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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Robots are Taking Mid-Level Jobs

Article suggests that many mid-level jobs are being taken by computing and robotics.  Rapidly changing the economy.  Technical jobs, though, should remain common for now.  " ... Computers and robots will replace humans in enough jobs that they will dramatically change the economy, said industry watchers and MIT economists at a robotics symposium Monday. And, they said, the transition has already started.... "

Upcoming Healthcare Disruptive Meetup

An upcoming Continuous Web Meetup on disruptive healthcare innovation.  " ... This month we're going to showcase a few founders that are disrupting the healthcare industry with web-based innovations. They are excited to join the Continuous Web community to hopefully find a few co-creators, investors, advisers, or participants to help them take their ideas and initiatives to the next level. During this meetup, we will also discuss why Cincinnati is the perfect place for healthcare-related startups to thrive. We are meeting Wednesday November 9, 2011 at Redtree Gallery in Oakley (Cincinnati, Ohio)  at 6:30pm  .... "

Neuromarketing Standards Draft

Sent along by Ron Wright of Sands Research:

Thank you for attending the Advertising Week NeuroMarketing Forum!
As promised, we are sending you the ARF's white paper summarizing the findings and recommendations from our NeuroStandards Collaboration Project. (This is a pre-production version; a bound, printed version will be available later.)
As you will see in the attached draft of the NeuroMarketing White Paper, the findings are encouraging for the future of neuromarketing as a major player in the advertising research portfolio of any major company. While there are clearly debates to be resolved and additional progress that is needed, we believe three things are certain:
  • Measuring the emotional and unconscious response to advertising is imperative in order to drive effective advertising.
  • Traditional advertising research methods are simply not going to give us the insights needed to address these decisive factors in consumer choice.
  • Neuromarketing methods already offer excellent capabilities in understanding emotional arousal and getting around cognitive biases like "social desirability," and some provide promising capabilities in assessing sentiment (valence), desire, and memory encoding.  
To be sure, a lot of the same considerations that we face in traditional research are no less relevant for neuromarketing studies, when they are to be used as quantitative research: sample size/statistical confidence, the value of experimental design, etc. But, even if large sample sizes are simply not economically or logistically feasible, we should also not be afraid to use neuromarketing techniques qualitatively and early in the creative process. The rewards will quickly become apparent.
Now we move on to phase 2 of NeuroStandards, “How Advertising Works Today” (a.k.a., Neuro 2.0). If the ultimate goal of advertising research is to increase the productivity of advertising investments, quantitative ad research measures with predictive validity across a broad range of products and services are a must. The need for this is as great for traditional measures as it is for the newer ones. The ARF’s “Copy Research Validity Project” published in 1991 was a path-breaking first step in this direction.  But with our new insights about emotion and the emergence of new research options for understanding it, it’s time for a new, robust, comprehensive, definitive evaluation of predictive validity for traditional, neuromarketing, and other “implicit” approaches. That’s what “How Advertising Works Today” (a.k.a. Neuro 2.0) is all about. The first Forum will be on December 7, more information will soon be on the ARF website.
Many thanks for your interest in and support of the ARF and NeuroStandards .... 

Neuromarketing Still Raises Questions

Good thoughts in the AdAge Blog:  Which pushes the Neurostandards Collaboration Project.  Only some 20% of advertising succeeds.  Everyone wants to understand non conscious interactions with the message, but there are still lots of questions.

George Dyson on Innovation and Decisions

Walter Riker sends along a link.  An interview with technology historian and philospher George Dyson on evolution and innovation. " ...  Dyson: I think that we are generally not very good at making decisions. Mostly, things just happen. And there are some very creative human individuals who provide the sparks to drive that process. History is unpredictable, so the important thing is to stay adaptable. When you go to an unknown island, you don’t go with concrete expectations of what you might find there. Evolution and innovation work like the human immune system: There is a library of possible responses to viruses. The body doesn’t plan ahead trying to predict what the next threat is going to be, it is trying to be ready for anything.... "

Have an Augmented Sundae at McDonalds

In the Junaio blog:  The use of augmented reality on a smartphone for merchandising in fast food.   " ... McDonald’s India recently launched their Oreo McFlurry sundae nationwide with a stunning Augmented Reality campaign based on junaio. Pointing the smartphone’s camera at a picture of the tasty dessert let the McFlurry cup suddenly swirl and bounce, with chocolate tablets flying up and exploding chocolate chips all over the creamy surface.... " 

Business Intelligence and Social Networking

New models using social networking.   In Information Management.  While I agree that social netoworking can be useful in delivering and  managing BI work, I think there is still much to do in first finding and developing models of applying it to real businesses.

Designing Drugs with Augmented Reality

From Fastcodesign: How 3-D Printing And Augmented Reality Can Help Design Better Drugs.   Clever idea,  The idea of using the third dimension to augment design has been common for many years.  Leveraging it well for very complex designs can be difficult.   " ...  The reason this approach is worth exploring is that designing drugs comes down to piecing together the molecular structure of their chemical parts in the best possible way, so that they literally latch onto the surface of their targets like a magnetic Tetris piece. Tactile feedback is a very powerful tool for this kind of puzzle-solving, which is where Olson's 3-D-printed models come in--think of it like playing with a Rubik's cube, except the solution may help cure HIV ... "

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Breakthrough Innovations in Technology

Fairly well known.  A good reminder of some hot areas.  In particular the medical records area. 

Royal Society Opens Archives

Just announced.   "  ....  The Royal Society has today announced that its world-famous historical journal archive – which includes the first ever peer-reviewed scientific journal – has been made permanently free to access online. ... "   Impressive from a historical context, but apparently the papers have to be 70 years old before they are freely available.   That is still 60K plus papers.  Worth an exploration.

SIRI vs Clippy

I remember taking a close look at Microsoft's Clippy assistant interface as a replacement for some kinds of software support.  It actually did a fairly good job.  It used Bayesian techniques to determine the context of a need.  I even talked to it's developers with the aim to improve it with local information. Soon afterward it collapsed under a wave of undeserved derision that came with an anti-Microsoft atmosphere. Now we have SIRI as part of the latest Apple OS delivery.    It is not perfect either, though natural language analysis has improved.  Semantic context understanding has also improved.  Again I would like to be able to insert local information to improve its understanding of context. Language Log talks about it in a post.

Decision Support

It is really all about decision support.  Beyond that it is about decision process improvement. " ...   We struggle with questions on supporting decisions, yet what most of the BI industry offers is data, big data, fast data and pretty data   ... ".  Some useful thoughts.  It is not just about the data, but how the data fits to process and decision.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Strategic Planning Smothers Innovation

In Innovation Excellence:   A well put caution, it can hamper innovation, but I think there is still value in using strategic planning as an infrastructure for innovation.

Simulating the Brain

An interesting suggestion that IBM can now simulate 4.5% of the human brain.    It is always dangerous to compare brains and computing machines.    Still not a simulation of the actual capability of the brain, intelligence itself.

