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Monday, April 30, 2012

Facebook and Socially Interactive Health Care

In ReadwriteWeb:  Is Facebook poised to revolutionize Health Care?  The idea of socially interactive health care is something I have looked at for some time, and the players mentioned have the assets to make it happen.  The design and culture issues will be key.  And how personal health care data will be shared.   More will be announced on Tuesday.

A Refrigerator is a Peripheral

We experimented widely with the network in the 'future home'.  As part of that effort we visited Microsoft's future home.  I was never impressed with how much they had thought through the network to address the myriad, and quickly changing devices in a real home.  The technological devices change every two years, but you expect your refrigerator to last twenty years.  Now we are back at that issue.  How they are taking another run at a home HomeOS and what it might include:  " ... Applications developed for Microsoft's HomeOS include one that generates an e-mail with photos snapped by in-home cameras whenever a front or back door is opened or if the doorbell rings, face-recognition reminder systems, and Microsoft Kinect cameras that provide gestural control for devices. Microsoft has released new details on HomeOS.... " 

Neuromarketing Science and Business Association

Newly formed group I was informed of by Steve Sands: The Neuromarketing Science & Business Association (NMSBA) is the global trade association for all those engaged in neuromarketing. The NMSBA is headquartered in the Netherlands and its organization is managed by Carla Nagel. The board determines the agenda and to discusses urgent matters. The NMSBA has a chairperson for every country involved.

Shopping App and Product Discovery

In GigaOM: A key aspect of in store applications.   It drives the potential of pointing out new products to the user.  " ...  in its first survey of performance statistics, it found that 50 percent of its users discovered new products using the Checkpoints app in the fourth quarter last year. InMarket doesn’t have comparative data for previous quarters but the figure shows that brands are able to drive a lot of discovery of products through shopping apps such as Checkpoints ...  " 

Headphones in the Workplace

An HBR article on the effect of wearing headphones in the Workplace.   Largely, a view that suggests that the inability to capture random and casual information can inhibit creativity.  Of course if you are not at the office,  or there is no office, then this does not matter as much.   A few experiences I had where I gathered real insight at the 'coffee cart' may not have happened if I had been wearing headphones.    It may well depend on the kind of work you do, focused,  detailed work will be made more efficient by screening out the noise.

PARC Emphasizes Business Models

I have mentioned a number of times we actively worked with PARC.  We sought them out to better understand changes in some of the technologies they pioneered.  Now they position themselves as being  more about business models.  Which does make sense.  You could make the case that many of their innovations,  like Ethernet, the personal computer and 'windows'  failed, at least for them, because they never considered the right business model to make them work.  The article has some other interesting thoughts and overview visuals from their conference.   Notably their view of open innovation.

" .... The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) is known beyond Silicon Valley for its role developing products—Ethernet, WSYIWYG editors, laser printing. But mentions of those historic heights were kept at a minimum during this week's Power of 10 conference. The message of the day was clear with the first words to greet guests at the registration table (via both conference workers and a commemorative bookmark). "Just wanted to let you know, 'Xerox PARC' is so 10 years ago. Today, we're 'PARC, a Xerox company.'"faster in the process ....  "

See also, the PARC Blog.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tableau in Cincinnati

There will a meeting about Tableau data visualization software in downtown Cincinnati on May 31, starting at 2:30 PM.   More details and registration here.

SAP and Predictive Analytics

Not unexpected given the increasing need for analytics, via Doug Lautzenheizer,

SAP says there are five things you need to understand about predictive analytics:

1. Predictive analytics is nothing new but the emerging "big data" trend changes things.
2. While it's a "data statistician game," many business users have a need and want tools.
3. This will sit on top of their in-memory HANA which promises real-time analysis from big data.
4. Not that SAP will ignore other databases, mind you...
5. And, for the time being, this is only available via the "Ramp-Up Program" for early-release testers.... 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Moore's Law Survives

Have read about the imminent demise of Moore's law for some time.   Now development of new chip designs by Intel seem to say it will survive  longer yet.  " ... Moore pointed out that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every year. The current form of Moore's law has been set since 1975, when Moore altered the pace to a doubling every two years. Remarkably, the computer industry has maintained that pace ever since, training us to expect computers to become ever faster in the process .... " 

Putting Hotspots in Pavement

When building our first innovation center I remember the difficulty of getting the space adequately wired among all the store shelves.  This and other issues had us slicing trenches in the concrete floor.  This Engadget post brings up a company that builds hotspots into pavement.  Could have used it back then.

Science of Humor

Mind Hacks on the science of humor.    Another example of non conscious reaction.  And what better engagement for retail than laughter?  How can this result purchasing behavior?  Brand engagement?    Links to a Ted talk by Sophie Scott that I have not seen yet.

Expert Integrated Systems

A short video by IBM Research on integrated expert systems.  Insightful thoughts I agree with.   " ... Why expert integrated systems? " ... An IBM Research perspective from Brenda Dietrich, Dario Gil, Chid Apte and Jurij Paraszczak ...  ".   See more here on the topic.    Based on our own experience,  the rules of expertise needs to be integrated with the quantitative methods of analytics.   Based on some recent client interactions, I plan to write more about this soon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Brain Responses and Neuroeconomics

In Science Daily:     Neuroeconomics: Studying Brain Responses Gives Marketers Increased Ability to Predict How People Make Decisions

ScienceDaily (Apr. 24, 2012) — Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is typically used by medical professionals to visualize the internal structures of the human body. By using MRI to study the brain, Ming Hsu, assistant professor of marketing at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, found a method to characterize how the different regions of the brain function in concert to enable people to anticipate and respond to competitors' behavior .... " 

College Libraries Exploring Pinterest

My own involvement with libraries would not make me expect this.  But libraries are doing more experimentation than they used to. Moving from text centric to image focused.    I have wandered the stacks checking out the spines.  And libraries discovered long ago you could arrange books on a shelf to 'sell' them with their covers.  Now I want to see books arranged as a curriculum  ... or maybe even an extended story?  And why not do the same thing virtually?

