The beginning of the end for email

Perhaps the biggest sign yet of the change at hand comes from Germany, which has called for an “anti-stress regulation” that would, among other things, ban employers from contacting employees after hours. Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized the law and stopped it from moving forward for now, but German leaders have long been concerned about the growing tendency for technology to allow work to encroach on employees’ private lives.

Using Gamification to Build Communities and Create Leads #SocialSelling

But let us take a step back here. Who are we trying to sell to? Let us not forget, you know the prospects and customers in your forecast. The people you are trying to speak to, are those who are “thinking” about buying. But we can go one better than that! If we have community, we can pull in those that haven’t thought about buying. Your competitors or prospects that might not even know they have a problem OR that your solution exists.

Blog by @Timothy_Hughes

Gamification is a very trendy term right now, what does it mean?

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 17.50.15The main purpose for employing Gamification is to incentify, engage and improve user engagement.  In devising a “game” you work out the particular behaviors you want and then give points when people exhibit those behaviors.

For example, at a recent conference I attended, an App was provided to download.  Gamification was “provided” by offering points for leaving speaker feedback, looking at the exhibitors details, etc etc.  The organisers then hoped that people’s natural competitive streak will mean they will compete (results published on a “Leaderboard”).  To get further up the Leaderboard you need to leave more speaker and session feedback, all good behaviors.

Gamification is for Trendy Marketing People it has no Place in Sales, Right?

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 17.56.34Recently had a demonstration from a Gamification company called Rise (previously called Leaderboard) and it got me thinking. This is all…

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Big Data and Intuition: The Future of Marketing

Technology isn’t only getting faster, it’s getting smarter. Computers are able to recognize and learn from patterns and make changes in real-time. Their improved analytic and decision-making abilities now allow them to outperform humans in areas such as medical diagnosis and customized marketing campaigns.


Technology isn’t only getting faster, it’s getting smarter. Computers are able to recognize and learn from patterns and make changes in real-time. Their improved analytic and decision-making abilities now allow them to outperform humans in areas such as medical diagnosis and customized marketing campaigns.

However, it’s hard for marketers to embrace data analysis when they’ve trusted their own gut to fuel decisions for so long. It’s a point of pride for many.  The problem is, the strategy frequently fails. A 20 year study of political pundits found that they were only as accurate as a coin toss, suggesting that successful “intuitive” decisions are often a lucky guess.

On the other hand, a McKinsey study found that companies who put data at the center of marketing and sales decisions improve marketing ROI by 15% – 20%. Data-driven personalization, in particular, can lift sales 10% or more. For example, Bank of America…

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Top 10 Steps to a Pragmatic Big Data Pipeline

As you know Big Data is capturing lots of press time. Which is good, but what does it mean to the person in the trenches ? Some thoughts … as a Top 10 List :

My missives

As you know Big Data is capturing lots of press time. Which is good, but what does it mean to the person in the trenches ? Some thoughts … as a Top 10 List :

[update 11/25/11 : Copy of my guest lecture for Ph.D students at the Naval Post Graduate School The Art Of Big Data is at Slideshare]

10. Think of the data pipeline in multiple dimensions than a point technology & Evolve the pipeline with focus on all the aspects of the stages

  • While technologies are interesting, they do not work in insolation and neither should you think that way
  • Dimension 1 : Big Data (I had touched upon this in my earlier blog “What is Big Data anyway“) One should not only look at the Volume-Velocity-Variety-Variability but also at the Connectedness – Context dimensions.
  • Dimension 2 : Stages – The degrees of separation as in collect…

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Millennials and Social Commerce By The Data [Infographic]

35% of Millennials are likely to use a “buy” button on Facebook and 24% are likely to use one on Twitter, should those be provided by the platforms.


