.
Messy: More data introduces more messiness.  We no longer have to remove the messy data, but can learn to live with them as part of the landscape.    Inexact is often a correct measure.   More can trump better when you seek experiment.
Correlation: Still does not imply causation.  But correlation can provide a meaningful way to relate data and create patterns.  Statisticians may cringe, but we are not seeking physical truth here, but useful relationships to solve real problems.  
Datafication: We can look to means of gathering more data, more completely and more often to drive understanding.   This way we can also track dynamic systems that are constantly changing.
Value: Data has real value.  It can be logged, related to other data, licensed and sold.   Much data is also being made public free, to be made useful by visualization and other analytical methods. The value can be in the data: Private, public when it is mashed together with analytic methods.

The Implications, Risks and Future of Big Data are further explored. Lots of great examples of all of these. The best general, non technical book I have read on the subject.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Windows 8.1 Installed by an Expert

My long time colleague Walter Riker waxes technical about his installation of Windows 8.1  He is also an expert on Office 365 (He teaches it for companies).  and describes how the two coexist.  I installed 8.1 only a week ago, and have found it quite behaved and incremental.   Now there are others I have to convince that it is not evil.

University of Arkansas RFID Center

From the RFID Journal:  A now dated piece, but reminded me of work we did with RFID  technology and the University of Arkansas back in 2003.  And another excellent example of how an innovation center can be designed, built and used to address a technology solution space.  RFID has not replaced the barcode, but it has many expanding niche uses.   The RFID Journal is a great place to track their uses.

More Wearables

In the Cisco Blog:  More on wearable computing.   Is Glass only an entry point?  And how personalized will computing technology get?  We have smartphones so close by atmost times that we may just as well be wearing them anyway.  Or embedding them?

More Competition for Google Glass

In Ars Technica:  Which reports that there are now eleven companies selling Glass-like computing headgear.  Samsung has also joined in.  Interesting array of competition.  Most look rather non chic.    Do more contenders mean it is more likely to be a common thing?

Sifting Data Visually for Connections

Another example of the use of using visualization to determine non obvious connections: " ... Hypergraph, which is now part of Recommind’s Axcelerate On-Demand SaaS package, is a tool for finding and highlighting hidden connections between people, documents, messages and other elements. As with so many data visualization tools, the idea is to make it easier for even non-technical people to look at a mass of unstructured data and spot the links they need to find – such as, for example, a naughty employee’s telltale communications with the wrong people. ... " 

On Global Value Chains

In Knowledge @ Wharton:  A turning point in the maturation of global value chains.  A good overview.  I note that Morris Cohen is quoted, who we did work with in our own redesign of a global supply chain: " .... “There is an enormous amount of change going on. The global supply chain is in flux,” notes ... Businesses and governments are rethinking global supply chains now that foreign direct investment is higher than ever in developing economies.  ... Wharton operations and information management professor Morris A. Cohen. International supply networks have been in place for decades now, but the pace of global trade expansion has skyrocketed past the rate of the world’s GDP growth. “The recession of 2008-2009 has further increased trade with developing economies,” adds Anthony Mistri, economics expert at the World Trade Organization (WTO). “Nations may have borders, but businesses no longer do.” ... " 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Google Supports Quantum AI

Again a favorite topic.  Quantum Computing.  The interaction between modern physics and computing.  So what it all about?  How about an example of instructional games?  In the Guardian:

" ... Google is hoping to inspire children's interest in quantum computing by using one of their favourite digital pastimes: Minecraft.

The company's Quantum A.I. Lab Team has collaborated with MinecraftEdu and Caltech's Institute for Quantum Information and Matter to launch a modpack for the popular game called qCraft.

"It lets players experiment with quantum behaviors inside Minecraft's world, with new blocks that exhibit quantum entanglement, superposition, and observer dependency," explained a Google+ post from the team.... " 

Linkedin Moves Mobile

I have followed the flurry of updates to Linkedin mobile Apps.    I do find myself using it on mobile more often, as more of my work moves there.  It still has a less than complete mobile user interface.  It seems that just the capability that is need is not there when I need it.  I find the attempt to be more like Twitter is not helpful.  Mashable discusses.

Golden Age of Television Online

In Knowledge @ Wharton: Will the Next ‘Golden Age of Television’ Take Place Online?  Good forward looking piece:  As Netflix, Amazon and others transition from distributors to creators, the power of data analytics is creating opportunities for them to match programming to viewers better than ever before. ... " 

Status of Text Analytics

An Update: We used it in the enterprise calling it 'content analysis'.  It has evolved into something that is much easier to use and integrate with text sensors and data.  A classic thing you want is the sentiment of mood being evoked.  Its using the unstructured data form called text. To be clear text has structure, the structure of the language involved, but its structure is not embedded in the form of the data itself.

Where to Build Your Startup

Lots of interesting data about startups outside the usual places.  The broad premise is that you should build your startup in Silicon Valley.  Have been involved in just such decisions.  And there are some conveniences there of employment, funding and engagement.  But also real issues like CA costs and regulations, which are increasing.  So I don't fully agree.  The visual graphics are still useful.

