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Friday, May 31, 2013

Facial Recognition Glasses

Its natural to think of wearable augmented reality glasses including a facial recognition system.  But apparently Google has no plans to include such software at this time.  In Engadget.

More Smart Glasses

Its not all about the Google Glass idea.  The notion of head-wearable, camera enabled augmented reality is being promoted by a number of vendors.  Metaio reports on another example.  All of these ideas are augmented reality plays.  Metaio is a major software developer in this space. " ... “Wearable computing is the next step for natural, useful Augmented Reality,” said Metaio CTO Peter Meier. “In order to realize the dream of an always on, always augmented world, it is important to have software for developers ready, today, for smart glasses like the Vuzix M100.” ... " 

Personal Clouds

Controlling your own data, is this a great idea?  Prompted by data ownership issues and speed in conventional clouds.  Only a limited specialty concern?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Algorithms that Write Books

In Mashable:   We have a huge compendium of knowledge on the web, some public, some private, some hidden.   It has always seemed to me there are ways to integrate this information into compact accumulations of knowledge. in other words: books.  This is going in some interesting directions we will see more of.

Visualizing Service Design

I like the idea of visualization of design.  Its very natural for most people to think this way.  Add it to a presentation and you will capture their attention.  And applying it to services?  In a presentation today I tried to outline how services could be connected to data rich processes.  Would have been valuable to have a visualization to portray what I was talking about.   How many standards needs to be included to make the recognition swift and universal?

Digimind, Brought Back to my Attention.

* Bigger box/ Bigger letters mean higher number of market news where “arctic” was discussed, indicating potential trend…I have selected country on the variation chart as the entity, but the trend analysis can be done by customer, person, segment, product line, competitor and many others. The list is unlimited…

Adjusting to the Digital Landscape

Well, yes, hope its not too late.  " ... As consumers turn to digital and mobile sources for product information and purchases, retailers have no choice but to adjust, experts say. For example, through partnerships with food-makers, QR codes can provide product information and coupons, as well as an entertaining video for children shopping with parents. ... ".  

Designing Your Next Product

Should a five year old?  Not unless five year olds buy it.  Naive does not necessarily make your product good.

Gamification Is Individual

Interesting thoughts.   "   ... A recent article by the IT specialist website Lifehacker Australia describes the most common pitfall of gamification; businesses often assume that gamification will instantly improve their business as if it’s a magic elixir. The article explains that while gamification can be very effective, it must be integrated in the right way, typically with a focus on the individual: “The big failing? Most projects focus too hard on achieving a specific corporate goal and neglect the objectives of the actual players, whether those are staff or customers. People don’t play games to reward others; they play for their own enjoyment. If you want a gamification project to succeed, you have to recognize that. This is why gamification by individuals often works better than gamification at a corporate level.” .. " 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Smart Devices Making Us Dumber

In CIOInsight:  Sounds much like the argument being made not so long ago about the use of calculators and before that,  slide rules.   Were we being dumbed down?    Today, though, the difference is that new smart technologies are adding social 'intelligence' to the mix, which the use of calculators never did.   The article includes reference to a WSJ on the topic.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Brainwashed, the Overreach of Neuroscience

Just received, Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience  by  Sally Satel  and Scott O. Lilienfeld  I was interviewed for this book and read an early version.  Will read and remark on in full soon.   Their description:  " ... In recent years, the advent of MRI technology seems to have unlocked the secrets of the human mind, revealing the sources of our deepest desires, intentions, and fears. As renowned psychiatrist and scholar Sally Satel and psychologist Scott O. Lilienfeld demonstrate in Brainwashed, however, the explanatory power of brain scans in particular and neuroscience more generally has been vastly overestimated. Although acknowledging its tremendous potential, the authors argue that the overzealous application of the burgeoning field of brain science has put innocent people in jail, prevented addicts from healing themselves, and undermined notions of free will and responsibility.  A provocative challenge to the use and abuse of a seductive science, Brainwashed offers an essential corrective to determinist explanations of human behavior.... " 

Updated: See also a balanced WSJ review.

Advice for Returning CEOs

Knowledge @ Wharton provides a history and analysis of returning CEOs,  see my note on P&G's AG Lafley's return.    Asking if the 'Gamble' will pay off.  Instructive and interesting.

Whats New on Lafley's List?

In AdAge:  I liked the fact that his predecessor, Bob McDonald, seemed to be emphasizing the analytical in finding ways to improve business.  Yet they soon found that there was little real support for new or sustained capabilities.  Business Sphere was one good example of value, but not taken far enough.   Wall street was not impressed.   Had worked with Lafley and his people and he is a true innovator, so liked his direction.  Very traditionally marketing directed.  Now has quite a challenge in front of him.  Find new, really profitable billion dollar brands.    But as AdAge asks, what is really new here?

Analytics Summit this Friday

Last chance, this Friday .... contact numbers below ... I unfortunately will be out of town, but looks to be good.

" ... Analytics Summit 2013  will be held on May 31, 8:15AM-5:00PM at the University of Cincinnati. Analytics Summit 2013 is the premiere analytics event of the year sponsored by the Center for Business Analytics in the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. The theme of the event is "Real-World Impact from Business Analytics." 

The Summit will feature a keynote presentation by renowned thought-leader Tom Davenport, best-selling author of Competing on Analytics. The event also includes day-long tracks in the specialized areas of Consumer/Retail Analytics, Finance & Insurance Analytics, Healthcare Analytics, HR Analytics and Supply Chain & Logistics Analytics. Track speakers include representatives from Procter & Gamble, Fifth Third Bank, dunnhumby, Kroger Co, Mercer, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and many more. 

To register for this event, please visit: http://www.regonline.com/analyticssummit2013. The website includes details on location, lodging options, agenda, etc. 

For more information, please see the website linked above or contact Tricia Burger at tricia.burger@uc.edu or (513) 556-7140.

Rise of Mobile Only

In a look at potential C suite users for business intelligence applications we quickly discovered a large number of users that are now mobile only.   More than I expected.  The rise of the tablet has made this is an increasingly specified requirement.  While the laptop is still needed for the typical analyst, the need has fallen away for many others.   The HBR discusses the trend.

