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Saturday, November 30, 2013

iPad in Business at the Procter & Gamble Company

Mark Lacy sends this along, nicely done.  A excellent example of how tablets can be used in the enterprise.  Congratulations to my former colleagues, see the full video at the link below:

" ... Shawn Flannery At last, the Apple/P&G joint collaboration video production that many of my colleagues and I worked on has been released! The video turned out great! 
Apple - iPad in Business - Profiles - The Procter & Gamble Company  ... " 
" ... Innovating on the everyday, with iPhone and iPad.
“iPhone and iPad enable our sales force globally to take a step ahead in productivity. Our people are more productive, they’re enjoying their work more, and they’re connected in new ways.”
Bob Fregolle, Global Customer Business Development Officer, P&G ... " 

Sharing Massive Data

In BBC Technology:  How do game companies readily share very large 50GB plus files?  This interested me because I recently had to do this for an analytics project.   I did not have quite the problem they had,  my files were smaller, and did not have to be moved often, still an intriguing problem.  I remember once dealing with this in a large government installation, during a time when networks were far slower.  Working with the output of a simulation.  Estimated it would take days to transfer. We wrote the file onto a big mag tape, you know the ones you see spinning in sixties movies, and then took it to another site escorted on a taxi.    Still, as we get more real time data, the problem will occur more often even today.  Nice case study of the problem.

Interdisciplinary Computing and Computer Science

Had an interesting conversation with Lisa C. Kaczmarczyk See her Interdisciplinary Computing Blog :" ... Computing and people who work with computers are not the nerdy and negative images often portrayed in the media. As a computer scientist, educator and author with my hands and feet in many fields I live these realities every day. I am like the kid who never stops asking “why?” In this blog, I share my questions and curiosity about the interdisciplinary role of computing with a special concern for how computing can make the world a better place. ... " 

Software Agents

In Computing Now: Long time since I heard about this topic, we experimented broadly in the supply chain area, with some success.  " ....  Emphasis on autonomous systems has been growing steadily in recent years as users and organizations increasingly require software systems to deliberate on their behalf, to face unpredictable situations without human assistance, and to autonomously find solutions to complex problems. Whatever the sort of autonomy that's required, one technology has autonomy at its core: software agents... "  This monthly theme is devoted to them.

Connected Kitchens

We explored the kitchen in the smart home in detail because we believed that the kitchen was the nexus of the home.   Connecting it as one of the nodes in an internet of things was an early examination.  A new piece in ReadWrite gives us some good insights in this space and its likely direction.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Useful Mystery of Light Harvesting

In Technology:  New to me, always fascinating when there is activity in nature that we cannot explain by physics and chemistry.  And certainly one that could point to a new kind of computing.   Is there a connection?  Don't have the background to rule on it. " ... Quantum Light Harvesting Hints at Entirely New Form of Computing ...  Light harvesting in plants and bacteria cannot be properly explained by classical processes or by quantum ones. Now complexity theorists say the answer is a delicate interplay of both, an idea that could transform computation. ... "  

Mobile Rules Wal-Mart

In VentureBeat:   " ... Mobile rules Walmart: Accounted for 53% of Thanksgiving traffic, new mobile customers up 3X ... "

On Total Quality Mangagement

Another topic that has seen less talk lately: Total quality Management.  Here in the Smart KPIs Blog.  "... Total Quality Management – a means for improvement ... 
Customers’ increasing demand for superior quality products and services has made the market a very harsh environment. Organizations are looking for new ways to improve themselves in order to survive on the market and maintain their competitiveness. Therefore, continuous development has become a priority. ... " 

Smart Textiles

In ComputingNow:  A topic we explored, being a garment care industry, but have not heard much about recently:

" ... Current technology supports only special-purpose, low-volume textiles, garments, and electronics. Moreover, the textile, electronic, and software industries have different product cycles, cultures, and price models, creating scores of practical problems for smart textiles. Mass producing smart cloth will require decoupling the textile production from concrete sensing apps and moving the complexity to generic electronics and software—creating wearable sensing as an app.

As with many new technologies, smart clothing and textile electronics currently suffer from the chicken-and-egg problem—that is, for the devices to be widely deployed, the price must come down, but for the price to come down, the devices must be mass-produced (widely deployed). A core issue is that there's still no killer app for smart textiles that lets developers produce numerous identical (from the sensing viewpoint) garments. Instead, there are many potential apps with different sensing requirements. ... " 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Improving Mobile Marketing

In Mashable:  Thoughtful piece about the behavior of the consumer while mobile.  What more data do we need to gather to do useful analytics? " ... When it comes to metrics, and mobile metrics in particular, it's important to note that the entire analysis process is more akin to a jigsaw puzzle than a linear progression. ... Businesses and marketers must take the data from mobile traffic and view it in the larger paradigm of their comprehensive analytical strategy. For example, if your site has a high bounce rate — but only for mobile users — this is not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps these users are simply accessing your site for comparison purposes, and they may be jumping on their browsers at home later to actually purchase. Context is key. ... " 

Ford and the Internet of Everything

Good piece from the Cisco Blog on how Ford is working with the Internet of Everything.  Good explanation because we are all acquainted with the context of our use of automobiles.    The possibilities of turning the connected vehicle to the intelligent vehicle.  A quickly approaching future scenario.

Survival Analysis

A method I rarely had cause to use in my career, but good to know about.  Peter Flom does a good job of explaining.   " ... when the dependent variable is time to an event. In that case, we need survival analysis. ... Survival analysis gets its name from the fact that it is often used to look at how long people will live, and to see what influences that. Do women live longer than men? Do people who take aspirin live longer than those who do not? ... "  Straightforward but nontechnical read.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tamagotchi to Re Hatch in 2014

Hard to believe it was over seventeen years ago, then we examined the Tamagotchi by  Bandai 'pets' as a means to connect with consumers.  They were a true craze then.  Children, even adults were feeding and caring for them.  Strangely persuasive toys. See  The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places" by Reeves and Nass.  We used those same findings to power other brand engagement approaches. It did not work, and was lost in a stream of hype, it ramped up and then failed.   But now it has been announced that they are coming back next year.  Will they succeed more broadly this time?   Still don't think so.  They are toys and not engaging entities.  It looked like we could find a way to connect to the emotions of people with very simple computing systems.   Will wait and see.

The WP also reports: " .. In early 2013, Bandai released an enhanced version of the original 1996 Tamagotchi as a free iOS and Android app named "Tamagotchi L.i.f.e." to great fanfare and reviews. ... " 

Finding Things at Lowe's

Not a new thing.  Using an App to find things in a complex space like Retail.  We examined this, starting with kiosk systems.  But I like the implication that things can be found by association with related things. Associating things on the shelf with needs?  Or even by analogy,  Or with a Watson AI?

