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Friday, July 31, 2015

Bouncing Camera Gathers Images, Realities

Fast image gathering for reconnaissance and image based reality creation.  Possibilities.

Police Are Now Testing This Harvard Startup's Throwable Cameras
Bounce Imaging believes its technology could also have potential for a consumer action camera—as well as virtual reality.

Back in 2012, Bounce Imaging unveiled a prototype for the Explorer: a softball-sized throwable camera that could almost instantly transmit 360-degree images to a mobile device when tossed into a hidden areas, like a hostage situation, burning building or the rubble of an earthquake. The idea was originally conceived with first responders’ safety in mind, but it quickly became clear that there was immense value for giving police personnel an idea of what they may face in potentially dangerous situations. Now, three years later, the Boston startup is in the process of shipping out the first batch of 100 Explorers, which will be tested out by the Revere/North Metro SWAT team and the Maine Department of Corrections, among other departments.  ... " 

Amazon Dash Buy Button Available to Prime Members

In Silicon Angle: The  Long awaited Amazon Dash Buy Button is now available from Amazon.    " ... Amazon.com is now officially selling its Dash Button for $4.99. For now, the Dash Buttons are in limited stocks and are only available to Amazon Prime members.  ....  If you’re not familiar with Dash Button, it is a device that has a single button that allows consumers to order their favorite product with a push of a button.  ... "     Setup instructions gives an idea how they work.  Clever reordering scheme for staples in the home.  See my previous piece on these as a consumer IOT idea.

According to the article these items are available at this time.  I have several in test.

Glad Bags
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
Amazon Elements Baby Wipes
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
Wellness Petfood
Maxwell House Coffee
Gerber Formula
L’Oreal Youth Code

(Updated)  See also, related:  Amazon Prime Pantry.

Many New Channels on IFTTT

I see that IFTTT has added 17 new  channels of data this month.  Intrigued by its use for combining sources of data with logic to perform actions.  A very mild form of expertise delivery.   Worth a look. Their description of how IFTTT works:

" ... IFTTT gives you creative control over the products and apps you love.
Turn on or off your lights with a tap  .... 

If I post a picture on Instagram, save the photo to Dropbox   .... 

What are Recipes?
Recipes are simple connections between products and apps. 

There are two types of Recipes: Do Recipes and IF Recipes.
Do Recipes
Do Recipes run with just a tap and enable you to create your own personalized Button, Camera, and Notepad. The Do apps are available for iOS and Android. ... " 

CVS Pharmacy and IBM Watson

Good example of an advisory system interacting with the consumer.   Being built today based on some of the work created in the Watson project,    Look forward to seeing this in more detail.  Data privacy issues will be important.   Note the multiple resources for data being used.

" ... IBM and pharmacy chain CVS Health have announced a first-of-its-kind new partnership to put IBM's supercomputer Watson to work for millions of Americans with chronic health conditions.
Watson will watch data from what IBM describes as an "unprecedented mix of health information sources" including a person's medical health records, prescriptions, environment, even fitness devices.

It will then spit out suggestions on how to improve that person's health care to save the person money and help the person feel better.

But the ultimate goal of this partnership is really pretty astounding: IBM and CVS hope to find people at risk for illnesses before they've gotten sick and create custom programs to help them avoid the illness. ... " 

Brands, Private and National, Matter

From Bain:  National brand vs Private label.  " .... It was only a decade ago when many industry analysts looked at two looming trends—the rise of retail consolidation and proliferation of private labels—and issued dire warnings about the power of consumer packaged goods brands. However, their predictions turned out to be premature. Brands aggressively managed overhead costs, pursued dynamic growth in developing markets and gained scale, efficiency and entry to new markets through mergers and acquisitions (M&A). As a result, brands now report 10-year high operating margins. ... " 

Big Data and Statistics

A non technical overview of statistics and its relationship to the use of data in business.  Often management does need a well thought out description of a tech subject.   By Bob Hayes

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Programming Robot Swarms to take Inventory

This one of the more unusual innovation efforts we examined.   Could we program swarms of simple devices to perform complex, time consuming tasks?  Taking video inventory was one of the examples often suggested. It did not succeed then, but perhaps it would if you had a programming language for robot swarms. Still thinking about this. It has been shown that the bio-mimicry model of a swarm can solve some relatively difficult problems.  It is an example of a complexity model.  But I have yet to see such a swarm model used for a real industrial problem.  Know any?

A Look at Innovation Centers

A Study: We built one of the earliest Inno Centers, so I am interested in the dynamics.  Though do these have to be in Silicon Valley?  We agreed it was good to have outposts there, but SV is not non-tech reality.   Have written about the topic many times in this blog.  The blog in fact was established to communicate with visitors to our Cincinnati lab after they left the premises.

P&G Supply Chain Redesign

I posted a link to  this once before.  I had to review this for some work, worth another examination. Overstatement of the implications?

Does P&G Need Retailers Anymore?
The Real Meaning of P&G’s Supply Chain Overhaul 

Procter & Gamble’s $89 million distribution center near Dayton brings jobs to the region, but as part of a supply-chain overhaul, it also represents the inevitable – and potentially dramatic – transformation of the retail landscape.

The distribution center would “dramatically innovate the way we supply our customers,” Global Products Supply Officer Yannis Skoufalos said when the news was announced, allowing P&G to “respond to customers and our consumers in a way we have never done before.”  .... " 

Shift from TV to Digital Video

From Google:   An interview with creatives,  How fast is this moving today?

" .. Great YouTube ads are born from great creative ideas. But how does the shift to digital video change the creative process? Google's head of agency sales, Tara Walpert Levy, shares insights from a conversation between Sal Masekela and creatives David Droga and Emily Anderson  .... 

  "Make it viral." Uttering that in a conference room is about as popular as announcing you have an actual virus. And although that particular pitfall may seem painfully obvious in today's sophisticated world of content marketing, there are other traps that hold us back from creating great videos that aren't as clear. We created the "Behind the Scenes" series to explore the challenges that agencies and brands face when making digital videos (and YouTube ads, specifically) and to see how they're solving them. ... "

Process Improvement and Building IKEA Furniture

In the APQC blog:   What building IKEA furniture can teach you about process improvement.  by Jess Scheer.   Good points.  Respect and evolve the process!

Walmart Robot Picks Groceries

In CityWire: Wal-Mart offers a peek at robot grocery pickers and other innovations ... " 

Changes in Consumer Goods Players

In Bain: 
The rapidly changing order of consumer goods leaders
While it may seem as though the same familiar players always dominate the consumer goods industry, our interactive graphic shows that the top players by market cap have shifted dramatically over the past 15 years.  ... " 

Service Innovation for the Interconnected World

Presenter for the ISSIP Service Innovation Weekly Speaker Series is Timothy Chou, Author and Lecturer in Cloud Computing at Stanford University. Title of his presentation is Service Innovation for our Interconnected World.  Slides:   

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Service Innovation Triangle

This week’s presenters for the ISSIP Service Innovation Weekly Speaker Series is  Drs. Peder Inge Furseth (Norwegian Business School ) and Richard Cuthberts (University of Oxford). Title of their presentation is Innovation in a Consumer Society, The Service Innovation Triangle. By Dr. Peder Inge Furseth ( Norwegian Business School ), Dr. Richard Cuthberts ( University of Oxford)

SAP Pitches Strongly to C Level execs

In AdAge: Wasn't this always SAP's approach?  The specifics of a digital magazine, with strong content advertising follow up, appears to be new.  " ... SAP Launches Digital Magazine to Reach C-Level Execs  ... Digitalist Is Part of SAP's Expanding Content Marketing Strategy ... " 

Sighthound Computer Vision

Powered by Computer Vision

" ... Sighthound uses computer vision technology to distinguish between people and objects. By using advanced algorithms, Sighthound is able to analyze video streams to detect, track, and recognize people and objects.