Executable English

Interacting with databases via English.   Semantic interpretation of social media and execution:

" .... It could become a next big thing after Twitter and Facebook. Imagine government and other web sites answering an open ended collection of English questions, and also explaining the answers in English.  Imagine government folks and citizens socially networking, Wikipedia-style, to continually expand the range of questions that can be answered. The approach starts from the observation that data by itself is necessary, but not enough, for many practical uses of an intranet or the Web... .  "

Pushing Your Wikipedia Location Information

A nice, simple idea.   Push information based on your current location.   A simple layer includes information contained in Wikipedia: New Wikipedia Layer on Geoloqi Gives You Vision Beyond the Greek Gods

Friday, October 28, 2011

World Changing Games HQ

I missed this when it first came out: Gameful: An HQ for world changing games.  Posited, it appears, by game promoter Jane McGonigal.   Ideas to use game dynamics to change things,  get actual results?  " ... Gameful is an online Secret HQ for gamers and game developers who want to help change the world and make our real lives better. Think of it as a cross between a professional network and a creative brainstorming space. The goal is to make it easy for anyone making or playing world-changing games to find collaborators, mentors, jobs, ideas, and funding. And of course, to discover fun new games to play.... "

Curating Conversations with Storify

Just brought to my attention.    I examined Storify quickly a while back, but this puts a new spin on using it that is worth examining. 

Eliminating the Checkout Line

Not really a self-checkout.  And not an item-tagged RFID enabled checkout, which we also tested.  But here something completely different. A checkout  based on individual item weights. No lines at all.  Described in InsideRetail:  " ... Equipped with highly-sensitive scales, a ShelfX Smart Shelf knows the exact item and quantity of the item being stocked. When a shopper approaches the shelf with an RFID-enabled ShelfX Card to take an item, the ShelfX system greets the customer by name, tells them what they have purchased, offers discounts and additional suggestions based on their customer profile, and processes their payment. On the back-end, the inventory is automatically updated. “The obvious benefit here is for the shopper. They come in, take their items and leave; no hassles, no waiting in lines,” explains Margalit.... " 

Retaining Retired Expertise

As we continue to move through the Baby Boomer bubble, companies understand that they are losing key expertise.  I looked at this problem for the enterprise,  seeking to apply several knowledge management solutions.  We even used artificial intelligence methods in some crucial applications. Another approach is to continue to tie to retired resources.    Several companies have established resources like YouEncore to identify and broker expertise.  A recent CNN article provides statistics and how some companies are addressing this.
" ... YourEncore is a network of retired and veteran scientists and engineers providing our clients with proven experience to help accelerate their pace of innovation. We are uniquely positioned to help our clients recover lost knowledge and to enable them to make remarkable connections to solve challenging problems using expertise from a variety of industries. The connections we make can lead to unique solutions and exceptional results – where our proven Experts collaborate with your organization to add value as they transfer their knowledge and insights without the long-term commitment of a full-time employee ... "

Coke Freeestyle Launches

The Coke Freestyle machine is coming to Firehouse Subs.  An advance in vending.   The link includes a location map.There are several of these in our area and will take a look at in in context.  The touchscreen devices, which we examined in prototype form, offers over 120 separate products.   An example of late stage differentiation and integration of payment and a novel interface.  Are they simple enough for the average person to use?  Just scanning the options could take considerable time.

Healthcare Analytics and Intelligence

Healthcare is probably one of the best areas of opportunity to apply these technologies.  it is also one of the most complex, requiring the involvement of many professionals, imaging, sensors, physical tests, experimental designs and complex record keeping.  IBM pushes forward, continuing AI work started in the 80s:

" ... IBM today said it was rolling out software that will help doctors and insurance companies reduce costs by better analyzing and managing huge amounts of patient data.  IBM said its Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare package will let healthcare professionals go beyond traditional search and analysis of unstructured data by applying predictive root cause analysis, natural language and built-in medical terminology support to identify trends and patterns to achieve clinical and operational insights. IBM added that the processing was similar to the core technology found in its celebrated Watson supercomputer ... "

Productivity via the Interface

Microsoft presents some views of new interface concepts.  Concepts only at this time, but some impressive examples.  Towards more productivity.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Improving Engagement in Saas Applications

Fairly obvious, but useful reminder of the basics in engagements of any kind. 

Is the Moore Party Over?

A short post in CACM on the slowdown of computing.  Or can we await quantum computing to save the day.   There are still good problems out there to address with more speed.

Technology is Too Distracting

More on the distracting aspects of technology, and yes technology can be very distracting.  For we that tend to diverge in attention that can be satisfying.  But even we have to come to focus at times.  Still you can  keep the distraction in check according to your needs, and ultimately I prefer more rather than fewer options to choose from.

New Frameworks for Optimization

I was recently reminded of Charlotte Software Systems, which is in part comprised of parts of several companies I had worked with in the past. They had all been connected with some very useful leading edge techniques that address the complexity of analytical optimization.   It opened my eyes beyond the process of optimization as I had practiced it in the enterprise.  Now they have new things afoot:

New modeling framework announced The upcoming version of the optimization modeling system utilizes a meta-language system for expressing both optimization level models and domain level models in a unified environment. This exciting new version will enable faster implementation of custom optimization systems.

Mobile Resource Scheduler (beta) A beta version of the Mobile Resource Scheduler is now complete ...

Will follow this with more information as it emerges.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Is College Worth the Investment?

Wharton discusses this.  Hardly an objective party, but the thoughts are interesting.   I have been confronted with this topic recently. I was brought up in a world where it was not doubted, where entrepreneurship was very uncommon and where the means to get to information was scarce.  So we signed up.  Now we have all of that, so is it still worthwhile?   Yes, I think, but it is more debatable now.

Bored in Space

You would not think it was possible.  To be bored while in space, with all the tasks to do and the stars and earth to look at.   But apparently it is, and games like the wildly popular 'Angry Birds' will be used to pass the time there.  Our brains do need exercise and games can engage.

Hadoop and IBM do Big Data in the Cloud

I have just started to look at Hadoop, which   " ... enables applications to work with thousands of nodes and petabytes of data. Hadoop was inspired byGoogle's MapReduce and Google File System (GFS) papers.... " 

IBM is starting this effort:
" ... IBM has joined the big-data-in-the-cloud fray, announcing Monday that its Hadoop-based InfoSphere BigInsights product will be available as a service on the IBM SmartCloud platform. Big Blue’s timing for this capability is good, as Hadoop will likely have a far greater presence across public clouds within the next year ..."