International Institute for Analytics

Brought to my attention by Joe Sunderman, who I had the pleasure to talk to yesterday about my view of analytics.  The International Institute for Analytics.  " .... The authority on analytics maturity and best practices. ... Co-Founded by CEO Jack Phillips and Research Director Thomas H. Davenport, IIA is the hub of a network of analytics experts committed to knowing and sharing the keys to success in an economy increasingly driven by data. ... IIA guides research clients as they build and grow their analytics programs. With our in-depth research library, phone-based and in-person events, and custom training and advisory services, our clients get the guidance and expertise needed to compete on analytics and win. ... " 

Innovation Request: Food Monitoring

A client has asked me to provide this link more publicity, from Ideaconnection, which connects innovations to product needs:   " ... Technology Wanted: Consumer Food Monitoring Device
A client is seeking a device, or enabling technologies to perform, real-time monitoring of food for pesticide residues, veterinary residues and adulterants in a consumer device. .... ".  Note how this kind of sensor, gathering data,  could be used with analytical methods.  More details.

On A/B Testing and Better Experimental Design

In Wired:   On the well known method of A/B testing.   It is one of the simplest experimental designs, but is sometimes not good enough.  A example of the model being inappropriate to the need of the decision.  The use of more general  'experimental design', is also well known,  and hardly a new statistical method.  

" ... Recent advances in statistical methods and analytics have given marketers a far more powerful and sophisticated technique through experimental design. Experimental design works best with companies that market directly to a large number of customers, such as telecommunications firms, banks, online retailers, and credit card providers.

Experimental design massively and deliberately increases the amount of variance in direct marketing campaigns, allowing businesses to project the impact of many variables (product offers, messages, incentives, mail formats, and so on) by testing just a few of them. How? Mathematical formulas use combinations of variables as proxies for the complexity of all the original variables. ... " 

Inexpensive 3D Scanning

In Engadget: Relatively inexpensive, portable 3D scanning to capture a description of an object up to ten by ten feet.  " ...   If the product is indeed what 3D Systems claims, it could fill a major hole in the consumer 3D-printing market. In recent years, 3D-printing companies have largely focused on the printers themselves, which have gotten cheaper and easier to use.  ... " 

Hadoop and a Pending Metadata Mess

 An intriguing point about the tool and its use, and general documentation of data, its origins and measurements (metadata) :  " ... Why is Hadoop so popular? There are many reasons. First of all it is not so much a product as an ecosystem, with many components: MapReduce, HBase, HCatalog, Pig, Hive, Sqoop, Mahout and quite a few more. That makes it versatile, and all these components are open source, so most of them improve with each release cycle. .... 

 ... So if someone in the company wants some external data or even internal data captured for later use, Hadoop can just sit there and drink it up. And that’s fine as long as you don’t lose track of what the data in the lake actually is. But this is where the devil crawls into the detail. You can scale Hadoop out so it becomes just one very large data lake and sits there gulping down all the data it can drink. You can also instantiate multiple instances of Hadoop, each devoted to a specific kind of usage, but we do not often hear about IT sites doing that – after all Hadoop scales out to the edge of the solar system, does it not? ... "  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nano satellites Powered by a Smartphone

In CWorld:   I like the modular simplicity.  " .... Fleet of CubeSat nanosatellites now orbiting earth, sending back data CubeSats built by NASA and various colleges lifted off Nov. 19 on a U.S. Air Force Minotaur 1 rocket ... NASA's CubeSat, called PhoneSat 2.4, is powered by a Nexus S smarthone and uses a solar array to keep it charged. Engineers are hoping it can stay working in orbit for at least two years. Part of its mission is to find out how long it can remain active and send data back to earth. ,,, " 

Python Displacing R?

Interesting suggestion.  But no real data is given.  They are different beasts, Python is a general purpose computer language, while R is designed to work with data.   Not by my observation.  R is by far used more often by University practitioners of statistics and analytics.   Researchers and developers.  I would agree that Python would be easier to maintain and debug by people trained in procedural programming languages.

iMFlux Plastics

Brought to my attention again, also see previous article on this.


iMFLUX, Inc, is a technology and innovation leader in plastics processing. The iMFLUX team brings 150+ years of relevant, global industry experience and a highly agile, innovative company working to transform the industry by delivering new to the world technology, software, and process engineering delivered as an end to end solution with outstanding customer service.

iMFLUX, Inc. | A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Procter & Gamble.

Gamification Site

From Bunchball, a blog I had the chance to look at again about Gamification.  I was asked to provide some examples in this space, and this is a good place to go.   Pass me some additional and especially novel applications I can use.

Note:  You can send me things via this blog in the comments.   Include your name, and don't use anonymous.  I won't post your comment if it's a message to me and you ask me not to.    Or you can find my contact information in Linkedin,  or with my address, embedded in the column at the left.   I always respond and am always interested in collaborations. 

Carver Mead on Quantum Computing

In CACM:     Carver Mead was an early inspiration for our advanced computing and sensor work.   In particular about the use of optical sensors.   Here he writes about the future of computing in quantum space. New kinds of electronics that could and likely will change our world.  Again inspirational.

" ... Quantum computing and neuromorphic computing are still such tiny, peripheral things compared to the semiconductor industry, though. ... It always starts that way. The transistor was a tiny little wart off a big industry, and people said, “Oh, well, you can make hearing aids out of them.” You never know when something’s going to click. ... " 

See his recent book:  Collective Electrodynamics: Quantum Foundations of Electromagnetism
By Carver A. Mead.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Genetic Algorithms

I am a long time follower and user of genetic algorithms.  Here from David E Goldberg on Slideshare:  Fast, Effective Genetic Algorithms for Large, Hard Problems

NEIL Learns from Images

I was involved with a startup system that used image recognition and categorization called Photrade several years ago.  There I got an appreciation of how difficult this problem was.   Also how closely it matched to the process of 'learning' we had mimicked using AI methods in the enterprise years before.  What we did was very primitive compared to what is underway at Carnegie Mellon University with The Never Ending Image Learner (NEIL) program.  This also sounds like it should be directly connected to the work at Cyc we also explored.  Will continue to watch.

In  BBC Technology: 

" ... The work is being funded by the US Department of Defense's Office of Naval Research and Google. Since July, the NEIL program has looked at three million images. As a result it has managed to identify 1,500 objects in half a million images and 1,200 scenes in hundreds of thousands of images as well as making 2,500 associations ... The team working on the project hopes that NEIL will learn relationships between different items without being taught. Computer programs can already identify and label objects using computer vision, which models what humans can see using hardware and software, but the researchers hope that NEIL can bring extra analysis to the data. ... " 

More Markets Please

More open markets and less regulation.  Ultimately decreases prices.  Mark J Perry does an other post on a favorite market topic of his: Ticket Scalping.  Another topic of interest are open markets for human organs.  And pricing Bone Marrow.  Read his writing on this.

Senior Executives Online

Should senior execs of large enterprises like Wal-Mart, be on Twitter?   Some interesting thoughts.  But is this an example of attempting to micro manage consumer interaction?  Sure they need to know what is going on in Social Media, whats trending in their areas of interest.  But do they really need to answer every message, every idea?  Isn't this what your employees should help you with?  What PR firms do?