Computer vision has been around for a decade or more, but only in the last few years has the science developed to the point of commercial viability. While motion detection software was useful in telling a camera when to start recording, its inability to know what is was seeing has led to billions of hours of wasted footage.  ... " 

P&G's Next CEO

In Adage:
What You Should Know About P&G's Next CEO, David Taylor
David Taylor, an electrical engineer by training who spent twice as long in manufacturing as marketing, will take the reins on Nov. 1.  ... He Was Plant Manager Before Brand Manager, but Still Gets Agencies' Respect  ... " 

NTT and Eldercare Robotics in Japan

In Mashable: We examined this for applications in the smart home.  It had already advanced considerably in Japan a decade a ago.  They had done a particularly good job in applying the current level of tech at that time to provide value.  It continues to move ahead, without as being complete yet. Examples and video.    

Looking for Value in Data

Data Assets: A long time  exploration of mine, how do I determine data value in context?  In part the value is a;ways understood in term of analytic value, and how it can be combined with other data and public resources.

Citizen Developers

First I had heard of the term. In CWorld: " .... For IT, harnessing the talents of business users who  code can be well worth the effort of supporting them. .... " 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Amazon Proposes a Flight Plan

Not as much a joke as has been suggested.   " ... Following the FAA's recent relaxation of commercial drone flight regulations, Amazon is forging ahead with plans to employ the machines for deliveries. But first, the company has proposed some ground rules to keep the fledgling industry flying safely and out of the way of manned aircraft. Currently the FAA only allows drones to climb to 400 feet and they must remain within the pilot's line of sight. They also cannot be operated within five miles of an airport. Amazon's proposal builds off these initial restrictions with faster, long-range drones flying between 200 and 400 feet up. Slower and short-range drones would operate below 200 feet. .. ."  

Transforming Higher Education

Correspondent David E Goldberg writes:

" ... Transforming higher education is often thought of as simply the introduction and administration of new content, curriculum, and pedagogy, and this approach worked following World War 2 and into the opening moments of the 21st century. But the democratization of information challenges the very idea of the university as an assembly of experts, and transforming higher education today requires a deep appreciation of the cultural changes educational institutions must make as well as the emotional changes required of both faculty and students. The old ways of changing leave us with institutions and an educational experience that are not very much different from the old ways of teaching and researching.

ThreeJoy® has pioneered a method for transforming higher education—the SmoothChange™ methodology—appropriate to our times, a method that has been tested in North & South America, Asia, and Europe, a method that can bring about effective change, smoothly, with respect for faculty governance, and in a cost and time effective manner.  Read the whitepaper to find out more, and then contact ThreeJoy® to learn how these methods can work for you and your institution.   ... "

More and whitepaper link.

Gartner on Digitalization

In the Gartner blog, where I was attracted by the word 'digitalization',  Don't like carrying the water for another term.  But OK if it makes a useful distinction.  Not conducive to agility or innovation? Connection to BPM is also interesting. Some good points are made and an invite to a discussion to talk it further.

Process Digitalization: Just More Automation? by Bruce Robertson 
No, it’s worth distinguishing new capabilities that go beyond just getting the work of of paper (or in manufacturing, out of human hands). If you don’t change the work really, what’s the point? Well, there IS a point to the automation phase — greater visibility and control, and maybe more agility. Maybe. Given that most of us focused our BPI or BPM efforts early on efficiency and cost reduction, the main emphasis was on standardization, not enabling much change.  ... " 

UK Virtual Reality Lab for Transport

In Engadget: Don't quite understand the application, but intriguing.  In general we found that VR applications were most useful when they were closely connected to real, or imagined realistic spaces. In other words when they were really augmented reality applications.  When they were navigating in purely abstract spaces the user lost the useful sense of immersion.

Historical Big Data Use Case

I like the fact that this includes considerable historical data.   Consider the opportunities.   I like the idea of using your old data, but will the data be of the right form and accuracy for the project?  From Pete Ianace:

" ... This is a great use case that describes the benefits of building a Big Data Repository and then applying the right set of predictive analytics and filtering models against 80 years of historical data. This is a repost of a blog I did a year ago, but I felt it clearly points out the type of meaningful insights that can be gained when there is a clear end goal in mind and you apply the right tools. The leveraging of computing power and the right predictive algorithms can go a long ways towards better utilization of large amounts of data that already exists.  ... " 

Executive Guide to Machine Learning

In McKinsey: An executive’s guide to machine learning
It’s no longer the preserve of artificial-intelligence researchers and born-digital companies like Amazon, Google, and Netflix. .... " 

Cities and the Power of Integration

In Cisco: On the Smart City, how things will be connected, architect ed, and analyics leveraged to make cities work efficiently.   At the end of the day it is still physical things that need to be tracked and moved about, while obeying resource constraints.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Microsoft and the Internet of Things

How will the IOT effect the operating systems of the past?  Simplifying because parts of the OS can be in the cloud?  Or making them much more complex?  How will search engines be integrated? Microsoft wants to be heavily involved:

Microsoft Sees Its Next Big Thing In The Internet Of Things
Microsoft thinks it's staked out a claim to one of the next big technological shifts, and it's not being particularly subtle about it. ....  But the company's news that it is opening up its Bing search engine to developers is a major clue that Microsoft thinks it's onto something big. In short, Microsoft is staking out a major claim on the nascent Internet of Things, the term for an interconnected web of devices that will bring much more data and device control to users. If, that is, it ever works. .... "

(Update) Related, RRW posts on: Whats holding up the Internet of Things?

Prevedere Software uses Leading Indicators

Brought to my attention: 

" ... Prevedére, Inc. is a Big Data Predictive Analytics solution that helps companies increase profits and outperform competition. Our software automates the analysis and identification of leading drivers for companies to improve forecast accuracy, make better decisions on inventory and working capital and identify new global growth opportunities. Our software was developed to fill the gap between costly information data providers and internally only focused business intelligence.

Our patent pending software was created with years of experience from leading economists, industry analyst and Fortune 500 IT leadership. Prevedére is a fast growing SaaS/Cloud Software Company with customers across all industries, leading private equity and financial investment firms. ... " 

Self Checkout Psychology

Evan Schuman on Self-checkout psychology: Don't scare away shoppers  Good, new information.  We worked on an analysis of this and related technologies for some time.  Not sure I would call consumers scared, but confused about how their options will lead to quicker check through.

" .. Retailers really want shoppers to use self-checkout, but many underestimate the psychological deterrents they put in place ... " 

Investing in Deep Learning

In Virgin Entrepreneur.    Short description of the concept.   Not sure I agree that most companies should invest in this narrow kind of technology,  important as it may be for building out other capabilities. Companies should invest in higher level capabilities focused on their particular business needs.     Unless they are a tech company focusing on analytics.

Self Driving Trucks this Year

From the BBC: On German roads this year?  Supply chain efficiency changes are considerable. " .. Autonomous trucks: Daimler seeks licence for road tests ... " 

Consistent Experiences across Devices

Important goal.     Not too often the case.  " ... Walgreens' responsive website is part of the retailer's digital strategy that allows it to offer shoppers a consistent transition between desktop computers and mobile devices and accommodates a growing number of consumers who use multiple devices during their shopping experiences. The key to staying current in a market of ever-evolving technology is to build a solid base rather than constantly react, Walgreens' Senior Director of Architecture Jason Fei said. Internet Retailer (6/2) ... " 

Evernote on Euro Data Laws

Evernote CEO comments on euro data laws.  Complexity of regional regulations continues to add complexity to a data rich world.