Launching Ketchup on Facebook

For their most avid fans, Heinz is launching some new flavors of Ketchup on Facebook.  An interesting example or relatively low involvement products.  But they already have the followers in place who are enthusiastic about their products.  . " ... Heinz is offering a version of its traditional ketchup that is flavored with balsamic vinegar instead of white vinegar. The new offering isn't being sold in stores at first -- it can be ordered via Heinz's Facebook page starting Nov. 14 and will roll out to retailers in late December. Heinz is looking to its more than 825,000 Facebook followers to build buzz for the new product ... "

Short History of the Web at Work

How the web has powered work for 20 years. A brief view of the history and its implications.   It seems like it has been much longer.  What is next?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Changing How Doctors and Patients Interact

I have been examining exactly this question recently.  Is it as simple as SMS messages?  My doctor has a problem with the privacy issue.

Procter & Gamble's Pixel Visualization Room

From the SAS ComBlog:  A description of an effort at Procter & Gamble to provide data visualization and analytics support:

"... P&G colleagues collaborate in what’s called the Pixel Room: a room filled with eight high-resolution monitors that display data visually in a way that makes trends, relationships and anomalies come to life. This, according to Norwood, creates "a different way of working together," allowing everyone to see both the forest and the trees. "You can see an enormous amount of data this way," he said. Norwood cited a specific example of discoveries that a team of modelers and marketers made while looking at sales data for a new product, "correlations they would not have seen if they hadn’t been together asking questions and interacting," he said.... "

Predictive Analytics Resources

I attended an IBM seminar on predictive methods a few weeks ago.  I thought it was well constructed and worth while.  In reviewing some of their material I see that they are supporting work by Prediction Impact, a SF company.  See also IBM's analytics page.  Analytical methods are increasingly empowered by both access to new forms and volumes of data and easy to use applications to drive valuable decision altering directions for businesses big and small.  The opportunities are exploding.  Get on board.

Future of Privacy in a GPS World

With GPS attached to phone and cars and even simpler devices, what is the future of locational privacy?   What are the privacy implications?  By Orin Kerr and others.  And also the more legal implications of a 4th amendment GPS case.

IBM Free Big Data Tablet Tool

IBM Offers Free Big Data Analysis Tool for iPads.     I have recently been looking at tools for tablets that make data easy to visualize quickly.  Will take a look at this.   The specific merchandising example is also interesting:

" ... A new IBM Cognos Mobile free app from IBM's Cognos division makes it easy to explore any type of data on the go with location-aware analytics. Called Cognos on the iPad , the Cincinnati Zoo has used it to give management instant access, and a single view of visitor and business information to drive new revenue and improve member visits. As a result of this analysis, the zoo has increased visitor in-park spending by 25 percent this year ... "

Zakta as a Social Curation Platform

I have mentioned Zakta a number of times here, I have communicated with some of the founders of the idea from inside and outside the enterprise for years.  They are starting write some new and interesting things.   About Zakta as a Platform" ... Zakta is the world's leading Social Curation Platform. Zakta helps power the next generation of social applications with search, curation and collaboration technologies.... ".    I am quoted there.  The use of the word curation is interesting.  It brings experts in specific domains to the increasing amounts of knowledge and data, structured and unstructured,  to determine how that data fits into specific decisions.   Check them out.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Natural User Search Interfaces

In CACM:   On 'Natural' Search User Interfaces:  Users will speak rather than type, watch video rather than read, and use technology socially rather than alone ...

Good thoughts about the future of search.  Some results and research are obvious.  Some less so, such as the socialization of search.

John McCarthy, Father of AI and Lisp Dies

We met John McCarthy at Stanford University, sometime in the 1980s.  He was a very enthusiastic promoter of AI and in particular the use of game playing systems to deliver 'intelligence'. Checkers and Chess were early implementations.  We used his language Lisp on Sun Workstations to implement knowledge based systems for Product development applications. More.

Your Business Channel

Newly brought to my attention YourBusiness Channel.   See also their blog.

A hub for business expertise ... yourBusinessChannel produces and distributes TV quality, engaging online video editorial.A YouTube partner, we have worked with some of the world’s biggest brands as well as celebrated experts to create a catalogue of over 1700 punchy, informative online shows – each offering the audience nuggets of insight, and enhancing the reputation of the businesses involved ...

Clever idea, content linked to businesses 

Pharma Effects Data Sourcing

In Fastcompany:  Adverse Events: Why Big Pharma Is Scared Of This Startup. 

" ... AdverseEvents, Inc. (AEI) is the first service provider to deliver accurate, real-time information on adverse drug events reported to the FDA. AEI utilizes a unique data sourcing method called RxFilter™, a proprietary 17-step data refinement process that standardizes and normalizes the data from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) into a user-friendly, fully searchable, database of over 4,000 approved medications. Over 500,000 medication adverse events are reported yearly to the FDA; estimated to be only 10% of all actual adverse events. .... "

Symphony IRI Group

I was recently reminded of Symphony IRI Group.   " ... Helping the world’s leading CPG, retail and healthcare companies transform insight into impact through innovative solutions and services ... sales, marketing, merchandising, category and brand management, and shopper marketing that result in accelerated performance and growth. SymphonyIRI’s capabilities are supported by revolutionary technology platforms, the integration of unrivaled empirical information on markets, consumers and shoppers from virtually any source, and teams of experts highly experienced in implementing these solutions.... "

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Decision Management Systems: Rules and Analytics

Business Rules and Predictive analytics from SAP.   Link to an excerpt from a forthcoming book that I am looking at now.  This topic has been much in my mind of late.  We know that business process is delivered by rules,  precise or imprecise.  But how can predictive analytics be driven by these very same rules?    A cause for simulation via agents?     Don't know yet if that is covered, but I will explore.

Patents Emerge As Significant Tech Strategy

I have see some evidence of this recently. Even among the smaller players.  Good review of recent big company patent related events ...

" ... Several experts say they expect these patent battles to sort themselves out over the next few years.
Torrance, the law professor, draws a comparison to the early days of the PC when similar skirmishes over patents eventually settled down to "an uneasy peace" where rivals realized they had enough firepower to harm one another. "I think we're in the early stages of a similar battle in mobile computing, which will eventually settle down like it did with PC computing," Torrance said. "But it will take a lot more cases." ... '

Deploying Cloud Computing

On deploying cloud computing.   I had always thought this was easy, just point to other places for your data and services.  But it is not really quite that simple.  This slide show is a good introduction to the enterprise issues.  Also a road map that can be applied to many external service applications.

Lateral Marketing

Philip Kotler speaks about Lateral Marketing.  In Innovation Excellence.  Good thoughts.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

KDDI and Neurosky

A dry-electroode NeuroSky headset and Android App from KDDI that measures your brainwaves.  Accurate and useful for marketing?   Analyzing the brains of soccer fans too.  Or even control your iPhone.  More about Neurosky.

CFO's and the Supply Chain

Have never thought of it in this way, but its a useful thought.  In CFO mag:

"Supply chain and finance are usually seen as separate and conflicting disciplines.