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Pace of Technology Adoption

Speeding up. in the HBR.  Yes, just based on the communications I get, and the large scale misunderstanding we see about how technologies act within product contexts and connect us with other people.  This article also has a good visualization of the changes.  " ...  Many people suggest that rates of new product introduction and adoption are speeding up, but is it really, across the board? The answer seems to be yes. An automobile industry trade consultant, for instance, observes that “Today, a typical automotive design cycle is approximately 24 to 36 months, which is much faster than the 60-month life cycle from five years ago.”  The chart below, created by Nicholas Felton of the New York Times, shows how long it took various categories of product, from electricity to the Internet, to achieve different penetration levels in US households.  ... " 

New Research in Digital Photography

A new look.    Video. " ... Researchers are exploring how to use computational optics and digital imagery in new and innovative ways. Lensless cameras, single-pixel imagery, devices that can see around corners and a number of other technology breakthroughs could transform photography and computational optics in ways that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago.  ... " 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Teradata and Fuzzy Logix

Have had a number of conversations with Teradata recently.  And I came rather late to this press release about how they were working with a company I had previously looked at,  Fuzzy Logix.  " ... Fuzzy Logix, a leading analytics software and professional services company, today announced it has formed a strategic global partnership with Teradata (NYSE: TDC), a leader in analytic data platforms, applications and services, and completed the integration of its in-database analytics library into the Teradata Unified Data Architecture.  ... " .   Worth a closer look, an integration between a powerful DB system and a tested extensive library of analytical modeling methods. Valuable to the data analytics practitioner.

Books on Big Data Science

Recently sent out to a requesting correspondent, in particular emphasizing the business analytics aspects:

A very readable, up to date book:  Big Data: A Revolution that will transform ...  by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger  and Kenneth Cukier...   This book answers the question WHY, with lots of recent examples ...

   And a more HOW book, in a number of interesting target areas:  Modeling Techniques in Predictive Analytics, By Thomas W Miller    Examples in the R language.

Also the Bill Franks book I mentioned earlier is also excellent:  http://eponymouspickle.blogspot.com/2012/05/taming-big-data-wave.html

But I now recommend the top two first.

I cover these, review and link them and many other books in my excerpt here:

I talk big data as well:

Be glad to talk any and all of this in detail.

The Entrepreneurial State

Schumpeter: The entrepreneurial state in System Growth Consulting

" ... Advanced economies have become near-obsessed with stimulating innovation in their economies to drive growth.  This has included setting up structures in their national innovation systems to bridge the well-known “valley of death”. .... " 

So is this ultimately useful?  A look and links to a book and video.

Google Wonderlabs

Happened to be in an Apple Store today that was packed with people and it seems as many consultants.  This is a growing development. In CWorld:

Google wants you walkin' in its Winter Wonderlabs
Computerworld - Google opened gadget showrooms in six U.S. cities as the holiday shopping season quickly approaches. ... Dubbed the "Google Winter Wonderlabs," the showrooms are designed to be interactive spaces where potential customers can get their hands on Google products ranging from the Nexus 7 to the latest Chromebooks and Chromecast video streaming devices. ... " 

Examining SAP's Lumira

During the early phases of Data Visualization we took a look at a number of solutions.    SAP was the ERP solution for the enterprise, so we looked at their Business Objects solution for what we called business intelligence then, and is still used in delivery developments like P&G's Business Sphere, tied to developments (and hyped) methods like Big Data,

I was unaware of the details of SAP's Lumira, took a quick look at a demo last year, but have just started to get a deeper look.  I like the implication of storyboarding solutions, but not yet seen how that links to the decision process.   Here briefly described:   " ... With businesses spanning across various new and innovative functions, SAP AG is also evolving at every stage and their latest product the SAP Lumira proves nothing less of this evolutionary growth.  ... SAP Lumira is simply put a data visualization tool which proves to be one of the best available in the market today. Developed from the family of SAP AG, SAP Lumira enables you to combine your data into visualizations in the form of storyboards and organize this data in a more meaningful way. ... " 

Send me any thoughts you have on Limira and I will publish them.  Want to tell me more or do a proof of concept, contact me.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

McDs 3D Printing in Store

McDonalds Doing 3D Printing in its stores?     " ... Fast food chain is also mulling tablets and touchscreen ordering kiosks FAST FOOD CHAIN McDonalds has said that it will consider bringing 3D printing into its 'restaurants' to broaden its appeal to technology savvy customers.

Speaking at the Fujitsu Forum in Germany this week, McDonalds IT director Mark Fabes said that the firm is currently mulling plans to bring 3D printing to its restaurants, hinting that it could be used for churning out Happy Meal toys ... "  

Future of the Workplace

An ethnographers look:  We did a similar investigation.   Video. " ... What will the workplace of the future look like? Will it even exist as a physical space? Ever since networked computers first became widespread the idea of the virtual organisation has been touted, yet most of us still work in conventional workplaces. Recent technological advances have given a second wind to the idea with some even questioning whether organisations will exist in their current form or whether workers will be free agents coming together to complete specific tasks as and when needed. ... " 

Data Gathering and Sharing

A very basic but useful idea.   " ...Information technology security, big data analysis and interoperability are three of the hottest topics today, particularly in light of questions about how much personal information government agencies are collecting and how they are sharing it. Subject matter experts share their insights and solutions concerning these matters in three free white papers that can be downloaded from the SIGNAL Online Resource Library. They look at technologies and a business model that ensure that organizations that collect information can keep it safe and share it appropriately ... " 

Postmaster Shipping API

Nice to see this development for a government service that is often seen as behind the times. In TechCrunch.  Supply chain activities continue to be aided by analytics.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Consumer Thinking from One Observation

In The HBR: Think like an anthropologist to understand consumer data.    " ... It was hardly what you’d call an “adequate sample size” for market research, but the results were nevertheless eye-opening for the maker of a pain-relief ointment: A single consumer posted an online photo showing how he placed foil over the ointment to prevent it from staining his pants. Despite years of consumer research, the pharmaceutical firm hadn’t known about the staining problem. That photo prompted the company to change the product and its communications about the ointment, creating significant value for the firm .... " .  

Hmmm, this kind of reasoning leads to:  If the results you get from one observation turn out to be correct, it will be selectively lauded, else it will be forgotten?

Design Pioneer Auction at Sothebys

Of interest, Includes Apple's SVP of Design, today at 7 PM EST:

" ... Two of the world’s foremost design pioneers, Sir Jonathan Ive, KBE, and Marc Newson, CBE, have collaborated with musician and philanthropist Bono to organize a (RED) Auction celebrating the very best of design and innovation. Jony and Marc have spent the past year and a half curating the collection, which comprises objects from disciplines as diverse as space travel and lighting design to contemporary art and rare automobiles, all unified and distinguished by their excellence and innovation ... "

Software as Reorganizing the World

Some provocative views on software and internet influence on  the organization of the world.  Over reaching I think, but interesting.    Will countries eventually be less physical and more like Clouds in a technical sense.  He loses me when he mentions examples like the anarchic 'Occupy Wall Street'.  I don't want to join a cloud or a physical entity that is against the free market that helped it exist.

Google Updates Search

This change happened a month plus  ago, but it is worth thinking about.  Have you seen substantial changes in your space?

Search, Past and Future and Semantic

In GigaOM:  the future of search:  " ... As consumers look for the answers to complicated questions via search query, with the help of semantic technology, marketers can try to sell that same consumer what they searched for soon after they looked for it. Companies that fail to realize the drastic benefits of this technology will likely fall behind. Keep an eye on Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These companies see semantic technology and the benefits that semantic web provide for search as an innovation investment, so it is likely something you will be hearing about a lot in the near future.... " 

New Tableau with Boxplots and R

Have used the Tableau Software  data visualization, we looked at it before it came out of Stanford University around 2002.   I continue to use it, among other visualization systems.  The latest version, 8.1, has some useful features, I note in particular, boxplots and links to R.  You can try it at the link above.  They write:
" ... Tableau 8.1 delivers many features you asked for, as well as breakthrough ideas that will help you see and understand data in new ways.