Monday, May 27, 2013

An Age of Smart Machines

In the Economist:  Can we, will the knowledge worker be replaced and when?   Kurt Vonnegut is invoked from his novel Piano Player.   We certainly believed this in the 1980s.  .  " ... Two things are clear. The first is that smart machines are evolving at breakneck speed. Moore’s law—that the computing power available for a given price doubles about every 18 months—continues to apply. This power is leaping from desktops into people’s pockets. More than 1.1 billion people own smartphones and tablets. Manufacturers are putting smart sensors into all sorts of products. The second is that intelligent machines have reached a new social frontier: knowledge workers are now in the eye of the storm, much as stocking-weavers were in the days of Ned Ludd, the original Luddite. Bank clerks and travel agents have already been consigned to the dustbin by the thousand; teachers, researchers and writers are next. The question is whether the creation will be worth the destruction. ... " 

Information Insertion at Point of Need

From the BBC: What a good ridiculously simple idea, a sticker applied to Mercedes vehicles that contains a QR code, which directs first responders to rescue methods to extract people from a specific car model.  They have put the idea into the public domain.

Reminds me of related ideas of tattooing bar codes on people for medical ID .... Not far different from RFID capsule injection, now common in veterinary applications and some human systems ...

Designer Storytelling

Artifacts and more in storytelling.    You would think that today the universality of information technology would always bring it to the forefront as a required artifact of the storytelling process.  Yet there is much more: " ... Design artifacts  such as sketches, models, storyboards and multimedia presentations, are often described in terms of stories. We aim to observe designers’ approaches to storytelling during a design project  ran in The GlobalStudio, an international conglomerate of design students from various universities throughout theworld. Literature that provides theory surrounding storytelling is used to provide a framework of analysis with which we used to observe the design artefacts produced by the students. The paper concludes by discussing the themes in approach to storytelling that have emerged upon observing the students’ design artifacts and the implications that we believe this has for Design Education.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fragility and Convexity

nassim_nicholas_taleb's pictureLong on my reading list, this essay by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.   Some fascinating thoughts:   " ... The point we will be making here is that logically, neither trial and error nor "chance" and serendipity can be behind the gains in technology and empirical science attributed to them. By definition chance cannot lead to long term gains (it would no longer be chance); trial and error cannot be unconditionally effective: errors cause planes to crash, buildings to collapse, and knowledge to regress. ... " 

" ... It took at least five millennia between the invention of the wheel and the innovation of putting wheels under suitcases. It is sometimes the simplest technologies that are ignored. In practice there is no premium for complexification; in academia there is. Looking for rationalizations, narratives and theories invites for complexity. In an opaque operation to figure out ex ante what knowledge is required to navigate is impossible. ... "

NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB, essayist and former mathematical trader, is Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at NYU’s Polytechnic Institute. He is the author the international bestseller The Black Swan and the recently published Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder ... 

Blogs and Posts

The language log takes on the difference between blogs and posts.  To blog and all that.  Here I write a post about the subject.  All language is fluid, and in these times, with many new ways to exercise the language, it is more volatile yet.

Language Killing Innovation?

At first I bristled at this.  In Innovation excellence, but they make a point about being able to switch between visual and textual language that I have to agree with, at least broadly:  " ... Language is a wonderful tool, but is often too tight and constricting when communicating a concept that cannot yet be captured in words. Sometimes it is better to tap into the multi-layered forms of visual intelligence in our brain. Those who are truly creative have developed the ability to think beyond language. There are a swath of inventors and entrepreneurs that swear by the process of visualizing problems. The picture of the periodic table came to chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in a dream, and Richard Branson is known for leaving trash cans full of napkin sketches. Albert Einstein once wrote “The words of language as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought.”  ... ' 

Trends Driving Technology Innovation

In Innovation Excellence:  Trends driving technology innovation.  Nothing surprising here, but worth reviewing. All the things they mention have been done for some time, technology has made it easier and thus more broadly available.  Truly new things are coming out of the broad connectivity, networking and accessibility of these same ideas.  That would not have been predicted a relatively short time ago.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Glass Nests

Saw this in Engadget.   My colleagues and I worked on the notion of the 'automated'  home in the innovation centers.  The idea has been around since at least 1990, depending how you define it. Think of it as a hierarchy in the internet of things.  Where a home contains things and properties that need to be controlled, by systems and by people.   So something as simple as a thermostat is a control mechanism ... The ideas we tested over a decade had some value, but not compared to the costs involved.  The Nest idea sounds like more gadgetry than value.  But I am willing to examine further.

Use a Common Standard, If You Want to

Wow,  this an old controversy.  The switch to the metric system.  I remember writing a piece about it in high school for a technical newsletter.  Still in the news.   The latest effort on next steps, which seem once again to be going no where.    Slashdot provides some ho hum details.

Telehealth and Coordinated Care Models

Based on a number of conversations about this with doctors, the overall model is not working, perhaps because who is attempting to management it.  This Ecommerce Times overview is instructive.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Google Ready to Start Shipping Glass

In CW World.    Looks as though we are about to start another interesting socio-technical experiment.   I have my doubts that this will become common, or socially accepted, but I resisted the cell phone and smart phone emergence as well.

Google Innovation Possibilities

Google CEO Larry Page says they at 1% of what is possible.  I am concerned about wielding a number like that without some backing.

Eye Tracking as Privacy Invasion?

Is eye tracking a privacy invasion?  Similar arguments to the use of neuroanalysis while interacting with product or process.  In Mashable.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Snubbing Apps vs Desktop

In CW World:  It seems most MS WIN 8 users just try to find their way back to the classic desktop, avoiding the 'modern' App tile interface.  Only touch tablet users of Win 8 find much use for Apps.  I had to quickly learn both interfaces on my non-touch laptop, and the way to get from one to another, but find myself most often on the desktop.  In talking to several relatively non technical professional people who have moved to 8, they appear to have general contempt for the dual-mode aspect.  I saw the earliest versions of Widows desktops demonstrated at Microsoft, and it seems that no one is ready to cast it aside.  While the App interface works fine on tablets or  phones.  Sounds like a fail.

Intelligent Bar Code Scanning

A piece by the standards group GS1:   GS1 and Open Mobile Alliance team up to bring intelligent bar code scanning to mobile devices ... 

GS1 and Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) are collaborating to enable bar code scanning features built directly into mobile devices. This will make it easier for application developers to allow their apps to scan and link to trusted content.
"Our consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to research and purchase products. This new specification will allow more consumers to access accurate and trusted product information to help them with their daily lives", said John Phillips, SVP Customer Supply Chain and Logistics at PepsiCo.  .... Full press release.

Ethernet and the Cloud

Have noted a number of anniversaries in the last few weeks.  The Web is 20 years old.  And now the basic infrastructure that created the Internet, the Ethernet, is 40.  I recall hearing about this mysterious capability as part of the Darpanet at the Pentagon in the 1970s.  Are we ready to take it to the Cloud?

Artificial Intelligence Getting Smart

In Technology Review:   More on the increasing abilities of AI.  Immensely interesting to me as I had several encounters with the application of these methods in the enterprise.

