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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Linking Purchasing Behavior to Brands

New Database of Interest. Full of analytic possibilities:

US— WPP companies Millward Brown and Kantar Shopcom have created a panel to link buying behaviour to people’s attitudes to brands.

Kantar Shopcom, part of Kantar Retail, tracks the purchases of more than 200 million US consumers using data from frequent shopper cards.  By combining that with survey responses, the new panel is designed to show how marketing efforts and changes in brand equity influence sales .. "

Companies and Big Data

A long post on how companies can use data to be disruptive.   Scattered but useful information to scan.  All companies create data, and you might as well leverage that to be more efficient and profitable.

On Creating Flavors

I worked for some time on using business analytics methods to create coffee flavors.  Here CBS 60 Minutes  talks about creating flavors.    As might be expected for them they develop a 'hit' angle regarding the addictive aspect of flavors.  Yes, all good flavors are 'addictive' in some sense.  Like CBS news is trying to be sensationally addictive to the right audience.

" ... Most consumers probably don't think twice about the process to create a piece of gum or a bottle of flavored water, but behind these products is a long line of scientists and flavorists who work hard to find the right flavor notes that will have items flying off the shelves. The largest flavoring company in the world, Givaudan, took "60 Minutes" behind the scenes to search for flavors in Mother Nature that are then reproduced in labs and turned into products consumers see on grocery shelves ... " 

Google Business Photo Tours

Google giving business tours.  Stepping inside from just giving the street view.   I like the general idea.

More on Procter & Gamble Virtual Retail

I mentioned in a previous post P&G building virtual retail spaces and using this idea to better understand the shopping consumer.  Now an article about how they are outsourcing the management of some 20 P&G virtualization centers to Accenture.  A example of how virtual solutions can lead to effective innovation centers. See my previous note and links to this.  Interested further in this idea?  Contact me.  Includes a PDF link with more information.

Applied Concept Mapping

I recently met with Brian Moon of Perigean Technology,  practitioner of the what is called 'Concept Mapping', an advanced form of what is also called mind mapping.  We have used it in the enterprise for years and it a well worn part of my tool box for process understanding and consulting.  He has an excellent book out which describes specifically how we used it in the company.   See Applied Concept Mapping.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Neuromarketing Grows in China

Steve Sands of SandsResearch reports on neuromarketing activity in China.  The link below has considerable detail:

It's the fastest growing market and neuromarketing's the fastest growth area of market research.  A great combination.From Shanghai to Beijing, we have completed copytesting, product testing and website design studies for the world's global brand leaders. Working closely with our in country partner, Brain Intelligence Neuro-Consultancy, we have the ability to assist your marketing efforts as you expand and build your market share in China.

Let us know how we may help you in this rapidly growing market.

With best regards,
Dr. Steve Sands

Chairman of Sands Research Inc.
Adjunct Professor, Taishan Medical University (Taian, Shandong)

Visualizing Lots of Data Artfully

I like doing things artfully, but I always prioritize being able to objectively understand and interact with data first beyond sheer 'Form'.  Nevertheless the following TED talk  shows some useful techniques that might be used beyond the art as well.

Know What Your Customers Want

The power of knowing what your customers want before they do.  By Thomas H Davenport

Monday, November 28, 2011

iPads in Marketing

Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Unilever writes: “The iPad replaced my laptop when I am traveling” ...

Aetna Sponsors an RFP Challenge

The Speaker is BJ Fogg head of Stanford's Persuasive Technology lab who we used in several projects in the enterprise:  Aetna sponsors a Challenge: " ... Seniors are plagued by disability, declining health, and social isolation. And the system as it stands today isn’t supporting them. We’re completely rethinking what’s currently out there to start making helpful stuff seniors and their caregivers actually want..... ".   Real prizes!  See the link for more information.

Guy Kawasaki Visits Cincinnati and P&G

Innovative Guy Kawasaki visits Cincinnati and P&G and takes pictures of the background and industrial processes.  I did something like this years ago but they didn't let me take pictures. Security has mellowed considerably.  Via Jose Guerra.

Towards a Taxonomy of All Things

Towards a taxonomy of all things.  Which would be a very useful thing but turns out to be quite difficult.

DemandTec Forecast Lift Patent

I have been following long-time correspondent DemandTec more closely in the past months.  Here is another item of interest: " ... The latest patent covers techniques developed by DemandTec that enable users to analyze the forecasted volume lift resulting from changes in prices and promotional activity over multiple user-defined product groups. These calculations take into account both the direct impact of pricing and promotional decisions as well as the interactions between products, enabling a more holistic impact assessment. The techniques can be applied to a variety of transaction aggregations such as store, price zone, or shopper segment.... "

Delta Airline Baggage App

I have spent nearly a lifetime business traveling with Delta airlines all over the globe and I have lots of problems with their service.  But I see that they have created a Smartphone App to let you track your bags.  Have not tried it yet, but a good idea.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SAS Paper on Text Analytics

A good complimentary SAS white paper on the uses of text analytics.  Does require registration:

" ... Discover how to maximize the value of information within large quantities of free-form text, such as e-mail, news articles, tweets, blog posts, text messages and more.

Learn how text analytics will enable you to yield insight into marketing, customer service, public relations, product innovation and competition.

Find out how to automatically extract relevant information and reveal patterns, sentiments and relationships among documents ... "

Tips for Google Search

We have all done lots of Google searches.  Yet we do not know all the possibilities of search.  Here an outline in infographic form that outlines all the basics.

Wal-Mart and Grabble

Wal-Mart recently acquired the Australian POS technology company Grabble,   Then added it to its Wal-Mart Labs group.  Another indication of the retail giant's interest in augmenting purchase via mobile devices. And also in VentureBeat.  Watching closely. 

Tracking Mall Cellphones

An approach I am well aware of, shoppers are informed of it happening, and in general does not personally identify anyone.  The data is precious to understand shopper behavior.

The tracking system, called FootPath Technology, works through a series of antennas positioned throughout the shopping center that capture the unique identification number assigned to each phone (similar to a computer's IP address), and tracks its movement throughout the stores.
The system can't take photos or collect data on what shoppers have purchased. And it doesn't collect any personal details associated with the ID, like the user's name or phone number. That information is fiercely protected by mobile carriers, and often can be legally obtained only through a court order....

Update:  The mall owners pull the plug.