Telling Good Data from Bad

From Forbes.   Hardly complete, but a reasonable starting point.   Which can be mostly summarized as:  Understand your sources,  ask for certification when available,  ask the right questions, (which often depend on the specific business context) . Look for red flags in the data itself. .   Also mentioned, the likelihood of confirmation bias creeping into results.   I almost always found some errors of this type    I will add that this kind of bias  can be either biased data that will support your own theories, or those that will best sell to your decision clients.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Thinking about Attentive Analytics

In a lunch time conversation last week the concept of an 'attentive' system emerged.   You can make many systems, analytic or otherwise, alert people to conditions that are happening or trending.   Further it is also useful to have a system be able to listen for changes you want made in the analytics and alert levels being used.  So we can call this an 'attentive' system, with communications in both directions.  It could also be an interface for a fully advisory system, again attentive to both human adjustments, and data based changes.  There is benefit in combining the bandwidth of each of these interactions.    Any further ideas or research in this area?  This was in part by examining the interaction modes of the Amazon Echo'

Intel is Fixing the Cloud

In CWorld: " ... Intel has kicked off a broad effort to speed the adoption of the modern cloud infrastructure, which it says has been slow to take off because the software is complex and takes too long to deploy.  ... " 

Content Analytics Re-Emerges

This was an approach we called 'Content Analytics' a long time ago, when the data we analyzed came from big spools of tape.  I had thought the term had gone away, to be replaced by 'Bigger' things.   So was glad to see this piece.  It now has many more tools, visual and analytical you can attach to get better results.   Now as then it has a more focused business direction.    Aimed at unstructured data, but even that term changes as we can better add our own structure.  In Datafloq:

" .... Content analytics can be defined as unlocking business value from unstructured content via semantic technologies to find answers to important questions or discover causes to certain trends. Companies can use content analytics to understand the content that is created, how it is used, the context it is in and the nature of that content. Content analytics is all about unstructured data and it can be used to explain trends in structured data and provide valuable insights to organisations.

Content analytics is especially relevant for organisations where knowledge is at the core of their business and in that case ordinary business intelligence is not sufficient anymore. Knowing who read what content, when, how often it was shared, number of clicks, location of visitors, etc. is not sufficient anymore. You should also care about whether the content is actually useful to your audiences and that it serves the objective it was intended for. Content related trends or insights revealing information such as what content caused a drop in sales can help make better content and thus drive growth or revenue. It is not about having more content; it is about having better content. ... " 

On Pluto and the Nature of Seeing

What does it mean to see in a technological world?  A Wired look at visual sensors, using the Pluto flyby as an example.  At what, when and how are we seeing things?

Dark Data Repository

In the Chronicle: An example of clearly sourced dark data

" .... Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are leading an effort to create a one-stop shop for data sets that would otherwise be lost to the public after the papers they were produced for are published.

The goal of the project, called DataBridge, is to expand the life cycle of so-called dark data, said Arcot Rajasekar, the lead principal investigator on the project and a professor in the School of Information and Library Science at Chapel Hill. It will serve as an archive for data sets and metadata, and will group them into clusters of information to make relevant data easier to find. ... " 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Amazon as Internet of Things Superpower

In the Motley  Fool:  Very good piece on a number of Amazon IOT dimensions I am currently following.   In particular I am looking forward to trying the Amazon Dash Button idea, which essentially attaches a buy button to the 'things' in the IOT.  I can imagine a number of other connected ideas that will expand how we 'ping' many kinds of attached things,   I am looking forward to other extensions.  

Meanwhile the Amazon Echo automates hands-free aspects of the smart home. I have had one in place for some time.  The system combines attentive voice activation with advisory systems, starting with environments like music, lights and shopping lists.   Also Amazon is tailoring systems that will automate data analysis using the data generated by all these systems.

Watch them as a central point for many kinds of purchase driven systems.  Each of these early experiments has direct sales and revenue influence from the very beginning.    Infrastructure mapping with goals.  Clever direction.

Data about China

Was involved in the early examination of available data about China, driving retail models.   See Simulex and Agent Models tag.

In Clickz:
The way data is collected, shared and used by marketers in China is still evolving, as agencies and clients work together in a test and learn environment. Content Takeover Big Data & AnalyticsChina is still years away from reaching Western levels of data management and use, but this hasn't stopped it from developing its own thriving and innovative technology systems.

Opacity, fraud and "walled garden" third-party data platforms continue to be major hurdles for marketers operating in China, but a willingness to learn and understand how data can be captured and used to maximum effect is a top priority for publishers, brands and agencies alike.

“Data collection, management and analytics methods in China have progressed in the last few years, but it is still early stages compared to other markets in terms of robustness," says Shanghai-based Chris Maier, head of research and analytics at ZenithOptimedia China.  ... "  

Creating A Marketing Persona

Market equity in a persona, simplified.  " ... The foundation of marketing is the process of identifying, meeting, and satisfying customer wants and needs.  In order to meet their needs you must have a true understanding of your customers, their emotional triggers and what drives them. ... " 

Phone an Expert Friend. Past and Future

Has been very interesting to be part of this evolution over the years.

Jim Spohrer of CSIG writes.

The Future of Phone-a-Friend  (Discussion) 

The evolution of "Phone-a-Friend/Expert" is explored in twenty year time steps from 1955 to 2055.  The Cognitive Systems Institute Group (CSIG) has the mission to encourage the development of cognitive mediators for all roles/occupations in smart service systems. By 2035 people may be symbiotic with their personal cognitive systems or cognitive mediators, which boost their creativity and productivity in service interactions. By 2055 people have have to pass a test before they can use cognitive mediators - this will allow the cognitive mediator to get to know them, their strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations. From tool to assistant to collaborator to coach - cognitive systems will continue to evolve along with the service systems entities they support. 

Slides.    (Non technical, but provocative view of the future of Virtual Assistants )

Beyond this, I see my cognitive mediators becoming more autonomous, and calling me.

Tracking Job Loss Through SmartPhone Data

With the use of a Bayesian model.  Via O'Reilly

Can mobile phone data predict economic change?
This paper describes a structural break model to correctly detect the date of a mass layoff; a Bayesian classification model to identify affected individuals; and a method of applying features identified at the micro level to improve forecasts of macro unemployment rates—all using call detail records (CDRs) from mobile phones. ... 

Mapping Math onto the Real World

My entire career has been about applying math to real world problems.   This Quanta article in Wired tracks the dilemma.  It remains to be a hard thing to do.  Even worse, the majority of people, including some very smart decision makers, openly fear mathematics.  It is like being wary of people that continually use a language you do not know.What are they up to?  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Jeep Hack Causes 1.4 Million Vehicle Recall

Overview of the Chrysler recall.  Amazing and frightening look at the future of transportation.  Chrysler knew of the possibility long before the hack was demonstrated.  The digital complexity of the modern vehicle is here already and growing.  Our future with these systems will change.  Regulatory changes emerging to patch the holes.  " ... Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the world's seventh largest automaker, today issued a recall notice for 1.4 million vehicles in order fix a software hole that allowed hackers to wirelessly break into some vehicles and electronically control vital functions. ... " 

Health care devices have related issues.