GSMP InSight Launched

GS1 reports they have a new site that summarizes global standards activity:

Building Standards to Deliver Business Value: InSight is GSMP’s initiative to provide access to the Global Standards Management Process (GSMP) activities. InSight enables the GS1 global community to view work group progress reports. These reports can be viewed at the Executive, Management, and Project levels (click links below) ....  "

Data and Visualization Blogs

A good list of data and visualization blogs, have not heard of a number of them. Worth exploring.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Machine Learning, Analytics and Learning

A favorite topic when we sought to implement artificial intelligence in the enterprise was machine learning.   Ultimately we integrated what is now called 'business analytics' and AI, to considerable success. I always made the point that ALL analytics, AI or otherwise,  needed to integrate learning, at one level of automation or another.   All analytics models need updating, revalidation, renewal and collibration.  Utimately all of our models were reconfigured or replaced.

Steve Miller reviews online open courseware by Caltech's Andrew Ng,  professor and practitioner of machine learning.   A good place to renew my own learning and yours.  Starting with his machine learning course.   Will get back to you  on that.  Miller writes:

" ...  I’ve already gone through the first few weeks of pre-recorded video lectures and much like what I’ve seen. Ng’s an outstanding teacher and the short lectures are perfect for an attention-challenged learner like me. The periodic quizzes keep me on my toes. And I love the approach of using an open source, high-level, mathematical language like Octave – a topic of several lectures -- to program the learning algorithms for class assignments. I find if I can program the model in Octave, I have a pretty good understanding of its operation .... "

P&G Thanks Moms

Long time colleague Stan Joosten writes:

Digital Friends,

With 100 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games we have launched our global P&G Thank You Mom campaign.  It is the biggest campaign in P&G’s nearly 175-year history and will run from now through the end of the Olympic Games.  The campaign recognizes and celebrates the moms behind the athletes by thanking moms for all they do and is founded on the insight that behind every amazing athlete is an even more amazing mom. 

To mark the start of the campaign, today we have globally launched our “Best Job” short film that celebrates the role moms play in raising Olympic athletes and in raising great kids.  To view the film click here. (warning: have tissues ready!)

We are also inviting people to join our P&G Thank You Mom campaign through the Thank You Mom app, which allows people to thank their moms by uploading a personal message, photo or video. Users can also invite friends and family to do the same. To visit the app please click here.

I hope you’ll be as excited as I am about this campaign.  We have several chapters ahead for how the “Thank You, Mom” campaign unfolds and builds towards the London 2012 Olympic Games. Please feel free to share any insights, suggestions or questions.  I would love to hear your feedback.  And of course, please feel free to share with your friends and family – especially all Moms in your lives.....  " 

Office Tablets

Tablets are more mobile than a laptop.  Good for applications like healthcare.  But in general business applications?  I have had an iPad for about a year now.  An upscale sophisticated  toy?  Have used it most every day.  It is a convenience.  Quicker boot than a PC,  easier to do a quick demo or search with.  Bigger screen than a smartphone, easier on the eyes.  Especially for visualizing data, diagrams, images and seeking patterns.  If the future is about images and visualizing, it will be there.

With a client recently, on the way out the door,  I pulled it out of my case and did a thirty second demo to drive home an idea.   An elevator device?   Companies I have worked with have handed out hundreds of them to their executives.   I heard confusion from some of their people ...  why?   What do I do with it?  I still have to carry my phone around.  Thousands of Apps, but not enough specific focus.   ReadWriteWeb takes a further look at what they may be good for.

Avon Social Networks

An article in Knowledge@Wharton about strategic changes at Avon.   The point that they were an early innovator in what has come to be known as 'social networking' is an interesting one.

SNCR Sponsors Social Media Summit

I see that SNCR, the Society for new Consumer Research  is co sponsoring an upcoming social media summit: " ... The Corporate Social Media Summit is back for its second year, offering you 'the' conference designed for the corporate. We promise to help you advance your engagement strategies, exceed ROI expectation, and discover where social media going in 2012 and beyond... with exclusive case studies from 'front line' Social Media practitioners, including: eBay, Expedia, 24 Hour Fitness, Walgreens and many more. ... ".  

I am a senior fellow of this organization.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Building Pharmacist Relationships with Apps

Walgreens builds Apps  To help you find a pharmacist.  I have used this App for prescriptions, but not for building pharmacist relationships.

P&G Pioneers Content Management

In Forbes:  A historical piece about how P&G pioneered content management.  Essentially the use of stories. " ... The company decided to innovate by telling these women stories through a newly-commercialized technology called radio. Not just any stories, mind you, but compelling episodic tales of families facing strife, drama, joy and pain – often punctuated with multiple plotlines and cliffhanger endings.... " 

Memory Formation

In ReadwriteWeb:  It has been known for a long time that our memories are a malleable thing.  But have we now been introduced to something very different than just reading a book, watching a play, or even watching TV.  How are the new image based interactions online effecting children in new ways?   Is this more than the supposed popcorn subliminal tests of the 50s?  The aroma engagement of the 90s? Or the neuromarketing of the 2000's?  Is this something we do not yet understand?  Consider what this means for all the children growing up with a tablet in hand ....

Counting Clicks

Roger Dooley does a good job on the recent work regarding how much clicks really do count.  Fundamental issues.  I recall in the early days of internet advertising, some of my colleagues were involved in the practice of using measures like clicks being directly connected to prices charged to the advertiser.

Cloud Plus Smarter Commerce for Mid Size Businesses

Smarter commerce is starting to happen for the midsize business.  Laurie McCabe does a good job describing about how this is happening and how it is evolving.   Another movement we are starting to see is how cloud usage is starting to surge for these same businesses.   I typically talk to several such businesses every week, from  startups to well established enterprises.  The companies often need to share data among clients and employees, or between employees.  Working together accurately is smarter.  They well remember the 'old' days of using memory sticks, or emailing data among participants as needed.    Sticks were misplaced and emails lost in the deluge of communications.   It was unclear which item  had been updated.   Software was also often not updated as it should be.   Confusion could reign.

This is especially true as new kinds of sensor information were gathered ... from retail registers, manufacturing equipment, truck based GPS and mobile cameras ... the confusion and operational need to get real time data to analytical models made this problem yet more difficult.  Analytics work well only with correct and appropriate and timely data.

Smarter commerce is better commerce.    Smarter data is also shared data.   It can be updated and integrated   into the right models, and the model can be re-run to provide adaptations.  Akin to the mid course navigation correction concept.  The updated data, models and results are then passed back to the people that need the results.

In a conversation I had recently it was suggested that it was not as necessary for the small to medium sized business to worry about the security concerns introduced by the use of Cloud concepts.  I disagreed.  You still have to do things right.  Using the cloud haphazardly can expose you to hazards just like a lost drive can.