Data Visualization Expertise

Short CW Piece on the topic of data visualization.  How specialists are emerging.   I repeat that I consider data visualization an essential  element of analytics.  Of course there can be specialists in this space,  but every practitioner of analytics needs to know the options here in some depth.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Brainwaves Added to the Quantified Self

Word of a kickstarter project called Melon that would gather brainwaves.  Another example of the quantified self. Also, related this to neuromarketing, there might be the potential to market you brainwaves under different contexts.  " ... The device will use EEG (electroencephalography) to measure brain activity and will come with an iOS app that will provide feedback to the user on “how focused” they are during given any point. According to the screenshots, users will be able to log what activity their doing for a given time and the Melon headband will provide a “focus score” on a 1 – 10 scale to inform users when their brain most focused. Melon’s iOS app will also contain a number of games and exercises to help users improve their focus while using their band. ... " 

Big Oil and Gas Companies in the next 5 Years

Recorded Future uses their forward looking semantic analysis tool to understand future activities of Oil and Gas Companies.    Full interactive version here.

Some sample extracts used to construct the maps:

"A final investment decision on the projects in the Kara Sea, in the centre of Russia's north coast, is expected in 2016-17, said Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson and Rosneft President Eduard Khudainatov."

"Oil major Chevron said it will spend about $500 million to raise output from Bangladesh's largest gas field. The project will raise gas production capacity by more than 300 million cubic feet a day... First production is expected in 2014."

"Algeria's Sonatrach and its U.S. partner Anadarko have started production at the El Merk oilfield and output should reach 127,000 barrels per day of crude and condensate at the end of 2013."

Printing 3D Food

Much in the News:  About how NASA and others are looking at how food can be printed digitally, remotely.  Things like Pizza?  You still have to have the component materials at the remote location, but you could make it more appetizing.

Mobile Completes Us

In E-Commerce Times:  MicroStrategy CEO on how our mobile presence completes us.  An interesting take.    Helps form our identity, yes.   And beyond the idea of a 'tool', like a carpenter's hammer, because its presence has become universal.  But always for the better?

Information Dashboard Design

Stephen Few is coming out with a new edition of his book: Dashboard Design.  He writes about it here.  Have not read it, but may be the time to do that. From his perspective, what is a dashboard?    He concisely describes it as " ... Displaying data for at-a-glance monitoring ... ".  In my view a form of analytics that seeks to involve the decision process user of the data as tightly as possible.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Causes of World Death

A good dynamic visualization of this data in Tableau public, emphasizing a treemap visualization and supporting bar charts.   I think this could be used for many kinds of complex health data.  " ... Identification of detailed causes is very important for priority settings and planning, since interventions are cause-specific. The data visualization “Causes of death in the World, 1990-2010” shows the detailed leading causes of deaths at global level in 1990, 2005 and 2010 by age groups, sex and broad groups of causes. Two dynamically linked visuals, a treemap and a bar chart with filters by analytic dimensions allows readers to explore leading causes of deaths by age, sex, broad groups of causes and years. The treemap ranks causes of deaths within broad groups of causes; meanwhile the bar chart displays the rank of all causes. ... " 

Illusions of Cognition in Computing

Interesting Forrester piece:  In fact all AI and expertise based systems appear to be cognitive.  How is this an illusion?   In fact in our own experiments with systems with only a handful of rules, say a dozen, could be seen as complexly cognitive.  And even such a simple system, would be quite difficult to manage, despite what the expert systems manuals said ... that all you had to do was drop in a rule to advance the systems knowledge..  You could, but the system would also have unexpected operational differences.   " ... IBM has just announced that one of Australia’s “big four” banks, the ANZ, will adopt the IBM Watson technology in their wealth management division for customer service and engagement. Australia has always been an early adopter of new technologies but I’d also like to think that we’re a little smarter and savvier than your average geek back in high school in 1982.  ... IBM’s Watson announcement is significant, not necessarily because of the sophistication of the Watson technology, but because of IBM's ability to successfully market the Watson concept. ... " 

Management Tools and Trends 2013

A look at the year 2013: From Darrell Rigby, my correspondent at Bain & Company.  " .... Global executives who participated in Bain & Company's 14th Management Tools & Trends survey see economic conditions improving in their industries. But their confidence has waned since our last survey in 2010 amid a slower recovery than many anticipated. As a result, 55% of executives surveyed are concerned about meeting their earnings targets in 2013. Their priority is to grow revenues, and they're taking a more strategic and focused approach. ... "  

Watson as a Customer Service Agent

In Forbes:  Once your have built an 'intelligent' knowledge structure like Watson, all sorts of advisory applications come to mind.  In the link it is positioned as a customer service agent.  Likely works best in very focused examples, as we discovered in the late 80s.   " ... Starting in the next few months, IBM will be rolling out with several key customers an “Ask Watson” feature that will greet and offer help through various channels:  Web chats, email, smartphone apps and SMS. Some customers will eventually equip the service with voice recognition from a partner such as Siri or Nuance. The guinea pigs include Australia’s ANZ Bank, Nielsen, Celcom, IHS, and Royal Bank of Canada. ... " 

A Look at Regulatory Burdens

A number of studies examine this. MJ Perry concludes that regulatory costs are the second highest component of a US family's cost.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Data in that Toothbrush

In Adage:  More internet of things linked with consumer behavior plays: " ... Imagine for a second that you could interview a product. How often is it being used? For how long? And where in the house does it live? Sounds crazy, but it's increasingly probable as marketers mine for data beyond the usual places -- web browsers, loyalty programs and smartphones -- and capture information from pill packages, soda fountains and the most mundane of consumer implements, the toothbrush. ... " 

Mobile BI Tools

I am in the midst of exploring mobile BI on tablets.  It is increasingly being specified that the solutions will be mobile.  That adds a number of challenges.  More.

Footprint App Again

I see that Kevin Karakotsios has made his Footprint USA environmental simulation iPad App free for a limited time only.   Worth a look.  I really like the style of his simulation based methods.  Good instructional simulation as well.  These techniques are much used in industry and university, but not well known outside.   More about the App here.

Software Patents

In the WSJ:  On software patents.   A survey and debate on the topic.   The patent system, like the copyright laws, are broken and impede innovation.   Process within software perhaps, but the system is heavily gamed and poorly managed.