Dive deeper into your data with new analytics features like integration with R, box-and-whisker plots, and calculations like RANK and PERCENTILE. Integrate Tableau with your whole enterprise with SAML authentication, IPv6 support and 64-bit software.

You’ll also see a number of usability enhancements, like updates to freeform dashboards, quick filters, and support for changing the start of the week. All of it at unparalleled speed and ease. ... " 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Big Data and Big Science

In CACM:  About the integration of high performance computing (HPC) and Big Data.  As the article suggests,   the result of this is to create more data.   And I add,  more opportunity for analytics.

Related Technical Paper. 
Synergistic Challenges in Data-Intensive Science and Exascale Computing
Summary Report of the Advanced Scientific
Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC), Subcommittee  March 30, 2013

Consortium Forming an Industrial Internet

US Consortium Forming an Industrial Internet
SAN JOSE, Calif. – As many as ten companies including AT&T, Cisco Systems, GE, IBM, and Intel are working with US government representatives to form a consortium to drive the so-called Industrial Internet. Their goal is to define an architectural framework for open industry standards that would serve a broad swath of market sectors from automotive and manufacturing to healthcare and the military. ... " 

And a more detailed background paper.  via Dr Shyam Sunder, Director of NIST

Analytics e-News Newsletter

Another good resource, and links to papers from Informs, the authoritative resource for modeling and business systems improvement.   Always worth reading.

Big Data and HR

In the Atlantic:  Good general, non technical piece.  True as the article says, they are watching you at work.  They are also watching you as you work in your social contexts before they hire you.  Data mining and Big Data techniques make it easier than ever to mine the social and fit the capabilities to the needs.   We used advanced analytics in HR a decade ago, now there is more data to make the results better.

Questions for the C-Suite

The earliest experiences I had with the global enterprise were working directly with the CEO.   He had built a system that ran on an early desktop, I helped with its expansion.   In that early work I learned that even back then the C-Suite cared about the direct use of computing power to help their decision making.  They also much cared about the data that would drive these systems.  There was a big gap in time before executives cared as much again.

IBM, as part of their Institute for Business Value asked a lot of executives about how they interacted with technologies. And also with each other about technology. And where they thought the opportunities and challenges existed.   This was the first attempt to study the entire C-Suite, and it was interesting to see how this fragmented with C Suite responsibilities. That had changed much since my first work with them.     ....  The scale was impressive:

" ... We now have data from more than 23,000 interviews stretching back to 2003.

Our latest study draws on input from:
Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) 884 Chief Finance Officers (CFOs) 576 Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) 342 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) 1,656 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) 524 Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) 201 ... " 

In an interesting aside, IBM's Watson AI system was used to analyze the interview data.  I look forward to hearing more about that.

It is a remarkable study.  Which also emphasizes the current opinions and their forecasts for the near future.  While it probably means most for the complexity of the large enterprise, it gives lessons to Mid Market firms as well.  In one paragraph they provide a good summary:

" ... How do you view the world?

CEOs consider technology the single most important external force shaping their organizations. Other CxOs also see it as one of the top three factors. The members of  the C-suite are likewise united in believing that an entirely new set of dynamics is emerging. 

Customers and citizens expect to be treated as individuals, which means knowing what makes each of us “tick”:  our values, beliefs, habits and quirks. That, in turn, requires much closer collaboration between organizations and  the people they serve.

Most CxOs recognize that what applies to customers  and citizens applies to employees and partners, too.  They envisage that organizational boundaries will become far more porous, enabling greater collaboration with employees and partners to accelerate innovation. They  also anticipate sourcing more of that innovation from outside. Where once an enterprise could go it alone, and  be successful doing so, it must now collaborate. .... " 

There is much detail beyond that, each using a small pie chart to indicate the changes over time.   I don't think the pies where necessary, but they were often joined by bar and time charts that indicated change that had occurred.

I attended the preview of the study, a good overview,  it would have been better to add a few case studies about C-Suite communications of data and responsibilities.   I was also surprised that little was said about funding, is it more of an issue in a world where we are automating more interactions?   How do changes in the economy change investment in digitization?   A nod to investment, which could have helped understanding how different size organizations would behave.

In particular I liked the statement about the future of these interactions:

" ... Pioneer digital-physical innovation:

The emergence of social, mobile and digital networks has played a big part in democratizing the relationship between organizations and their customers. It’s also forcing them to rethink how they work. Some 60 percent of CxOs now look to partners who will have an equal hand in creating business value (see Figure 4, foldout). And almost half are sourcing innovation from the outside .... "

Overall a good study.  provocative read.  You can get to the whole study (with registration) here.  

 Also , see their Android, IOS App: IBM IBV which covers the study and on Twitter:  @IBMIBV  I have found their stream quite interesting.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.  #MidsizeIBM

iBeacon for Retailers at Macy's

In TechCrunch: I Had known that Macy's had been doing work with Shopkick for some time.   I have the App on my iPhone.  A favorite experimental topic in our innovation centers.   " ...  When Apple, with much fanfare, announced iOS 7 in June, it also quietly confirmed a new feature called iBeacons, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy signalling to enable micro-location services and to trigger actions within apps. Now, Shopkick, the shopping app that lets you flag items you want and then alerts you in store to offers on those products and others you might like, becomes the first company to implement the technology in a retail setting. ... 

ShopBeacon, as the new iBeacon transmitter is called, begins trials today in Macy’s in Union Square, San Francisco and Herald Square, NYC, before Shopkick rolls it out to more of its retail partners across the U.S. ...  " 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

PR Firms and the Wikipedia

In CIO Today:  I remember being part of a team to decide how we should react to the Wikipedia.  Issue warnings to our employees not to edit it?  When 'public interest' groups clearly would.  Or have a PR firm propose edits?  Where in between all of this does objectivity lie?   Now the WP is issuing cease and desist orders to a PR firm that has found a niche editing the WP.   Preserve general credibility please.

Impact of Simulation

Using Simulation:   Well yes, based upon my background I am a big believer.  It is an essential approach of business analytics.   It was the first analytical technique I used, to understand how defense systems would react in varied environments. Later, in vastly different domains.  in virtualized environments, we were able to construct responses in worlds that did not exist.  The method can have great impact because the results are easy to visualize and see in comparison.    I will be posting some new thoughts on this in the coming weeks.

Internet of Things and Ubiquitous Sensing

In Computing Now:  Mentions my colleague and IOT pioneer Kevin Ashton.  Start of a series that will address many of the aspects and issues in the Internet of Things.  Something to watch closely for many reasons.