A Partial History of Knowledge Navigation

Long-time inspiration David Sibbet posts about how Alan Kay and others inspired the iPad and points to a number of future looking Apple publications that I remember well.   I remember hearing Kay give a talk about how portable tablet devices would link us to a wealth of information.  He conceived the notion of a 'Dynabook' tablet.  Easily and immediately accessible knowledge.  The post also points to several videos circa 1988 that predicted the world of today.   A reminder of the rich history involved.

Digital Currency: Bitcoin

In Wired: The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin.  A detailed history of this  digital currency concept.  An interesting but sometimes mysterious  idea, that I thought was perilous at the time and I have seen little about since its emergence on '08.   Another  opportunity for criminals.   Not really a complete fall yet. See the Bitcoin site.  More on the Wikipedia site.  There are a number of other sites promoting the idea.

" ... Bitcoin is an experimental new digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: managing transactions and issuing money are carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is also the name of the open source software which enables the use of this currency.... "              

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Consensus Point Prediction Markets

Robin Hanson's Prediction markets blog.  He has a post on the GE Healthymagination Challenge crowdsourcing effort.  Plus lots more of interest that is worth following.  Hanson is chief scientist of Consensus Point.  We examined prediction markets in the enterprise, but not their offerings, worth a look. 

DunnhumbyUSA CEO Leads by example

In the local press: good article on Dunnhumby USA's corporate culture, style and analytic approaches used to track shopper loyalty.  I was part of an early meeting with them, which was met with skepticism,  but they have shown themselves to be very competent at the task.

Amazing Facts About McDonalds

A set of slides that provide some interesting facts about the global reach and impactful magnitude of the McDonald's Corporation.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thinking Fast and Slow

In the NYT Book review: A review of Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman.  The dismantling of 'Homo Economicus'.    Heady stuff that has stimulated a lot of new thinking about decisions and their irrationality.

Subscribe to My Feed

This blog has always had an RSS feed for syndication.  If you find it useful please do subscribe.  This blog has been around for a number of years.  It parallels my consulting and technical interests.  I have made hundreds of connections through communications via this blog and I am glad to facilitate others.

Workers and Technology

Michael S Malone debates if workers are being left behind by technology.  Quite obviously, no.  Workers are taking to technology rapidly, and that technology is changing their working and personal lives quickly.  In the enterprise we often had to adapt to technologies our workers had started to use.

Medical Databases and Better Care

I am currently looking at applications and intelligence in medical data.  Which led me to this recent article. " ... UpToDate is one of several online services that provide frequently updated monographs incorporating the latest, most relevant medical knowledge. Clinicians can access them directly through Web browsers or launch them from electronic health records (EHRs) using desktops, laptops, or mobile devices.... "

Social Media vs Knowledge Management

In the HBR blog:

" ... On the surface, social media and knowledge management (KM) seem very similar. Both involve people using technology to access information. Both require individuals to create information intended for sharing. Both profess to support collaboration.   But there's a big difference ... "

Social Media versus Knowledge Management

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Aberdeen Group

Brought to my attention:  The Aberdeen Group.  " ... Aberdeen conducts primary research studies from a pool of over 500,000 panel participants. The results of each research survey are indexed and tabulated using a proprietary analytical framework which provides a solid basis for deriving fact-based analysis and findings. Aberdeen's research provides specific insight by industry sector, company size, and geography, as well as by job role, business process  and technology.... "

Designing for the Internet of Things

A recent NESTA conference:  About what they call demanding devices.  The idea should flourish.  Includes a number of videos from the conference.  Another idea would be to connect your entire context, your world to the internet, as related in Engadget, with a project called Twine.

Selling Me

Martin Lindstrom writes in Fast Company about the 'Me Selling Proposition'.  Personalizing things from postage stamps to beverages to make them feel very much like mine.  He relates it to a personalized marketing experiment he did in his recent book: Brandwashed.  At the link you can read the excerpt about the experiment called 'the Morgensons'.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Google Announces Spring Cleaning

You have to admire their spunk.  And funds.  They have tried a number of unusual efforts and dared us to use them.  Announced, a list things that are being sunsetted.  Notable to me was Wave, who's AI implications intrigued me.  I even sketched out a potential enterprise use.  Notable too was Buzz which promised some additional social social communication channels.  Knol was an idea far too late and not quite slick enough.   Gears I examined but did not have any direct use for.   The link above has lots more, including in some cases external replacements for some of these tools.

Share of Wallet is not Enough

Byron Sharp discusses the issue of share of wallet.  " ... In a recent Harvard Business Review article Tim Keiningham et al (Oct 2011) argue that managers should pay attention to “share of wallet”. To grow brands should aim to improve their share of wallet rank. To do this you obviously have to get customers who currently give you a very small share of their purchasing to give you a greater share – it’s logically impossible to get much more share out of customers who already give you near 100%. ... "

Big Queries Beta

Big Queries in Beta via Google.   " ... Google wants to help you crunch big data like cornflakes.To that end, it is opening up BigQuery, the service is designed for large-scale internal data analytics, to companies of all sizes, and it’s adding a web interface so you can do it all in the cloud.... "

Flow Powered Reality

Artificial Reality powered shopping:

" ... A9.com, Inc., a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)  ... announced a new iPhone app: Flow Powered by Amazon. Flow is a new augmented reality app that makes it easy to explore and discover tens of millions of products in a real world setting – from books and DVDs to packaged electronics and toys – and offers shoppers interactive product information about the items around them.  With Flow, customers simply point their iPhone toward a book, video game, CD, DVD or millions of other products with UPC barcodes. Upon visual recognition of the product, the app displays Amazon.com product information, including the option to play multimedia content and read customer reviews.... "

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Engaging the Crowd with Hall

A new way to engage the crowd.  Vote, chat, interact.  Existing halls about Startups, Apple, Ruby, ESPN, SEO, NFL etc.   Start your own halls.  A little like Twitter lists, with added crowd polling and interaction support.  Is there enough  critical mass to create a crowd for a given hall?

Consumer Data Mining

Good broad article on the topic of consumer data from Knowledge@Wharton.

Today's ever-expanding cache of online data is a store in more ways than one. Every tweet tweeted, badge unlocked, website searched and "Like" button clicked adds to the growing inventory of user information. Data miners then sort it, package it, market it -- and companies use it to better target customers. But how much sharing is too much, especially when consumers are not given a say over how their data is used? And is the exploding availability of information actually making companies less adept at predicting consumer behavior? ... " 

Turning Raw Data into Information

Turning Raw Data into Actionable Information.   A New blog by Michael Tarallo.  A business intelligence professional formerly at Pentaho.  Includes a recent post on working woth social media data.