One Planet Living on a Footprint App

Long time correspondent Ken Karakotsios has posted an excellent case study for the use of his Footprint USA App.  (Free now for a limited time) I mentioned it previously and have been exploring its visualization capabilities. I have been an industrial simulation practitioner for a long time, and it is good to see the application of these methods and their mobile delivery.  The App is a great place to get an understanding of what can be done with this technology to drive simulation from complex data.  He has made a number of good updates to the tablet App since its release.  Here is his introduction, follow the blog for updates to the journey:

" ... Each year the Worldwatch Institute publishes a State of the World, which is a collection of articles by different authors. This year's version, State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?, has some fascinating and enlightening articles. This is a first in a series of blog posts relating ways in which you can use Footprint USA to further explore some of the ideas discussed in the State of the World ...  " 

Twining Things Together

Good Wired Piece about Twine, an experimental capability that allows you to link together sensors in your hope to create an Internet of things.  Inexpensive and it seems to be readily usable by the hobbyist. Customizable and rule based with optional sensors for specific applications.   We tested much more expensive home control systems in the innovation centers.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

So What is Tumblr?

About to be sold to Yahoo.  I was asked to look at it as a microblogging tool a few years ago.   A microblog is an easy to use way to write blog posts. Tumblr adds direct support of images and social components.   Time Tech provides an overview.

The Modern Marketer

Former colleague Dave Knox, writes in his Hard Knox Life blog about the modern marketer, where he includes a whimsical infographic illustrating how the modern marketer is half artist and half scientist.  Agree ..  its a good thing to consider as you think about how technology links with marketing.

Big Data and Market Research

In Innovation Excellence:  It is natural to think about how data measuring aggregate human behavior is gathered.  Its done all the time.  That data is large, varied and volatile so it makes sense to also think about it with BD approaches.  Is that inherently a better approach?  Don't know yet, but its worth examining closely.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Why Big Customers want Quantum Computing

In the BBC:  Notably the Pentagon and Google.  This article does a good job of saying why this will ultimately be important.  Once again D-Wave is complimented as being a forerunner in the field.

Uploading Brains

We don't yet understand the nature of consciousness, or the precise nature of how things are stored in our brains.  Yet many are suggesting we can do a download very soon.  In fiction perhaps, but we have a way to go in reality.

Decreasing Time to Insight

In Information Management:  I agree that decreasing time in coming to an answer matters.  In particular if you are doing something like selecting a promotion for mobile delivery.  Or predicting  failure in a high speed manufacturing process.  But it is more important first to get the right answer, and making sure the conclusion is inserted in the correct place in the decision process.  Otherwise faster is just dangerous.

Der Spiegel on Numbers

Der Spiegel, German news magazine, has a readable piece, in English, on big data and its use for forward looking predictive analytics.   Read it here.  Fairly good introduction.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Placebo App on Smartphones

In Mashable:   The placebo effect has been known for a long time.  Is there a way to use interaction with a smartphone to produce a similar effect?  And can that effect be more readily tailored with a smartphone?  All interesting questions.  " ... Here's how it works: You begin the experience by choosing which lifestyle aspect you'd like to change — say, quitting smoking or decreasing stress — before scheduling an alarm-like reminder to "take it" each day. Then, you can personalize it further by choosing exactly what you'll be taking (it doesn't need to be a picture of a pill). The whole idea is to create a comfortable "happy place" to achieve the proper effect. With the right mindset, the group says, the act of routinely pressing buttons and watching your smartphone's screen will be equivalent to physically swallowing a sugar pill. ... " 

App Aids Vision Impaired Photographers

An interesting App in development.  Seems like this is mostly operational:  " ...  University of California, Santa Cruz researchers are developing a smartphone application that helps visually impaired users take pictures. The researchers polled 54 people with varying degrees of vision impairment to determine what they find most challenging about taking photos. The researchers found that many smartphones already offer face detection, but other more useful features are needed to make a camera app suitable for the visually impaired. For example, instead of a shutter button, which can be difficult to locate, the new app snaps a picture in response to a simple upward swipe gesture. ... "

Google I/O Review

A good overview of the 2013 Google I/O developer presentations that gives you a better understanding where Google, with its massive collection of data, is going.   Worth understanding for anyone, heavy Google user or not.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Analytics are the Supply Chain's Next Big Thing

Well yes, and have been since at least the 1960s.  Good to be reminded, but this is very old news.

IBM, GM Cultivate Data Scientists

In Adage:  Not unexpected that large companies would want to work with schools and vendors to increase the population of needed skills for dealing with the data deluge and its leverage with analytics.

Intelligent Machine Design

An upcoming Webinar on Machine Design on May 23.  Requires registration. An area we looked into during our AI phase to better apply manufacturing methods in flexible and efficient ways.  I will be busy that day, but I see you can register for recorded access.  " ... The world is transitioning from traditional fixed-function and isolated machines to a new category of intelligent systems that offer vastly enhanced user experiences and increased information flow. In an effort to build smarter machines and manufacturing equipment for the intelligent factory, machine builders improve their control architectures with embedded systems that help them implement advanced control and monitoring tasks. This joint webinar from National Instruments and Intel provides insight into the challenges machine builders face today and demonstrates proven methods and solutions that help designers get ahead of the competition. You can see the impact graphical system design and customizable off-the-shelf hardware have on design process and success. You can also learn how embedded control and monitoring systems help builders understand differentiated machines without leaving their comfort zone. ... " 

Who Likes Change?

In the HBR: No one, really, but how can they be involved in determining real change?  Good overview piece, but I would add that a good simulation of the decision process, like the use of Business Process Modeling (BPM) can be a vehicle to showing outcomes of change before implementing them.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New in Google Plus

Google's social network lets Google+ get smarter.  In Technology Review.  I have used it only sparingly for a few years, but I know many groups that are enthusiastic about it.  Worth another look now that it has been improved, and may do that.

Future Packaging

IDEO produces some interesting package designs of the future.  " ... To a large extent, packaging mediates our experience with the world, probably more than any of us realize. This year’s charrette elicited a vast array of ideas that explore how packaging design can assume more participatory or guiding roles in a product’s or object’s consumption. Bertrand and co. guided teams to develop ideas around two categories: Relationships and Tensions. ... " 

Surprise in Innovation

Correspondent Michael Schrage in the  HBR Blog.  He talks reactive and proactive surprise.  Ans how the difference can pay big dividends.  With the example of DARPA, a group I worked with in the 70s.   " ... Anticipating and enabling "technological surprise" has become even more challenging, DARPA director Arati Prabhakar recently told an MIT audience, because more people in more places have more access to more technology that ever before. Surprises can come from anywhere. In an era of greater global trade, knowledge transfer and transparency, Prabhakar unsurprisingly reports DARPA's core value proposition demands disproportionately greater imagination and ingenuity. Predictability breeds complacency. Predictability is DARPA's cultural, technical and organizational enemy. ..." 