Amazon Business

Some of the details here are interesting, like including procurement expertise.   See my other posts here on market based procurement and the application of analytics, which we made much value leverage of in the enterprise.

Amazon Launches Amazon Business Marketplace, Will Close AmazonSupply
" ... Now Amazon is taking its quest to win over the $7.2 trillion B2B sector a step further. On Tuesday, the Seattle-based web giant is launching Amazon Business, a new platform aiming to do for business customers what Amazon.com has done for everyday shoppers.

Companies that register for an Amazon Business account will have access to business-only products from IT and lab equipment to education and food service supplies, with bulk discounts and free 2-day shipping on orders over $49. ... " 

Innovation Environments

Have worked in strong physical, and in virtual innovation environments.  Still work in the latter.  In fact this blog, its thousands of readers and correspondents is an example.   In the enterprise a similar blog tried the same, but within an often difficult culture.  How does the environment create an innovative impact?

Dispel Fear of Data

Dispel the fear of data, in the HBR.  Despite what we may call data, we all use it, every day, all the time.  So fear is not the problem, a cautious respect for its value and proper application would be better put.  It is always an asset, applied in conext.

Sony Drones for Enterprises

In CIO,   Mobile in three dimensions. Expect a further dimensionalizing of data acquisition. " ... Drones are officially taking over. Not content to cede the market for autonomous vehicles to Amazon and Google, Sony announced today that it is launching a joint venture to design and build drones for enterprise clients.  ... The project is being led by Sony Mobile Communications, Sony’s mobile phone and device subsidiary, in collaboration with ZMP, another Japanese company focused on automotive and robotic design. Sony said it would be taking a controlling stake in the venture, with a 50.005 percent share.

The new company, which will be called Aerosense, will be incorporated next month with 200 million yen ($1.6 million). Aerosense will focus on enterprise solutions using autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles for image capture combined with cloud Relevant Products/Services-based data Relevant Products/Services processing, according to a blog post by Sony Mobile. ... " 

Statistical Significance

Kaiser Fung takes a core value principle look at the meaning of statistical significance.  His statement is very true, but is it actually useful in practice, except as a general caution?   What does it tell me to do with the models I have derived?   Give me something  I can work with.

IBM Open Sourcing 50 Projects

More movement to Open Source:

" ...  IBM has announced a new web portal called developerWorks Open, bringing together various projects they are open sourcing. The projects cover many domains including Analytics, Cloud, IoT, Mobile, Security, Social, Watson and others. So far, IBM has open sourced about 30 projects, and they plan to increase the number up to 50 by the end of the year, and others may come in the future. .. "

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Future of the Chief Data Officer

In SiliconAngle:  Don't in particular like the idea of labeling things with 'Chief', better to have a team of experts, closely connected.  Its the Information - Data - Knowledge progression.  Everyone should understand that.

New Features in Polinode Networks

A number of new features have been added to the evolving Polinode network analysis system.  The home link has an introductory video and application examples.   Has a good freemium model for testing.  Helps cut through the complexity of all kinds of networks.

1 Public Networks: It's now possible to create public networks and share them with others via a single link, i.e. there is no need for them to have a Polinode account. The best part is...public networks are free. 

2 Improvements to Network Exploration: We've made a number of improvements to the explore view for networks, including some design tweaks that we think you'll really like.

3 Additional Options for the Network Layout: You've been asking for some additional layout options and today we've delivered them - you can now change the repulsion and gravity forces for the force atlas layout plus there are a few more surprises.

4 Significant Performance Improvements: We heard all of your responses to our recent survey - you told us that handling truly large networks (many thousands of nodes) was your number one request. To that end we've made a large number of performance improvements and introduced a new "Lightning Mode".

You can read more about these new features and improvements in our latest blog post linked to below - of course, it would be great if you could share it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

See more about these in the Polinode blog.  Go to their site to explore it further and give it a try.  See the tag below for past mentions here.

Mobile Apps and in-store Impulse Buys

Time in store is the most influential driver for sales.   Well known.  Now can a mobile App keep them in the store longer? And is that extra time also increase buying?

Are mobile apps the key to driving in-store impulse sales?
Not so surprisingly, a university study finds impulse shopping notably increases the longer a customer is in a store. A newsier revelation is that mobile apps may be the way to drive many unplanned purchases.

The authors claim this is the first study to examine changes in impulse shopping as the shopping trip unfolds. About 400 customers carrying handheld scanners at two grocery stores were examined. ....  "

Comments are very thoghtful, see especially Herb Sorensen's thoughts, he has done much work in understanding the science of the shopper and shopping trip.

Cognitive Analytics

In AnalyticBridge: Some good fundamental lectures on the foundations of cognitive systems.   "... An introduction to Cognitive Analysis, by Scott Mongeau - Deloitte ... "

Vehicle Hacking and Security

This came to my mind as I had a new OS update put into my one year old car.  What are the dangers here?  I have no control of anti hacking or anti malware capabilities on its systems.  I did get an App with the car, but that App itself works poorly and appears to add no security I can see.

Hacker: 'Hundreds of thousands' of vehicles are at risk of attack
A security expert who recently demonstrated he could hack into a Jeep and control its most vital functions said the same could be done with hundreds of thousands of other vehicles on the road today.

Security experts Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek collaborated with Wired magazine to demonstrate how they could remotely hack into and control the entertainment system as well as more vital functions of a 2015 Jeep Cherokee.

Both hackers are experienced IT security researchers. Miller is a former NAS hacker and security researcher for Twitter and Valasek is the director of security research at IOActive, a consultancy. ... " 

Unilever Partners with Alibaba

The breadth of the interaction as stated is interesting.   China is the big future CPG market.  I attended a meeting yesterday that made much of the China mobile market where this was not mentioned.

Unilever Partners with Alibaba in China
The two companies will make joint effort to build the biggest online and offline platform for sales, branding, cross-border e-commerce and innovation.  ... " 

Gamifying Videos

Interesting simple approach, have not tried:  parWinr

" ... Gamify your video – in minutes! ...  parWinr’s innovative software lets you quickly turn any video asset into an online game, providing enhanced engagement and generating useful data for marketers and educators. ... " 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mastering Brand Building in the Third Decade of Digital

Today at: Mastering Brand Building in the Third Decade of Digital

See the ongoing Signal PG (Procter & Gamble) conference tweeted at #SignalPG

More to follow.

Globalization and Manufacturing Location Clusters

Not unexpected, Location and proximity can still matter.   Perhaps less with the emergence of 3D printing?

Globalization Hasn’t Killed the Manufacturing Cluster
In today's global markets, companies have many choices to procure what they need to develop, build, and sell product. So who needs a manufacturing cluster, such as Detroit? Research by Gary Pisano and Giulio Buciuni shows that in some industries, location still matters.... " 

AI and Human Sketch Recognition

Also an application we considered, could you get an AI to recognize human created sketches, say in notes about a meeting, or from consumers giving impressions of your new products in use contexts?   Here a system excelling in a related  'Pictionary' game type task.  More in the BBC.  And in Gizmag.

Strategies for Reaching the Chinese Consumer

In the HBR:
" ... Slowing Chinese economic growth coupled with confidence-sapping tumult on the stock market have set alarm bells ringing at companies about their future growth prospects in China. But they should not simply sit back and wait to see what happens next. Consumer-facing businesses have an important role to play as the Chinese government nudges its economy from an investment-led to a consumption-led model. China has many eager, experienced consumers – but companies need to remember that there are many more cautious ones waiting in the wings who will need to be coaxed into joining the consumer economy.  .. " 

Connecting Employees and Customer Experience

In CWorld: " ... Improve outcomes by connecting the employee and customer experience ... " Absolutely, but what if your employees are several steps away from the customer?  A classic situation in CPG products and retail.  Mobile connections today can make this more possible. Our Mr. Clean project was an early, imprecise attempt to make this happen, but culture, among other things, made the idea unsuccessful.  See the tags below for more.