As I write more players are starting to provide cloud based sharing and collaboration. The world is getting for  all players, big and small, to share data.  Smarter commerce should be ready for it today.

See also IBM's site on this topic.   This article has a number of useful examples of how the cloud is being used today by companies of all sizes.


This post was written as part of the IBM Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.



Visionaries Spot the Future

In Wired:   Several notable visionaries describe how they spot the future.  Including several we worked with.  It is always about a context.  Notably Paul Saffo:  " ... A longtime technology forecaster, Saffo is a managing director at the Silicon Valley investment research firm Discern. Formerly the director of the Institute for the Future, he is also a consulting professor in Stanford University’s engineering department.
There are four indicators I look for: contradictions, inversions, oddities, and coincidences. In 2007 stock prices and gold prices were both soaring. Usually you don’t see those prices high at the same time. When you see a contradiction like that, it means more fundamental change is ahead.... " .   The other comments are good also.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cray Urika

Taking a look at Cray Computer.  Years ago, in 1996, when they had just combined with  Silicon Graphics,   also an early platform we used,  I gave a talk to their executive group at a retreat outlining enterprise uses of their hardware and software.  Now they have a ' big data appliance for relationship analytics'  URIKA.   Good to see them making a play for a new space.

If You Like Will You Buy?

From the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative:

Intriguing data and behavior analysis opportunity:

IF YOU "LIKE"  WILL YOU BUY? NEW DATA ON SOCIAL MEDIA EXPOSURE AND PURCHASE BEHAVIOR
A WCAI Research Opportunity Sponsored by a Multinational FMCG Company 
May 4, 2012, 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST
 Don't miss out on one of the best multi-channel advertising data sets to be made available to the academic community. Over the past two years, this major multinational Fast Moving Consumer Goods ("FMCG") company has carefully collected data for a specific product category in a Western European Country. Using household scanners, television monitors, and network card data capturing devices, the company has recorded what its panelists have bought, what they've watched on TV, their banner ad exposures, and what's been presented to them on their Facebook news feeds. The company's products can be found in all major grocery chains, and their brands have strong presence across television, online and social channels..... " 

Health Care Supply Chain Solutions

Just had an enlightening discussion with Dave Swart,  of Health Chain Solutions Ltd.  They address the question of how you utilize increasingly available health care data to improve the system, from the provider to the patient.  Think of a health care system like a supply chain.  Change behavior in all parts of the chain, decrease costs, improve performance.   Part of a very complex work process.

We are going to need lots more of this kind of systems thinking in the coming years.  Their simple data analysis process makes lots of sense. Check out their site and think of how they could help you reduce costs in this increasingly expensive health supply chain.

Fujitsu enters Big Data

In a recent interesting development, Japanese hardware and software giant has proposed a software suite that addresses big data. " ... The company announced server software aimed at handling large, diverse file systems, quickly scanning volumes of data, and rapidly storing and reading information from databases. Fujitsu is also developing dedicated hardware for the new packages, which it will launch by the end of next March, said Kazuo Imada, head of the company's cloud platform development group... " 

Technology and Its Use Continue to Speed up


A graph displays the penetration of many common technologies into US households.   Source at the link and larger graph there.  See the comments in the link for some remarks on how this kind of data has natural biases.   Still very instructive.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Transforming the Front End of Innovation

Intriguing webinar case study of work by Kimberly-Clark.   I plan to attend.  The idea of using concept development is something we are using effectively to this day.

" ... Join Cor Bosselaar, Portfolio Leader at Kimberly-Clark, to learn how Kimberly-Clark is enhancing the front end of innovation to enable bigger and better ideas -- that drive bigger and better business results. During this session, Bosselaar will explore how Kimberly-Clark dramatically improved idea and concept development with a central, global collaboration process and tool.... " 

Introverts and Innovation

In the HBR Blogs:  Although Myers Briggs tests are not technically meant to label introvert-extrovert, we did experiment with it broadly to help people understand styles of both customers and colleagues.  It was commonly thought that an extrovert would more likely be able to push an innovation to value.   While introverts were more likely to think through alternative options more closely. Though some internal research only weakly supported that.   This article provides some worthwhile thoughts about the value of both styles.

Social Media Advertising Exploding

In AdAge:  A good opinion piece predicting the continuing increase of using social media to engage.   Suggestion is that a  battle will ensue between digital media and social media enabled agencies.   Its all about advertising vs using social media to build new kinds of engagement.  It is once again about the realm of context.  You cannot simply deliver old form advertising in a completely new context.   It needs to be retooled to make it work.

Dissolvable Packaging

An experimental topic for some time.  It always requires a second protective layer for making sure that encounters with water or high moisture don't cause problems.  It can improve the cleanliness or simplicity of the introduction of ingredients in certain applications.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Future of Data Visualization


From the Tableau Software Blog:  On the future of data visualization.   Well put, but in addition being able to interact with a visualization so it can fit both a changing environment and the needs of the user will be key capabilities.

Microsoft Mood Analysis

In GeekWire:  Microsoft research proposes a search that uses mood, interests and education from Facebook activity.  Non conscious and inferred information is always interesting.

Classic Nintendo Games are Hard

NP-Hard to be exact.   A specific form of problem that has many examples, the traveling salesman problem is known to be NP-Hard, that cannot be solved by a cadre of computers that can do things that computers still cannot do today. A technical discussion. I am not sure exactly what this means in a practical sense today,  but it is to me a surprising result.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Synthetic Environments

Simulations are synthetic environments.   It has been a long time since I too a look at Purdue's Simulex Inc.  which creates macroeconomic and agent oriented environments and infrastructures for the military and Fortune 500 companies.  Their case studies section does a good job of explaining how this works.

Oracle and BI Simplicity

Oracle and big cloud analytics.    " ... Oracle’s mass emphasis on cloud computing, analytics and big data are the results of a future in business data management that demands simplified solutions through limited budgets, Oracle President Mark Hurd said Wednesday during a keynote at Oracle OpenWorld Tokyo 2012. "It’s simply too hard and inefficient to continue on with the IT infrastructures of today. Vertically integrated, engineered systems and the cloud are all symptoms of the same reality – [users] need a simple, more effective way to drive IT," said Hurd..... "

Nanotech Revolution

Was pointed to this series of articles by Gwyneth K Shaw on nanotechnology news and tech.  Largely non technical and readable.  That led me to a series of articles and information in the Guardian: Nanotechnology World, with similar features.   In our enterprise I attended a number of meetings on nanotech, but not being a chemist or material scientist,  I could not follow all of the implications.  Together these two resources provide a good introduction.