More on Store Surveillance

The idea of doing 'visual analytics', has been growing, a new effort:

" ... Video analytics startup Prism Skylabs announced today that it has raised $15 million in Series B funding. ....  the company says it can provide graphics showing footpaths through the store, heat maps of customer interest, and customer counts and conversion. It supposedly works with more than 80 customers.... " 

Note this an example of what is called unstructured data, which often means text, but can mean other kinds of sensor acquisition, like video.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stores Tracking Phones

In Forbes: Ways to opt of being tracked in a store using your Smartphone.   The obvious way is to turn off your Bluetooth and Wifi.   The tracking approach is getting more common, but few know it is going on.  " ... A number of companies have cropped up that are in the business of bringing online tracking techniques to the offline world. Rather than tracking your clicks and movements from site to site, they specialize in tracking your movement through the real world using that convenient tracking device that most people can’t live without: the mobile phone. Your phone can be turned into a homing device that lets retailers know how often you come in, how long you stay and, in some cases, where you walk in the store. ... " 

Population Pattern Viewer

From RTI International:   More interesting public data visualizations of economic drivers.

Web-Based Map Allows Users to See Intricate Patterns in U.S. Population: 

A new web-based mapping site allows users to see stark racial boundaries, subtle shifts in income, and intricate patterns of race, age, household size and income—for any location in the United States ... The map, known as the synthetic population viewer, was developed by researchers at RTI International

The map allows users to look at how the U.S. population organizes itself across the landscape and how age, income, race and household size vary within cities

Synthetic population viewer allows users to look at realistic, computer-generated households across the country by age, income, race and household size ... " 

Internet of Things Kit

We worked with similar systems that tested RFID approaches.  Kits, with all the required components, are very useful in understanding a technology space that includes physical pieces.

IBM's do-it-yourself kit makes Internet of things accessible
IBM and Libelium have partnered to sell a starter kit to test sensor networks ...

IDG News Service - IBM and hardware partner Libelium hope to cut through the complexities of the so-called "Internet of things" through a do-it-yourself kit allowing users to test and deploy sensor networks.  ... " 

P&G Invents a Plastic

Nice example of innovation in the enterprise, in an area not associated with the big CPG enterprise, but essential  to its operation.  Estimates of $1 Billion a year in cost savings.  Plant to be built in the US, nearby.

" ... Procter & Gamble, the world's largest advertiser, has filed patents for a new plastic manufacturing process that will allow it to make packages with material that is 75% thinner than what it's using now, Ad Age reports.

According to Ad Age, the new technology is being developed by P&G's Imflux subsidiary and could save the consumer goods giant $1 billion a year by allowing it to use less plastic and different raw materials in its packaging. ... " 

Tiny Games

We also experimented with what we called micro games, to engage people that visited a web site.  But also to get consumers to solve little problems, trading small creative efforts for fun.  Here micro games are tailored for multiple occasions.  " ... A game for every occasion is the premise behind Tiny Games--a mobile app that reinvents the Victorian parlor game while challenging current gaming convention with its promise of fun social games for users to play when they're out and about in the real world. ... " 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Teradata and P&G for Consumer Relationships

Press release from Teradata: " .. the leading analytic data solutions company, has signed a new multi-year agreement with The Procter & Gamble Company establishing Teradata as the foundation technology platform for P&G’s award-winning cloud-based Global Consumer Relationship Management program.

P&G’s customer relationship management program connects with millions of individual consumers across the globe and this agreement enables the consolidation of all program activity into a single, scaled solution. The Consumer Insight solution for P&G is delivered as a cloud-based, end-to-end service managed by Teradata Professional Services.... " 

Crowdsourcing for Better Employee Feedback

Pretty simple idea.   " ... A new study links job satisfaction with review satisfaction. Use these 5 crowdsourcing techniques to improve your employee reviews--and your workers' happiness with their jobs. ... " 

Cheaper, Better Home Robotics

 Have had a long time interest in the use of home robotics.  And experimented with their us in the enterprise, and with the customers of the enterprise.  We examined iRobot offerings in some detail. Now a new contender described in In ReadwriteWeb:  " ... Your Robot Butler—Or Factory Worker—Just Got A Lot More Affordable .. Don't judge this inexpensive little robot by its cover. ... " 

The 'butler' or home servant task example is often used.  Has been used for many years.  Has been claimed  solved for many years.  It turns out to be a very difficult problem.  Here the example is: Unbounded Robotics.   The entry cost is $35,000.   Its far easier to roboticize the factory floor.

I remain skeptical, but look forward to see this in useful home operation.

Applying Data to the Education Landscape

Involved in just such a project.  How do you understand how well education is working under alternative conditions?  And how will education be adapted to changes?  A very big challenge with new support.  Via Walter Riker.  From AllthingsD:

" ... There are so many things that could be done to make schools better — improving teaching methods, curbing dropout rates, cutting down on bullying.
Panorama product shots“But there’s no way to understand what’s going on, because there’s not enough data analysis, not enough data being collected, and nobody there to analyze it,” according to Panorama Education co-founder Aaron Feuer. “This would never be acceptable at a company, because nobody would know what’s going on.” ... " 

Analytics at the Intersection of Humans and Machines

If makes much sense to combine human and machine intelligence.  Include the ability of the researcher and find ways to integrate it with better user interfaces.  In Smart Data Collective:

" ... Combined with machine learning solutions and significant hardware resources, the most advanced technologies are making news for their ability to help guide researchers to impressive outcomes. These pioneering technologies tout medical advances, critical advances in law enforcement, and innovative research in diverse and interesting fields.... " 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Learning Innovation Entrepreneurship

In Innovation Excellence: Successful Innovative Entrepreneurship is Seldom Learnt at Business School. Quite true.  Its more like being agile, using tacit and dynamic knowledge.  It might be learn able in the right kind of internship or with personal experiences.  Innovation centers are a means of producing the right contexts.  But that alone is not enough.    Late in the article the author talks about a simulation game they produced, which I would like to see in more detail.  I find this kind of gamification can work in the right context and culture.