Tracking your Location Over Time

We could have used this for a plant maintenance application that required documenting location, issues and changes.  Thinking of other related applications.

Tracking location and images on a map.

"  .... Have you ever wanted a way to easily remember all the places you’ve been -- whether it’s a museum you visited during your last vacation or that fun bar you stumbled upon a few months ago? Well, starting today, Google Maps can help. We’re gradually rolling out Your Timeline, a useful way to remember and view the places you’ve been on a given day, month or year. Your Timeline allows you to visualize your real-world routines, easily see the trips you’ve taken and get a glimpse of the places where you spend your time. And if you use Google Photos, we’ll show the photos you took when viewing a specific day, to help resurface your memories.... " 

Which allows for opt in and privacy settings.

A&P is Gone

One of the oldest and once largest US grocery store chains, with origins as far back as 1859, founded in NYC,  is in the final parts of  bankruptcy. Apparently the grand name of A&P: The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, will not survive. I did my earliest shopping in their stores.

" ... There was a time when A&P was the largest grocer in America. Later it became the butt of jokes. Now A&P has filed for Chapter 11 protection for the second time in the past five years. Do you think A&P's management missed opportunities to change over the past decade that could have led to a different outcome?   ... "   Discussion in Retailwire.

Teradata Aster Videos on Advanced Analytics

Links to all videos  by John Thuma to demonstrate Teradata Aster analytics use.   Useful for training in this space.  He writes:  " ... Please see the following list of videos that I have created to document some of Asters 120+ Analytic Functions: ... " .   

 I have looked at a number of these,  which were short, as non technical as possible, and in general relate to real life applications.  Though the applications that they use may not match your industry context. Specifics of Aster use and training/testing models also included.   Nicely done. Useful for any analyst with some advanced analytics training.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Integrating Supply and Demand

In the summer issue of SloanMIT:  This requires membership or sign up registration for the full article.

Integrating Supply and Demand
" ... At many companies, sales generation activities have become disconnected from the operational activities required to fulfill that demand — resulting in conflicting objectives and foregone business opportunities. Bringing the supply and demand sides of an enterprise together can represent a significant opportunity for efficiency and value creation.  ... " 

Stolen Data Phones Home

In CSOonline:  " ... Digital ‘watermarking’ won’t prevent your data from being stolen, but it can let you find out about it much more quickly than the average of seven months it takes organizations to discover a breach  ... " 

On Enabling vs Controlling

In HBS Working Knowledge.  Thoughtful distinction.  Traditional v Platform mode.

Enabling Versus Controlling
by Andrei Hagiu and Julian Wright

Widespread adoption of Internet and mobile technologies has made it possible to build marketplaces and platforms for a rapidly increasing variety of services, from house cleaning to programming, consulting and legal advice. Highlighting the tradeoffs, this paper studies a firm's choice between two modes of organization—a traditional mode versus a platform mode—where the key difference between the two modes is that professionals hold more control rights over service provision in the platform mode than in the traditional mode.  .... "

Analytics Speed, Context, Functionality

Some obvious and useful things to consider.

Analytics Leaders Target Speed, Context, Functionality
Among the emerging trends in the data analytics business is the desire for faster access to business insights with improved context along with greater functionality in areas like predictive analytics and cognitive intelligence.

Hence, the latest vendor rankings from market watcher Nucleus Research reveal that leading analytics vendors are pursuing both requirements with a mix of deep analytics architectures and flexible, cloud-based offerins.  ... " 

HR Algorithms

HR Analytics Algorithms - The Insightful HR Executive Route To Top Corporate Leadership!  by Raja Sengupta

PepsiCo R&D

PepsiCo overhauls R&D to innovate, boost sales
A major research and development overhaul helped PepsiCo innovate with new products, including Tostitos Cantina and Mountain Dew Kickstart, which have earned the company more than $100 billion each in annual sales over the past three years. "This resulted in a more focused innovation agenda, a greater emphasis on development platforms rather than product line extensions only and more efficient allocation of development resources as we have significantly reduced redundant efforts through better coordination," CEO Indra Nooyi said.PepsiCo overhauls R&D to innovate, boost sales

A major research and development overhaul helped PepsiCo innovate with new products, including Tostitos Cantina and Mountain Dew Kickstart, which have earned the company more than $100 billion each in annual sales over the past three years. "This resulted in a more focused innovation agenda, a greater emphasis on development platforms rather than product line extensions only and more efficient allocation of development resources as we have significantly reduced redundant efforts through better coordination," CEO Indra Nooyi said. .... "

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cortana Voice Assistant

Will be shipped with Windows 10.  Connected with analytics, but it is unclear still what that will look like.  This will compete with a number of other assistant systems, like Siri.    See my previous note which includes a list of a number of such systems in place today. Assistant advisors will continue to be a way that AI/Cognitive is delivered to users. How will these evolve under user context in the future?    These kinds of advisory systems will increasingly be part of our interaction with computers.  How will this additional cognitive channel, in many computers in use today,  change our interactions?

Target's Innovation and Technology Center

Retailer Target's  innovation Center.  Sounds like what we were up to in 2000,  see tags on that below.  An innovation center for home and store.  So what is retail's 'next thing'?  Good details and pics.

" .. This scene and others come to life inside a new tech wonderland created by Target, designed to show off the 35 Internet-connected home devices studded throughout. There’s an August smart door lock, a Ring smart doorbell, a Nest thermostat and a Sonos music player.

This is the house of the future, but its existence shows that it’s also possible in the present. The acrylic abode, dubbed Open House, opens on Friday on the street level below the Metreon City Target store, and it’s the first major manifestation of a big entrepreneurial bet by Target CEO Brian Cornell to re-energize the retailer’s brand and create a new billion-dollar business outside of its comfort zone... " 

Here is Target's Open House site.

The Shape of Data

In O'Reilly:  The Application of mathemtical topology to data architecture.  " ... Data has a shape ... Using topology to uncover the shape of your data: An interview with Gurjeet Singh. ... " 

PLM Industry Summary

From CIMdata:   News and  I am reviewing this technology area.  As it relates to the PLM (Product Lifecycle Management)  Economy.  I am reviewing this technology as it connects to both innovation and data architecture choices. More to follow.  See Tags below for more.

Too Strong a Culture?

In KelloggInsight:   A topic I have been long been intrigued with.  But can a culture's strength be measured in context?   A podcast.  " ... Is Your Company Culture Too Strong? A diversity of viewpoints can help organizations weather disruption. ... " 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Executive Machine Learning Jargon

Pointer to a reasonable background overview of machine learning that aims to look at origin of topics and jargon less explanations.  Via Alice Zheng in O'Reilly.   These kinds of resources are always useful to base explanation on to interested executives.  I always have had a library of these kinds of things ready for any number of technology topics for the enterprise.   You should be able to explain these yourself, in elevator segments, but it is always useful to leave something behind, especially if you tailor it to industry and local data context.

Statistics Obsolete in a Big Data World?

Interesting thoughts.  I say that you will still need the statistics to back up the results that you come up with.    Especially if there is even a hint of a compliance or regulatory issue. Any testing of the resulting model will also require careful statistical thinking.    Piece by Jeffrey Strickland

Look at IOT Security

An overview of the dangers and direction of privacy on the Internet of Things.