" ... A pillar of the Future Internet, the Internet of Things (IoT) will comprise many billions of Internet-connected objects (ICOs) or "things" that can sense, communicate, compute, and potentially actuate, as well as have intelligence, multimodal interfaces, physical/virtual identities, and attributes. The IoT incorporates concepts from pervasive, ubiquitous, and ambient computing, which have been evolving since the late '90s and have now reached some level of maturity. It fuses the digital and physical worlds by bringing different concepts and technical components together. Along with the World Wide Web and mobility, IoT potentially represents the most disruptive technological revolution to date. With billions of ICOs and a diverse abundance of sensors, the IoT will be an enabler of ubiquitous sensing. ... "  

Wearables Reshaping the Enterprise

In ComputerWorld:   Interesting questions are raised here.  " ... Wearables will reshape the way enterprises work ...  And enterprises could be the real growth area for wearable computing
... Though wearable computing receives a great deal of publicity today, relatively little has been said about the prospects for wearables in the enterprise. That's surprising, because the enterprise could be where wearables really take off.... " 

Auction Technology

Have now been involved in several projects that dealt with auction technology and related decision and classification methods.  Both for supply side material acquisition and for classic 'auctions'  via auction houses and interactive bidding, both online and on site.   See my previous posts on this topic.

I note that there is an upcoming movie memorabilia auction being done by Bonhams and TCM.  Since much auction traffic these days is done online, I reviewed their site for the auction.  Very nicely done, with high speed results, imaging and categorization. Options for live access.   See the site here.

One failing I did see was a lack of complete tagging of individual items.

The auction starts live on November 25, 2013 at 1 PM EST and I will be following for a while.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

On Positive Human Emotion

In The Edge:  We looked at emotion as a signal for understanding how people reacted to product, marketing interaction and use.   As part of our 'cognitive council' efforts.    Not sure how this relates directly, but am passing it on to others in this area.    Video by June Gruber, who is Assistant Professor of Psychology, Director, Positive Emotion & Psychopatology Lab, Yale University

Google Delivers Costco

In Wired: A competitive action with Amazon for the Holidays.  Another example of supply chain players connecting directly to the consumer ...

" Google’s stated aim is to bring you the world’s information. Now it will also bring you 30 rolls of toilet paper. .... The search giant said today that Costco, everyone’s favorite purveyor of oversized consumer goods, is joining the Google Shopping Express same-day delivery service. It’s the highest-profile new partnership for the program since Shopping Express came out of private testing and became available to the San Francisco Bay Area public in September.... " 

Global C-Suite Study

In the process of studying the IBM:  Customer-activated Enterprise Insights from the Global C-suite Study ...  Attending a conference call today about its findings.  I will write about it in more detail later this week.  How executives interact with technology has been a long time interest of mine.  Have written about this often in this space. Stay tuned.   I also see that their Watson AI capability was used to analyze input from their executive study.  For a preview, see their Android, IOS App: IBM IBV

Reducing Customer Defections

In the HBS: On reducing customer defections.  A classic case for quantitative analysis using classification methods.   " ... Companies can't afford to lose hard-won customers, but in truth some are more important to keep than others. Recent research by Sunil Gupta and Aurélie Lemmens explains how to find them. ... ".    Studying this research further.

Intel Betting on Big Data

In GigaOM:   Not unexpected, have been impressed by Intel's analytical work for some time.  " ... Intel is using big data to improve everything from manufacturing efficiency to sales, and is increasingly looking toward technologies such as Hadoop and machine learning to create new opportunities...

Big data is nothing new to Intel — the microprocessor giant has been analyzing lots of data about its chip-manufacturing processes for decades — but there’s something about the current generation of “big data” technologies that has the company excited about the future. Tools like Hadoop and techniques such as machine learning at scale are making it easier for Intel to collect and analyze everything from wafer measurements to sales figures, and the result is that Intel is getting much smarter about running its business. .. " 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Wizard Technical Events is Twenty Plus

Wizard Events announces that they have been around for twenty years.  I have scoped out some events with them.   Congratulations!  Their founder Russell Brumfield was an early innovator in this space, and is impressive in their ability to add technical components to meetings.    We also used some of his smell-sensory learnings, see his book on the subject.   Look at their global technical capabilities, Techno Chic events, and a new Planning App for setting up complex meetings.  Also add yourself to their newsletter.  Recommended.

Changing Statistical Standards

Debating a standard:

Whats in a 95 percent confidence?
Is there something special about a 95 percent probability? Absolutely not; a recent paper referred to it as "seemingly arbitrary." It's simply been arrived at through the consensus of people working in the field. It seems in most fields, people have been willing to accept a situation where, out of every 20 positive results, chances are that one of them is a fluke and will not be reproducible.

But the 95 percent rule doesn't apply to every field. In particle physics, hints of particles with greater than 95 percent certainty come and go all the time—you can get a different answer depending on how much data you have at the time of analysis. So that field has settled on a much higher standard: greater than 99.9999 confidence.    ... " 

Diagrams to Represent Competitors

New way to create infographics about your competitors.  The well known petal diagram.   " ....   The Petal Diagram drives your business model canvas ... What the chart is saying is, “we think our customers will come from these markets.”  That’s handy if you’re using a Lean Startup methodology because the Petal Chart helps you identify your first potential customer segments on the business model canvas. ... ".  

Unmasking the Puppets

From New Scientist and ACM:  An experimental method to unmask sock-puppets (usually phony paid commenters, reviewers or contributors) based on the way they write.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Six Degrees of Connection to P&G

After publishing a item about an infographic I liked,  about products we buy, it was pointed out that some of the data was incorrect.  That is true.  But I was also pointed to another infographic about c-Suite connections to P&G. With the challenge:  " .... Businesses are truly part of the world economy and this infographic shows just a handful of the ways that some of the big brands around the world are connected. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon is so passe. Try six degrees of Procter and Gamble for a real challenge ... " .  I would point out that this is not an infographic but an interactive connectivity graph.  The connectivity implied here is any former alumni relationship with P&G.

Corporate Connections

Click anywhere on the graphic to show full page and enlarge. 
This graphic is also from http://visual.ly 

Cognitive AI Apps in the Cloud

More on the IBM giving access to Watson technologies to allow the building of cognitive Apps in the cloud.   A good direction.  The App style of infrastructure would allow lots of new experiments by developers.   And it is experiments we need.  AI integrates, people, decisions, and technology.   This means the need for experiments to see how to make this work. Another step forward for intelligence applications.   Look forward to a closer look.

Amazon's Business Models

In the HBR:  Indicating that they constantly audit their business model.  Which has led to increases in the number of US warehouses, and their recent proposal to use the US postal service for Sunday deliveries in select regions in the holiday season.  This would lead to me that they are using predictive supply chain models to do early tests on these proposals.

Mining Health Care Information

In Freebeacon: How can social media information be mined for indications of health related behavior?  " ... Specifically, NLM will look at the “value of tweets and other messages as teaching tools and change-agents for health-relevant behavior.”  “The overarching objective of these studies is to obtain a richer understanding of how consumers, clinicians, researchers actually look for the health-related information they seek, and what they do with what they find,” NLM said in a response to frequently asked questions about the project. ... " 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Trolling IKEA

In Adage: We have an Ikea store nearby.  The number of items they have is so large that it is hard to believe anyone can recognize one that is out of place.  So a design agency surreptitiously placed a product there in the right context, and watched what happened. Includes Video.  Probably illegal or at least unethical,  or do they need to place a sign at the entrance saying that  non Ikea products cannot be placed on the shelves?  Have to admire the sheer creativity.