Marketing, Advertising and Big Data

Big Data and Marketing:  " ... Luminar, PubMatic and Lotame Solutions Inc. are living proof that marketing and advertising are two of the killer applications for big data technologies like Hadoop, according to officials at the three firms, as well as IT industry analysts. ...  "

Thinking Business Process Modeling

A long time interest.  Here, ten points to think out before starting.  " ... Most organizations understand how business process management (BPM) can generate long-term benefits, but the common thinking has been that implementing a BPM solution will be a complicated and disruptive short-term task. It doesn't have to be. If you set reasonable goals, choose a system that works for your needs, and approach the implementation in an organized way, you can avoid many of the pitfalls that badly planned BPM projects encounter. Here is a 10-point guide to getting started with BPM. .... "

Marketers and Gaming

In Fast Company: What Marketers can learn from Gaming.  An interesting take that should be developed further.  " ... Now marketers are discovering the “power of play” to boost customer interaction. In April 2010, games developer Halfbrick Studios released a mobile game app called Fruit Ninja wherein players swipe their fingers, sword-like, on a touch screen to slice flying apples, oranges, and other fruit. Two years later, the mega-popular game has been downloaded over 400 million times. It’s also one of the top 10 most downloaded iPhone games ever. Every day, over 25 million people in 80 countries enjoy the colorful graphics and addictive gameplay. ... " 

Supply Shock

A concept I had not heard in quite a while.   How does 'supply shock' spread through a system and influence costs and inventory and markets?   Would like to see a simulation of this.  Here using as an example the spread of North American Shale Oil and gas.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spicy Foods

An area we examined in the sensory realm.    In particular as a branding experiment, the Tabasco brand mentioned took a very long time to extend its reach.   Now has dozens of SKUs. The basic sauce can be seen in silent movies in 1916.

Feigenbaum Wins IEEE Pioneer Award

Edward Feigenbaum, known as the father of expert systems, Stanford Professor Emeritus, has been awarded the Computer Society Pioneer Award.    We consulted with him on the use of expert systems for some of our earliest knowledge systems in the 1980s, and his Teknowledge startup, resulting in millions of dollars in savings.  " ... he and Nobel laureate biologist Joshua Lederberg started the DENDRAL project, producing the world's first expert system. DENDRAL's groundbreaking accomplishments inspired an evolution of expert systems, moving artificial intelligence out of the laboratory and into countless software applications. It also changed the framework of AI science: the power of an AI program came to be seen as largely in its knowledge base, not in its inference processes. ... "  We studied the Dendral system as an example of expertise systems.    Although somewhat before their time then, they have formed the basis for systems like IBM's Watson.

Baxter Robot for Researchers

Open source software for a standard robot:  " ...  Rethink Robotics, the Boston startup founded by Rodney Brooks, doesn't want to be just a robot maker. The company wants Baxter, its innovative industrial robot, to become a platform that anyone can use to develop new robotics applications. To achieve that, Rethink recently announced a version of Baxter for researchers, who will have access to an open source software development kit to "hack" the robot. ... "


Brought late to my attention StudioNeuro,  brought to my attention by A K Pradeep of Neurofocus/Nielsen.   A number of the advisors are known to me.  Appears to be an integration of Neuromarketing technology with specific Nielsen data generation and delivery processes.  Looking for more.  Also here: https://twitter.com/studioneuro

Twitter Buys Big Data Analytics

An expected kind of move.  The value of all social media will ultimately come from analyzing the behavior with their systems.  I had not heard of the company, Lucky Sort.   In CWorld.

SAP Lumira Cloud

A useful view of SAP Lumira Cloud, formerly SAP Visual Intelligence.   I had taken a superficial look at this a few months ago.  The change of the name from something at least generally descriptive, to something mysteriously including a favorite buzzword, seems superficial at best.  The review is negative.  A simple visual me-too dashboard generation method, with no real way to get you get to the next level.  Permits what I always say regarding using analytic methods:  always visualize the data comprehensively first.  I can see if you are are already a SAP shop this is worth understanding, if not it won't take you there.  But you cannot say that SAP does not have data visualization, despite the name.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Competition in Free Cloud Storage

ComputerWorld Reports that Google Drive has increased their free cloud storage to 15 GB.  With Skydrive and Dropbox and iCloud and others the space available for no cost continues to expand. Very convenient for syncing between an increasing number of devices.

Pepsi's Touch Tower

Touch Tower, which  appears to be Pepsi's response to Coke's Freestyle machines, which now seem to be common but not universal.  Coke says there are about 7000 of these in place and are meant to drive demand. We saw the Coke version in its early forms.    From a supply chain perspective, this introduces the concept of  late stage differentiation.  It also has the potential for gathering new kinds of point of sale information about consumer choice.   More in AdAge.  It is unclear if the images shown are final designs.   And in WSJ.

Target Teams With Facebook

In AdAge:   Always looking for ways that big social media can leverage their participants, and this one is interesting.  In particular how online can drive in store.  " ... Target has partnered with Facebook to build a new digital discounts program, called Cartwheel, that promises a "whole new spin on saving." The tool, which is somewhat reminiscent of Facebook's ill-fated Beacon initiative, automatically posts messages to users' feeds when they claim deals. ... " 

Sending Scent

A long followed idea.  We did actual experiments in the space.  Can digital scent signatures be transmtted and reconstructed?  We found out no at the time.  Another attempt at the idea.  Still in Beta and looks unlikely, but I post this to be complete.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Scraping Tweets to Gather Data

In GigaOM:  As one who frequently fumbles about for specific information in a Twitter stream, this looks good.  " ....  A new beta version of ScraperWiki makes it easy to relatively easy to scrape Twitter for certain phrases and get to work analyzing the data. It’s just one more way that data analysis is getting democratized. ... "   I found amusing though the embedding of this in the 'open data mandate', and data democratization.   Data and information, open and democratic is commendable, but is this before or after its manipulation?  Get it right first.  If the data is wrong, who are wrong to begin with.

PARC Future View

We visited them frequently in the early days of having an information technology research group.   In recent years I have heard less from them.  Here they are asked about their technological view of the future.   No real surprises, but some worthwhile details.  A list of project areas underway.

Mobile BI Applications

Key steps for Mobile BI applications, a process I am now studying.  But it is not only about the devices to be used, but what the decision process is.