Your Attention Taken

Eye embedded screens on contact lenses have been in the news lately.  This is not a new idea, we experimented with screens that could be flipped in front of the eye for hands-free maintenance tasks.  At the time experiments on embedding had already begun.   Spare me though from being stripped of another level of choice to be connected at all times.  I believe it is inevitable, though.

Innovation Center for Spices

I like the idea of innovation research centers.  Here, in an unrelated space: McCormick Science Institute explores the health benefit of spices.   Not about retail, but about a specific set of benefits.  A way of tailoring innovation ideas.

Medical Data Access

From Technology Review: Discovered during a look at the 'medical circles'  idea addressed here previously.  To what degree should you have access to data which come from implants in your own body?  " ... goal is a new twist on the concept of open access, one that has emerged as implanted medical devices become more common and patients increasingly use wireless devices and smart-phone tools to track their health and take control of their care.... "

Related: Doctors slow to embrace tele-medicine, wireless, the cloud.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Storeflix: A Social Network for Business

Just brought to my attention:  Storeflix.  " ...  The social media application gives businesses the ability to instantly see and analyze their business operations around the world.  “We have reinvented social media tools for corporations,” Storage said. “We have created a platform that allows all this information to be captured and organized in a very elegant, structured manner. It’s really a very magical product.” Using smart phones, retailers can, for example, keep track of the products on their store shelves, monitor store promotions and communicate with their employees everywhere in real time through the StoreFlix platform ...  "

    Full article in the local press.

The New Know

Colleague Jose Guerra brought this book to my attention.  The New Know: Innovation Powered by Analytics (Wiley and SAS Business Series) by Thornton A. May (Sep 28, 2009) Have placed it on the stack.  " ... Examining analytics-one of the hottest business topics today-The New KNOW argues that analytics is needed by all enterprises in order to be successful. Until now, enterprises have been required to know what happened in the past, but in today's environment, your organization is expected to have a good knowledge of what happens next.... " .  

Gathering BI Requirements

From TDWI:    How to interview for business intelligence requirements.  This is fairly obvious, but worth reading if you you are new to this area, or as a reminder of the issues you need to cover.  I think it should always be driven to also explore what I call 'business analytics' ... or the use of numerical and logical methods to drive to process improvement.

A Look at Citrix Collaborative Workspace

A post in the HBR blog.   A good look, with pictures,  of the Citrix example.  How can physical spaces promote effective collaboration, innovation, brainstorming, engagement and delivery of ideas?   We worked on this for years and continue to explore new methods, physical and virtual,  in person and remote.

5% of Adults Use QR Codes

This seems quite low, though not far from my own observation, probably mostly those with other technology interests.  The code reading Apps are getting better and easier to use.   It needs to get in the 50% realm to be significant.  From the comments Esponce is a company that tracks and monitors QR code usage, which says usage is increasing rapidly.

ShopKick Partners with Visa

Followed ShopKick for a while due to their more precisely locational approach for a retailer engagement method.   Now a partnership has emerged:   " ... Shopkick, which offers instant mobile rewards for stepping into retail stores, has partnered with Visa to add an incentive to buy things once you’re there.... Starting this month, participating vendors Toys “R” Us, American Eagle Outfitters, Old Navy, Wet Seal and Simon Malls, among others, will start offering “kicks” (Shopkick’s proprietary rewards points) for buying merchandise at those stores.... "  I did try their iPhone App and still have it on my phone, but was underwhelmed by the offerings.   Worth another look.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Conagra Mills Does Analytics

An interesting business analytics example.  Note that Conagra is using it for supply chain decisions with their clients:

"... ConAgra Mills, a Commercial Foods brand of $12.3 billion ConAgra Foods, Inc., along with IBM and SignalDemand announce that ConAgra Mills is using IBM's Smarter Commerce-based solution and its predictive analytics capabilities to increase supply chain efficiency and help bakers and other small businesses succeed in today's fast changing economic climate ... " 

Predictive Modeling News

Brought to my attention.   The Monthly Newsletter for Healthcare Professionals Involved with Predictive Modeling. " .... Featuring articles, news, key data, technology development, results from recent studies, interviews, case studies, networking and subscriber interaction .... " 

P&G's John Smale Passing

I worked with Mr. Smale as part of the IT Innovation Research team:

 ...  John G. Smale, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Procter & Gamble, passed away on November 19, 2011 at the age of 84 ... P&G Alumni Network tribute to Mr. Smale ....   

Business Intelligence Predictions

Boris Evelson provides some interesting business intelligence predictions for 2012.  Including:  "  ... More BI will move into the hands of end users. IT will learn not fight it or risk becoming irrelevant. IT will also learn not to fight spreadmart/spreadsheet wars or risk becoming irrelevant..... ". I am strongly in agreement of getting BI, aka business analytics much closer to the actual decision makers.

Windows Phones

I was briefly involved with a proposal for a Windows phone App that addressed retail analysis.  So it is interesting to see it has now, in its first anniversary, exceeded 40,000 Apps.  It is good to see that there are other options for business and consumer oriented Smartphones.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Delicacy of Anonymity Online

How services like Google Analytics make it hard to be anonymous online.  Anonymity can be just a matter of choice,  or even a life or death thing.   Also some suggestions about protecting your identity.  Eye opening.

Why is Angry Birds Compelling?

Understanding why a particular game like Angty Birds is so compelling.    And how the aspects of the game might be repeated.   " ... carefully scripted expansion of the user's mental model of the strategy component and incremental increases in problem/solution methodology ... "

Modeling Businesses


Thinking this yet a step forward .... Concept mapping for company processes can be seen as a simplified approach to Business Process Management (BPM). Which seeks to model the flow of a business, as opposed to just its interconnected concepts. Dynamic view versus static. Both ideas can be useful. Another plug in solution to offer. It also has the possibility of direct linking to Business analytics of the quantitative kind, such as simulation of corporate processes. There are many package approaches ... One is BlueSpring software: http://bluespringsoftware.com/   ....   . Lots of other packages available ... So this is a potential for another integrated offering that could be matched to analytic needs ...