Defensiveness in Communications

In the HBR:  I like this argument about not being defensive in communications.  Found myself in this position.  And has some practical methods to implement it that I will try.

Data is Decentralized

An aspect I had never thought about very much, but very true.

" ... Let’s look at IT in a simple way. There are users, there are applications, there is hardware and there is data – just four distinct things that work together in one way or another.

Users run applications to create and manage data, whether it’s data in a database or in a file. The applications are, of course, shared to some degree. In the typical corporation there are thousands of applications, with each user employing only a selection of them. That’s easy enough to accommodate. Hardware can vary in its characteristics. Users have end node hardware (mobile phones, tablets, PCs, etc.), and to coordinate that we have networks and server hardware. ... 

Data doesn’t just need to be shared; in many instances it needs to be shared concurrently. It also needs to be secured, and it needs to be recoverable in the event of some technology failure. Those are, of course, largely solved problems, but they complicate matters. And what complicates life much more is that there are many databases and data files. ... " 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Neuromarketing Course

NeuroRelay reports on a free online neuromarketing course that may be of interest. Recall I had previous connections with startups in this area like Buyology Inc..   " ... The course will go through to the basic concepts of the human brain, the elements of the consumer mind, how it is studied, and how its insights can be applied in commercial and societal understandings of consumer behavior. Independent on your background, you will be well equipped to understand the basics of human decision making, and the role of the brain in this process. This course further offers a good understanding of how the triangulation of economics, psychology and neuroscience is employed to understand consumer behaviour and communication effects ... " 

Coke Online Mag Succeeds

Coke has an online magazine.  Why does one of the best known brands in the world need its own magazine?   Not sure how this would work with much less known brands, but I like the characteristics they are requiring for articles in the magazine.  Apparently very successful.   In Smartblogs.

Amazon Does Data Streams with Kinesis

Amazon, like may other players in the space, is now addressing the element of Big Data that looks at big dynamic of high speed, real time data streams.   The legendary 'fire hose' of data produced by applications like Twitter.   In Ars Technica.  You can sign up for a limited preview of their Kinesis offering now.

A Look at SAP Lava

From a SAP community blog. Was involved fairy early on with SAP's Business Objects data visualization play.  We approved it for use in the enterprise.  New is a redesign of SAP Lava that addresses visualization to support better design.  Now examining for an application.  " ... Project LAVA was inspired by visualization experts such as Stephen Few, David McCandless and Prof. Hichert but goes beyond the academic through adaptations to SAP needs and the frontiers of interactivity, multi-device distribution, and high system performance. .. " 

Augmented Pixels Continued

Recently brought to my attention this augmented reality delivery company: Augmented Pixels  (Formerly AR3D ) advertising, sales and entertainment implementations.  With development offices in the Ukraine and Russia.   Their Blog.  An interesting interview with their CEO in Forbes USA on augmented reality.  A library of over 100 use cases  developed using AR.  I found this latter slide share very intriguing for use with potential customers in the space.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

10 Companies Whose Products You Buy

A rare infographic I like. From Visual.ly:    " .... According to this chart via Reddit, called "The Illusion of Choice," these corporations create a chain that begins at one of 10 super companies. You've heard of the biggest names, but it's amazing to see what these giants own or influence. ... "  

10 Corporations Control Almost Everything You Buy

Click graphic anywhere for full screem

Google Wins Book Scanning Case

In GigaOM: A long term suit against Google scanning and storing books.  Have followed this for a long time.  Finally decided in Google's favor, apparently using fair use arguments. " ... Google has won a resounding victory in its eight-year copyright battle with the Authors Guild over the search giant’s controversial decision to scan more than 20 million books from libraries and make them available on the internet  ... " 

Time of Day Shopping

In PopAI:  An area that we explored in our laboratory stores, but not in this predictive detail: " ... Dr Scott G. Dacko, an associate professor in marketing and strategic management at the UK Warwick Business School, published a paper Time-of-Day Services Marketing that combined research in sociology, geography, biology, physiology, psychology and marketing to create a new marketing strategy called “Time-of-Day.” Dacko suggests that we can predict when certain types of people will shop, and in turn retailers can tailor their stores for certain times of the day for optimal sales. “Night owls are more creative, flexible and drink more coffee, while early birds are more conscientious, agreeable and emotionally stable,” Dr Dacko said to CMO. “This knowledge can guide companies’ marketing tactics to increase customer satisfaction through the provision of unique time-of-day service and product offerings.” ... " 

Essentials of Business Analytics Book

A number of my colleagues at the University of Cincinnati have just come out with a new book on the delivery of business analytics entitled:  Essentials of Business Analytics by 
Jeffrey D. Camm, James J. Cochran, Michael J. Fry, Jeffrey W. Ohlmann, David R. Anderson

As they describe it:   " ... This book provides coverage over the full range of analytics--descriptive, predictive, prescriptive--not covered by any other single book. It includes step-by-step instructions to help students learn how to use Excel and powerful but easy to use Excel add-ons such as XL Miner for data mining and Analytic Solver Platform for optimization and simulation.... " 

I have a review copy on its way and will provide a description and review of it here when I receive it. I hope to use some of the case studies included with clients.  Your comments are also welcome.

IBM Announces Watson on Internet

In the NYT:   Delivered  via the Internet.   Now we await the interface needed for intelligent connections.  " ...  On Thursday IBM will announce that Watson, the computing system that beat all the humans on “Jeopardy!” two years ago, will be available in a form more than twice as powerful via the Internet.  ...  Companies, academics and individual software developers will be able to use it at a small fraction of the previous cost, drawing on IBM’s specialists in fields like computational linguistics to build machines that can interpret complex data and better interact with humans.... " 

And more, Watson as a Cloud Platform.

DARPA Learning Machines

New kinds of machine learning have been an emphasis of DARPA.  In Wired,   " ... The Pentagon’s blue-sky research agency is readying a nearly four-year project to boost artificial intelligence systems by building machines that can teach themselves — while making it easier for ordinary schlubs like us to build them, too.

When Darpa talks about artificial intelligence, it’s not talking about modeling computers after the human brain. That path fell out of favor among computer scientists years ago as a means of creating artificial intelligence; we’d have to understand our own brains first before building a working artificial version of one. But the agency thinks we can build machines that learn and evolve, using algorithms — “probabilistic programming” — to parse through vast amounts of data and select the best of it. After that, the machine learns to repeat the process and do it better.... "

Recall previously discussed, DARPA's xData Project,   I see that a number of the external links on this thread have oddly now gone away, so I have corrected them to a general source.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Storytelling Nodes of New Technologies

If you have followed this space for a long time, you know I cover many technologies and their implications.  Most of which I started looking at in the enterprise a long time ago.  One person who was on a parallel track is colleague Dr. Keith Caserta.   He has done something very different to communicate his long term findings.  He has written a science fiction novel.   I spoke to him today about his work.

Science fiction is speculative, exploratory, but also revealing in its view of our future direction.  Just finished reading it, and it is a great job. I was struck by his touching on many of my own areas of interest and experience. Also it's a very well told story, combining both an engineering view and human elements in this sometimes scary and uncertain future.   Along the way you get plausible tales of DARPA, Cyc, AI, Neural Networks, Singularities and Quantum Computing.