Digitization of Manufacturing

In the Economist:  Is this the third industrial revolution? They do a good job of providing an overview of technologies that are prompting this, but not necessarily the issues that will slow up its progress.  A blurring of the distrinction between services and manufacturing.  We will get there, but a number of things, like the changes in labor needs, will impair it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kimberly-Clark on Mobile and Social

An interview with Kimberly Clark  on the future of mobile and social:  " ... Jeff Jarrett, vice president for global digital marketing at Kimberly-Clark, said the company has "seen a nice return on investment from our digital spending." He said the company is increasing spending on mobile searches, and he added, "Nearly all of our brands will have mobile sites by the end of this year .... " 

Segmentation plus Merchandising

Merchandising has been around for a long time.  We did lots of experimentation trying to understand the specific behavior of consumers in laboratory, virtual and actual stores.  In each case with carefully interviewed real shoppers.  We also sought to understand how these 'old' behaviors linked to new behaviors like those online, and especially in mobile settings.   It all comes down to the specific behavior of consumers in this rapidly changing domains.     How does the behavior of people online and in brick and mortar vary?   General segmentation of these behaviors has always existed, but how is it known quantitatively and accurately?   Leading to specific decisions that can lead to lower costs and increased profits.   This is a relatively new challenge for analytics.

In a recent RetailWire, this is expanded,  note the mention of three decades work, which I participated in from both the experimental dimension and dealing with the data itself:

" ... Say your final farewell to the mass market. It's taken at least three decades of work and experimentation but, thanks to technology, truly customer-focused, targeted merchandising and marketing is now finally possible.  Data analytics now gives retailers the ability to define their customer segments based on shopper needs, behaviors and traits, and specify marketing approaches that meet the demands of each segment ....  As discussed in a recent Shopper-Centric Retailing eBook produced by DemandTec, an IBM Company, combining merchandising optimization technology with shopper segmentation now gives retailers the power to identify and incorporate a host of segment behavioral differences into their merchandising and marketing decisions..... " 

The power is suggested is considerable, especially when linked to new engagement capabilities: in-store, on mobile, and producing accurately tailored merchandising.     It also connects well to the levels of investment made in each of these contexts.  Marketing mix is a challenging process.  Improving and even optimizing the results are now made possible by a new realm of data that now makes possible new accuracy in merchandising.

Read the short article linked to above and the full white paper attached for more detail.   I am optimistic that we will continue to see improvements in this area.    More data and improved analytics will lead the way.  Smarter commerce will result.

Face Matching in Forensics

Image analysis continues to be a strong interest.   Similarity and tagging of images continues to move ahead, but is not yet completely solved.   Face matching is an area that has progressed because of needs in security and social applications.  Here is a relatively good article that provides some details which could be useful more generally.

Fighting for the Fifth Screen

It is a challenge.  With tablets and phones, and now watches and even goggle-glasses, added to all the screens popping up everywhere,  there is real motion  to get every last bit of attention and information serving delivery space filled out.  This Fastcompany article states it well.  Once again I recommend Keith Kelsen's book and my related writings on the subject.  We are moving quickly in serving up how this works and will evolve.   Next are the details of how will this work, what will be shown and how the interaction will be tailored.  How can that data then be used?   What models of interaction will be needed?    We are working on the details.

See also the 5thscreen blog for more.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gamification for Fitness and Wellness

An example of how gamification and social networking can be used for fitness and wellness programs.  " ... A major West Coast health plan has jumped on the social gaming/networking trend in fitness and wellness applications. Blue Shield of California is already offering one such program to its employees and will soon provide two more. The company is also trying to sell its employer customers on the idea that this approach can help engage workers in their own healthcare. Blue Shield launched Wellvolution, a wellness initiative for its own employees, in 2009.... "

Quantification of Social Behavior

Averages are wrong.   " ...  The key here is the word "average." This is quite likely the wrong way to think about social behavior.  This is actually quite common in social behavior reporting that I see online.  Take another example from Pew Research: "The average American has just over two discussion confidants (2.16) – that is, people with whom they discuss important matters. This is a modest, but significantly larger number than the average of 1.93 core ties reported when we asked this same question in 2008."  [1]  I am also guessing that the use of average here is probably wrong.  Why? ... " 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Integrated Insights

Clorox and Roundy's develop a collaborative shopping program.  More here.  Identifying gaps between beliefs and behaviors.

Uncanny Valley of Targeted Advertising

An article from a while back on the phenomenon of 'uncanny valley' in targeted advertising.  The emotional experience of knowing you are being watched.   Noticed it in the early days of Google Adwords, and it has become increasingly sophisticated as more data is being captured and mined.

On Retooling for the Social Era

Video.   Everyone is including strong social elements in their systems,  but search is still a big element in getting to focused results.  Portals are still essential.  So I think the  demise of search is premature.

Robotics Challenge for Disaster Response

A very detailed  DARPA challenge for robotics in the area of disaster response.  In IEEE spectrum.   I have been surprised that more has not been done in this context.  It is an obvious application.   At the same time, disasters are by their nature chaotic, and the advanced pattern recognition needed to address chaotic environments is more difficult.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Computers and Society

See correspondent Lisa Kaczmarczyk's book:


Computers and Society: Computing for Good contains in-depth case studies with extensive, thought provoking end of chapter questions and is appropriate for a wide-variety of undergraduate and graduate majors in areas such as Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Information Science, Information Technology, Health Information Science, Business Management, and Political Science as well as many others majors. The complex nature of the case studies allows them to be used in a stand-alone social and professional issues course, a capstone issues course or as individual case studies that may be woven into a variety of computing or business courses ...

More about the book and ordering information.