 " ... At ImagineNation™, we have developed The Start-Up Game™ to help academic institutions and corporations close the gap between teaching innovation and entrepreneurship and learning how to “do” and “be” an innovative entrepreneur. The Start-Up Game™ is a gamified business simulation that is part of a customized organizational learning process that brings the lean start-up process “to life” and develops innovative leadership and start-up entrepreneurship motivation, mindsets, behaviors and skills to create ... " 

Next Gen Databases

Via Gib Bassett:

What problems do next Gen Databases solve?  Good introductory read:

" ... The past decades organisations have been working with relational databases to store their structured data. In the big data era however, these types of databases are not sufficient anymore. Although they made a huge difference in the database world and unlocked data for many applications, relational databases miss some important characteristics for the big data era.

NoSQL databases are the answer that solves many of these problems. It is a completely new way of thinking about databases. Although NoSQL was first mentioned in 1998 by Carlo Strozzi who used it to name his lightweight, open-source relational database that did not expose the standard SQL interface, it really became know in 2009. Since then the NoSQL movement has been growing rapidly and not surprisingly as these databases have some important benefits; they are schema less, fast, agile and they can work with non-relational distributed and unstructured data. The type of data your organisation nowadays typically collects.... " 

by Mark van Rijmenam

Monopolies and Innovation

Clarence Hickman at Bell labs had invented a mag tape telephone answering machine in the 1934... But they decided to squelch turning it into a consumer product. Locked away the files, which were soon forgotten. And it would not be available to anyone for 50 years.  Why?

Because in the 30s they believed that any indication to consumers that their phone calls could be recorded would make them less likely to use telephones. And that would harm, or even just throw some doubt on AT&Ts business model.

More on the answering machine.

The dangers of monopolies innovating.

And How ironic is that today with revelations of NSA surveillance?

Via Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires.
by Tim Wu

There is some criticism of details in the comments from people that seem to be in the know.

Seeking Common Languages for Data Visualization

An item in Fierce CIO attracted my attention.  Which pointed to Tom Davenport's HBR blog article this past April.   About how P&G is creating and delivering standardized visualized data.  Using examples of dashboard style displays.  Which I also wrote about in this space earlier.  I provide some additional motivation there to address the origins of the idea.  And how the standards of this delivery mechanism are still evolving, especially the inclusion of integrated analytical and user interface improvements and dynamics.  Should each of the supposed 50K users have the same interface and data? Likely not. There is considerably more in the detail of this than Davenport suggests.  FierceCIO also writes:

"   .... The point of all this is to establish a common language across multiple business units and geographies. An interesting and valuable side effect is that it supports P&G's common practice of moving managers across these organizational boundaries to provide them with more varied experience.  ... " 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Report on Brains on the Path to Purchase

In my last message I indicated my acquired skepticism on some current neuromarketing work.   Just to provide some balance, let me point a report from a recent conference.  One of my favorite correspondents spoke:

Report from the Neuro Retail Revolution 
  Several hundred researchers, clients and interested parties earlier this month gathered at the Neuromarketing Science and Business Association's Neuro Retail Revolution Conference in Amsterdam. ,,, Covering findings from both the in-store and on-line retail worlds, leaders in the growing field of neuromarketing presented their unique insight on how consumers respond to these environments.... 

"Your Brain on the Path To Purchase"
Dr. Stephen F. Sands, Chairman and Chief Science Officer at Sands Research relayed the varying degrees of neuro-engagement and emotional valence evoked by marketing stimuli across the path-to-purchase journey - from initial need activation to pre-consideration (out of store), to in-store and finally to conversion at the point-of-purchase. Utilizing results from EEG and Eye tracking data sets, including findings from the recent nationwide POPAI Shopper Behavior Study, Dr. Sands provided attendees with actionable insight of the cumulative effects of TV advertising, print and packaging on the ultimate purchase decision-making moment and how marketers and retailers can achieve the optimal mix to drive sales in-store for their brands and categories. ... 

Includes links to slide presentations.

Detecting Mathematical Thinking

Can we detect reliably the specific nature of the thoughts in the brain?  Some work reported on in Nature Communications that show we can deferentially detect the brain working on simple math problems.  Still awaiting work on more complex thinking.    Remain skeptical in general.

Abstract:   " ... Human cognition is traditionally studied in experimental conditions wherein confounding complexities of the natural environment are intentionally eliminated. Thus, it remains unknown how a brain region involved in a particular experimental condition is engaged in natural conditions. Here we use electrocorticography to address this uncertainty in three participants implanted with intracranial electrodes and identify activations of neuronal populations within the intraparietal sulcus region during an experimental arithmetic condition. In a subsequent analysis, we report that the same intraparietal sulcus neural populations are activated when participants, engaged in social conversations, refer to objects with numerical content. Our prototype approach provides a means for both exploring human brain dynamics as they unfold in complex social settings and reconstructing natural experiences from recorded brain signals. ... " 

Connected TV and Internet of Things

We did lots of work in our 'future home' experiments in our innovation centers to understand how the home would ultimately be interconnected both inside and outside its boundaries. In particular, RFID connections to products to help the consumer use their CPG products. We were a decade early, though. This GigaOM article points to how Connected TV points the way forward to the Internet of Things. This looks like a rich future to explore.