Google and Microsoft Talk Artificial Intelligence

An optimistic view of the future of AI.  It is nice to see two big players talking this.  " ... Google and Microsoft don't share a stage often, being increasingly fierce competitors in areas such as Web search, mobile, and cloud computing. But the rivals can agree on some things—like the importance of artificial intelligence to the future of technology.....  "

Friday, November 18, 2011

Beauty Brands and Emotions

Former colleague Donna Sturgess, president of Buyology Inc.   Talks about the large emotional component of beauty brands.   " ... Donna Sturgess, president of Buyology Inc., also talked about conscious versus non-conscious buying during HBA Global, stating only 15 percent of decision making is done consciously ... "

Shop - Scan - Buy

ShopSavvy brings instant scan and buy to mobile shoppers.  This connects with my recent post about Amazon delivering a scan and price check application.  Of course many scanning apps already automatically search for items online.   That basic idea is now being extended to create a new and faster channel.

Bezos

Fascinating interview with Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.   Their delivery this week of a budget tablet will create a new more focused channel for products.  I have read some early reviews and they were not positive.

Balanced Insight

Attended an excellent talk by Tom Hammergren, CEO of Balanced Insight  as part of the local BI group here last night.   See also their blog.    Quite insightful view of agile business intelligence.  And their newest development:

Balanced Insight Consensus Delivers Agile Business Intelligence(BI) development out of the box
By bridging the gap between outdated development approaches and user needs, Consensus shortens cycles to define and align requirements, enables rapid prototyping, increases the speed of deployment and release schedules, and ultimately creates a more nimble and adaptable BI environment. Lastly, Consensus complements existing BI technologies, and gives users intuitive and timely access to the tools and insights they need to make intelligent, data-driven decisions .... 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Organizations as Decision Factories

Thinking about organizations as decision factories.  I like to think about decisions being made within processes as a way to understand how to improve the operation of an organization.

Infographics Amok

In Adage:   Seeing more infographics these days.    Steve Rubel chimes in on their overuse.  I think there is a further problem.  They seem to be a reaction to the under-education of people in the simplest forms of math.  They are also easier to use to spin numbers rather than disclose them.   I prefer a democratization of the data to give more control to the user, the ultimate decision maker.  Give me  the tools to make the decision, not your visually enhanced opinion.

Tablets as Ecosystems

In E-Commerce Times:   With multiple affordable tablet systems starting to emerge, it is suggested that each will enable specific ecosystems of usage and product access.  Essentially separate channels of access to retail and information sources.  What are the implications?   

The Future of Work Spaces

As part of our innovation centers we examined a number of work space design approaches.  We participated in several innovation workshops about working environments.    Even a decade ago we realized that work was becoming far more mobile, which will change how offices are designed and allocated.   Work spaces need to be designed with an eye to corporate culture, but can also change culture as they are used.     GigaOM on Steelcase and workplace design.

Tesco Experiments with Augmented Reality

Constructing 3D catalogs using Augmented Reality.   We saw some early experimentation by Tesco in China.  Tesco has always been a technology innovative retailer.  This is the first time I have seen AR being used directly by a major retailer.  Will this take us far beyond QR codes?   " ... Tesco’s foray into AR comes as the technology recently made some serious inroads in the U.S. In one of the most high-profile AR pushes yet, Starbucks launched a holiday program this month that uses an iOS-based app to make its red holiday coffee cups project images of animated characters ... "

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why Can't SIRI talk to Watson?

Thoughtful GigaOm piece on AI.  I spent years doing enterprise AI and what we did only worked when it was focused.  We saw what IBM was doing at that time and it was impressive even then. The AI's of today are impressive, but are still not as smart as you may think.   Mimicking generalized intelligence is still tough.

"  ... As David Ferrucci, the guy at IBM behind Watson’s creation, explained during a conversation before the match, that as intuitive as the interactions with Siri or Watson appear to us, they are fundamentally task oriented. So the questions that Watson gets are in effect “translated” not just into the zeros and ones of digital signals but also to a series of words that are then broken down into related concepts ... "

Exascale Computing Looms

From the supercomputing conference.   Thousand times improvement in a decade.  " ...  Government support, as well as new computing techniques, will be needed  ... ".    Advanced very fine grain simulation, in particular, should benefit.

Network Patterns of Complexity


Stephen Few reviews Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information, by Manuel Lima.   This book is about mapping networks of information.  This has always been an interest of mine in that it can show connections  that we did  not expect, and also indicate new clusters of information that we can leverage with analytical methods.   I look forward to reading this book myself.

P&G Sports a Mobile Game

P&G's Downy plans a mobile scavenger hunt.  An example of brand oriented marketing gamificatition.

" ... Procter & Gamble fabric softener brand Downy will hold a smartphone-based scavenger hunt in Las Vegas next month to introduce a new product to a young, mobile audience. Downy Unstopables is a new line of scent beads that can be added to the wash to make clothes smell nice. On Dec. 3, smartphone owners in Las Vegas will be able to use their mobile devices to play the Downy Unstopables scavenger hunt for a chance to win a prize.    “With this promotion, Downy would like to dramatize the amplified sensorial experience that Unstopables delivers and leverage the city of Las Vegas because it is often seen as ‘the sensorial capital of the world,’” said Sherilena Strub, a spokeswoman at Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH. .... "   Sign up with Downy here.

Google and Temporal Data

Have been taking a look at a  number aspects of time-based data in search, and also in the semantic elements of search results.   Here an article that looks at time in search.

Distributed Data Analytics Platform

I have been examining a number of advanced data mining solutions.  And InferX has come up again.  In particular distributing the platform:


" ... The InferX Distributed Data Analytics Platform (D2AP) offers a new generation of technologies for a network-centric approach to pattern discovery from dispersed data. D2AP is the key to unlocking the information stored in multiple, disparate and remote databases to generate actionable intelligence. The framework provides the user with the power to access, analyze and perform predictive analysis on distributed structured and unstructured data sets, all without the need to move the data to a centralized data warehouse or change its format. One of the key benefits of this approach is that all of the enterprise data can be analyzed at its local points of origin, facilitating near real-time analytics to meet critical mission needs. In addition, by keeping the data where it resides, the approach meets the data ownership, privacy, and security concerns of the organization or enterprise... " 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Open Philanthropy

Stan Dyck sent me this post on open philanthropy.  on Open foundations and how they should work.   " ... Lucy Bernholz wants the giant organizations that dole out millions in funds to start embracing becoming more transparent, open, and democratic. It’s an uphill battle, but the Open Philanthropy movement is gaining steam.... " .   I connected briefly with the foundation of a major corporation, and I think there is value in this.