When Elevators Phone Home

In GigaOM:   This has been described before as the internet of things.  But what are the most interesting that this network can do, beyond the obvious?   Networking intelligent, analytic things will likely be the next revolution.  " .... Your next elevator pitch might actually come from data derived from your elevator. That’s the case for an unnamed elevator manufacturing company that used Splunk’s machine data logging software to track how often its elevators were taking trips in its clients’ buildings. It noticed that the fewer trips people made, the more likely it was that the client would cancel the lucrative maintenance contracts the firm offered.

So it took that data and tweaked its approach. Now when it sees a slowdown it reaches out to the client to try a new plan or just make sure the clients don’t cancel. In the future it may offer new pricing plans to adjust for slack usage. ... " 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wikipedia Change Map

In ArsTechnica:  An open source map of changes to the Wikipedia.  Had we been successful in building an enterprise wikipedia inspired  knowledge map, this could have show how innovation was being developed and spread.  It could have also indicated how knowledge was being used in the company.  But alas the effort was not successful.

Origami and Math

 From the BBC:   Better Origami and the intricate relationship of form in nature and mathematics.  The folding of paper, genes and telescopes. " ... Paper folding isn’t just an art, it can help fit everything on spacecraft from solar panels to telescope mirrors. Two scientists say they have devised a better way for knowing when to fold them. ... "

On the Death of Statistical Practice

Excerpted from Steve Miller in Information Management:

I’m still reeling from the provocative but important new book, “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How Live, Work and Think,” co-authored by Oxford professor Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Economist editor Kenneth Cukier, that I twice blogged on a few weeks back.

As I noted then: “I must admit my traditional statistical grounding has taken a hit with Big Data. The notions that the core scientific method techniques of sampling, measurement error, and the experimental method’s cause and effect, may well lose importance as central components of the analytics’ tool chest hasn’t quite registered with me yet– and maybe never will. ... How do we become better consumers of data for value? ... 

I received an advance copy of Tom Davenport and Jinho Kim’s moderating “Keeping Up with the Quants: Your Guide to Understanding + Using Analytics.” I’m a big fan of Davenport, author of award-winning books “Competing on Analytics” and “Analytics at Work,” as well as countless articles on analytics in the Harvard Business Review, the MIT Sloan Management Review and Information Management. Few in our business have the analytics Rolodex of Davenport.  ... 

Accepting Mobile Payments

A good overview of mobile payment alternatives. I have utilized a few of these, as a person who takes this kind of payment infrequently.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Associative Memories for Complex Data

Saffron Technology provides a new whitepaper  (some registration required).  I worked with Saffron, and they have unique views of complex data that are worth examining.  A Distributed Associative Memory Base for Natural Intelligence  ... The main focus of big data analytics is moving beyond traditional databases toward cognitive computing platforms. The things that define a cognitive computing platform are the same things that define the way humans think and learn, in real time, with no rules or models required, always learning, using associations to see patterns of connection and similarity, anticipating what will happen next so we can prepare and respond.... " 

Gamification of Internal Process

Most examples of gamification have been external facing.  Using them to improve engagement with a site, or increase loyalty.  Have always been interested in how gamification can be used within a company to improve communications, increase innovation or ensure or improve performance.   This article looks at the management process examples.

Implications of Mobile Replacing Desktop

If we start asking employees to bring their own devices, that will increasingly be a mobile device. What are the general implications of this direction? Security, application distribution and device capabilities are just a few.  We started to work with this when Blackberries were first delivered to executives.   In the process of addressing just such a question. In CW World.

When Cars Talk

The broad idea is machine to machine communication.  Here the example used is how cars on the street will talk to each other and react to data in their environment.  The analytics for the idea can be taken further.  How can any kind of agent talk to other agents and their environment as the travel?  Consumers too.   " ... Your car, for instance, could "see" the velocity of nearby vehicles and react when they turn or brake suddenly. And with computer algorithms and predictive models, your car will be able to predict where other vehicles are going and measure the other drivers' skills -- ensuring you're safe from their bad moves....  "We're even imagining in the future cars would be able to ask other cars, 'Hey, can I cut into your lane?' Then the other car would let you in," said Jennifer Healey, a research scientist with Intel.... " 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

D-Wave and Quantum Computing

In the NYT:  Mentioned it here a number of times that we have had some encounters with the folks from D-Wave.  Seems they are getting some better press these days, with evidence that what they are building is quantum and very fast.  More on the topic.

Linkedin Contacts

 I loaded up Linkedin's new Contacts App.   A very simple idea.  It combines streams from Linkedin, your phone contacts, mail contacts, calendars, Evernote, etc. Then you use the contact-centric list which includes how you interacted with each and when.  Most useful to me was a list sorted by recent conversations.   This lets you quickly find recent and important people you have connected with. Nice if you have a large active client list. You can then email them, call etc.   Also keeps your top contacts quickly accessible, reminding you to reconnect with them.  A very simple intuitive interface.  There were lots of complaints in the App reviews about crashing,  but none of that has happened to me. Everything worked as expected.  Recommended to try.

Top Ten Global Brands

An overview of global brand choices.  Expected ones like Coke. Colgate, Nescafe and Pepsi.  Less known in the US, but common brand globally Maggi.  A brand from my former enterprise comes in 7th: Pantene.

Optimizing Packaging

In CGT, an overview of the characteristics that make a difference in packaging.   From Manufacturing to Supply Chain to Shelf.   " ... With stores stocking innumerable branded and private label competitors in every category, traditional promises of consumer goods brand quality and safety are no longer sufficient differentiators. Cambashi, a global industry analyst firm, explains why product packaging is taking over as a crucial instrument of brand identity in the retail environment.... "

Smarter Productivity in the Modern Office

A very good Wharton article on the measurement of productivity in the current world of knowledge workers.  I have lived through this age, and have many times seen the attempts at using old metrics fail.   Shortly after the emergence of the Web I had occasion to talk to a VP about giving general access to the Web to all employees.  She looked at me like I was nuts and said something to the effect that it would make productivity decline.  The measures showed it.  We continue to work with that mind set.  Metrics need to be reworked and rethought.  Productivity needs to better directed, smarter, more analytical: " ....  More than 50 years after management guru Peter Drucker first wrote about the difficulty of defining and measuring the productivity of knowledge workers, management experts say many companies still do a poor job of it. To get a better gauge of how much employees are accomplishing, experts say managers need to remember that quality is often as important, if not more so, than quantity, and that blanket policies rarely remedy such a highly individualized issue  ... " .  Excellent article!