In Line Help

Google has added inline help in several of its services.  More here.  Slightly more convenient in the actual context of the problem.  Intelligence always exists in a context.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Graphics Chips for High Speed Visualization

In Technology Review:  Work from MIT.  Reviewing.   See their public interface and demonstration which looks at Twitter data. Lets you look at a database of  11.6 million plus records, visualized instantly.

" ... Graphics Chips Help Process Big Data Sets in Milliseconds ...  A new database tool dramatically improves processing speeds using technology that’s already in your computer. ... " 

" .... Known as MapD, or massively parallel database, the new technology achieves big speed gains by storing the data in the onboard memory of graphics processing units (GPUs) instead of in central processing units (CPUs), as is conventional. Using a single high-performance GPU card can make data processing up to 70 times faster ... " 

Educause Conference Reprise

Been a long time reader of Educause, even before the Web,  as a newsletter.   I see that the Cisco blog is writing about their conference.  Some good posts recently.   Second day.  " ... Bringing Together Technology and Education to Invest in Our Future ... " .  A particular interest of mine, still involve in education startups.   Their conference is over today, but you can trace the activities on Twitter.

Dilbert in the Enterprise

In the HBR:   We were heavy users of the Dilbert strip in the enterprise.   They found their way into many slide shows.  We thought that Scott Adams must have been attending our meetings to get the corporate richness of his humor.  More about the comic strip and its origins.

Amazon and Google in the Supply Chain

So true, worth looking at again:

Why distributors should pay attention to Amazon, Google

Amazon's B2B online channel Amazon Supply and Google's Google Shopping for Suppliers are worth paying attention to, especially now that both platforms "have potential customers' trust in the consumer space, and that will likely translate into the B-to-B market," writes Lindsay Konzak. Separately, Supply Chain Digest maps the 20 largest U.S. metro areas in terms of whether Amazon has a local fulfillment center ....

P&G Gym from IDEO

For a recent talk I had to research some of the work that IDEO did for P&G.  I re-discovered this Bloomberg article about the design work that IDEO did to help create the GYM.   Excellent overview. This became part of P&G's Innovation Centers.  I spent many sessions at the consumer driven GYM facility.  This post archives the mention of IDEO and the GYM.   Contact Wayne Fisher at Rockdale Innovation for more about using some of the product development creativity techniques developed there.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Topology Mapping for Analytics

Seems Vincent Granville has been thinking similarly lately.  See his article and code in Data Science Central:   A little known component that should be part of most data science algorithms. Beware, this has a general introduction, and then gets technical with R code. And goes further:

" ...  This is a component often missing, yet valuable for most systems, algorithms and architectures that are dealing with online or mobile data, known as digital data: be it transaction scoring, fraud detection, online marketing, marketing mix and advertising optimization, online search, plagiarism and spam detection, etc. .... I will call it an Internet Topology Mapping. It might not be stored as a traditional database (it could be a graph database, a file system, or a set of look-up tables). It must be pre-built (e.g. as look-up tables, with regular updates) to be efficiently used. ... "

I came to think of this when I experimented with the free, open source GePhi network management system and reported on it here. Though the most common network we might work topologically is the Internet, or a social network. These are not the only networks, things like influence maps come to mind.     Have not thought how R in particular links with GePhi, but exploring.  I have a real application in mind. Any thoughts out there?

Simple Model of Persuasion

In Neuroscience Marketing: " ... The Persuasion Slide™. In short, it’s a simple model for persuasion that encompasses a variety of conscious and non-conscious factors. ... " .  By Roger Dooley. Comment on it there.  Simple idea, logical, worth thinking about.

US Alternative Fueling Stations Visualization

A good interactive data visualization from Tableau.  In their public gallery.  This would have been useful for a study I did a few years ago on the effects on the supply chain of alternative fuels.   This is a good example of how obscure data is becoming public and available to support analytical projects. Click here for the full interactive display.

The Economics of Advanced Analytics

Shu Schiller, correspondent and Wright State professor, will be giving a talk at the upcoming Teradata conference.    Link below for more information about the conference and session.  Here is her abstract:

1463 - The Economics of Advanced Analytics
David Schrader - Marketing Director, Teradata
Shu Schiller - Asssociate Professor, Wright State University

Faced with a barrage of new technologies but don’t have a good framework for deciding what to do? Trying to understand the value-add of Big Analytics, but in the context of the technologies you already have? Scared you’ll miss a competitive edge but can’t quantify it? Trying to figure out “why UDA”? Then this session is for you. We build a step-by-step framework showing the economics of data value. A Data-Insights-Action-Impact flow, from typical Big Data projects, illustrates new and useful justification metrics such as the rate and value of Insight Discovery, or the opportunity costs and value of leveraging insights more widely. Having a clear plan of action to evolve to a data-driven approach to business requires simple justifications for purchasing and managing new technologies. Surprisingly few companies have this in place. For senior leaders and project architects, this talk provides 10 vivid ideas, metrics, and suggestions for your gameplan ..... 