New Book on P&G

Via my alumni group.  The Financial Times Press has announced a new book about Procter & Gamble:  When Core Values are Strategic: How the Basic Values of Procter & Gamble Transformed  Leadership at Fortune 500 Companies  by Rick Tocquigny and Andy Butcher.    Available in early 2012, more details and you can preorder now.  " ... features nearly forty of your fellow alumni each speaking to the shared values and experiences gained while at P&G that have impacted their professional careers. The prologue is by AG Lafley and Ed Artzt has provided the epilogue. In between alumni like Jim McNerney, Carole Black, Kevin Roberts, John Pepper and John Smale tell a story that we believe will be valuable to businesspeople and business students around the world ... "

Cause Marketing on Facebook

In Forbes:  Tips and trends on cause marketing in Facebook.  " ...  “When you want people to know about the good you’re doing in the world, Facebook is a prime mobilization platform,” explains Marc Blinder, creative director for Context Optional, a social media marketing company boasting cause marketing clients such as Kohl’s and PBS. “People want their friends to see them doing something good – those types of activities are very palatable in this medium because it’s a place users expect to be engaged in this way.”  Perhaps it’s our shared human experience that makes social media, and Facebook in particular, such a natural fit for cause marketing. Social media is most compelling when human-to-human contact exists. The same is true for cause ... "

DemandTec and Big Data

I am in the middle of exploring big data analytic applications in retail and manufacturing and this post came up:

" ... Target is following a growing trend in retail that involves using more granular customer data to predict demand, thanks to advances in software and technology. But stores still need companies like DemandTec to help them turn the plentiful straw of digital data into predictive gold, a service that becomes more challenging as more data is introduced ... ".  

We will continue to see more analytic applications which will leverage large and granular databases.   Such databases will also allow the application of data mining techniques to extract value from data.  That value can then be plugged into process models of companies to make them more efficient.  Lots more to come.

Amazon Launches Price Check App

This seems like a very simple and easy idea.  Do an automatic price comparison check after an item scan on a Smartphone. Includes all categories of items. Most likely useful for higher priced items. Surprised that Amazon had not been doing this previously.  A recent Forrester report said that about 5% of people had used scanning.  This ability will increase that number and further strengthen the online channel.  I recall talking to retailers some years ago and this was one of the fears, that the channel would be be made too easy and the big players would win.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Efficient Project Staffing with Social Networks

A quite good piece in the HBR Blog on some of the issues behind using social technologies for staffing and collaboration.  In particular I like the statement of the problems themselves:, which we immediately discovered a decade ago in different guises:  " ...  Asking a colleague, "Do you have bandwidth to work on this project?", has long been a mysterious and even perilous activity in knowledge-based organizations. ...   Project timetables, deliverables, and scope can unexpectedly change. Some colleagues just can't say no, even when they are already oversubscribed. Others automatically say no because they're holding out for more interesting opportunities, or ones that advance their careers. In sum: assessing a colleague's bandwidth has traditionally required negotiation, guesswork, and other "knowledge interaction" costs that hurt performance, even if they aren't directly measured in financial systems ... " 

 Discusses research with Booz Allen's successful collaboration Hello network.  " ... an "internal Facebook." It is a widely used tool, which nearly all of the firm's 24,000 employees have logged into, with 50% contributing content. Before Hello, consultants often relied on their own personal network, or their manager's network, to get staffed on future projects.... " 

Google Innovation Lab

Having worked at an enterprise innovation lab for years, I found this short piece about the Google X labs interesting,    Admittedly we went no where nearly as far, or as technical:  " .... Google reportedly has researchers working on robots, elevators to space, smart light bulbs at the Google X research lab .... ".   Via an article in the NYT.

Cloud Robotics

In the CACM: Had not previously heard about cloud robotics. " ... Their eventual goal, they say, is to enable robots to perform data-intensive functionslike image processing and voice recognitionby offloading to remote servers the vast amounts of data the tasks require. Previously, robots were limited in what they could do by the comparatively small amount of information able to reside onboard the robot itself.... " .  Like all of 'Cloud' technologies, the basic principle is obvious.  The implications less so.

Kyield: Management of Knowledge Offer


Super Hydophobic Coatings

This is related to an R&D project I was involved in: superhydrophobic coatings.     Quite a few interesting applications in industry and with consumer products.

Business Genetics Helping Analytics

I am examining Business Genetics.   " ... BusinessGenetics provides your business with a set of tools and resources that enable you to develop a complete set of consistent and concise business models.... ".  I am in the midst of thinking how to integrate business analytics to specific business models, and thinking this could improve that process.  Any comments would be welcome.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Acoustic Ruler

An interesting iOS App that lets you measure distances using acoustical measurements.  Claims a range up to 25 meters, with resolution between 1 cm and 1 mm.  More sensor based innovations.

Ipsos on Digital Marketing and Social Networks

Fairly obvious results, Ipsos does some analysis. Survey on Digital Marketing Reveals Increased Focus on Social Media, Mobile, Search and Email

Intel Predicting the Future

How Intel is using soft  sciences to predict the future.   Though I come from the world of the hard scientists, I agree that this is useful.  In particular combining the two worlds towards a common goal.

Selling: Query Time and Choices

Via correspondent Herb SorensenClosing the sale,  query time and choices:

" ... Among the teachings of Joe Girard, identified by The Guinness Book of World Records as "The World's Greatest Salesman," are focusing on the customers' time and their choices — both of which are regularly ignored by today's retail staffs....  "

Risk Mangement and Lean Six-Sigma

IEEE article :   " ...For engineers involved with quality, it is a natural evolution to incorporate risk management in their work. There is an increased awareness regarding risk management: even if the quality compliance is very high, one gap in risk management could have dramatic impacts. Any process has to be effective, efficient, well measured and monitored for key performance indicators and key risk indicators. All the interdependencies between processes within work systems have to be assessed and the risk mitigated.
The shift from quality to risk management is a “must” in this VUCA world. The engineers who recognize this fact and expand their skills to incorporate risk management will be very well positioned in the job market for many years to come ..."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Industry Insights from P&G and Unilever

Intriguing ideas from enterprise CPG giants:  " ... “You will never have 100-percent forecast accuracy because you will never have perfect data,” said Jake Barr, Global Director – Supply Chain Operations, P&G. “But there are techniques that can get you close and fill in the holes. The ability to use smart logic to bridge the gaps is critical.” .... '