Available in an inexpensive Kindle edition: Soul Searching (The Nodes of God Series) by Keith Caserta

Shapeshifting Touch Display

An example of virtual interaction.

" ... The Tangible Media Group at MIT's Media Lab has unveiled a futuristic display made of atoms, not pixels. We live in an age of touch–screen interfaces, but what will the UIs of the future look like? Will they continue to be made up of ghostly pixels, or will they be made of atoms that you can reach out and touch? ...  " 

Walmart v Amazon

The last battle?  In Knowledge@Wharton.  For dominance in retail.

" ... In the retail realm, it’s a clash of the titans: Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, versus Amazon, the online giant that aspires to be “the everything store.” Both are slashing prices and increasing free, same-day and other enticing delivery-and-return services in pursuit of market domination. Amazon’s online savvy and forbearance of profit-taking are well known. Walmart, with its vast bricks-and-mortar network, is finally getting serious about e-commerce.

But with two, not just one, behemoths now cutting into profit margins in a race for market share, what are the consequences for the rest of retail? “If those two keep getting better, it’s going to be rough news for other people,” says Wharton marketing professor Stephen J. Hoch.  ... " 

Blending Data is Good

It has been some time since I looked at the vendor Pentaho.  Examined it for use in the enterprise.  I noticed that they have something called the data blend of the week.  I like the general concept, which is fundamental, we often do not consider what can be done with data we have or can acquire.   It goes beyond Pentaho's offerings.  The most recent one addresses  " ... Google Analytics and Customer Experience Data ... This week we are highlighting blending Google Analytics with Customer Support Data. The result, deeper insight into your customer needs and preferences to drive your next product planning session.  ... " .  Looks to be worth following.

DB Pedia

Can a semi-structured text database like the Wikipedia be used to extract structured data?  This is the goal of the DbPedia: 

" ... DBpedia is a crowd-sourced community effort to extract structured information from Wikipedia and make this information available on the Web. DBpedia allows you to ask sophisticated queries against Wikipedia, and to link the different data sets on the Web to Wikipedia data. We hope that this work will make it easier for the huge amount of information in Wikipedia to be used in some new interesting ways. Furthermore, it might inspire new mechanisms for navigating, linking, and improving the encyclopedia itself. ... "

Is this effort still active?  How has it been used to provide real value?

Georgia Tech on Wearable

What are the cultural and social aspects of wearable computing?  A Ga Tech researcher addresses.  While I agree this is an issue, you could, and some did make the case that people would not carry around devices and hold them to their ears when they vibrated.  Real or imagined benefits overrode these impressions.  Will wearables have the benefits to do the same?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2013 Business Intelligence Symposium

Register now to attend the 2013 Business Intelligence Symposium offered through the Center for Business Analytics in the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati and sponsored by LÛCRUM.  The 2013 Business Intelligence Symposium will be held on Tuesday, December 3, 8:00AM – 1:00PM in the Tangeman University Center Theater on the University of Cincinnati’s Main Campus.

The 2013 Business Intelligence Symposium will offer practical examples of Analytics in Action; this year’s event will focus on “Customers, Retailers and Beyond.” Four leading business-analytics practitioners will discuss how analytics can be used to give companies the competitive advantage they seek. The scheduled presenters are Carman Allison, Vice-President of Consumer Insights at The Nielsen Company; Chris Cole, CEO and Founder of Intelligrated, Inc.; Juan Huerta, Senior Data Scientist with PlaceIQ; and Janine Eldredge-Panos, Associate Director at Procter & Gamble.

More information and registration at: https://www.regonline.com/BISymposium2013

The cost for registration is $95. All attendees will receive continental breakfast, box lunch and free parking.
A full list of past and upcoming events offered through the Center for Business Analytics is available here. Be sure to note the new set of training classes offered through the Center; only a few seats remain for the upcoming “Data Mining in the Real World” training course on November 21-22. .... 

Millennials and Shopper Marketing

In Smartblogs: The rise of the omni-channel shopper in the millennial.  The link below is also of interest and new to me.

" ... The Coca-Cola Company sponsors this blog post and leverages proprietary insights to create world-class shopper marketing activities designed to help retailers convert more shoppers into buyers.  Visit www.cokesolutions.com to learn more.

Digital media has changed the way and the speed in which people shop. Marketers must now provide consumers with a full buying experience both online and in-store, adding a new dimension to their jobs. In particular, understanding the purchasing habits of millennials, who were raised with online shopping as a part of daily life, can be a challenge since many younger consumers have different expectations and approaches to buying. ...  " 

What Drives Internet Traffic?

Mostly Netflix and Youtube.  Not surprising, being heavily used video resources.   While I am a litte surprised at this: " ... Meanwhile, peer-to-peer file sharing -- services like BitTorrent and eDonkey that use a peer-to-peer group distribution model -- is decreasing sharply as a percentage of traffic. For the first time ever, total traffic for those types of services has fallen below 10% in North America, considerably earlier than what Sandvine predicted.  ... " 

Cyc, the Enterprise and Wikipedia

Recent research had me take a look back on the Cyc project, which we had examined during our AI explorations.   We talked to Lenat's Cycorp. The system promised to encode common sense knowledge relationships and make it available for natural language search and reasoning. It is a semantic analysis of knowledge.

Although it looked very promising, we were unable at the time to integrate it into our rule based reasoning effort.  If our expert systems had seen broader use,  a next step use would have been to include corporate enterprise knowledge using Cyc.

By overlaying the Cyc structure on our internal enterprise Wikipedia?  What might this have looked like?    An examination of the Wikipedia page in Cyc. I  found the following reference  " ... Cyclopedia is being developed; it superimposes Cyc keywords on pages taken from Wikipedia pages. ... "   A paper referenced talks about the project.  A followup paper.  And a sample page is shown.   Nothing about the project seems to exist after 2012.

Not sure of the current state of this work.  Does anyone know?  References would be appreciated.

Multi Modal Drones

In Wired:  As you might expect, the primary uses here are military. " ... This Drone Can Fly, Swim, Drive, and Hop Its Way Through a Mission  .. "  But it points to the direction of automated travel. Automated data gathering.

Enterprise Architecture

Thinking Future architecture.  " ... Doing Enterprise Architecture is different from managing other type of IT or business project, as it includes from abstract level, logical level to physical level work, perhaps it’s easy to get lost or risk in modeling the universe, so is there any best practices how to partition the EA work and get the wheel running.  ... " 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mobile Apps Drive Smart Homes

In GigaOM:  Expectes 21.5 million in US and Europe by 2017.  The definition is still somewhat uncertain.  We continue to experiment with the idea, after starting in 2001, to see how it might influence CPG product demand.   As expected, these are driven by smartphone apps.  Also discovered, that information technology and housing technologies evolve at different rates.   In examining such systems as refrigerators, we found that consumers expected a them to last 15 years, while info tech changes in n 18 month cycle. Who can afford to rip out smart house installations?

Data Science Books

Vincent Granville posts a good list of more than 100 data science, analytics, big data and visualization books.  With links to further commentary and access.  Nicely done and useful.  Continually updated.

Data Pollution on the Rise

In ClickZ:  Cleansing data.  As we start to mine all the easy big data we are uncovering more difficult layers we will need to better understand.  What are the challenges and the first approaches we should use?