Delivering Analytics

In E-Commerce Times:  Some useful thoughts about the process and the needs for expertise.   Its never all about the tools:
" ... Considering the large number of tools and wide range of skills necessary to be an effective digital analyst, managers are opting to hire "the best athlete" rather than looking for analysts that have deep skills in a narrow set of tools. The fast-learning, intellectually curious analyst who can understand the business will better serve the needs of the company than an analyst hired simply for specific tool knowledge.... "

Electronic Laboratory Notebook Management

Rescentris just brought to my attention.   We worked on Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN) systems that could be signed and witnessed some time ago.  Most recently I was reintroduced to the broader issue of how knowledge management could be linked to recording systems.  Re-examining now:  " ... The system architecture of Rescentris’ CERF solutions was implemented to meet all of the requirements of an enterprise ELN and scientific content management solution to serve the needs of the life sciences and general research community for the near and long-term. CERF was designed to have a highly modular rather than monolithic architecture to enable ease of updates, adaptation, customization, and integration. The core semantic technologies infrastructure unifies the set of managed components that together make up the product and its market-driven features for managing research content and lab records..... "

Aimia Loyalty Analytics

I have been following the Aimia group for a while now. More news.  " ... Self Serve, a proprietary program through Sobeys' partnership with analytics firm Aimia, will help the company work more broadly and collaboratively with suppliers to harvest the full potential of customer insight data, Sobeys said.... " 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Shopper Marketing

New book: Shopper Marketing: How to Increase Purchase Decisions at the Point of Sale, by Markus Stahlberg.    On my list to read.   Contains a chapter by Herb Sorensen regarding his Atlas store category simulation system that we examined when it first came out.     " ... Shopper Marketing explores the subject of focused marketing initiatives aimed at browsers and shoppers who are in-store and can be influenced in their final buying decisions. Now with a new foreword by Philip Kotler this second edition features 12 brand new articles that reflect the current changes in the fast growing area, focusing specifically on the international scope, the online presence and the future of shopper marketing.   Written by 35 experts from top companies around the world including dunnhumbyUSA, Millward Brown, Tesco’s Fresh & Easy, MARS Advertising, NestlĂ© and author, CEO and president of Envirosell, Paco Underhilll, Shopper Marketing shows the most effective ways of converting shoppers into buyers at the point of purchase. ... " 

Visualizing Risk

A study in visualizing risk, from Forbes.   Very complex dashboards of data are shown.  This gets back to using the human visual system as a trend and outlier recognition engine.   While the eye cannot directly determine the complexity of a statistical inference, it can select among possible changes, especially in near real time, to determine where the deep dive should take place.  So why not connect the eye to the algorithm in new and fruitful ways?

P&G Razor Innovation

In the HBR Blog.  How consumer innovation for Gillette is moving to the far east.   Matches some other speculation I have heard about how other innovation work is moving to the centers of populations and thus new markets.

Struggling to Collaborate

Baseline Slideshow:  On the issues of inter-enterprise collaboration.  Somewhat useful, again, for a project I am working, but could use more depth than they claim.  There is an unfortunate tendency today to replace detailed content with images that do not have much to do with the topic at hand.   Attracting eyeballs with minimal value.  The technical, legal, intellectual property and resource aspects of these efforts are still considerable.

Managing a Portfolio of Innovations

From Forrester: We also worked on a closely related project.  how do you get the right information, especially about the technical risk involved, to the decision makers?  It is a collaboration issue where decision makers need to be linked to the knowledge involved, and the people that are doing the required research.  And and all of that process needs to be recorded for later re-use.    Involved in a project now that addresses this.  More to follow.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Retail Work Force Dropping

In the Atlantic: Why the future of retail doesn't need workers. Partially agree. It still needs workers, just a reapportionment of them. New skills. More innovation. Better engagement tools and skills.

Terry Jones on Breakthrough Innovation

A keynote presentation on regarding breaking through corporate organizational barriers to innovation.

Global Leadership Lessons from Unilever

Global leadership lessons from Unilever:

" ... Kruythoff was appointed president of Unilever's North American cluster in September 2011. Based in the United States, the job gives him responsibility for what he believes is his company's most important market and the challenges that come with it. "People like to talk about China or India or Brazil," said Kruythoff, a native of the Netherlands, the birthplace of Unilever's foods divisions. "But when you grow up in Europe, you always hear of the American Dream and what that represents.
"This is America, a place where we need to push the boundaries," he added. "The intellectual capital in this country is like no other. The Googles and the Amazons and the Apples, they are all here. So that is where I want to be for my company." ...  "

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Recording Brain Waves at the Supermarket

Stephen Sands of Sands Research gives a talk at a recent conference: " ... Dr. Stephen Sands focused his presentation on recording brain waves at the super market and about what happens in the brain when people spot an item of interest, grab it, examine it and then place it in the shopping basket. Using 68 channel full spectrum EEG technologies, they quantify: Overall Engagement, Emotional Valence (left and right asymmetry, inferior frontal gyrus), Cognition, Attention, Visual, Motor, Memory, Recognition.... " 

Augmented Reality Daily

Just noted,  an aggregation of augmented reality news items.  A client just reminded me of this topic, so you will see more mentions of it.  How can it effectively be connected to more mundane business intelligence data sources?   Thoughts?

World Bank Opens Access

I acted as a judge for some World Bank investments, so this announcement is interesting.   A good direction for this kid of information.  Any structured or unstructured data involved could be useful for economic analysis

Friday, April 13, 2012

Neuromarketing Theory and Practice

A review of a new magazine on Neuromarketing Theory and Practice. Looks to be very interesting but pricey.  I see that a favorite consultant of mine in this space, Stephen Sands of  Sands Research,  has an article in it about " ... shopping behavior insights and data interpretation of neuroscientific research ... "  right up in our interest area.  

If anyone wants to send us a review copy of this article, or the whole magazine, we will review further.

The Pentagon and Augmented Reality

And as you might expect, the US DOD is very interested in the idea of hands-free augmented reality displays.  They have played in this space in a number of ways in the past, including early heads-up displays in aircraft.   In the enterprise we tested the idea for maintenance applications, but at the time they were not appropriate.  Now their time may have come.  Integrating them in contact lenses could remove some of associated issues we encountered:

"  ... DARPA orders prototypes of Innovega's iOptik displays that use special contact lenses so a person can focus both on images shown on the lenses and far-away objects for augmented reality.... " 

How Tech is Changing Retail

Short interview in AdWeek:   With Laura Davis-Taylor.  Nothing very new, but reminders of the broad challenge of adoption.   I like her ending quote:   " ...  Whenever you’re trying to create something new for the shopper experience the pain of learning has got to be better than the pain of not learning. ... " 

Business Value of Mobile for the Small and Medium Size Business

Good post with statistics for using with the Small and Medium Size Business. " .... What are SMBs top business challenges, and how well do mobile solutions help them meet these challenges? Interestingly, that depends on whether you’re asking them about the benefits of having their employees use internal mobile apps, or the value of offering mobile apps and mobile-friendly web sites for external customers, partners and suppliers to use.... " 

Facebook and Human Behavior

Interesting view of how Facebook is being used as a means of understanding why people do what they do.  Intriguing, but I wonder how well it works in an artificial environment.   But the richness in so much data can lead to new kinds of pattern discovery.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pinterest Guide for Marketers

I have been exploring this for use as an image-oriented story-telling communications platform.  Here is a good introductory guide for marketers.