Keeping Crucial Knowledge

How do you keep crucial knowledge from leaving?  You organize it in a useful and easily understood way.  I worked on this problem for years in the enterprise and can attest to the power of this approach.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Predictive Model Factory

New interesting thoughts from the SASCom Blog.   " ... For the analytical expert this is a promising direction as well. Rather than spending large parts of the day with repetitive tasks that can be done more effectively and efficiently in an automated way, they have more time to be innovative and creative, which is much more fun. Also, the distribution of the predictive analytics process across many stakeholders will create more acceptance and insight into the value of business analytics in an organization, giving the analytics expert more visibility. This is why I see the dawn of the model factory as a true win-win situation for companies that want to become analytical enterprises. ... " 

Recorded Future Looking Forward

I just had the opportunity in preparation for some talks and predictive analytics work to look once again at the 'temporal search engine'  Recorded Future.  Happy to report that it is now working well on tablets like the iPad.  That makes it useful to take it into the aisle, or anywhere, to report on future-looking competitive interactions between your products and others.   They have also added social networking capabilities.   I will continue my experiments with this capability and report here.

Practical not Gimmick Bots

The CEO of iRobot, Colin Angle,   is questioned about the future of robotics.  I agree there has been too much gimmickry delivered.  Yet even gimmickry delivers the possibilities to many people and makes them think about the future. 

"  ... There is no shortage of examples of how that approach has worked for iRobot. In addition to selling millions of Roomba vacuum cleaners, the company has deployed thousands of its PackBot robots to defuse roadside bombs in Iraq and search caves in Afghanistan.

Company engineers also jumped in with customised robots for searching underwater sea oil plumes after last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill and to do inspections after the partial meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant ... "

WalMart.com Test Stores

Had not heard of this in particular.  We also experimented with small experimental stores in Malls and college towns, among other places. Good places to collect data.

(Reuters) - Two tiny Walmart.com stores are making Southern California malls their home for the holidays, launching the latest salvo in the war for online retail dominance.
The temporary stores are a first for Wal-Mart Stores Inc, which experiments with store concepts in various markets hoping they will drive shoppers to its website.... "

ARF Draft Neurostandards Paper

Sand Research passes this along:   Advertising Research Foundation Releases Draft Neurostandards White Paper.  "deep understanding - not available through traditional methods" .    I mentioned and pointed to this before,  now here is more commentary.  Basically the view is optimistic, with some caution.   The method should be combined with traditional research methods at this point. Worth reading.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Look at Heuristics

A piece in Vanity Fair.  Contrary to what they say in the article and imply in the embedded quiz, heuristics are not necessarily wrong.  They are rules of thumb that can make our life easier, we use them every hour of every day.  They are also not always perfect, but they are good enough for the need at hand.

What Does Google Know About You?

Always an interesting subject.   You can infer much from the ads you see.  ReadwriteWeb discusses the depth and breadth of it.

McKinsey on Big Data

An extensive and thoughtful article:
" ... Over time, we believe big data may well become a new type of corporate asset that will cut across business units and function much as a powerful brand does, representing a key basis for competition. If that’s right, companies need to start thinking in earnest about whether they are organized to exploit big data’s potential and to manage the threats it can pose. Success will demand not only new skills but also new perspectives on how the era of big data could evolve—the widening circle of management practices it may affect and the foundation it represents for new, potentially disruptive business models ... "

Reengineering the Business with Analytics

Some useful thoughts from the SASCom Blog.  Analytics can be applied to effectively change enterprise process.

Engineering a 10,000 Year Clock

In IEEE Spectrum:  Was exposed to this project when it was started by Danny Hillis and Stewart Brand in 1996.  The most forward look project I have ever seen.  According to this piece it is finally underway.  See more here  at The Long Now Foundation.  See also their blog.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Consumer Clouds

ReadWrite Web writes about the meaning of the cloud to the typical consumer.  Useful,  I have had several people ask me what the 'cloud' was.  It is easy to define, but harder to specify the implications.

Coke a Winner on Social Media

Good USA Today article on Coke's successful use of Twitter and Facebook.  Includes a useful video.  As I have said before, Coke is a well known brand, so can be a destination location on social media.

Technology and the Economy

Brian Arthur on how Technology is recreating the 21st century economy.   We followed Arthur at the Santa Fe Institute when he was building interesting predictive economic models.   " ... Digital technology runs deeper than merely providing computation, internet commerce, and social media. It is silently creating a second, unseen economy that is deeply interconnected, invisible, self-configuring, and intelligent -- and this, he argues, is changing the ways business and the economy are structured.... "

WalMart IPhone Apps Adds Functions

How can Apps best combine in-store and online sales?  WalMart has rolled out some new App functionality that addresses this.  In particular emphasizing the shopping list.  We did considerable experimentation with shopping list technology and psychology, even before the emergence of the smart phone.  Manufacturers like the idea of capturing the shopping list. It is akin to capturing recognition in the shoppers brain.   Will examine directly.    More on this development in GigaOM.  And in AdAge.

P&G Sharpens R&D Focus

It makes sense for this evolution.  Jeffrey Phillips of OVO Innovation points to this as part of a broader post.   " ... do you want to innovate for the technology fan boys and get locked into a niche, or do you want to understand the needs and challenges of the early and late majority and create a new product that is easy to adopt and easy to use, which will attract the majority of the market much more quickly.... " 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Requirements for Next Gen Marketers

In Adage:  Very true. Agility, Digital,  Data.  Mostly it is about analytical methods and how to apply them in multiple analytical layers to support important management decisions.  In media channels, in the aisle and supporting consumer decisions.

Playing Virtual Games as Serious Business

Useful findings.  We have seen these repeatedly in experiments. People are drawn by meaningless rewards, useless free offers, irrational propositions.  But is tricking them into participation OK?  If the ends are 'serious'?  Is that marketing?

" ... People like the seemingly pointless incentives they're given on services like Foursquare. And now we have, well, scientific proof backing the conclusion we'd all suspect: If you take aways such incentives on a business social network, people participate less ... That’s what researchers at IBM’s Center for Social Business discovered when they ran an experiment on some 30,000 IBMers who were using a business-centric IBM Facebook clone called Social Blue, a precursor to the company’s IBM Connections product. If you run a social network inside your business, workers are more likely to participate if you give them the game-like incentives you find on services like Foursquare ... "

Ivory Soap is on Facebook

My first in-depth plant tour was to see Ivory Soap being made.  There were aspects of it that had not changed since the 19th century.  Its  history is also interesting.  Now it has jumped the centuries to have a Facebook page.  And an NYT article with details about the general refreshment of Ivory's marketing.    An 1898  advertising poster on the right.