In a retailing or manufacturing company, key performance indicators are typically set by the chief operating officer to maintain high customer-service levels by keeping inventories high. At the same time, the CFO pushes the company’s supply-chain management to reduce inventory as much as possible to avoid the financial burden imposed by high working capital requirements. As a result, supply-chain and financial incentives become misaligned, and efforts to arrive at a compromise can be extremely frustrating for both disciplines. However, it is possible to bridge this divide ... "

Wal-Mart Shares About Social and Technology

If is fairly rare to see Wal-Mart in such an outspoken mood, but they were at the recent ANA conference regarding their marketing and technology directions.  They believe that people want to share.  In AdAge:

" ... Speaking as a marketer at the Association of National Advertisers convention in Phoenix today, Walmart Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn, took on the role of media vendor, too, unveiling a newly developed "Retail Development Kit" aimed at attracting more spending and participation from the small army of suppliers in the room.
"Technology isn't the end, it's a means to an end," he said, "and the end is people want to share." So Walmart is working to redesign every aspect of its consumer marketing and merchandising to be "social by design," he said, such as a recent partnership with Facebook to develop the My Local Walmart app customized to each of the retailer's nearly 3,600 stores -- which he said combines two major initiatives to focus on both community and technology.  It was just one sign of what a difference two years can make ... "

Big Data for the Future

From Recorded Future's blog a new white paper that describes their philosophy: " .... The white paper introduces the three dimensions – time, structure, and metrics -  that we use to structure data. With this information, we can answer questions no other system can address, like “Which heads of state visited Libya in 2010?”, “What pharma companies are releasing new products in the first quarter of 2012”, and “What do French bloggers say about the earthquake in Haiti?”.... "

Valuing the Future

This makes me think about it's application in packages like Recorded Future. Though I have been taught that economic valuation is full of uncertainty, dismal science and all.  Yet valuing future can augment analyses like scenario planning.  " ... real humans behave as if resources do still have a value significantly greater than zero in the distant future, a tendency called hyperbolic discounting that economists say is "irrational" because it is not "time consistent." Under hyperbolic discounting, a person has a strong preference for getting something today rather than tomorrow, but only a weak preference for getting it on day 100 rather than day 101; yet when day 100 arrives, they will strongly prefer to get the resource immediately.... "

Friday, October 21, 2011


A site that covers news and resources in the data mining and predictive analytics realm.  It has been around for a long time and we used it in the enterprise.  Was just reminded of it by the need to scout some software references.

Coke is top Facebook Brand

Good case study on Coke as a brand on Facebook.  Though it started as a brand with global recognition. 

Complex Health Care Networks

Local talk of interest, via Uday Rao: RAOUS@ucmail.uc.edu

You are invited to attend the next Operations and Business Analytics seminar on Friday Oct. 28, 10:30 AM, at the University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business.

Title: Coordinating Care Services in Complex Health Care Networks

Speaker: Jonathan Helm, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Date, Time, Location: Friday, October 28, 2011 – 10:30 AM – 108 Carl H. Lindner Hall, University of Cincinnati.

Please feel free to advertise this seminar as appropriate. More information available at

Hyatt House Extended Stay

In 2003 I participated in a brainstorming innovation workshop for the hotel industry in Helsinki.  We went far and wide to construct some new ideas about the social context of how hotels would operate in the future.  In particular how technology would interact with place to provide comfort and value relationships.  In this latest Hyatt idea, a 'house' extended stay venue.  I see some of those same ideas reflected there.  Nice direction. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crowdsourcing for Intelligence

In the CACM:  University studies crowdsourcing for intelligence.  " ... The U.S. intelligence community is studying how to tap the power of crowdsourcing through a multi-university effort.  George Mason University professors Charles Twardy and Kathryn Laskey are organizing an online team of more than 500 forecasters who make educated guesses about a series of world events. Their team will vie with four other teams at several universities for grant money supplied by the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).... "

3M Visual Attention Service Update

We examined the 3M VAS Attention Service scanning tool several times,  some new developments.  Press release. An Explanatory video.  Worth looking at  closely, free trial available.

" ...3M launches the fourth generation of its Visual Attention Service (VAS) scanning tool, with new video capabilities and sequencing features. VAS - viewed by marketers as a more convenient and affordable alternative to eye tracking – enhances the visual impact of professional design across advertising, marketing, and all forms of digital and print media, increasing the probability that the most desired elements will get noticed.

VAS analyzes video to illustrate how people are most likely to interact with any scene and identify where the average human eye will focus at any given moment – a capability invaluable to those looking to predict consumers’ visual journey in retail environments, and how that journey plays into the path to purchase. New sequencing capabilities demonstrate the sequence of fixation points where the human eye is most likely to pay attention in the first few seconds of viewing an image. Customized setting options for direct mail/email and in-store contexts automatically take into account how human vision interacts with different viewing circumstances.

Additional applications include:
Product placement
Packaging design
Point-of-sale displays and signage
Television and infomercials
Film trailers
Rich media advertising and other online video
Direct marketing   ....

Customer Base Analysis

I see that long time correspondent Professor Peter Fader at Wharton has an upcoming workshop on Probability analysis of the customer base. This is an area I did work on in the enterprise.   Important things to think about.:  

" ... Customer-base analysis seeks to use information on the history of customer purchase patterns to address forward-looking questions such as: (1) Which individuals are most likely to be active (or inactive) customers in a future period of time? (2) What will the aggregate and disaggregate purchase patterns look like for a group of customers in the future period? (3) What will be the “customer lifetime value” for a group of customers listed in the firm’s database? An increasingly large number of practitioners have been charged by senior management to obtain valid answers to these kinds of questions, but unfortunately their skills – and the set of commonly available commercial tools – are not well-suited for these important tasks.... "

Research on Social Networks for Business Planning

I reported previously about DemandTec developing collaborative, social networking based interaction for business plans.   They are about to reveal some business research they have sponsored at an Orlando conference.  Will follow with thoughts on that:

" ... The primary research uncovers key industry insights ranging from joint value driven by retailer/manufacturer collaboration to best practices for avoiding trade promotion management pitfalls. The research surveyed leading consumer products manufactures and retailers, and covered critical industry topics including trade promotion management and the retailer perspective on marketplace dynamics.

“We are excited the research findings further demonstrate that a collaborative approach to building business plans delivers significant value for both trading partners,” said Derek Smith, Vice President of Field Marketing at DemandTec. “On the DemandTec network, manufacturers and retailers can collaboratively make promotion, assortment, and pricing decisions to drive win-win strategies.” ... '

Hybrid Media

Like the article says, I am also becoming tired of social media marketing.  Yet, there are lots of people assembling 'there', so it makes sense to be there as well.  But it does not replace mainstream yet, and perhaps will not before it morphs again to something else.  So, yes, hybrid please.