Visible Supply Chain

The topic of how to make a supply chain visible as possible has been examined many times.  As far back as the 70s we experimented with the topic using call-in reporting methods.   In the 90s we started to experiment with GPS.  As recently as the early 2000's we worked actively with RFID methods and simulated networks and alterting systems.   In the Supply Chain Digest:  A good overview article,  including a useful diagram that brings together many of the issues involved.   Now combine this all together with new analytic methods.   Well worth reading.

Marketing in a Gaming World

Gaming continues to be a hot topic.  It can get people's attention like a good ad can.   But I  have seen it better applied to applications where it is meant to get people to do things that they would not otherwise do.    Competition is a good example.  We applied it to solve difficult problems by engaging the creativity of multiple people.  A gaming - crowdsourcing approach.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Scan Now Ship Later

A new way to shop.  In particular, how will this change how images and displays are constructed and positioned?   Not new, but rapidly growing.

Wireless Expense Management: Bill Police

I have been asked to look at the wireless expense management company Bill Police.   So far this looks to be a good solution to the problem of increasing communications costs.  Continuing a look at enterprise applicability.  " ... We provide outsourced telecom expense management that simplifies billings and reporting while saving clients millions in wireless costs.....  We are able to work with organizations regardless of current wireless carrier relationships.  This means no downtime, no switching of carriers, and no new contracts or devices - simply let The Bill Police™ manage your wireless telecom expenses and watch as your mobile costs plummet.... Make an informed decision - determine whether or not wireless telecom expense management is the right solution for your organization.... Our free, no-obligation savings analysis is quick and informative. .... " 

Thwarting Showrooming

In the WSJ:   I have been asked to look at 'showrooming', where a shopper uses a retailer to touch and view items and then buys them online or elsewhere for lower cost.  A growing concern of physical retailers.    The complete article requires subscription.

New Online University

A startup seeks to deliver an elite online University.   Minerva Project.   " ... "The only way we're going to find out what works is to do it, rather than sit there opining," said David Wiley, an associate professor of instructional psychology and technology at Brigham Young University. "Bring it on."

Nelson wants to attract top students from around the world to his Minerva Project, a for-profit undergraduate college that will offer rigorous courses designed by academic superstars. But Minerva will also require students to teach themselves everything from Spanish to macroeconomics.... " 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

ThinkVine Links with KBM Group

Press release.   A good example of analytic and knowledge management in key marketing applications:

"....  KBM Group, the global leader in knowledge-based marketing solutions, has entered a strategic partnership with ThinkVine, a marketing mix optimization software company. The agreement enhances KBM Group's customer engagement solutions and marketing mix optimization capabilities, extending its customer intelligence analysis in the areas of marketing mix modeling and actionable "what if" scenario planning across consumers, tactics and channels, including new, untried channels. The combined capabilities will enable KBM Group to help clients more relevantly engage with customers and improve marketing planning, sales and ROI in a time of evolving media.... "

Conceptual Modeling

Thoughts on the application and value of conceptual modeling for Big Data Applications.

P&G's Free Sustainability Analysis Tool

P&G is making a spreadsheet based sustainability tool freely available.  More here. " ... The Excel-based tool, launched last year, enables companies to measure and interpret key environmental sustainability metrics across their supply chains and identify progress as well as opportunities for improvement. It measures absolute or intensity improvements in nine key metrics including energy use, water use, waste disposal and greenhouse gas emissions on a year-to-year basis, P&G says.  P&G estimates that the scorecard has led to nearly $1 billion in bottom-line operational savings from reductions in energy, water, waste and CO2 at its facilities over the past ten years.... " 

Digital Opportunities for Retail

In Progressive Grocer:    An engagement study is previewed;

Print and online circulars are almost neck and neck in helpfulness, but recipes and apps are driving more consumers online to engage grocers, according to a new report soon to be released by Brick Meets Click (BMC) in partnership with Grocery Shopping Network (GSN).

The report, "Connecting with Modern Grocery Shoppers," will be released April 19, and involved an online survey of 23,000 shoppers who participate in GSN’s online network. Brick Meets Click developed and executed the survey, research and analysis. ... "

Data Mining Overview

In the Atlantic:   A good, very non-technical overview of data mining.  Lots of people are asking these days.   " ... Big data is everywhere we look these days. Businesses are falling all over themselves to hire 'data scientists,' privacy advocates are concerned about personal data and control, and technologists and entrepreneurs scramble to find new ways to collect, control and monetize data. We know that data is powerful and valuable. But how? ... " 

FlexTime and TeleWork Leading to Better Knowledge Management

I have been working in recent days with a company on  how collaboration can be improved.   Here an article on TeleWork.  Saving money, and also leading to better knowledge management.  More to follow.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Retailers Taking to Tablets

Phil Lempert on how, Supermarket blogger who often has interesting insights, on how retailers  are taking to tablets.   I have only seen a tablet used once in physical retail, but they can increase purchases from home.

Creative Machines Overtaking Man

What happens when creative machines overtake us?   Can machines be creative?  We examined this for the product development context. It  did not lead to anything substantial at the time, but I am convinced the possibilities were there.  Kurzweil Net examines. 

Ultra Precise Location, Indoors and Outdoors

Location capabilities are a long time interest of mine, based on work in retail innovation centers and with several startups with differing accuracy needs and goals.    In Technology Review: "... Broadcom has just rolled out a chip for smart phones that promises to indicate location ultra-precisely, possibly within a few centimeters, vertically and horizontally, indoors and out.... "

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Data Modeling Mistakes

A slide show.  I post about this here because the slide show images have no relationship to the content. They add no insight.  Another example of the infographic influence trend where images are the driving force, as in social networks like Pinterest.  The words that come with the images are reasonable thoughts, but largely obvious examples.