Humans in the Intelligence Loop

Have you noticed?  Real humans are entering the App loop.    ' ... Google Helpouts and Amazon's Mayday are changing everything ... " .  Its long been my contention that people, properly leveraged, are a powerful add in for delivering intelligence.

Johnson & Johnson Brand Tracking

Looking for a different measure.   Portfolio oriented.  " ... Johnson & Johnson is moving to a unified methodology for tracking some of its “mega brands”, global strategic insights VP Brenda Armstead said at a recent conference. According to Warc, Armstead told The Market Research Event in Nashville, that the company was looking to become “more of a global organisation [with] standards and consistency in the way we track our brand equity across our entire consumer group portfolio”. ... " 

McKinsey on Enhancing Application Development

Always of interest.  But does this mean we can have less technical people involved?  This has long been a goal, but is not really happening.  Its still a very technical thing.

" ... Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of application development .. Software has become critical for most large enterprises. They should adopt a reliable output metric that is integrated with the process for gathering application requirements .. " 

Comments on this Blog

Repeating my policy.  Readership is up and Spam is increasing.  All comments are moderated. I cannot read or approve anonymous comments without prior approval.  I cannot approve any comment that is not substantive to the message it comments on.  I can read only comments in English or German.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Artafact and Serious Games for Customer Insight

Brought to my attention,  an AMA Webcast on November 19, 2013 at 12 noon CST: By Research company Artafact.  and Innovation Games (who is providing the gaming expertise)

" ... How can you use gaming techniques to gain valuable customer insights? In this Webcast, Sumi Shohara, Director of Customer Advocacy for Hewlett-Packard, and Linda Stegeman, President of research company Artafact, will share how HP Software uses interactive games to engage their customers in everything from strategy and product development to marketing messaging.

Specifically they will cover how gamification techniques can help:

- Form innovative ideas to implement
- Let your customers help you determine the product vision
- Rank feature lists by letting customers choose the most important features
- Mine the return on investment customers receive from your product and services .....

More information and registration. 

Grasp Robotics Laboratory at Penn

Brought to my attention, new things ongoing at the GRASP Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Robot swarms that fly and cooperate.  See an exciting video on their quadrotor swarms.   I had previously mentioned here our own look at swarming robotics, but we did not foresee the flying angle. Also follow on Twitter.

" ... The General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory integrates computer science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering in a vibrant, collaborative environment that fosters interactions between students, research staff and faculty. GRASP has grown into a $10 million research center with impressive technological innovations. Pioneering GRASP researchers are building autonomous vehicles and robots, developing self-configuring humanoids, and making robot swarms a reality. Our doctoral students are trained in theory and practice and mentored to become leaders in research and education. The graduates of the interdisciplinary Master's in Robotics program are uniquely equipped to face research and development challenges of the fast-growing robotics industry.We invite you to visit the GRASP lab to experience  the future of robotics research and education. ... " 

Google Tracking Your Location

Google has a lot of power, and continues to cleverly leverage it, mixing search behavior, location and purchasing choices:

" ... Google is beta-testing a program that uses smartphone location data to determine when consumers visit stores, according to agency executives briefed on the program by Google employees. Google then connects these store visits to Google searches conducted on smartphones in an attempt to prove that its mobile ads do, in fact, work.

Google declined multiple requests for comment.

If someone conducts a Google mobile search for “screwdrivers,” for instance, a local hardware store could bid to have its store listing served to that user. By pairing that person’s location data with its database of store listings, Google can see if the person who saw that ad subsequently visited the store. ... " 

Screenwriting and Storytelling

Have examined the approaches of screenwriting for storytelling.  Not precisely on point, but worth looking at, see Blake Snyer's site.  And his book:  Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder.    How might this be useful?

Blockbuster Closes, Reopens for Liquidation

This is quite a change, having lived through the era of readily available physical video media stores. Now Blockbuster video, once ubquitous, is closing its remaining 200 stores.  Its Mail order DVD business, introduced as a competitor to Netflix, will also be shut down by mid December. This media is still available, like non digital film, at Amazon and elsewhere, but expect it to fade away.  Another dependence on fast Internet connections.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Street Light System with Audio and Video Recording

In is natural to include security and pattern recording systems in lighting.  We tested the idea for retail.  Here a new integration: 

" ... Las Vegas Installs “Intellistreets” Light Fixtures Capable Of Recording ConversationsThe Las Vegas Public Works Department has begun testing a newly installed street light system around City Hall with wide-ranging capabilities including audio and video recording.

According to the Michigan based “Illuminating Concepts,” the system’s main benefits include “energy management, security and entertainment.” The Las Vegas setup includes such features as emergency notification flashers, playable music and a sound announcement system, all controlled from an Ipad ... " 

Agile Mindsets

Agile is necessary. It should be a mindset.    But what does it really mean?  Pearl Zhu:  From the Future of CIO:  " ... Agility is the ability to adapt to the changes. At its core "agile" is a mindset, a way of looking at the world and a way of thinking about work. This mindset is influenced by 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto. It is crucial for successful adoption of a better way of working that the people in the organization begin to embrace the values and principles, and then they look at the set of practices which will work for them at the level they are at. The twelve Agile Principles/guidelines of Agile can shape 12 types of minds that integrated into which being called Agile Mindset:  .... "

Panoramio Redesign

The Google Operating System reports that the image locating service Panoramio has been redesigned to make it look like a Google Maps extension.  It was acquired by Google in 2007 and contains millions of photos.   The image display size has been increased and the interface simpler.  It makes a lot of sense to integrate images with their location on a geographic map.  I am still surprised that this method appears to be too little known.  It's like crowd sourcing location photography.  I was able to make several 'discoveries' with it.   The new connection will likely make it better appreciated.  Will the Google Maps API allow the pictures to be used? Had thought of doing a mash up based on that, but the effort never went forward.  See also the Panoramio blog for more about the changes.

Unilever's CEO Talks the Future

Why Unilever's CEO takes the long-term approach

Unilever CEO Paul Polman said his job is "to make others successful," which he achieves by taking a long-term approach based on a "deeper sense of purpose" as the company grapples with issues including corporate sustainability, food security, deforestation and sanitation. "[T]he main thing is to have a firm belief about the core responsibility of solving these challenges, and not delegating that to someone else," he said. .... " 

Friday, November 08, 2013

High Fidelity Fast Smart Scanning

In Engadget:  We have many new opportunities for scanning these days.  And more our smart phones have become scanners.   But the nature of the context can make these hard to use consistently.  Now emerges a smarter scanner designed for businesses: Blinkscan: " .... It's a device that scans images, documents or even objects like many other scanners out there, but unlike those dumb machines, BlinkScan tailors its output. Instead of producing a single image with everything lumped together, it crops out the individual items scanned (so that the background is completely eliminated), straightens the resulting images and exports them as separate files to your photo editing software of choice -- all in about three seconds. ... " 

Fading Interest in the Humanities

In the NYT:  Creating a worry in colleges.  I further observe that Its harder to justify the costs, and as most everything has an important part of underlying technology, it becomes too easy to emphasize that.  and where are the jobs to be found?   " ... Some 45 percent of the faculty members in Stanford’s main undergraduate division are clustered in the humanities — but only 15 percent of the students. ... "