People Analytics

Looking at what people analytics cannot capture.  In the HBR,    " ... the latest fad in human resources, using big data analytics and personality test scores to predict who is best for a given job – so-called “XQ.”

Of course many businesses are reaping rewards from big data analytics. But there are also some areas of disappointment. Experts caution that big data, like any other, is only as good as the questions being asked – and that some algorithms can make unhelpful assumptions. ... " 

Pushing Humanoid Robotics

Why do robots have to be humanoid?  Look somewhat like humans. Androids, they are also called. To make us more comfortable with their planned presence among us?   Or is this a bow to biomimicry, suggesting that androids are the most efficient design to do what humans do

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Future of Shopping at SF Lab

Always interested in innovation center ideas.  Here a look at the Westfield Malls experimental startups labs.  See also my extensive writing on innovation centers and their value at the tags below.

Let the Patients Search

This was brought up in a conversation with a doctor.    Of course it requires caution, but it does by itself create more engagement.  It is also inevitable.   If further came to mind, should a patient, or their doctor, be able to create a tailored playlist of searches to direct them to good places?   In CWeekly:

Stop telling patients not to Google – one man’s quest for joined-up healthcare

Technologies such as Google, health trackers and social media will be contributing factors in the future of joined-up healthcare, says one digital healthcare advocate
Technology enablement for patients will be essential for healthcare to scale as the population grows, according to Dave deBronkart.  ... "  

Ask the Right Questions for Data Value

Often the key thing to do.  Its the kernel of many kinds of expertise.  Know the questions, in rough order of importance.  Know where to invest your time in answering them.  Get the right people or resources to contribute.  In Kellogg Insight:   Making Data Work Harder for You  ... A strategic approach to data analytics starts with asking the right questions. ... " 

Exploratory Analysis with Excel

As the piece says,  still common in even very sophisticated organizations.    Data and metadata is often stored and, edited, monitored and analyzed in Excel.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Cisco Grand Challenge in IOT

$250,000 in awards to jumpstart your venture!

The Challenge

Are you building an industry-disrupting or innovative digital solution leveraging the Internet of Things?

With less than 1% of things in the physical world connected to the Internet, there is an incredible opportunity to connect the unconnected, creating vast opportunities to transform businesses and industries by re-inventing business processes, operational efficiencies and customer service innovations. The Cisco Innovation Grand Challenge will recognize startups, entrepreneurs and developers around the world with the most breakthrough digital technologies, products or business models across a variety of categories.

This is your chance to demonstrate what you can create by connecting people, processes, data and things!  Get started now or visit the FAQ page to learn more.  ... " 

Watson Tone Analyzer

In CW:   Helping you write.  Or at least helping with the tone of the writing.  Not the syntax or semantics.  Tone is one kind of meta semantic.    Nice idea, some examples of how this would work is at the post.

" ... Now in experimental mode, Watson Tone Analyzer is a new service that can analyze text for the attitude and tone that underlie it. The tool could help anyone refine an email, marketing message, presentation or blog post before releasing it into the world, IBM said.

"To read a message and to judge the tone conveyed in the message comes naturally to humans," explained Rama Akkiraju, a distinguished engineer and master inventor for IBM Watson User Technologies, in a Thursday blog post announcing the project. "But, at times, the tone may be overlooked, undesired or not conveyed well by the author."   ... '   

Collaborative Thinking with Computers

All use of computing is collaborative. With the computer.   It is advisory, learning, question and answer, rule following, cognitive, predictive and prescriptive.  It is fitting  all of  those elements together at the right level ofcorrectness and value that will turn out to be our most difficult task.  Note the mention of crowd sourcing to make all this possible.

From Insight Kellogg, work underway on the challenge, inspired by Watson:
" ... Uzzi and Ferrucci recently discussed the human-machine partnerships at the heart of machine learning and computational social science, as part of the Kellogg School’s first Computational Social Science Summit. Ferrucci is now with the investment management firm Bridgewater Associates. Uzzi is the director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems and faculty director for the Kellogg Architectures of Collaboration Initiative. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.... "

Building Your Cognitive Technology

Tom Davenport on building cognitive technologies.

" ... Most organizations that are exploring cognitive technologies—smart machines that automate aspects of decision-making processes—are just putting a toe in the water. They’re doing a pilot or “proof of concept” to explore the technology and how it fits into their business. Rajeev Ronanki, a Deloitte consultant who works with IBM Corp.’s Watson and other cognitive technologies, told me recently that virtually all of his clients want to start with a small step:

   'They want to make sure that it’s not science fiction before they really commit to the technology at    full scale. So the first project is typically a pilot that takes four to six months to develop' .

The good news is that this technology is not science fiction, but rather something from which organizations can benefit today. Chances are good, then, that organizations will want to create architectures for cognitive technologies that support more than a single application. In fact, I believe that it won’t be long before sophisticated organizations set out to build “cognitive architectures” that interface with, but are distinct from, their regular IT architectures.  ... "  

Later on he mentions a rule engine (JRules) which is part of IBM owned ILog, and how this should be part of Watson services.  A good point, connectivity is not quite what it could be yet.   Making it more difficult and time consuming to build prototypes, which are essential for this kind of new tech.   Later there is a good list of requirements for easy to use, test and integrate technologies.   Would read that carefully before proceeding.

A Look at Amazon Prime Day

A look at the success of Amazon Prime Day.   Good statistics and thoughts.  Amazon says it was very successful.  Evan Schuman points to the usual scuttlebut on Twitter that is negative.  Notably a number of negative hashtags.   Which to me is not uncommon for anything done by a big company online.   Also reports of overloads on Amazons servers.  Perhaps, but my guess is that this will be remedied by the next Prime event.

How Often Should Prices be Changed Online?

HBR article on the frequency of price changes.  " ... Today’s technologies allow digital businesses (as well as a growing roster of traditional companies) to change prices frequently, even minute-by-minute in real time if they want to. It is not unusual for prices to change on sites like Amazon, Expedia, and Priceline several times a day. But managers are struggling to understand these tactics. How often should companies really change their prices? .. " 

Spam Decreasing

At a twelve year low as we learn to detect it better, but Malware continues to rise and is harder to detect.

Principal Component Analysis

What is Multivariate Analysis? Part II: Principal Component Analysis | bicorner.com   by Jeffrey Strickland.
Part of a well done series on multivariate analysis.  This latest part on Principal Component Analysis (PCA).   Nicely done, fairly nontechnical introductory description.  A method commonly used in CPG and retail and elsewhere.  You are trying to find the best (principal) representation of some result in a multivariate dataset.  

Emojis Creating Data

New kind of data to mine.    This was brought up in internal work.   Leverge what the consumer provides.