Conversable Economist

Newly pointed to by M. Perry's Carpe Diem.:  The blog:  The Conversable Economist.  In particular a post about changes in prices of simple commodities over very long periods.  Discussed is the price of nails used in building.  The use of simple examples with supporting data is always useful.  Econometrics is always of interest here because it attempts to quantify behavior.  In recent years, though, I have become increasingly skeptical of econometric models that try to broadly predict.

Teacher Complaints Against iBooks

Common teacher complaints against iBooks.  And more generally against tablets.    Better content rather than more is emphasized.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Atlas Category Placement Tool

I have mentioned Herb Sorensen's Atlas Category placement simulation tool a number of times.  It has now moved to a  new  location.  More about it here, and more background information.

Atlas
The Category Placement ToolTM

Can I improve my profits if I move baby food from aisle 6 to aisle 15?
Atlas is the first system that allows retailers and brand managers to instantly calculate the revenue impact of moving categories anywhere in the store...." 

Know Where Your Data Comes From

In Adage:  It is absolutely fundamental to know where your data comes from and how it was manipulated in route.  I have seen this kind of mis-use many times.

Hurdles for Google Glasses

Good piece on what augmented reality experts are saying about Google Glasses. The idea continues to intrigue me and my clients because it could produce a major change in how people buy in context. You can do much of this today using augmented reality Apps on Smartphones, but it is still cumbersome and reveals what you are doing. A system that would make this kind of product and space engagement easier and less obvious, and would get many more people to engage. Our own studies revealed some of these issues with the shopper. Still, I believe this will become common, though it may be a few years to work out the problems.

E-Book on Strategic Planning

Stengthening Brand America offers an ebook on strategic planning.   It relates to an interesting regional topic, Ed Burghard writes:  " ... Occasionally, there are disruptive events that test the strength of any strategic plan and need to be addressed. It can be the loss of a major employer, the devastation of a natural disaster, or the unexpected emergence of a brand new industry.

I authored this eBook with the latter in mind. The emergence of the shale energy industry in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays is creating a disruptive impact on many rural communities in the nation’s Appalachian Region. A Region that has a history of suffering through boom-bust cycles related to the emergence of new industries (lumber, steel, and coal). My assessment is that in each case, the Region had an opportunity to leverage the new industry as a springboard to sustainable economic prosperity, but due to a lack of adequate strategic planning became a victim of circumstances... " 

Friday, April 06, 2012

Articles about Analytics and Data Science

From Data Science Central:   A good selection of articles about Analytics and Data Science from major publications.  Largely non-technical.

More Screens are Better

In Think With Google:  They state the obvious, but also that having your message clearly and efficiently delivered is important.   We already know from lots of research that the message also needs to be tailored to each of the kinds of screens used.  In multiple contexts.   See Keith Kelsen's book for more strategies about that.

Video based Detection Methods

Some good points about video detection and analysis.  This area continues to get more sophisticated and pervasive.  Expect it to get even more common:
" .... It's very likely that you've been on camera from the moment you left home today -- recorded as you rode in the elevator, walked on the street, bought coffee at the local deli, withdrew money, and as you've moved throughout your office building. While you're at work, cameras might be recording the events in your home, capturing the nanny's interaction with your children and when your cat drinks from her water bowl. Your image is part of the crowd scene in the camera advertisement on a billboard in Times Square, passersby are looking at you on the video display at an electronics store, the game system in your living room is analyzing your gestures, and your face is being analyzed as you go through security at the airport.... "

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Optimizing Networks

Fraunhofer report on software that uses simulation to optimize networks.  Network technology is often used to understand and make networks more efficient.   A common application addresses supply chain systems, which we actively used in the enterprise.  Electrical grids, pipelines and even networks of people are also examples of systems that you might want to improve and optimize.

Looking at Store Behavior with Data Mining

A Spectrum IEEE Techwise Conversation with data-mining expert Eric Siegel.  Your favorite stores know you all too well.  President of Prediction Impact.  This company site contains a number of interesting papers on related topics.

Social Abacus Blog

I was just reminded of Kate Nieder's Social Abacus blog.  " ... a social psych PhD who has worked in social media analysis for about 7 years. In September 2008 helped start Dachis Group, the world's leading social business firm. In 2012, I'll start Knowable Research. ... " .   Great posts.  I am looking forward to Knowable Research.

Kiosk and Mobile Connection

A less common approach, a means to deliver coupons to shopper via kiosks smartphones via BlueTooth.   We experimented with coupons that printed on a  kiosk in store based on loyalty data.

Google Glasses

Much in the news: Google Glasses.  The not new, but apparently improved idea of putting displays into glasses that are location aware and connected.  As I mentioned before, an idea we worked with a number of times for internal applications, but also with an eye to how it might be used by consumers in the future.  This will produce another challenge to the makers of ads, how will ads be constructed to work best in this new channel?  What will it mean in physical spaces?   Issues of attention, safety?    I think this will ultimately succeed in some form. Get ready

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Data Talking to Data

In the CACM: " ... Some companies on the cutting edge of technology are combining data streaming with advanced data-analytics methods that let them tie information they already possess to what is happening now.... " 

Visualization and Dynamic Analysis

Stephen Few writes a useful piece.   what do good interactions for visual analysis look like?:

Interactive Dynamics for Visual Analysis
Jeff Heer of Stanford University and Ben Shneiderman of the University of Maryland have co-authored a wonderful new paper titled “Interactive Dynamics for Visual Analysis.” With so much emphasis today on the visualizations themselves, Jeff and Ben are encouraging us to also attend to the interactions with those visualizations that are required for effective analysis. Data exploration and sensemaking (a.k.a., exploratory data analysis) requires constant and fluid movement from one view to the next, rapidly changing how we’re viewing the data to pursue each new question that arises. Interactions are required to alter the view, and it’s important that those interactions be quick and easy, otherwise our minds will be distracted from the flow of analysis.... " 

Analytic Bridge Buzz Site for Data Science

New:    Greenplum’s hub for the latest industry news, research, webcasts and use cases covering big data, analytics, and the data scientist community.    Looks to be a useful resource.