Circles of Trust

In Visual Complexity:  An intriguing visualization about circles of trust.  I have been experimenting with a related topic that deal with 'circles of competencies' in the health care area.   Introduces some further thoughts that were originally brought up by Google Plus.  " ... The Circle of Trust is an interface data-visualization experiment using Google+ API and HTML5. In an effort to understand how asymmetric relationship networks are at Google Plus, the authors made a simple algorithm to visualize who are the people inside your circle of trust and who are the people outside ... "

Beating Humans

Wired: A Lego NXT and a smart phone beat a human in solving the Rubiks cube.   Intelligence advances.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

At Atlanta Southface

I presented and interacted at Atlanta Southface today about the gathering ad democratizing enviuronemental sensor data.   " ... For more than 30 years, Southface has promoted comfortable, energy-, water-, and resource-efficient homes, workplaces and communities throughout the Southeast.  Today, we continue this important mission through the example of our award-winning Eco Office, a building that uses 84 percent less water and 53 percent less energy than comparably sized conventional commercial facilities; through our Resource Center, which showcases more than 100 residential green building innovations; and through our education programs, hands-on technical assistance, advocacy and research work.  Southface believes the marketplace is the greatest force for environmental change. As a result, we focus on entrepreneurial initiatives that benefit the environment. We are proud to partner extensively with business, government and community leaders to deliver programs and services that support environmentally sound building practices ... " 

Adding Interactivity to Real Objects

Augmenting reality by adding interactivity to real objects.  From Engadget:

" ...We'd seen Intel Lab's Oasis (Object-Aware Situated Interactive System) project a while back, and sure, while what it's showing off is the same, we love to get up close and personal. Using a Kinect-style camera, the system is able to recognize 3D objects on a surface and then project some nifty graphics to add interactivity. Placing the dragon near the house or train station sees them light on fire, drop a firetruck in and it puts out the fire, add a train then draw a track in front of it by dragging your finger, you get the idea. Intel Labs isn't bringing any of this to market -- at least not yet -- but we're enthused with what we see and look forward to what the folks with the crayons can dream up. Have a peek at the vid and gallery if trains, burning Lego people, fire breathing dragons, and firetrucks are your thing ... "

And with Legos.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Challenge Your Culture

You should really question your own culture.  In the HBR  blog.   " .. The truth is that most leaders don't know how to develop a useful picture of their organization's culture, which is why they resort to platitudes. However when managers can better articulate the behavioral patterns that constitute the culture, they can determine which behaviors facilitate results — and which behaviors should be avoided ... "

Refinding E-Mail

Is it worth it to formally organize your eMail by placing messages in folders?  To facilitate re-finding specific correspondence?  I have done that since nearly the beginning of e-Mail, and especially since the emergence of classifying rules could be constructed to file the mail away.  Yet an IBM study says its not worth the effort?  The comments on this in Slashdot are useful as well.

Analytics Transforming Business

Analytics Will Transform Business.  In Paul Gillin's blog.   I agree, having delivered analytical solutions for over thirty years in the enterprise.   Need help?  Contact me and I will  be glad to provide some of our operational and technical methods. "  ... In his book, The New Know, Thornton May makes a case for data analysis becoming the next frontier of corporate evolution. Having spent the past 15 years getting their transaction systems in place, businesses will now turn their attention to making sense of the massive amounts of data they are collecting ... "

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pie Charts?

In Junkcharts: Good comparison example between pie and bar chart showing the same information.  Agree, the effort and complexity it requires to analyze an equivalent pie chart is not worth it.

GE Grid IQ Center Visit

I will be at the GE Grid IQ Center tomorrow as part of an innovation summit.   Looks to be an interesting venue similar to our innovation centers.

 " ... Request a tour GE's Grid IQ™ Experience Center is located in the company's new Smart Grid Center of Excellence in Atlanta, GA. Grid IQ™ is GE's company-wide commitment to solving our customers' toughest challenges in innovative ways with more efficient, reliable and sustainable energy solutions. From generation to consumption, GE is modernizing the grid to meet the world's growing capacity, environmental and security needs. The state-of-the-art, interactive Experience Center educates utilities, consumers, regulators and policy makers about the global energy landscape, and GE's technologies that can modernize our electrical grid and empower consumers with information to better manage their energy use.... "

Adaptable Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses that can change their prescription.   This has been done with adaptable optics on telescopes for some time, so why not?

Web Semantics in the Cloud

Search and meaning in the Cloud, from Computing Now:

" ... In the last two years, the amount of structured data made available on the Web in semantic formats has grown by several orders of magnitude. On one side, the Linked Data effort has made available online hundreds of millions of entity descriptions based on the Resource Description Framework (RDF) in data sets such as DBPedia, Uniprot, and Geonames. On the other hand, the Web 2.0 community has increasingly embraced the idea of data portability, and the first efforts have already produced billions of RDF equivalent triples either embedded inside HTML pages using microformats or exposed directly using eRDF (embedded RDF) and RDFa (RDF attributes). Incentives for exposing such data are also finally becoming clearer. Yahoo!'s SearchMonkey, for example, makes Web sites containing structured data stand out from others by providing the most appropriate visualization for the end user in the search result page. It will not be long, we envision, before search engines will also directly use this information for ranking and relevance purposes—returning, for example, qualitatively better results for queries that involve everyday entities such as events, locations, and people.... " 

Stanford Mobisocial

Discovered via examining the Muse system:

Stanford Mobisocial  Mission:

To create disruptive mobile and social computing technology that serves consumers' interests and benefits the economy in the long term.  
Our focus is to let everyone interact socially with each other, without having to join the same proprietary social network.
The success of the project lies in making it FUN for the users and EASY for software developers.
We will create:

  • Novel and attractive social interaction paradigms
  • Seamless social experience across hybrid devices
  • Open, egalitarian social and mobile computing architecture and platform
  • SocialKit: open-source software for phones, tablets, PCs, TVs for creating social-network agnostic applications.
  • Compelling representative applications
  • Real-life trials
  • A development community ...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Muse: Tracking Email Stats and Connections

Something we developed internally, but were always looking to find.  A method to track social connections in Email.  Article in New Scientist on Muse, a method to do just that.  Does sentiment and a form of content analysis.   From Sunheendra Hangal and colleagues at Stanford.

Update: I tested the Muse system with a database of 14,324 email messages.    Slow, but it does work, taking about two hours to index the messages.  It is sorely in need of an ontology and a way to more closely embed the semantics of the context being used.  Will further read the paper that describes it in more detail.

Brain Informatics: aka Neuroinformatics

In the latest issue of IEEE Intelligent Systems,  a number of articles on Brain Informatics. 

"  .. an emerging interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research field that focuses on studying the mechanisms underlying the human information processing system. BI investigates the essential functions of the brain, ranging from perception to thinking, and encompassing such areas as perception, emotion, memory, language, heuristic search, reasoning, planning, decision making, problem solving, discovery, and creativity. ...  ".