Google Brain and the New AI

In Wired:  Neuro artificial intelligence?  " ... The idea arises from experiments suggesting that the portion of your brain dedicated to processing sound from your ears could also handle sight for your eyes. This is possible only while your brain is in the earliest stages of development, but it implies that the brain is — at its core — a general-purpose machine that can be tuned to specific tasks. ... About seven years ago, Stanford computer science professor Andrew Ng stumbled across this theory, and it changed the course of his career, reigniting a passion for artificial intelligence, or AI. “For the first time in my life,” Ng says, “it made me feel like it might be possible to make some progress on a small part of the AI dream within our lifetime.” ... "

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Unilever Mobile in Retail

In Mobile Marketer:  Quite an interesting experiment.  Note the scanning of the QR code and the building of a mobile database for future use.  Data mining is an obvious next step. " ... Unilever has teamed up with a Southern California grocery store chain for an in-store promotion that leverages mobile to make it easy for shoppers to track qualifying purchases and become eligible to win free concert tickets. 

The promotion is taking place inside 36 Northgate Gonzalez Markets with the goal of driving mobile engagements for brands such as Axe, Dove and Ragu, raising awareness for two non-profits and helping the retailer build a mobile database. Mobile users can text in or scan a QR code to receive personalized shopping recommendations and product information, with those spending $50 on Unilever products receiving two free tickets to a Reyli concert on May 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for Unilever and our grocery partner that could track both the spending patterns of their credit card and cash customers,” Jonas Hudson, chief operating officer at CausePlay, Manhattan Beach, CA .... ' 

Quantified Self

Stephen Wolfram talks about his approach to personal analytics.  Based on the quantified self.  Something I have also done over the years, but very selectively.   " ... The creator of the Wolfram Alpha search engine explains why he thinks your life should be measured, analyzed, and improved.... " .  Consider the potential for this kind of data with health care.

And Google at 15

Another surprising anniversary to me, Google at 15.   I have remarked about those of Web Pages(20) and Linkedin (10).  The small numbers still amaze me. I do remember when Google came out.  At the time, AltaVista ruled.   There were also a number of popular search aggregators like Infoseek. I was not expecting the new upstart with the strange name to take over.  Time does a surprisingly good job of interviewing Google about its past and future.

Knowledge Management for Expertise Location

Thinking broadly, all data use and leverage is about knowledge management.  This article surveys what companies are doing in particular for expertise location with knowledge management tools.  We tried that, with partial success.  I hear it is going better, but I still think it not taken seriously enough.


A classmate points out a link to new supercomputer work at an Alma Mater of mine.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Invisibility Cloaks

In GigaOM:  This topic sounds like one of those weird science things that are probably most suited to military stealth applications.  With memories of Claude Rains and The Invisible Man film.   But it turns out we had an actual R&D application that was related to packaging that utilized underlying aspects of the invisibility cloak.    This new version can even be 3D printed.   I still follow this area and will comment here from time to time.  Related in purpose: Acoustic Cloaking

Sentiment Analysis from SAP

Also had not realized SAP was into sentiment analysis.  An overview via an interview here.  " ... SearchSAP spoke to Sameer Patel, global vice president and general manager for enterprise social and collaborative software at SAP, about how social media can best be used in an organization. Read his thoughts about the role of sentiment analysis and what SAP is doing to meet its customers' needs for social media and social collaboration.... " 

Creating Effective Analytics

Good article about the idea.  Summarized by linking to executive champions and truly understanding where the analytics intersects with decision process.

Gap Analysis Paper

New from Tom Ritchey:

For those who are interested in computer-aided GAP Analysis – especially concerning problem areas that are difficult to quantify – a new article is available: 

“Morphological Gap Analysis: Using GMA to identify the DELTA” 

It can be downloaded (PDF) from the AMG site

Catalina Adaptive Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertising from Catalina.  Had not seen them in this space before, but admit have not followed them closely.  " .. “BuyerVision Mobile represents a huge breakthrough in mobile advertising,” said Chris Henger, Catalina’s EVP of digital. “We’ve always believed it is critical to put only the most relevant messages in front of consumers, and this is even more imperative in the highly personal, immersive mobile experience. Catalina’s expertise and insights allow our CPG brand clients to not only deliver personalized mobile ads to high-value shoppers, but to measure their impact based on actual in-store sales.”  ...  "

Disrupting Education

In CACM:  Research on the ongoing and imminent disruption of education.  A model that has existed for 800 years sees itself threatened.  What will make the new methods work?  How will they be blended with traditional learning and qualification?

Monday, May 06, 2013

Wal-Mart Does e-Commerce Development in House

Perhaps an unusual choice.  Most large non-tech companies use off the shelf or outsource such capabilities.  Wal-Mart feels it has special understanding of it needs to keep the development internal.

Michael Schrage

Just started to review some of Michael Schrage's posts in his HBR blog that had to do with analytics, data visualization and the digitization of business.  Well worth reading. We followed him in the simulation space a number of years ago, encouraged by his book: Serious Play.

Visualizing Geographic Data

 An interesting HBR Blog case study on visualizing geographic data.  They conclude reasonably: " ... There are lots of ways to sequence development. But the end principle is simple: create more data visualizations than you need to show, because your first idea is unlikely to be your best. Even for this article, we pitched five headlines and synopses to HBR editors. We then wrote five versions of their favorite. So, this article is one of the best of 25 permutations. But is it good enough to change your behavior? ... " 

Sunday, May 05, 2013

IX Research

Announcing the innovation research and delivery arm of Innovation Excellence: IX Research.  Did not know it was coming, but who tells me anything?   Research for Innovation Practitioners.  Worth looking into.

Linkedin Changing the World

Only a few days ago we were looking at the first Web page, developed twenty years ago.  Now another anniversary, of Linkedin, only ten years ago.  How has this changed the world?  Establishing a one place global white pages for business people, now with over 225 million registered users.  We talked to them about using their architecture.   It certainly changes the way I work, I always connect with new people I meet, and that ed to many new projects and satisfying exchanges of knowledge.

Google Car Gathers Massive Data

In Kurzweil: Saying that the Google self-driving car gathers 1 GB data per second.    Quite a formidable amount.   Talk about opening yourself to analytics data mining opportunities.  Or offloaded for later analysis? The integration of a Google Glass AR capability to such a car is also mentioned.  The future will be dense with data. On a related data note: Are the content of all US phone calls being recorded and are they accessible to the government?   Some recent indications from the Boston bombing say yes.  A massive data mine.