There's Data in Those Emojis -- and Marketers Want to Mine Them
Why Brands and Agencies Want to Interpret Pizza Slice Smiley Face

"The use of emojis is kind of like were observing a new language right in front of us," said Tony Clement, VP analytics at independent shop Big Spaceship. The agency is working with technology firms to develop definitions for brand tracking through emojis. The goal, essentially, is to apply some of the same techniques for quantifying value and measuring brand sentiment based on words in social media to metrics for imagery. ..  " 

Unilever and Click Fraud

In Mediapost: 
" ... It's one thing for researchers and journalists to band around click-fraud statistics, and quite another for Unilever's CMO to come out with the startling statement that he believes that nearly one-third -- or 29% -- of traffic to the average site comes from bots. That doesn't mean that nearly a third is fake, because some of that could well be "spiders" searching the Web for meaningful content, but it does mean that a substantial proportion is. And it most certainly does mean that 29% of Web traffic should not have advertising served to it, or at least, an advertiser shouldn't pick up the tab for delivering their message to a bot.   ... "

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Gamification, Jobs and Cognition

I gave a talk today to IBM's CSI Group, on "Gamification and Cognitive Systems; Opportunities for Enhancing and Defining Jobs" ...   Slides and recording linked to below:

" ... Thank you so much for presenting today.  Your talk was excellent.  I will have a recording of your presentation today on our web page http://cognitive-science.info/community/weekly-update/.     I'll also refer to your talk on our LinkedIn Group https://www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=6729452, where there may be more discussion and questions for you.  Thank you so much for being our presenter and for being such a great member of the Cognitive Systems Institute and thank you for your participation in our LinkedIn discussion group and twitter!!  
Dianne Fodell, IBM Global University Programs    ... " 

Facebook Tests Direct Retail

First Amazon Prime, then Google adds the buy button, then Wal-Mart copies Prime, now in Adage, Facebook wants to add another retail buy route from their very crowded place.  " ... Facebook Wants Retailers to Set Up Shop on Its Site: Pros and Cons ... Facebook Is Testing Adding E-Commerce Microsites to Brands' Pages ... "  More serious physical retail competition.

Getting Answers from your Big Data

In Datanami: A set of useful questions to consider, especially with regard to sources like IOT, where more and faster will become common.

Creative Manufacturing

Via O'Reilly IOT Newsletter:
Etsy recently conducted a study on manufacturing and independent creative businesses. The maker movement provides an excellent growth opportunity for existing manufacturers and many successful creative businesses are looking to scale and work with manufacturing partners. Not surprisingly, the study found that these creative businesses were looking for partners who emphasize relationship, craft, and flexibility.... 

New Opportunities for US Manufacturing:  Partnering with Independent Creative Businesses
4 Page PDF

Digital Closer to Dominating Physical Retail

Deloitte: Digital moving closer to dominating physical retail 

Digital interactions are expected to influence 64 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores by the end of 2015, or $2.2 trillion, according to Deloitte Digital's latest study, "Navigating the New Digital Divide." Is the influence of digital and mobile reducing the value of traditional in-store shopping and browsing?  ... " 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Google's Beacons: Eddystone

More movement towards proximity and location engagement methods.  Apparently more Open Source as well.  More vendors in this space should increase exposure to the idea.

Google Rolls Out Its Version of Beacon Technology
Eddystone Is Meant to Compete With Apple's iBeacon

Google is stepping up efforts against Apple's location technology with new tools to link smartphones to nearby objects.

The search giant on Tuesday introduced a new format called Eddystone that lets electronic beacons provide more specific locations and other information within applications, the company said in a blog post. The tools, which compete with Apple's iBeacon technology, will enable smartphone users at a museum, for example, to get more information on a painting they're looking at or to gain easy access to electronic bus tickets when they're near a bus stop. ... " 

More from the Google Developers Blog.  and in Ars Technica.

And in the Wikipedia.

Technology Use on Path to Purchase

Analysis of recent survey.

Consumers Increasingly Embrace Tech on Path to Purchase
Blackhawk Engagement shopper survey illustrates how  .... 

As consumers increasingly use technology such as smartphones, laptops and personal computers to shop, retailers are focusing less on their own competition and more on trying to locate and connect with consumers, according to Rodney Mason, GVP of marketing at Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, which conducted a survey of over 2,500 shoppers. The results revealed that 58% of consumers shop while watching television and 37% shop at work. ... "

Virtual Reality Standards

In Ars Technica: " ... Just how “open” is the future of PC virtual reality?  Examining the debate over standards, SDKs, and cross-platform headset development. ... " 

Seductive Infosphere

Thoughtful HBR piece on data, information, algorithm, and who controls it all.  Caution is always worthwhile.  Yes, it is a kind of seduction to have all this so immediately available, and tailored for our use and influence.

Inspect Your Data

True, and for very important data you should have the expert in or owner of the data make sure it, or any derivative of the data,  is correct.  In ClickZ:

" ... Something as small as a single missing or broken tag can result in missing data. As a result, marketers need to really inspect data, rather than simply looking at the aggregated report.
With the seemingly unstoppable growth of advertising technology and the rise of automated media-buying systems, we have developed an incredible reliance on data. Nobody could be more excited than I am about all the interest and power being given to the massive amounts of data available to marketers today. However, we need to start paying the same level of attention to the quality of our data sources and collection systems.    .."

Pitney Bowes and GE Software's Predix

It is nice to see the terms predictive and prescriptive used specifically here, the prescriptive is not that often mentioned.  It implies the integration of analytics and specific business process, which is good. Have not looked at GE's Predix.

GE, Pitney Bowes team up on predictive and prescriptive analytics
The two companies will use GE's Predix software platform for the Industrial Internet of Things to develop customized asset performance management applications.

GE and Pitney Bowes are going to bring the power of predictive and prescriptive analytics to mail production mail.

The two companies today sealed an alliance around GE's Predix software platform for the Industrial Internet, under which they will develop customized asset performance management (APM) applications for Pitney Bowes and its Enterprise Business Solutions customers. Powered by Predix, the services is designed to give Pitney Bowes the capability to analyze data generated from its production mailing and shipping machines, and its clients' machines, to provide client and productivity services and job scheduling capabilities. ...   " 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Strategy Drives Digital

Technology is only a collection of tools.  But in today's world, with tools being updated every 18 months, sometimes fundamentally,  part of your strategy may need to be:  look for the best tools.

In Sloan Review:   " ... Strategy, not  Technology, Drives  Digital Transformation ... Becoming a Digitally Mature Enterprise ... " 

Walmart Plays Prime

I have been involved in a business that leveraged Amazon Prime. It does generate both interest and longer term engagement.  It establishes a first visit preference.   Is that a form of 'Flow'?    Or just a sales play?  Now Wal-Mart is following:

In RetailWire:Last week, Amazon.com announced the launch of Prime Day, a sales event for Prime members offering even more deals than Black Friday. As widely expected, Walmart has answered back with a sales event of its own. Which retailer do you think will come out ahead of the competition this month sparked by Amazon's Prime Day?

Using Customers for Innovation Leverage

In part how our innovation centers were used.   HBR article goes on to give more of the how.

Win Over Executives by Proving Customers Support Your Idea
by Ron Ashkenas and Daniel Dworkin

Despite how much has been written about corporate innovation, it still presents a big challenge. On one hand, senior executives encourage employees to develop new products and services. On the other, they don’t want to throw money at concepts with limited market potential. So how can internal innovators create confidence in the viability of their ideas as they’re still evolving? One way is to get customers to help you make your case. ... " 

Augmenting Human Experience

Augmenting the human experience: AR, wearable tech, and the IoT
As augmented reality technologies emerge, we must place the focus on serving human needs. by Helen Papagiannis.  Pointer to a forthcoming bookAugmented Human: How Technology Is Shaping the New Reality

Microsoft Analytics Under Cortana, Adds Spark

Does this imply that their new analytics will be strongly voice driven?   Fascinating idea that will require some cognitive depth and context?     How will this connect to visualization capabilities like that of Power BI?  Will follow.

Microsoft Unites Analytics Under ‘Cortana,’ Adds Spark Support

Microsoft today unveiled a new suite of hosted analytic services named after Cortana, the software giant’s personal assistant software for smartphones. Meanwhile, the company is prepping to begin support for Apache Spark on Azure, its public cloud platform.