AisleBuyer Enables in Aisle Scanning

I have mentioned Aislebuyer here a number of times, established to empower shoppers in the retail aisle,   Now an item that says they are working with the Big-Y chain to do in-aisle scanning.   See also the AisleBuyer press release.

Computer Controls Yeast

The article overplays this as a Cyborg, but the example is interesting.  A computer causes a yeast to produce a protein via a flashing light, then measures it's growth, forming a feedback loop and controlling  it.

Watson and Medical Knowledge

IBM selling medical knowledge via Watson.  Selling knowledge via interaction, or as a means to teach?

DemandTec Connects Weather and Planning

I have followed the idea of connecting accurate weather forecasts to planning and forecasting for some time.  We watched as Wal-Mart did some early work  to include this form of intelligence to minimize out-of-stocks and demand inaccuracies due to weather conditions.  In the past forecasts were too poor to use this kind of planning augmentation, but improvements in weather modeling have advanced accuracy considerably.   Eliminating this form of noise in a forecast is a powerful idea.  I see now that DemandTec has integrated weather forecasting into their offerings:

" ... DemandTec, Inc. the collaborative optimization network for retailers and consumer products companies, today announced the availability of Weather Trends on DemandTec, a new network partner app providing highly accurate, long-term temperature and precipitation forecasts on a global basis for the DemandTec customer community ... "Our research shows that a shift of just one degree in temperature can drive vast changes in sales activity," said Jack Grum, Executive Vice President and Co-founder of Weather Trends International.  "We are excited that the DemandTec network community can now incorporate predictive weather intelligence into their merchandising and marketing decisions."  .... '

I plan to follow this development more closely and post about it further here.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Google Embracing Marketing

A good AdAge piece on Google and Marketing.  I think Google has always been interested in marketing, perhaps not the more formal kind, but search is a new form of marketing that brings lots of people to the table.

Real Time Streaming Geo Data

I have been following GeoIQ for some time for applications that deal with analytics with mobile retail data.  Now more:  GeoIQ Releases Real-Time Streaming Social & Device Data & Mapping API Platform which is worth looking at more closely.

Choices at the Drug Store


How does a consumer make a choice when confronted with headache remedies?   In the enterprise we used 'knowledge mapping' techniques to understand the complexity of apparently simple choices.  Here is an excellent example as mapped out in Fast Codesign.   Essentially a decision tree that the shopper has to deal with when making a choice of headache remedies at the shelf.  Note the relationship to other mapping approaches like 'concept mapping'.   I am just now exploring a new book:  Applied Concept Mapping, by Brian Moon  of Perigean TechnologiesRobert R. Hoffman, Joseph D. Novak, and Alberto J. CaƱas , which covers this topic very well.   We used the approach starting in the 90s, and continue to use it today.  I often use the method to construct a backbone infrastructure for business analytics applications and am currently exploring ways to better integrate concept mapping, process analysis and analytical methods.  Ideas?   Want to collaborate?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Chips that Learn

At IBM Almaden,  a spectacular place , where I have spent some time: " ... As researchers confidently predict a future of faster-than-ever transformations in computing, they are creating chips that learn and respond as they gain experience.... " .  Machine learning is the ultimate and somewhat scary goal ...

Why These Ads?

From E-Commerce Times:  Why these ads?   I often ask that question.  " ... Google's latest tool, dubbed "Why These Ads," is designed to give users insight on exactly that -- why they see the advertisements they see in their Google searches and Gmail communications. It's also introduced a new Ads Preference Manager. The move may be a win for transparency, but it's still left critics wanting in the category of privacy.... "

Readying to Unwire the Enterprise

In Knowledge at Wharton: The enterprise still has lots of wires.  Can continued control be effective once the enterprise goes wireless?

" ... In another context, former Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley summed up the situation this way: "We have to strike the right balance between being in touch and being in control. The irony is the more in control we are, the more out of touch we become."
The notion of relinquishing control in order to win is counterintuitive for most large companies. They have spent their corporate lives putting controls and processes in place to regulate behavior, maintain a common identity/brand and drive efficiencies. But the very controls that define them are also the ones that may impede their ability to innovate around wireless, given that such innovation is all about allowing the end-user to discover what new and useful things they can do with the technology. As enterprises will come to realize, control is just an illusion in the digital world.... "


Kindle Lending Library

A Kindle lending library.   Prime members can read a book a month for free on Kindle devices.  Is this another pointer to the death of printed books?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Social Media Decoding

In Technology Review:   A Social Media  Decoder. New Technology deciphers and empowers the millions who talk back to their televisions through the Web... Discovering the patterns in tweets will reshape TV, ads and politics...."    (Full article requires registration).  Related, Bernardo Huberman of HP Labs comments on the analysis of what people do online to peer into society's collective mind.

Digital Storytelling

On the stack: The New Digital Storytelling, by Bryan Alexander " ... Digital storytelling uses new media tools and platforms to tell stories. The second wave of digital storytelling started in the 1990s with the rise of popular video production, then progressed in the new century to encompass newer, social media technologies. The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media is the first book that gathers these new, old, and emergent practices in one place, and provides a historical context for these methods. ... "

Digital Duets

From the Path to Purchase Institute,  a report:  Digital Duets:  Collaborative Marketing Strategies Along the New Path to Purchase

Knowledge Capture, Retention and Transfer

Met yesterday with Perigean Technologies and their CTO Brian Moon.   Impressive vendors of knowledge mapping technologies we used actively in the enterprise.  A great way to preserve working knowledge.  More coverage of this in the coming weeks as I dive deeper into the current state of knowledge retention:

We service clients who face the potential loss of knowledge, professionals who want to accelerate the growth of knowledge and expertise, and customers who want to learn to make more profitable use of what they know.
We create value for our clients through knowledge preservation and transfer, meaningful learning, assessment and training, organizational and systems design, the generation of innovation, and novel presentations of complex information.
We are recognized leaders in Applied Concept Mapping, which we blend with methods of naturalistic inquiry to enable "Knowgraphy" ..

The Digital School

In the NYT this morning.  Despite my orientation, education is not all about technology.  Technology is a tool, great if used appropriately.  But that same tech can be a distraction and un needed expense. Keep it meaningful.