    A deeper dive here would be very useful for promoters of such areas as neuromarketing,  where I have observed rather poor application of data management, statistical and analytical methods.   See in particular the overview aricle 'Brain Informatics' ,by Zhong, Bradshaw, Lin and Taylor.

I note that this area has more commonly been called 'Neuroinformatics'The WP has a good introductory aricle.

Army App Store

The DOD Army App store is scheduled to be launched in November.  An interesting development.  I worked with the DOD for several years in the system simulation area and this would have been very useful to have.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Meaningful Brands

Just pointed out to me:  Consumer Brand Attachment Proven to Create Value.    From Kompas Strategy.

Google to Shutter Buzz, Shift Emphasis to Google+

I had started to back off from Google Buzz and saw others doing that as well.   It stayed alive only because of its tie-in to GMail.  You could see all the messages on your mail screen.    Now will + survive?   Can it compete with Facebook?     And will it transform Google?    Additional Commentary on this. 

Metaio Augmented Reality Thing

From Metaio, which I have been following with regard to augmented reality solutions.  Here again in the entertainment business.    A similar thing we see in the Gamification business, looking at short-engagement interactions.    How can we do it when the goal is not entertainment but continued engagement?

Metaio and Universal Pictures Amp Up the Suspense with The Thing Mobile Ap
Android & iOS users may battle the shape-shifting creature with flamethrowers in a virtual 360° environment and “infect” themselves using augmented reality app

SAN FRANCISCO OCTOBER 12, 2011- metaio has teamed with Universal Pictures to create a first-of-its-kind virtual and Augmented Reality mobile app to promote the thriller The Thing, in theaters October 14. The free app features a 360° flamethrower game in which players must use their weapons to survive attacks from invasive creatures that come at them from all sides. Players may also “Infect” themselves, which uses facial recognition elements to show what it looks like when invaded by The Thing! Users may then upload the photos and share the horrific results with their friends.... "

Your Salespeople are not Pushy Enough

In the HBR blog, some interesting techniques and thoughts on this.  I have dealt with many salespeople and this makes sense.  Not that I would like it from the receiving end.  Positive confrontation with confidence.

Grocer Integrated Digital Platform

A useful example of a platform that provides a hybrid solution to grocery:
"... MyWebGrocer, leading provider of digital solutions to the grocery and consumer packaged goods industries, recently added the Midwest division of Piggly Wiggly, which operates 102 grocery stores throughout Wisconsin and Illinois has launched a completely integrated digital platform across web, mobile, and social media channels. The grocer worked with MyWebGrocer’s to deploy the vendor’s digital shopping solutions, which give customers access to planning tools including online circulars, personalized shopping lists, coupons and recipes.... "

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mindjet for IPhone and IPad are now Free

I used Mindjet extensively in the enterprise.  Promoted it and taught it.   It inspired us to think about the process of 'knowledge mapping' more generally.   Admittedly I moved to a free mind mapping package for my phone and tablet.  It is amazing how persuasive 'free' can be.  It is good to see that the Mindjet mobile Apps are now free, so I will certainly give it a try there.   I see there are also a number of new collaborative features for the package that are worth exploring.

More About the Second Screen

More in Mashable about a Nielsen study about how people use smartphones and tablets when watching TV.  The phenomenon of the second screen. You wonder what it does to the way we gather and relate to information.  One background stream and another controllable.

" ... What are we doing on those devices? More than half of smartphone or tablet owners are checking email during programs and commercial breaks, while around 45% are surfing the web for unrelated information. Some 42% are visiting social networking sites — a trend that is greater among women — and nearly a third are checking sports scores or looking up information related to the TV program they’re watching.... "

Wolfram Mathematica Conference Available Free

I see that all the presentations and keynotes from the  recent Wolfram Mathemetica virtual conference are available online.  I have just started to examine some of the presentations.  Great content.   Here is the home page of the conference.

What Shoppers Want in an App

From the FMI Daily Lead,  makes sense.
What consumers want from their supermarket's app : Consumers' top three interests for grocery mobile applications are receiving weekly sales updates, location-specific advertising and deals, and assistance in making grocery lists, according to FMI's U.S. Grocery
Shopper Trends 2011 report.

MIT/Stanford Venture Lab on Augmented Reality

An upcoming meeting on the venture future of augmented reality.  AR has a good future in retail as a means to effectively combine online and physical spaces.   It eases the iteraction of shopper with multiple channels.   I have seen some interesting examples, but not really useful ones as yet.  Want to see more.

ParAccel and MicroStrategy

We had some conversations with ParAccel a while back.  I note that they have announced an effort with Microstrategy on social media analytics.  Worth examining further as well as ParaAccel itself.  Would appreciate any thoughts about this interaction.

Virtual Learning with Smartphones

A case study of using Smartphones to engage with the learning process.  " ... The users are given a smartphone that has access to more than 15 virtual course modules with topics ranging from confidence-building to interview techniques, with the goal of improving employment potential and opportunities through education. The mCommunity project was developed using Zimbie, an instant messaging and social networking service, which was used to create a flexible communication and virtual learning platform.... "

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Merchandising Across Channels

Good report in RIS News:  " ... This month’s Vendor Landscape focuses on customer-centric merchandising solutions that work not only on the physical store level, but the online and mobile channels as well. These targeted and end-to-end solutions cover merchandise planning, store planning, store clustering, assortment planning, space planning and allocation/replenishment. RIS lists some of the major merchandising vendors and highlights some recent retailer deployments.... ".

I see that my recent correspondent DemandTec is mentioned.  Good overall read.

Accurate ForecastingGiant Food Stores is using the Lifecycle Price Optimization and End-to-End Promotion Management merchandising solutions from DemandTec. Key benefits from the solutions include improving the productivity of its pricing team, better aligning specific pricing actions with its corporate pricing strategy, more accurately forecasted promotions and a streamlined deal management process that improves efficiency and reduces errors. .... Consumer Centric Merchandising and Marketing Part of the DemandTec network, retailers can use the network to plan, evaluate, forecast and execute pricing and assortment strategies and promotion plans, collaborating directly with their trading partners ... Key clients are Target, Ahold and Best Buy.

Card Deck Invention Games

Mind Hacks discusses the use of card decks for innovation.    A game prompting invention.   Several card deck examples I had not heard of.    We used this technique for brainstorming.  Its like a disruptive check list.  It helps to shuffle the cards before using.  They work better than a check list because they help focus on each point being made.  They are also tactile and involve another sense in the process. 

GS1 Standards Conference Report

In the Enterprise I participated in a number of presentations by GS1 " ... an international not-for-profit association dedicated to the development and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across multiple sectors. The GS1 System of standards is the most widely-used supply-chain standards system in the world.... " 

GS1 publishes a wealth of useful information that derives directly from the industry itself.  See for example their post conference report for an Industry and Standards event in Cologne, Germany.  Essential reading for understanding the supply chain.