DunnHumby Seeks to Invest in Cincinnati Startups

As they progress with their downtown US Headquarters facility:

" ... Look for data analysis firm Dunnhumby’s new seed-stage venture fund to invest in Cincinnati startup companies. Dunnhumby, whose U.S. headquarters are in downtown Cincinnati, announced this week the creation of Dunnhumby Ventures to invest in retail technology. ... "

Press release.

Spreadsheet Day is Today

A correspondent reports that today is spreadsheet day. " ... in honour of the date that VisiCalc was first shipped, way back in 1979. ... "   I used to teach Visicalc back around that time, to some very amazed and appreciative accountant types. It was the first application that empowered the end-user, and caused organizations to buy PCs wildly , calling them for procurement purposes:  'calculators'. The rest is history.  There is even a site that celebrates spreadsheets.   With some history and silliness.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Virtualization in CPG, Current and Future

In Progressive Grocer:  Good overview of virtualization in the Consumer Package Goods (CPG) industry.  Aisles, stores, shoppers and even profit landscapes can  be wholly or partially virtualized. Readers of this blog will know it has often been covered here, based on my research and direct experience, for years.   See more here.   And also the tag links below.

I particularly like the description of benefits, which is well stated.  Augmented reality is a similar approach, but most often applied to consumer uses in their own typical environments.  There are also clear interaction between the two technology areas, where not enough work has yet been done.  Are you doing things that deserve attention?  Pass them along and I will help publicize them.

Insurance Companies Love the Quantified Car

As you might expect.  All analytical methods, especially those that seek to predict, are by their nature data hungry.   Sensors can feed those techniques to lead to better determine what deals to give customers to improve the experience, or the profit.  And what companies would love the quantified human?

Subconscious Mistakes We Make

In Fastcompany:  Very often seen in the enterprise.  Even from very smart people.  The confirmation bias, mentioned first, is a common mistake researchers make.  We have filters in our brain that look for many kinds of confirmation.  From the the personal to the mathematical.  When these are mentioned, everybody agrees with the fallacies, but it is very hard to shake them.  So I mentioned them again, it only for my own benefit.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Amazon Ships from Inside P&G

Not surprising, this has now been going on for years.  Still not enough volume to upset Wal-Mart?   " ...  Amazon has placed its workers in seven Procter & Gamble (PG) warehouses, where they ship consumer staples such as Pampers diapers and Bounty paper towels directly to consumers.Under a program called Vendor Flex, Amazon has had this exclusive under-the-radar relationship with Procter & Gamble for three years. The e-commerce giant is also located inside, or is in talks to enter, the warehouses of other suppliers, including Kimberley Clark (KMB). ... " 

Radical New Teaching Method?

 Aspects of AI inspired learning theories.  Heavily technology driven.  Now further enabled by MOOC. A kind of self organizing approach that assumes that children will organize to teach themselves using either their peers or the Internet.  I am skeptical that these kinds of methods will work alone.  People still have to be in the loop.  Families and environments must be strongly cooperative.  Home Schooling and Montessori are old and successful models.  See the Kahn Academy.  But different people learn in different ways.   You still have to work with accreditation/measurement of the results.    These approaches have been tested, and should be, but failures are rarely reported, since they are not in the rosy script.

In Wired:    (Read the whole article, a compelling story)

" ... an emerging educational philosophy, one that applies the logic of the digital age to the classroom. That logic is inexorable: Access to a world of infinite information has changed how we communicate, process information, and think. Decentralized systems have proven to be more productive and agile than rigid, top-down ones. Innovation, creativity, and independent thinking are increasingly crucial to the global economy.... " 

" ... In 2009, scientists from the University of Louisville and MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences conducted a study of 48 children between the ages of 3 and 6. The kids were presented with a toy that could squeak, play notes, and reflect images, among other things. For one set of children, a researcher demonstrated a single attribute and then let them play with the toy. Another set of students was given no information about the toy. This group played longer and discovered an average of six attributes of the toy; the group that was told what to do discovered only about four. A similar study at UC Berkeley demonstrated that kids given no instruction were much more likely to come up with novel solutions to a problem. “The science is brand-new, but it’s not as if people didn’t have this intuition before,” says coauthor Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.  ... "

Shelf Retail Surveillance

In the news today.  Word that a major  CPG manufacturing conglomerate, Mondelez International, is expressing an interest in using cameras on store shelves to gather data about shoppers. Apparently through image analysis, to determine preferences and behavior based on demographics.   First, this is nothing new, it has been done for a decade in laboratory and real shopping environments.  It just has been done primarily in test modes and not in full scale rollouts.   Having large scale databases of video and derived data could lead to useful patterns of shopper behavior.  Those databases,  what is classically called Big Data, have real value.  Privacy is a big consideration.

Note too, that this article and others just show how this company has just expressed an interest in this approach.   All large CPG companies would love this kind of insight.  It does NOT mean they are actively doing it, or are even close to a real experiment.   I have no further information about that.

This blog often covers related topics of retail behavior data and its use.

