Tuesday, January 10, 2017

BI when and where it's needed

That was a critical factor in adopting WebFOCUS, Thiery says, because so many people rely on their phones more than on their desktop units. Consequently, reports that are not designed to be mobile-friendly are not as useful.
Generally, the visualizations are reviewed on a weekly basis at leadership meetings. Thiery explains that these meetings are where management "wants to see where we're at and where we're going." The meetings are also where managers make decisions about how many people they would hire.
As a result of the growth AudioNet has been experiencing, it's been adding on a large number of support people to keep up with the workload. "As our volume increases, so does our revenue," Thiery says.
The firm also uses WebFOCUS to analyze financial data. That includes revenue dollars, accounts and claims counts that factor into identifying an upward trend.
- See more at: http://www.baselinemag.com/business-intelligence/getting-business-intelligence-when-where-needed.html#sthash.BMoWyczs.dpuf

Monday, January 9, 2017

The perks of personalized marketing: Starbucks' use of AI

photo from https://c6.staticflickr.com/4/3133/2873861973_995e8a7902_b.jpg
“Would you like fries with that?” That one-size-fits-all recommendation was about as far as upselling at the point of sale used to go.  Starbucks has come a long way from that with marketing powered by data — and AI.  It's marketing that is uniquely tailored to the behaviors, preferences, and context of each customer.
Matt Ryan, Starbucks EVP and global CSO, and Gerri Martin-Flickinger, EVP and global CTO discussed the strategy at the company's Investor Day.  He explained the impact of digital on Starbucks sales, while she explained what their algorithms do, in The Digital Flywheel: Strategy and impact.
Ryan began by saying that for Starbucks digital represents the “core customer experience.”  He sees it as what distinguishes their business approach from “the rest of the retail world,” and what “gives us the advantage we have.” As proof he showed how the "digital flywheel" contributed to Starbucks' growth in the past three years, and the increase in its rewards program from five million to 12 million customers.
The incentives in the rewards program is one of the ways Starbucks personalizes its marketing.   Martin-Flickinger demonstrated the evolution of the personalization by showing how it has progressed in just a single year. Its baseline is the form of marketing that many businesses still use today, rooted in historical data that they view in spreadsheets, which in turn powers algorithms to fit their general customer base.
In January 2016, Starbucks' marketing messages were limited to 30 variants of weekly email messages that were based on data that was already two weeks old. In June last year, Starbucks moved to a to a real-time personalization engine capable of producing of 400,000 variants of hyper-personalized emails each week. The company continued to tweak its AI engine so that in October, it was able to launch real-time 1:1  personalized offers that are uniquely generated based on each individual customer's behaviors and marked preferences.

Making attractions more attractive: digitizing the CN Tower

photo: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/CN-Tower_Skypod.jpg
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Canada's CN Tower deployed new wireless infrastructure, a mobile app and 150 beacons with location services capabilities.

One of the top tourist attractions in Canada is the CN Tower, which is 553.33 meters (1, 815 ft., 5 in.) tall. It opened in 1976 as a communications towers, and to reflect that role in today's digital age, it planned on celebrating its 40th anniversary with a new wireless infrastructure and the CN Tower app.
Read more in Digital Tech Enhances the CN Tower Experience

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

IoT and the power of location data

Among the buzzwords of today, the popularity of IoT is definitely up there with all sorts of predictions about how many billions the market will grow to by 2020. When it comes to improving logistics, though, IoT is already making a measurable difference. That’s why the companies in the logistics arena are turning to software that capitalizes on the real-time capabilities of IoT.
Earlier this year, AT&T and Eye for Transport (EfT) published their 2016 research findings in a report called The Internet of Things (IoT) in Supply Chain and Logistics. Fifty-nine percent of its 600 respondents identified as logistics providers. Among all respondents, 41% said they already had an IoT solution in place and 23% were planning an IoT strategy.  The overwhelming majority, about four out of five, look for IoT solutions for location information.
Location information is of such concern because so much depends on knowing where the cargo in question is at a particular time. That frictionless stream of data allows for more accurate predictions about time of delivery and precludes the need for a person to have to manually check- in – either by calling the driver or having the driver call or text to let their managers know where they are. 
Read more in 

Data science training to fill the skills gap

 Datanami article looked at various estimates about how many more data scientists from firms like Gartner and McKinsey to arrive at a range of 100,000-190,000 shortfall by 2020 and 2017, respectively. That's about 60% more demand than available supply in the US. The upside is that salaries for those jobs go up, but the downside, of course, is that the businesses cannot progress on the data front as much as they would like to without the skilled people in-house.
The obvious solution to that problem is to get more people qualified for these jobs. If they didn't learn the skills in college programs, they can now get trained in specialty programs like the NYC Data Science Academy (NYCDSA). Vivian Zhang, the CTO of the school, set it up specifically to meet industry needs and get people the data science training needed to fill those open job slots.

Read more in 

Mind The Gap: Minting New Data Science and Analytics Professionals

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The key to digital real estate marketing

“Location,” that key word emphasized how important  physical location was by repeating it twice in identifying the three most important factors in real estate. However, that may be outmoded in today’s trend for shoppers to seek out what they want online. To reach that market, it’s necessary to locate them via the web. That’s what Union Street Media (USM) is all about.

USM is a marketing firm that applies the model of capitalizing on social media to convert sales with targeted ads and communications through these platforms to the real estate industry. It has a staff of campaign managers whose job is to expand the reach of their clients’ sites through digital marketing strategies, including demographic analysis and reporting and tailored ads and communication to their target market.

Read more in 

Location, Location, (Virtual) Location

Marketing email fail

File under "Irony" or maybe just "Whoops!"

The following is something I just got in my email copied exactly as it came. Yup, they left in the code and failed to insert the name that is supposed to show how they really know what they're talking about in terms of getting data right for effective marketing.


Friday, November 25, 2016

AI revs up Harley-Davidson sales

pic from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Harley-Davidson_Sales_Co.jpg
After doing some research, Jacobi discovered artificial intelligence technologies working in the sales and marketing space. Among them was Adgorithms with its AI platform, "Albert."
"Then I had a synchronistic moment," Jacobi recalls. On a walk, he met "this guy, Or, and started chatting with him." That was Or Shani, the CEO of Adgorithms. When Shani explained what he did, Jacobi "told him I had been planning to be in touch with him."
So it was the combination of planning and serendipity that formed the basis of the business relationship between Harley-Davidson and Adgorithms.
- See more at: http://www.baselinemag.com/innovation/harley-davidson-boosts-digital-marketing-with-ai.html#sthash.PkNzrCBL.dpuf