Managing Workforce With Analytics

We used BI and Analytical  methods early on in the enterprise in HR and it was very useful.  More here in Business Finance: Business analytics offers a fresh take on workforce development.

Where Facebook is not Used

In FlowingData:   A fascinating map that shows where on earth Facebook is not being used.  Fairly universal.

The CKO in the Healthcare Data Explosion

Stan Dyck sends along this post from Healthcare IT News, very true about the explosion of healthcare data:

“ ....  Chief knowledge officer (CKO) is an emerging role we are beginning to see,” Cindy Zak, director of health information and privacy officer at Milford Hospital in Milford, Conn., told her audience at the convention ... Zak, who spoke on a panel about EHR innovations, said healthcare is experiencing an “information explosion.” ... “What are we going to with all this information?” she asked. “How are we going to use it to innovate? There is a need for someone to champion the use of information.” She proffered that when meaning is applied to data, it becomes information. And when information is shared, it becomes knowledge that can be applied to an end – treating a patient.... ' 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sleep App

Skeptical of its value, but will mention to a sleep disorder doctor.  Another example of sensor driven Apps, An App to Help You Sleep Better: By measuring your brain waves and tracking your sleep phases, Zeo's data helps you sleep more soundly--assuming you follow its advice ... '

Navy Chooses InferX

A short time ago I started to look at InferX, a company that implements data mining and alerting techniques.  A topic we explored extensively in the enterprise.   I see that they recently announced a large contract with the US Navy. " ... to provide advanced analytics and data-mining support services for enhancing critical US Navy business processes and managing budget planning systems.... " . 

The connection of these methods directly to processes is of particular interest.  You want to connect analytics to what is going on in your company and have it alert you to opportunities, and further outline what the next steps will be to produce value.   I plan to construct some case studies using InferX and other providers of analytics to show how this can be done.   Want to join up with me?  Let me know.

This Blog Promotes Analytics

One of the purposes of this blog is to promote the use of analytical methods in retail, manufacturing, research, marketing and beyond.  Want to use my over thirty years experience in this space to promote your methods?  Send along an overview of your approach.  I will review, and if it matches the needs of my readership, will post about it here.  If you want a deeper dive or help in promoting it to my clients, contact me at the address in the left column.   I am available for in-depth consulting or to create a promotion channel for  promoting your ideas to my many readers and clients. Business Intelligence and analytics is here,  use it.

On Procrastination

In the HBR Blog:  What it is and how to stop it.  My experience is that everyone has it and is always looking for ways to do more of it.  Today with devices aplenty it is easier than ever.  " ... It seems that no one is immune to the tendency to procrastinate. When someone asked Ernest Hemingway how to write a novel, his response was "First you defrost the refrigerator." But putting off tasks takes a big hit on our productivity, and psyche. Procrastination is not inevitable. Figuring out why you postpone work and then taking concrete steps to prevent it will help you get more done and feel good about yourself..... "

Wal-Mart Uses Local Messaging

In ADAge:    An interesting and potentially historical shift: " ... Walmart is launching a Facebook app that customizes marketing for each of its nearly 3,600 U.S. stores, allowing tailored communications about local deals, events or limited-distribution products. Eventually, Walmart also hopes to use the My Local Walmart app to grow its site-to-store e-commerce program and evolve it into an individualized marketing program, said Stephen Quinn, chief marketing officer for Walmart U.S., in a telephone press conference ... ".     They will have to show real value to get people to load up another App, but there is considerable value in this 'local' idea.  Perhaps linking it to other local news and services.  Watch this.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Package Scanning by Pepsi

Another good example of the use of QR codes on packaging:

" ... New Pepsi cans and bottles for The X Factor campaign are now appearing in stores. Three-hundred million cases of product will feature the new branding alongside an interactive call to action, one that favors mobile photo-sharing over QR code-scanning. “By using our packaging as digital media and as a conduit in to the show, we are bringing the physical and digital worlds together for Pepsi consumers and Shiv Singh, Pepsi’s global head of digital, says.... " 

Post Work World

Are we heading for a post-work world?  Are the robots or their kin taking over? Asks the Transparency Revolution.  " ... Specifically, what if post-industrial society is creating an infrastructure that just doesn’t need humans as much as it used to? Or at all? If that’s the case, we have our work cut out for us. We will have to come up with an organizational model for society that replaces employment as we have known it. Or such a model will have to emerge ... "

Innovation as a Day Job

A good post in Innovation Excellence by Jeffrey Phillips.  I used to have innovation as my day job.  It was expected as a means to support the work in the innovation centers and to provide innovation to a broad range of people within the company who needed help with analytical methods. 

Training Bacteria to Grow Consumer Goods

An approach I had not heard of before. This looks to be still in the very early stages of usefulness.  The use of the term 'provocation' here as opposed to the simpler 'experiment' is also not useful.

 " ... designers at IDEO have teamed up with scientists at the Lim Lab at the University of California, San Francisco to envision a "provocation" (that's designer-ese for thought experiment) in which they explore the possibilities of exploiting known properties of microorganisms to literally "grow" the products we use every day. The ultimate goal of their collaboration is to "program" any desired shape through a combination of manipulations carried out in the lab--from genetic engineering to novel growth media .... "

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Viewing Assortment Optimization Through Shopper Decision Trees

I was asked to take a look at DemandTec's new site and provide some commentary on the redesign  and their approaches.  I went quickly to assortment choices and shelf planning, which  are something I had examined very early on in my analytics career.

We were always looking at ways to analytically describe which products should be included in retail and where they should be placed.

It can be analytically described, but the resulting number of combinations are daunting.  We did work in this area for parts of categories, using IBM's behemoth MPSX package,  as early as the late 60's.

When  I arrived much later on I was asked to look at the systems involved.  You could not solve all of the problem, but you could satisfactorily do very useful things for parts of the shelf and aisle. Then use them as building blocks to understand the entire store.

It was understood early on that such planning needed to be done collaboratively.    In particular between humans acting as designers, and computers that could handle the sheer quantity of information involved.  It was also clear that there was a need to have long term design stability, so as to not confuse the shopper and effectively support brand loyalty.

This turned out to be done best my having people adjust the computer generated design. Then re-evaluate the results.   You also needed to think about how the shopper reacted when their favorite item was moved or disappeared. Where would they go?  What was next?  Think of it as a decision tree of choices.  That is what we ultimately considered.

The complete implications of any particular assortment choice was often not considered completely from the perspective of the shopper.

This was where I particularly enjoyed DemandTec's overview, and  their view of  " ... the shopper, their decision trees, and the marginal additional value of each SKU to the equation, manufacturers and retailers can work together more effectively to delight shoppers and build customer loyalty ... ".  

Ultimately it is about the shopper and how they interact with shelf and purchase.  The right assortment produces value for retailer, manufacturer and shopper.

See their overview, and their Assortment optimization brief.

What's Holding You Back?