October Shopper Marketing

Always interesting online Mag.  Sign up. Via Steve Frenda

" ... The October issue of Shopper Marketing is a cause for celebration for those of us at the Institute. I'd like to offer a hearty toast to Peter Hoyt, the Institute's founder & CEO for his 25 years and the 25th anniversary of the publication. For me, 6+ years and proud to be a part of the Institute and enjoying some of the most exciting times of my career. Please take a few moments and read Bill Schober's editorial (pg.8) and Peter's interview (pg.22).

The e-issue of Shopper Marketing is now available for reading or download at http://goo.gl/ZyrFw8

Another can't miss article in the issue is the cover story. One of our Keynote speeches at Expo features Jocelyn Wong, Family Dollar's CMO sharing the stage with Coca-Cola's Allison Lewis, the SVP, Marketing N.A. to explore the framework of their "Shared Media" efforts.

Shared media... Why do you care? Enlightened retail chains realize that investment in traditional media (TV, print) by brands is shifting --- The funding and resources are going to two places --- "Earned Media" (Digital) and "Shared Media" (Retail Collaboration). ...  " 

Tom Malone and the MIT Cognitive Center

We worked with Tom Malone some time ago. He is now director of the MIT Cognitive center. A push forward to AI, long ago started at MIT, that then stalled for a few decades ... now back again?  From a talk at IBM:

" .. When it came time for Thomas Malone, Director of MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence, to address the crowd of cognitive computing enthusiasts today at IBM's research colloquium, he began his talk with a quote.

' The hope is that, in not too many years, human brains and computing machines will be coupled together very tightly, and that the resulting partnership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a way not approached by the information-handling machines we know today. ... ' 

Malone first read that statement, written by the computer scientist J. C. R. Licklider in 1960, as a college student and he said it inspired his subsequent career researching human-computer symbiosis. ... " 

Divorcing Your Job

Steve King in his Small Business Labs, points me to this blog by Ayelet Baron about your relationship with your employment.   Nicely done view of jobs and our dealing with them.  See in particular her story of dealing with a decade in big corporate America.   " ... I have fallen out of love with the culture and what it has become. I was such a dedicated employee that I feel that I am going through the same process I experienced when I went through my last divorce. I hope this blog helps others facing the same dilemmas and creates a community of like minded souls. ... " 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bring Your Own Devices

In the APQC Blog:  Getting prepared for BYOD.  A good overview.  Gartner predicts that half of organizations will move to a mandatory bring your own device (BYOD) program by 2017. 
Putting together a strategy,  by Mauricio Guerrero

Glue: Stick Out From the Crowd

Stick out from the Crowd:  " ... Glue is a unique tool that enables you to present yourself in a complete, compelling, and informative way. .. "  Reexamining this effort which comes from an established firm in the HR evaluation space.

Decision Support Intuition

In the Decision Support Blog:  A new App that aims to make your intuition better.  Skeptical of that, but the thought to take decision making beyond the rationally conscious is interesting.

   " ... London based development company Spacer Three has launched Intuition Journal, a new iPhone app that cuts through the noise and clutter of information overload and helps users tap into their intuition to make better decisions, overcome confusion and self-doubt, and gain deeper insight into themselves and how to create more meaning and fulfillment in their lives.

Intuition Journal is the first app of its kind to hit the Apple App Store. Although there is no shortage of diary and journal apps, including popular "gratitude journal" apps, Intuition Journal is a completely new concept. Unlike other journal apps, Intuition Journal is not just about documenting a play-by-play of one's life. The app has a specific goal: To help people develop their intuition and apply it to improve the quality of their lives. ... " 

Big Data not a Holy Grail

Messy, says an article in Forbes.  The dangers to privacy, and the buy-in to magical powers to solve problems.  Like any new tool, be cautious about the hype, and use it where it is appropriate.

Cloud Prediction and Text

In GigaOM   Turing prediction engines towards text.   The integration of text and numeric analytcs is rare.   " ... Machine learning startup BigML now supports text data in its cloud-based prediction service. It has always analyzed numerical fields in complex datasets to determine the relationship between them and any given outcome, and how it will consider the importance of words, too. ...  a machine-learning-based cloud service that lets users generate statistical predictions from their complex data, has revamped the service to include textual analysis. No, it won’t analyze the sentiment of your tweets or translate your documents into Spanish, but it will use words as variables when getting to the bottom of how your data is connected. ... "

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Supermarket Apps Working

I had a conversation with someone a few weeks ago about the difference in engagement quality between loyalty cards and store smartphone apps.  We also discussed IOS Passbook as a means to deliver loyalty cards.  In Supermarket News, word of a study that indicates 20% of shoppers have downloaded store Apps.  High finding, I thought.

" ... Mobile applications can be instrumental to driving engagement at supermarkets, according to a study by Match ShopLab and Novartis Consumer Health. Among the primary household shoppers surveyed, 20% have downloaded a food-store app. Of the shoppers who use the apps, 80% do so for the coupons, and an overlapping 57% like being offered specials. But among nonusers, more than seven in 10 did not know the apps existed, and one in four didn't think the apps were worth running ... "

Identifying Your Phone in Seconds

In SF Gate:  Their accelerometer identifies smartphones in seconds.   Novel approach, privacy implications? "... The accelerometer enables, among other things, the browser to shift from landscape to vertical as a user tilts the phone. It turns out every accelerometer is predictably imperfect, and slight differences in the readings can be used to produce a fingerprint. Marketers could use the ID the same way they use cookies - the small files that download from websites to desktops - to identify particular users, monitor their online actions and target ads accordingly.... " 

Ohio DOE Education Advisory Panel

Recently joined the Ohio DOE Education Advisory Panel.  Which introduced me to the executive network of MBA Research.  A " .... Not-for-profit, research-based support for all Business Administration educators: entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality, management/administration, and marketing.  ... "   More to follow in this space.