If you have a Windows-based smartphone, you’re probably familiar with Cortana, the smooth-talking female voice that does various digital chores at your behalf. The new Cortana Analytics Suite takes the personal assistant role and injects big data into it.

The new suite that Microsoft unveiled at its Worldwide Partner Conference today is essentially a mashup of new and existing data analytic capabilities from Microsoft that it will package and sell as an integrated offering with a simple monthly subscription. The offering will be generally available later this fall.  ... " 

(Update)  Informatica & Cognizant Embrace the Microsoft Cortana Analytics Suite

Using Twitter as a Social Research Tool

Useful Tools Overview: 

" ... The popularity of social media sites and the ease at which its data is available means these platforms are increasingly becoming primary sources for social research. Wasim Ahmed presents a quick look at some of the tools available to social scientists for analysing social media data and also reflects on the limitations of the platforms and the methods used for this type of research.... " 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Nestle Opens Digital Innovation Office

A number of companies I know have taken similar action. We did this informally for a long time.  Such teams should look at a number of global locations:

Nestlé is setting up a digital innovation team with staff drawn from the company’s marketing and technology groups, moving into an office in Silicon Valley co-located with swissnex, in 2016.

The move, as part of a coordinated Swiss presence within the ‘Swiss House’ at Pier 17 in San Francisco Bay, will strengthen the firms digital presence to build partnerships with startups and technology companies, and develop online experiences and services....  " 

Making Store Data Meaningful

In the Cisco Blog: Somewhat obvious, but deserves to be thought through. For origin and comparison of data.  Consider also related metadata that will make it meaningful.

   "  .... As an omnichannel retailer, you are probably offering your products to shoppers both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. And, like most retailers, you are no doubt collecting online data and running detailed website analytics that help you track preferred products, pricing, shopper behavior, ratings, and so on.

But are you able to gather these same detailed metrics in your physical store, telling you why shoppers choose your store over your competitor’s? How to create a better experience on the floor? Or optimize staffing? Most importantly, are they helping you increase sales? ... " 

Marianos Supermarket Experience

I am used to Jungle Jim's nearby, which does provide experience, but here is yet more.  Compare it to a look at the Apple Store.

Via Steve Frenda, The Path to Purchase Institute:

Mariano's latest... A supermarket experience like I've never seen - ta •Mariano's latest... A supermarket experience like I've never seen - take a 40 photo tour. A treasure hunt and spectacular sense of theater all in one -… - Steve Frenda - Google+

A treasure hunt and spectacular sense of theater all in one - and the crowds - the energy is palpable.

- Fresh Smoothie Bar
- Custom Made Guacamole Bar
- Sushi Bar
- Oyster Bar
- Trail Mix Bar
- Meats Grilled to Order for No Charge
- Wine Bar
- Bakery Goods Beyond Compare with My Personal Favorite... Maple Bacon Long Johns
- etc. etc.

Kudos to Mariano's... I know how do they make it work financially?  ... " 

The Zen of the Apple Store Experience

Agreed, have a number of times visited an Apple store and asked myself, How could a retailer match this?  Its a novel experience, linked to some novel offerings.  Like the Marianos supermarket experience?    But is the tech novelty fading?

Apple stands alone in controlling the in-store experience
In The ZEN of Retail Tech  By Evan Schuman

Would-be copiers have to understand that Apple's circumstances actually fit the word 'unique'   ...  When it comes to redefining the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, no major retailer even approaches what Apple has done with the Apple Store. The Apple Store had real mobile payments long before anyone else, as well as in-aisle payments, long before anyone else.... " 

Talk on the Digital Age

Recent talk by my colleague Suna Polat from CimData on innovation in a digital age.   As it relates to PLM.   Slides and audio. Nicely done.  Also some interesting details about how P&G worked in this area.  They write about the Webinar:

" ... Many companies are still struggling to make innovation a repeatable, systemic process that leads to consistent business growth. Besides critical human aspects, such as leadership and culture, systemic innovation requires the implementation and use of strategic business platforms. An innovation platform is a business platform designed to enable an enterprise’s innovation processes. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is evolving to become a strategic product innovation platform. Another trend started in early 2000’s, now widely adopted, is "Open Innovation." This strategic direction led to new approaches to innovation, such as crowdsourcing and co-creation that CIMdata collectively calls "Collaborative Innovation." Through Collaborative Innovation (CI), an organization can reach to diverse internal and external networks to address its critical innovation needs. Companies that practice CI typically use solutions that are outside those provided by traditional PLM solution providers.

In this webinar, through a systemic innovation case study from P&G, we will describe use cases appropriate for PLM and CI. We will also describe how PLM and CI solution providers have an opportunity to connect and collaborate to expand their markets by developing consistent terminology and communication around innovation and clarifying how their offerings complement each other and fit into the solution architecture of their clients with clear benefits. With such clarity more companies should be willing to invest in these solutions.  ...  "

New Google Glass for Enterprise

A new Google Glass.  More focused is good.  Rumored.  Like I have mentioned here a number of times, we examined and tested similar methods for manufacturing maintenance applications.   Will this succeed where the VR glasses as a general systems interface did not?  A number of other players are already in the mix.

SAP Open Source Commitment

In SiliconAngle: SAP's commitment to open source.  " .... SAP SE is dedicated to helping businesses respond to market demands around the clock, according to Steve Lucas, president of Platform Solutions at SAP. Its partnership with Red Hat, Inc. is a key part of its strategy. In an interview with theCUBE at RedHat Summit, Lucas explained further  ... " 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Do Data Visualization Right to Promote Data Asset Value

This Forbes piece suggests further that you should visualize data only when you need to.  I disagree, it is so easy and cheap today, all data should be visualized.  At very least it can alert you to later unexpected changes that can be warnings or opportunities.  And especially if you later expect to perform analytics with the data.  Every expert and stakeholder of the data's value and process should be linked to the visuals.  The visuals are then an inspiration to leveraging the data for analytical value. Every enterprise should want that.

Omnichannel Delivery Costs in Retail

Thoughts on costs of omnichannel delivery in retail.   In RetailWire:

" ... Buried by the high cost of fulfilling online orders across multiple channels, only 16 percent of companies can fulfill omnichannel demand profitably today, according to a new study from JDA.

The "Omni-Channel Fulfillment Imperative" report, based on a global survey of more than 400 retail and consumer goods CEOs, also found 67 percent of respondents reporting that these costs are growing. ... " 

Improving Your Writing

Writing Secrets from Hollywood, by Eric Barker.  Nicely done.  Simple, straightforward ideas.

MindMeld Platform

I see there have been a number of updates on the MindMeld Platform.    " .... The Voice Revolution has Arrived  A new generation of voice driven applications is now possible for the first time ... Recent AI Breakthroughs have cracked the code on Voice.   .... Thanks to massive data sets combined with recent advances in deep learning, human-quality speech recognition is now possible for most common languages and dialects. ... " 

Beacons Proliferating Fast

An update on the use of solutions like the iBeacon.   Expanding quickly.

" ... It matters that Apple's other retail-focused solutions -- Apple Pay, TouchID and iOS devices, including Apple Watch, mean the company now sits at the center of both online and offline relationships between consumers and retailers. This is going to become even more critical as Apple continues to disrupt consumer culture.

Retailers are all over the technology:

Macy's, Lord & Taylor and The Bay are using beacons, while Starwood Hotels & Resorts (of the famously iPad-using CEO) use it in around 30 hotels. Hillshire Brands used beacons in 10 U.S. cities to track shopper behavior in supermarkets.  ... "