Supply Chain Executives Talk

You are invited to attend the next OBAIS seminar scheduled on Friday, April 6, 1:30 PM in Lin 111, by Prof. Vinod Singhal from Georgia Institute of Technology, on an empirical investigation of firm performance and appointments of Supply Chain Operations Management Executives.
________________________________________________
Title: Empirical Investigation on the Appointments of Supply Chain and Operations Management Executives
Speaker: Professor Vinod Singhal, Brady Family Professor of Operations Management, College of Management, Georgia Institute of Technology
Date - Time - Location: Friday, April 6, 2012 – 1:30 PM – 111 Carl H. Lindner Hall, LCoB, University of Cincinnati
Abstract and Bio info is provided in the attached pdf flyer, and posted here.  Plus upcoming seminars.

Psychology of Social Engagement

In Fastcompany: This is a bit pop psychology oriented, but worth examination.     How much is our psychology changing as we communicate in radically new ways?

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Printable Paper Robots

A simple idea.  An MIT project that aims to create such devices by 2017.    Directionally interesting, but does not seem to be very practical.  Though as the example suggests, disposable mobile sensors might be the ideal initial example ...  " ... Today, MIT announced a new project, "An Expedition in Computing Printable Programmable Machines," that aims to give everyone a chance to have his or her own robot.  Need help peering into that unreasonably hard-to-reach cabinet, or wiping down your grimy 15th-story windows? Walk on over to robo-Kinko’s to print, and within 24 hours you could have a fully programmed working origami bot doing your dirty work.  "No system exists today that will take, as specification, your functional needs and will produce a machine capable of fulfilling that need," MIT robotics engineer and project manager Daniela Rus said. ... "

Big Y Online Shopping Mall

The Big Y Marketplace debuts.    The idea has been tried a number of times in the past, not to particular success.  Being a single place aggregator for online experiences and linking loyalty rewards.  Will be useful to track.   " ... Big Y Foods Inc. has rolled out the Big Y Marketplace as part of its revamped website.The online shopping mall enables customers to earn discounts on groceries when they shop at other retailers online. The Big Y Marketplace positions the Springfield, Mass.-based company as the first supermarket of its kind to leverage online affiliate advertising programs to reward customers for their loyalty both to Big Y and their preferred online merchants.... " 

Coca Cola Research on Social Media Users

A report in Progressive Grocer on Coca Cola's analysis of social media users.   " ... A report from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council divides social media users into the categories of bonders, sharers, professionals and creators. The report, "Untangling the Social Web: Insights for Users, Brands and Retailers," provides insight on each type of user. For example, bonders use social media to forge relationships and connections ... "

Visual Culture Taking Over

In Adage:  On the increase of image based culture.  Pinterest and the increase image tweets are just a few examples.  Easier to scan, yes.  A thousand words?  But also a dumbing down of interaction?

Chronicle of Philanthropy

A visualization of philanthropic stories.   A gallery of stories about why people should give using infographics

Monday, April 02, 2012

Books and Websites

Books should be as easy to produce as websites.   In O'Reilly Radar.   On publishing platforms.     " ... There are countless author and book production platforms to choose from these days. So why would you want to use a new one like PressBooks? In this TOC interview, I sat down with Hugh McGuire (@hughmcguire), co-author of "Book: A Futurist's Manifesto" and founder of PressBooks to help answer that question. I should point out that I'm a fan of the platform. In fact, that's one of the reasons we agreed to have Hugh create and produce "Book: A Futurist's Manifesto" on PressBooks.... " 

Data Visualization Landscape

Short thoughtful piece in Forbes on the landscape of data visualization.    Note the mention of storytelling.

On the Weight of Data

Jim Harris writes about the weight of data.    Thoughtful metaphor to use with management.  " ... weight is a gravitational force acting on data, and perhaps a way to represent subjective data quality.  Since most data can not escape the gravity of its application, most of what we refer to as data silos are actually application silos because data and applications become tightly coupled due to the strong gravitational force that an application exerts on its data. ... " 

So What is Best Price?

What is the right price?    It is always a tough question in retail.  Prices map to profits, and also strongly influence how consumers regard the retailer, both about a particular product and about the retailer in general.    Prices are increasingly transparent.    I was involved with a study recently which looked at how shoppers are increasingly using smartphone scans to compare prices on all sorts of products in-store.   The scans can easily be stored so they can use their laptop at home later to investigate alternatives.   Now people are no longer afraid to do a scan.    The world has changed.  When I asked them what they were doing when scanning in the store, they emphatically said things like:  'Making sure I am getting the right deal".

The scan also provides you with new kinds of information to structure how you intract with product choices.  The challenge is on. How do you assure you do have the right price to not scare off the shopper and still make a profit?  How does this relate to your long-term relationship with the shopper?   With promotional choices?   The increasing trasparency of prices to the consumer makes this crucial.

We talked to DemandTec as early as 2002 to better understand their methods.  I was impressed by their approach in category data and price management.    A unique quantitiative model that we had thought of,  but were unable to solve at the time.

They have come out with a paper regarding a customer success story for a direct delivery e-grocery, FreshDirect.   Also a concept we examined in some detail to understand one future view of grocery.  It is an ideal example of how to leverage cost, price and behavioral data that leads to new kinds of convenience for the online consumer that still needs physical goods.   By its interactive nature it can leverage new kinds of acquired data.

Check out their white paper for more details about how FreshDirect leverages their unique data to better serve their customers with the right price and product offerings, and build stronger loyalty to the convenience of FreshDirect.

FreshDirect is a pure play e-commerce retailer. As such, the data available to them provides a unique opportunity for competitive differentiation. "We know precisely every purchase for every customer, and a lot of surrounding behavioral data. We also have absolute compliance with all our pricing changes with absolutely no effort," ... 

 FreshDirect had a unique opportunity to leverage its data and allow it to compete more effectively. Thus, FreshDirect decided it needed a price optimization solution and DemandTec's Everyday Price Optimization software service on the DemandTec network fit the bill.



Sunday, April 01, 2012

Data Blending in Tableau

An academic perspective about data blending.  Aimed at the non-expert in the use of data and modeling.

Psych of Casino Design in Retail

A while back we examined some of the work that had been done designing casino spaces for maximum efficiency and return.  We were attempting to see how these same ideas could be used more generally in simulating and designing more general retail spaces.   I wrote a review of simulation approaches in this space.  In Wired, some recent writing on the subject.