Mark Montgomery of Kyield  posts a good review of Robert Herbold's new book: What's Holding You Back?   Herbold is the former Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft and was my boss at Procter & Gamble.  He was a big supporter of what is now called business analytics.

Vision Improving App

A smartphone App that improves vision.   No review on its practicality.   " ....  Polat's software trains users to detect patterns called Gabor patches - blurry lines created by varying a grey background. In a typical training session, the user fixates on a white circle, which then gives way to a rapid succession of images. Some are blank, but others show Gabor patches at different places on the screen, one of which will appear where the circle was  ... "

Smellit: Remotely Generating Smells

The remote digital delivery of smells and even fragrances was something we experimented with.   The intention was to be able to dial up an aroma at the shelf and selectively engage shoppers  in retail.  Unfortunately, despite the hype, the methods were unable to precisely deliver the smells.  Now,  another  attempt at the same idea.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Mindsign and 3D Ads

In ReadWriteWeb:Mindsign uses fMRI to analyze Cooliris ads with neuromarketing methods. So what do they get from it?

Retailer Innovation in China

MJ Perry about Innovation in China.   Where he quotes:  WSJ Asia Technology article "China Frets: Innovators Stymied Here ... How likely is it?   Our own experience with retail  innovation in China seemed to indicate their desire to copy rather than come up with things that were truly  new.  Yet once the direction was chosen, they could be remarkably tenacious.   They could be unabashed about taking advice,  as consultants we were shown in the annual report of a major Chinese retailer.

Hanlon's Razor

Some reading reminded me of the principle of Hanlon's razorNever attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.  ... Though I recall this was sometimes dangerous to invoke within some organizations.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Will the E-Book Kill the Footnote?

In the Sunday NYT.    A breezy look at those old style sources of more information.   I like the presence of more information.   I prefer hyperlinks, but they only work if they are there and live.  I don't think footnotes of some form will ever disappear.


I had the opportunity to talk to InferX yesterday.  A company that uses distributed data mining techniques to work on business analysis and fraud problems.  From both structured and unstructured data.  Currently working with health care, financial and government clients.  Their approaches reminded me of our own  enterprise work in AI derived data mining with text data.  Will report on them further as I examine.

On Indoor GPS

I looked at this topic for location applications in retail, and I see this article in Emerging Technology on a number of vendors in the area.  I know there are others, including ZuluTime, which has launched a number of applications in the area.   Accuracy is very important indoors to support location decisions.

Business of Certainty

In Fast Company:

" ... Foresight Is 20/20: Predictive Analytics And The Business Of Certainty ...  Want to make really smart decisions for your company? It's simple as looking into the future and assessing the data--a service that a few young companies dealing in "predictive analytics" are selling  .. "

Good piece, although predictive analytics is not certain, because both the data it uses, and the methods involved include uncertainty.  We dealt with these kinds of models for many years, and started to develop metrics about how you combined predictions with decisions. 

ThinkVine and Marketing Mix Modeling

Local company ThinkVine, who I worked with in the Enterprise, sends along this press release on marketing mix technologies.   Excellent work.  Note the mention of agent-based methods to address these problems.

 ThinkVine, a marketing optimization software company that helps marketers optimize their return across all of their marketing investments including traditional media, digital & other emerging media and price & promotional offers, has been named a Leader by Forrester Research, Inc.  in The Forrester WaveTM: Marketing Mix Modeling, Q3 2011. 

"... According to Forrester, “ThinkVine’s biggest strength is its focus on modeling how a group of consumers actually behaves when exposed to a communication or a promotional or a social activity.”

Forrester named ThinkVine a Leader and scored it the highest rated Current Offering in the space because of its innovative, agent-based approach to mix modeling and its robust technologies. ThinkVine’s unique methodology uses a system of “agents” that are trained to behave and react to marketing activities as real people. Highlights of why ThinkVine is a Leader:

·         Highest Rated Marketing Mix Current Offering
·         Highest Growing Marketing Mix Vendor for 2010 new business  in the Report
·         Unique, Consumer-Centric, Agent-Based Methodology ...

Click HERE to download a copy of the September 2011 Wave report.  Click HERE to register for a November 1st webinar with Luca Paderna, Vice President, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research (Wave author).

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Priming With Lies

In MindHacks, the post mentions facial coding, which we experimented with:
A beautifully recursive study has shown that viewing an episode of the psychology of deception TV series Lie To Me makes people worse at distinguishing truth from lies.
The TV series is loosely based on the work of psychologist Paul Ekman who pioneered the study of emotions and developed the Facial Action Coding System or FACS that codes even the slightest of changes in facial expression ... "

Nielsen Relates Buzz to TV Ratings

An interesting result.  Yet not overly surprising to me.  People who have lots of spare time?   " ...  Today Nielsen, the venerable measurement service, shed light on the question of how online social media "buzz" relates to TV ratings. It seems that within a few weeks prior to the premiere of a new television show, a nine percent increase in social media comments correlates to a one percent increase in ratings among people aged 18 to 34, who are the most active social networkers. Later in the TV season, it takes a 14 percent increase in buzz to correspond to a one percent increase in ratings. This correlation is statistically significant, and the analysis is the first to make such a link, according to Radha Subramanyam, Nielsen's senior vice president of media analytics.... "

Kodak Disrupted

Less than a decade ago we visited Kodak R&D and were impressed by their work with digital camera capabilities.   It looked like they were making the transition to digital cameras and memories.  Though that is not the way it ultimately turned out.  Today most images are taken on phones and without the need to pay Kodak for film. Though their R&D was impressive,  they were late to the party.  A good view of the transition from the Financial times.

Oracle Big Data Analytics Appliance

Continued competition, here from Oracle, to produce high speed appliances for big data.  Shows the increasing need for business intelligence platforms.  Note the inclusion of the R open source stat package, also good for data visualization.

 "  The Oracle Big Data Appliance is an engineered system that includes an open source distribution of Apache Hadoop, the Oracle NoSQL database, the Oracle Data Integrator Application Adapter for Hadoop, the Oracle Loader for Hadoop and an open source distribution of R. R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics..... "

Cheapest Tablet

I followed the hundred dollar laptop project for years.  Now we have the $35 tablet. Designed for the rural poor in India. " ... The computer, called Aakash, or "sky" in Hindi, is the latest in a series of "world's cheapest" innovations in India that include a 100,000 rupee ($2,040) compact Nano car, a 750 rupee ($15) water purifier and $2,000 open-heart surgery. Developer Datawind is selling the tablets to the government for about $45 each, and subsidies will reduce that to $35 for students and teachers. In comparison, the cheapest Apple iPad tablet costs $499, while the recently announced Kindle Fire will sell for $199.... "

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Visual Teams Book

See a report on correspondent David Sibbet's new book:  Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, and High Performance.  To be released by October 11.  Congratulations David, great work as always.  Second book in his upcoming trilogy.