Cisco and the Internet of Everything

Cisco moves forward again. And a link to their study. " ... Mobile? Wearables? Small change. For several years, Cisco has been thinking bigger, when the Internet fully becomes the Internet of Everything … and it has released its most recent study on the subject, which says about $99 billion is being left on the table this year by retailers that aren’t as connected to their operations as they could be. 

The study outlines the top five ways to connect people, process, and things for more business value, and it adds that $540 billion will be unrealized this year by all the less-than-totally-connected industries, including telecoms, financial services, health care, transportation, energy, and others.
... "   Are they being big eough?  Yes, I think so , there is lots to be done under this outline in many categories. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think

Book newly on the list of things to read:  Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, and Kenneth Cukier.  A quick scan shows this to be an introductory style book, no technology detail, not even diagrams, that seeks to state the current state of this technology.  Published in 2013, likely sufficiently up to date for about 18 months.  As they describe it:

" ... This emerging science can translate myriad phenomena—from the price of airline tickets to the text of millions of books—into searchable form, and uses our increasing computing power to unearth epiphanies that we never could have seen before. A revolution on par with the Internet or perhaps even the printing press, big data will change the way we think about business, health, politics, education, and innovation in the years to come. It also poses fresh threats, from the inevitable end of privacy as we know it to the prospect of being penalized for things we haven’t even done yet, based on big data’s ability to predict our future behavior. ... " 

Internet of Things Creating Jobs and Growth

In GigaOM:   A favorite topic of mine since our own experimentation with RFID linking to the net a decade plus ago.  There will be many efficiency, transparency and unintended consequences. Make sure we get all the standards down. It is more than just bar codes for everything.

Google Changes the Ad Rules

Google is changing its advertising rules.  Here is a useful summary.  It has caused some considerable criticism:  " .... Google has altered its Terms of Service to allow it to plaster users' names, photos and lots of other info all over relevant ads, a move that has privacy advocates up in arms. True, there are opt-out provisions, but essentially Google wants "to turn their users into unpaid pitchmen for advertisers," said Consumer Watchdog's John Simpson. The new rules apply only to users over the age of 18 ... " 

Automating Hiring practices

In Bloomberg, - games in hiring and other kinds of advanced talent matching.  Is this overplaying the technology element?  How does human decision making fit in?

" ... A handful of technology companies from Knack.it Corp. to Evolv Inc. are doing just that, developing video games and online questionnaires that measure personality attributes in a job applicant. Based on patterns of how a company’s best performers responded in these assessments, the software estimates a candidate’s suitability to be everything from a warehouse worker to an investment bank analyst.

“You have this enormous pool of people that’s being missed because of the way the entire industry goes after the same kinds of people, asking, did you go to Stanford, did you work at this company?” said Erik Juhl, head of talent at Vungle Inc. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg
“People are our biggest resource, and right now a lot of them are mismatched,” said Erik Brynjolfsson, director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Digital Business and an advisor to Knack.it Corp. “If you put the right kind of person in the right task, it’s good for that person and it’s good for the company. ... " 

Legal Issues for Gamification

Legal issues for gamification.   " ... Ames Gatto Explains Gamblification  at  GSummit SF 2013 ...  What are some of the legal repercussions in dealing with real money, gambling, and gamification?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Tableau and R

Have been a user of the Tableau Software visualization since its emergence from Stanford.  It is good to see in the 8.1 Beta they are including links to R.  In the past they have resisted adding the complexity of analytics to their package.  This gives it the ability to add calls out to advanced analytics as needed.

Google and NASA use Quantum

Another example of the use of Quantum computing.  And the obvious application to big Data where speed and fast crunching capability may the best application.  Includes video of their use of the D-Wave device, which I have followed here for years.

Mobile 3D Structure Sensor

A kickstarter project.
  First I have looked at in any detail. I was asked to give an opinion of its possible application in retail and manufacturing oriented systems.  Instructive to look at this.

" ... The Structure Sensor gives mobile devices the ability to capture and understand the world in three dimensions.

With the Structure Sensor attached to your mobile device, you can walk around the world and instantly capture it in a digital form. This means you can capture 3D maps of indoor spaces and have every measurement in your pocket. You can instantly capture 3D models of objects and people for import into CAD and for 3D printing. You can play mind blowing augmented reality games where the real world is your game world. ...

If you’re a developer, Structure gives you the ability to build mobile applications that interact with the three dimensional geometry of the real world for the very first time. You can even launch your app on the App Store! ... ' 

Tagging with Synthesized DNA

Tagging things with synthetic DNA.   Event specific DNA that can be fogged onto a site during a crime, that will be found with subsequent participant analysis.  Recall looking into something similar called 'micro taggants'.

Future of Storytelling

Have been involved with a storytelling startup. New thoughts out there that I have been reading.  Many technology angles.   Like this in Readwrite:

" ... Many of us go about our lives constantly surrounded by screens, immersed in various "stories": movies, TV shows, books, plot-driven video games, news articles, advertising, and more. Whether we realize it or not, we're creating new behaviors, routines, mindsets, and expectations around what we watch, read or play—which in turn presents new challenges and opportunities for creators and marketers.