Strategic Planning

Colleague Ed Burghard on strategic planning.  A popular but often misunderstood topic.  I like his views here about communities and dreams.  Note this is first in a series that is worth following.  See also his eBook on the topic.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Sankey Diagram Blog

A blog devoted to Sankey diagrams.  Discovered in my quest for ways to deliver these.  Many good examples.  " ... With this blog I would like to share with you my fascination for Sankey diagrams. My goal is to present to you Sankey diagrams I find on the net, and discuss them. I am mainly focusing on the graphical aspect, layout, methodological issues or shortcomings of diagrams. I do not intend to discuss the scientific content or the data behind them. ...   I am using Sankey Helper 2.1, STAN 1.1 and e!Sankey 3.0pro for drawing my Sankey diagrams. I have used test or demo versions of most of the Sankey diagram software tools available, like S.DRAW, or Sankey 3.1. Although I do find some tools better than others, I don’t intend to endorse any of them ... " 

New: Visual Footprint Resources App

Ken Karakotsios was the author of the remarkable SimLife genetic playground game.  He worked with us to build agent based simulation models that were used for years in the enterprise to understand product demand.  Now he has written an iPad App that can be used to understand resource usage and development.  I have had the pleasure to use it in Beta.  I particularly like its highly visual interaction and displays, which have given me ideas for visualization in my own design work.  See the Sankey diagram at right.  Likely also a good App for kids as it utilizes simulation, visualization and a timely subject. Follow along in his blog to understand its capabilities.  More examination of it will follow here.

" ... After three-plus years of research, designing, coding and testing, Footprint USA has been officially released!  

Footprint USA is an iPad app for adults and kids interested in learning more about using our planet's resources responsibly to build the future we really want. It combines tons of data with an interactive simulation to show the interrelationships among things like energy, food, land, water, and how we use our time and money.  It links the choices we make, individually and as a society, with the quality of life we get and the resulting impact on our planet. You can find it in the iTunes app store here.   You can also read more about it in my blog.

I am very grateful for all the support from my friends, family, and colleagues as you shared your ideas, time and patience to help make this a reality.  Thank you! ... " 

Tibco and Teradata and Real Time Event streams

TIBCO and Teradata Enable CIOs to Extract Actionable Insights From Real-Time Event Streams to Deliver the Two-Second Advantage

Event Processing within the Teradata(R) Unified Data Architecture(TM) enables analytics for any user - to discover insights and put into real-time action.
  ...  announced TIBCO Spotfire® event analytics as a key component of the Teradata Unified Data Architecture™ (UDA). This inclusion of TIBCO real-time event processing and analytics will enable some of the world's largest enterprises to capture the full value of big data by simultaneously analyzing historical data (data at rest) and real-time events (data in motion). The Unified Data Architecture combines powerful technologies to provide closed-loop processing of big data by facilitating the collection, analysis, and modeling of real-time event streams. The insights extracted from the architecture enables business leaders to anticipate future events and take immediate automated action, providing them with the two-second advantage®. ... 

The value of the Teradata UDA to customers is the ability to leverage the tight integration of Teradata data warehousing, Teradata Aster discovery platforms, and Apache™ Hadoop. This workload-specific architecture enables business users to gain competitive advantage through deeper insights from any data source. Now, combined with the Spotfire analytics platform, data scientists and business analysts can harness the best-in-class analytic capabilities of the Teradata and Teradata Aster engines and convert their discoveries into a guided operational application for line-of-business decision-makers. ... " 

Friday, May 03, 2013

P&G Business Sphere Wins Edison Silver Award

Quite a considerable accomplishment, built on work started years ago with innovation in Executive Information Systems.    Much more in this blog about Business Sphere:

" ... From a highly competitive pool of applicants, Procter & Gamble’s Business Sphere was selected as the Silver Winner in the “Innovative Services: Collaboration/Knowledge Management” category for the 2013 Edison Awards Competition. We received the award in Chicago on Thursday, April 25. Our groundbreaking Business Sphere environment and the supporting Business Sufficiency analytic models enable the Company to rapidly respond to changes in the marketplace and uncover new opportunities to improve the lives of consumers. Business Sphere – built and powered by P&G’s Global Business Services (GBS) organization – is a visually immersive, patent-pending data environment that transforms decision-making at P&G by harnessing real-time business information from around the globe.... " 

Physical by Smartphone

Thinking of a smartphone as a sensor driven device.   How might they ultimately be used as a means to give remote physicals?  Still some issues, but the possibilities are evolving.

SAS Visual Analytics

In SASCom:  SAS visual analytics methods, seen through the problem of retailing.  Video of their method.  Would like to see more of this in the retail space.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Anti Churn Analytics

A not uncommon application for analytics.  Decreasing customer churn. This loyalty problem is an expensive issue in many periodic sales industries.   A case study.

Second Screens

An examination of the second screen phenomenon.  Mashable looks how it is evolving.  And a number of interesting players.

Turning Shoppers into Heat Maps

A piece in Bloomberg about tracking shoppers in retail.  A subject we did much with in retail laboratory environments, and much has been written about here.  More readily available data visualization capabilities will make this more common and effective.   Startup mentioned is Prism Skylabs. Brought to my attention by Walter Riker.

Camera Inspired by Insect Eyes

In Science Mag. A new camera that was inspired by an alternative model for sight, using multiple individual lenses to focus on objects.  The claim is that the result will be far more accurate and sensitive to motion.  Future drone eyes?  Current cameras and the human eye use a singe lens model.   An example of bio mimicry.   Manufacturing many of these appears to be some time away.

Cultural Analytics

  Lev Manovich on Cultural Analytics. " ...  Cultural Analytics: computational analysis and visualization of massive cultural visual datasets in the humanities. The lab's past and present collaborators include Library of Congress, Getty Research Institute, Austrian Film Museum, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Image and other institutions who are interested in using its methods and software with their media collections. ... " 

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Very Thin RFID Tags

In GigaOM: For use in applications like embedding tags into advertising in magazines.  Or integrating with product packaging.  Or other on shelf applications.

In Store Eye Tracking

An example of a store display tracking eye movement.  " ... Scientists at Lancaster University have created advertising screens which track your eye movement as you shop, offering adverts relevant to what you're looking at and eye-controlled interactive displays.... " .  Comments mentioned the potential intrusiveness.  We used the approach in lab environments.

A Discussion About Online Education

Good discussion of On line Education (MOOC):

On April 25, 2013, UPenn President Amy Gutmann appeared on the Charlie Rose show to discuss online education with fellow panelists, Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX; Joel Klein, former New York City Schools chancellor and CEO of Amplify,....  Video

Whats Different about Big Data Analytics

In TDWI:  Thoughtful, but also somewhat misleading piece on the subject.    Big data analytics need to work with the same assumptions that all analytics have always included.   Otherwise some very large mistakes are likely to be made.

Chromebook can be a Kiosk

We examined kiosks for retail.  It is surprising the number of alterations that have to be made to deliver a secure and easily usable kiosk based on a PC or laptop.  Chromebook has made this easier.  Engadget article.