Digital Gardening

I am an amateur botanist, having worked and dabbled in the space for a long time.   The Web has been a great source for information in this space.  Now plans for putting  6.3 Million Plants Online.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Robots Everywhere

In the HBR:  " ... At RoboBusiness this week, a conference devoted to the business and technology of robots, the revelation for me was not just how far robotic capabilities have come but also the range of problems robots are already helping to solve.... "

Analytics Magazine

The latest Analytics Magazine from Informs. Full of useful articles including:  The Value of Business Analytics, Strategic Data Management Yields Competitive Advantage, Corporate mobile software-as-a Service Forecast, Predictive Analytics Project Delivers Millions of Course Records for analysis ...   and much more.   Always informative, practical information.   Will follow with additional links.

Clorox and Consumer Product Innovation

An interesting co-creation idea being used at Clorox.  The example in Consumer package goods is interesting because it involves the consumer directly.  I am sure there are many more possibilities here.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

GS1 Annual Report

See the extensive GS1 Annual Report.   In particular their sections on B2C progress in the last year.   It is a time when the consumer is increasingly empowered with information and sensors.   " ... GS1 is an international not-for-profit association with Member Organisations in over 100 countries. GS1 is dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across sectors. The GS1 system of standards is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world ... " 


I make a point today based on a recent conversation.   The term 'supply chain' is not just about trucks and warehouses.   It leads all the way to the consumer and how they interact with product.  

Beauty of Near Misses

Todd Henry in Accidental Creative on the Beauty of Near Misses.  " ... how often do I curse my fate when things don’t go as planned rather than seeing the diversion as an opportunity for new inspiration or insights? Do I allow my rigid interpretation of what’s best get in the way of opportunities that could lead to something even bigger and better? .... " 

Share of Wallet Isn't Enough

Professor Byron Sharp,  Director of the   Ehrenberg-Bass Institute sends along a link to his post on this subject.  I also like his comment:    "... One of the roles of the Institute is to help protect our Corporate Sponsors from bad ideas that can infect organisations like viruses leading to misplaced marketing strategy. Here is a vaccine that should be taken before reading October's Harvard Business Review where Ipsos consultants and two academics promote the idea of growing your "share of wallet".  Annoyingly the argument is presented as an exciting new discovery based on the largest most rigorous loyalty analysis - yes that's how they actually describe it! .. "

Analytics in Action: Office Depot Price and Promotion Optimization

An excellent example of the use of business analytics to improve business process.   I gave a talk to a  corporate client just yesterday on the integration of data, process, model and visualization delivery to provide real value to business.    We sit at a confluence of capabilities to provide this value in just the right business contexts:    This example is by DemandTec:

Price and Promotion optimization Bring $40M in Benefits to Office Depot
Price optimization and more effective promotional strategies brought $40 million in benefits to Office Depot during the first nine months of fiscal 2011. The retailer is also reporting positive results from its new smaller-format stores, which executives say are achieving 90% of the sales volume of traditionally-sized stores while carrying only half the number of SKUs. The smaller stores are 18,000 square feet on average, compared to the 27,000-square-foot average traditional store; the retailer operates more than 1,600 stores worldwide.... "

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Twenty Five Dollar Computer

A very minimalist, business card sized, computer.  Aimed at technical education.    The way I understand it monitor and keyboard are extra.    I have been intrigued by cheap laptops and tablets,  and there is no reason that a very cheap computer cannot be made available, and useful peripherals added as needed.  Looking forward to hear more about it.

Jim Goodnight of SAS on Business Analytics

Always interesting Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS, spoke at the Kelly School of Business.  Some of my past colleagues were on the included panel.
" ... Mark Zozulla said his company, Deloitte Consulting, predicted that business analytics will be a $5 billion business for them by 2015. "We want to see a lot more people graduating with majors and minors in BA. We can't get enough of them. Goodnight described many of the aspects of business that are improved by analytics today. If you go into a store, the products you see may have been selected, priced and arranged on shelves with the influence of SAS®. If you use your credit card, it may be approved by SAS, likewise if you go into a bank to apply for a loan. Manufacturers analyze comments from warranties to find out what parts are failing and correct them in the shortest possible time. He mentioned multiple forms of fraud detected by SAS and how quickly SAS can identify risk from hundreds of thousands of variables. What’s more, almost every drug on the market was evaluated with SAS.... "

Museum Street Views

Streetview lets you look into some museums and look at the art.   An interesting move forward in virtualizing real spaces.

Customized Subscriptions to Staples

In Mashable: Something we looked at in the early years of cell phone based shopping lists.   Subscriptions to staples can be a powerful concept.

Better to Call than E-Mail

In the HBR Blog, email may be easier, but it is less impactful:
" ... But the bigger need is just for more live conversations to occur, period. This is especially true when people are trying to resolve a conflict or communicate an important business decision. There is a rising and unproductive trend towards people trying to do digital conflict resolution. The de facto path for issue resolution seems to be increasingly via email. More accurately, email has become a convenient mechanism for issue-avoidance. It is easier, quicker, less stressful, and less confrontational to have critical or challenging issues sent over email versus a live one-on-one with a counterpart.... "

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

KYield Executive Summary

Mark Montgomery gives a new executive summary of his work on the KYield blog.    And announces seeking candidates for a CTO role.  Check it out and pass it on.

Boot Camp Digital

Boot Camp Digital, by former colleague Krista Neher, Social Media tips and tricks and useful connections.

Deal Making at A&P

An example of how companies like The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company are using Deal Management software from Demandtec to improve the end to end promotion management footprint.  " ... The software service will be integrated with A&P’s existing systems to leverage current automation for coupon, tag, and sign production as well as automated billing and invoice reconciliation ... "

Game Design Changing the Way we Think

Good piece in the Atlantic.  It also points to the organization called The Institute of Play.   Which looks at the relationship of games and learning.

The Power of Creativity: How Game Design Changes the Way we Think:  Game designers, who must capture and retain players' attention and interest quickly, need to understand human psychology and culture .. "

P&G Sets up Virtual Stores

P&G has set up a number of augmented reality, smartphone-enabled virtual stores in the Prague subways. In AdWeek.  Not unique, but a creative effort.  Going where people are to get their attention and sell them product.  An image shows the use of a  QR code for identification.

Twenty Year Look at fMRI

A view of the only twenty year history of fMIRI scanning of the brain.