In other words, while the fundamentals of good storytelling remain the same, technology is changing how stories can be told. But what does that mean exactly? ..... "

Thursday, October 10, 2013

P&G's Innovation Success Rate

I was reminded by a correspondent of these resources on innovation success rate:   A video on the subject.  and the 2011 HBR article: How P&G Tripled its Innovation Success Rate.  Worth reviewing in light of subsequent product evolution. But has the well run dry?

IDEO Design Apps

I had heard of this before and reported on it, but never experimented with it. This is a reminder to give it a try.  We used IDEO for consumer creativity lab development and our allied innovation centers.    " ...   Napkin Labs Turns IDEO's Innovation Process Into Web Apps For All An off-the-shelf crowdsourcing platform will let companies create "challenges" to gather insight, and guide users with a series of design-focused exercises. ... " . 

" ... While the power of a design thinking app store has yet to be proven -- right now they have brainstorm, discuss, refine, but look for updates in a few weeks -- Gibson gave some hints for the kinds of tools they hope to make, which sound promising from a brand standpoint. "Any type of research method for how to draw out insights from people in a non-obvious way is fair game for our exploration." ... " 

Emotions of Shopper Behavior

It has been a known for a long time that emotions are powerful drivers of shopping behavior.   Good piece.  Supermarket News writes:  " ... Shopper Intelligence founder Christopher Brace says that because shoppers are swayed by emotion, "past purchases are poor indicators of the decisions they may make in the future." Shopper insight is not an end but a starting point for discovering true motivation for purchases, he says ...

 " ... Whenever shoppers are faced with a choice, their emotions that trigger the behavior, he said. These emotions come from the shopper’s beliefs and attitudes about the world, not about a brand or category. ... “One of the major arguments for big data is that shoppers’ past and/or current behaviors will help establish trends that are indicative of their future behavior,” Brace told SN. “The problem is that a shopper’s past purchases are poor indicators of the decisions they may make in the future.” ... "

A Game About Type

An intriguing idea.  A game that is about type fonts. Typography.  For a small charge, have not tried it yet.  " ... "Type:Rider" Is The Ultimate Video Game about Typography.  Available now for IOS and Android, Type:Rider -- The Final Fontasy of video games --- encourages players to learn about type by exploring a world of Fonts, Mario Style.  .... " 

Kellogg and Mobile Loyalty

A straightforward approach.  A many product CPG assortment to address.  But will this work or contribute to the yet another loyalty systems effect?

" ... Kellogg's is building on its loyalty program with a mobile effort that allows consumers to enter the company's digital download store to redeem Family Rewards points. "Currently, we offer a mobile-optimized website, the ability to text in codes and delivery of relevant outbound SMS messages with bonus codes. Moving forward we will continue to develop mobile capabilities to facilitate participation and enhance the personalized [Kellogg's Family Rewards] experience," said Kim Begeman, associate director at Kellogg Loyalty ...  "

Reinvent the to-Do List

In the HBR Blog:  I have now used at least a dozen methods of simplifying reminding myself and others what we need to get done.  Bottom line is that simple works best, but it often does not work at all.  Technology makes sense, but even simple paper methods can be useful.  Agree this is a big opportunity.   What can make it work?   Regrettably this link appears to require registration. Shame on Harvard.  Are you a highly endowed educational institution?

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

What Does Watching TV Mean Today?

In the WSJ:  " ...  In Digital Era, What Does 'Watching TV' Even Mean? ... 
Study Suggests More Time Spent on Smartphones, Computers, Tablets Than Television.  .. ".   With the usual registration warnings.

Center for Business Analytics Short Courses

The Center for Business Analytics in the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati is introducing a set of short courses on specialized business analytics topics. These courses are open to the public, and are taught by subject-matter experts from the University of Cincinnati and leading business analytics companies. Each course is two days in length and will be held on the University of Cincinnati Main Campus. Course descriptions and links to register for individual courses can be found here: http://business.uc.edu/analyticstraining.

Two classes will be offered this fall, one on data visualization techniques and one on data mining.

On November 7 and 8, the course “High Visibility: Using Data Visualization to Transform Data into Meaningful Insights” will be offered. This course will teach attendees a set of techniques, principles and tools to transform data at its most basic form into charts and tables that can be analyzed and presented to generate insights and spur actions. To register, see: https://www.regonline.com/UCDataVisualization. Cost to register: $595, includes all meals, parking and trial software downloads.

On November 21 and 22 the course “Data Mining in the Real World” will be offered. This course introduces data mining tools and techniques that can take messy data sets and generate surprising insights. This two-day class focuses on the challenges of building predictive models in the real world and the techniques that experienced practitioners apply when developing their models. To register, see: https://www.regonline.com/UCDataMining. Cost to register: $595, includes all meals, parking and trial software downloads.

For more information, please see http://business.uc.edu/analyticstraining or contact Mike Fry, Assistant Director for the Center for Business Analytics, at mike.fry@uc.edu or 513-556-0404.

Neuromarketing Cautions

Comments and cautions from the corporate counsel blog Lexology with criticisms of Neuromarketing technologies.  " ... an unprecedented insight into the buying brain or an expensive scam? .. "