Interest and discussions surrounding the 76 million millennials and their impact on social media, marketing and social commerce are seemingly increasing every week. Brands and marketers are seeking data to bolster their digital marketing efforts around this group, their interests and online patterns and rightly so. Millennials are unique in that they are not influenced by traditional ‘push’ marketing strategies as other population segments have been in the past and more importantly they have been raised with the digital world in place, rather than migrating to it as those before them.

Using data published in a report by UMass, we have created an easy to consume Infographic that contains the key points every brand and marketer should know. Following the infographic we break down some of the data points and include some takeaway action steps you may want to consider.

Millennial Social Commerce Infographic

The Data Highlights:

  • 35% of Millennials are likely to use a “buy” button…

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Citigroup to pay $15 million for analyst supervision lapses

A unit of Citigroup Inc must pay a $15 million fine for not adequately supervising communications among its equity research analysts, clients and the firm’s sales and trading staff, Wall Street’s industry funded regulator said on Monday.

I spent a weekend on a cruise ship staffed by robot bartenders

The two robots are perfectly efficient, fast bartenders. They always select the perfect amounts of Bulleit borboun, ice, and lime, and shake it just so before dumping it carefully into my plastic…


Quantum of the Seas is full of things like the Bionic Bar. Things that Royal Caribbean did not because it had to, or because it saved or made lots of money (though the company certainly hopes to do plenty of both), but because it could. Because those things just seemed better, and because Quantum of the Seas is meant to be what the company calls "a before-and-after" ship. This is supposed to be the first of a new kind of ship, the one that resets the bar for everything that comes after it. With it, Royal Caribbean seeks a different kind of cruiser, a person who would never before have considered spending their week-long vacation on a boat.

See on Scoop.itData Nerd’s Corner

Big Data Problem: Could Fake Reviews Kill Amazon?

Amazon authors are vulnerable to the following fraud, that would eventually result in significant business loss for Amazon.
A start-up company selling good reviews for $500 per book with a $100 monthly fee. It would work as follows.
A new book receives several negative reviews (1-star) using the methodology developed in the previous section
The author is then reached by email: typically, most authors have a public email address easy to harvest with automated tools, or easy to purchase from mailing list re-sellers
The start-up offers to post good reviews only (and it does not discuss the bad reviews previously planted before reaching out to the author to “fix” the problem)


How scalable is this? A college student could easily make $500 a day, targeting only a few books each day. That’s $100k per year, and collect the money via Paypal. Because the money is relatively easy to make, a large number of (educated and under-employed) people could be interested in setting up such a scheme, eventually targeting thousands of authors each day when combined together. Or someone might find a way to automate this activity, maybe using a Botnet, and make millions of dollars each year. Many authors would eventually refuse to have their books listed on Amazon, and choose to self-publish with platforms such as Lulu. Publishers would also opt out of Amazon. Revenue on Amazon (from book sales) would drop. Or Amazon could simply eliminate all reviews and not accept new ones.

Interestingly, it appears that Yelp might be making money with a similar scheme: out of fake reviews and blackmailing small businesses listed on its website. And I’ve seen companies selling fake Twitter followers or Facebook profiles, though they quickly disappear. Even LinkedIn was recently victim of a massive scheme involving fake profiles automatically generated. 

See on Scoop.itData Nerd’s Corner

‘Vegas’ explores mining of our personal data : Ct

Gary Loveman, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, seems like an unlikely mastermind for a Vegas casino. After earning a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Loveman got a job teaching at Harvard Business School.

His research into consumer behavior led to the theory that the lifetime value of a single customer is affected by their satisfaction — the more satisfied a customer is, the more valuable they are to a company. When Loveman started to apply his research to casinos, he discovered that customers didn’t show much loyalty to any single casino over time. He suggested that the best way to retain customers was to use data the company was already collecting to develop a more robust loyalty program.


In addition to data collected by casinos, Las Vegas is a trove of public data — more couples marry there than anywhere else in the United States. And the subsequent divorce records provide even more personal details that then become part of the public record, Tanner notes.


While U.S. law does restrict trade of some personal information like medical and financial data and how some types of data can be used for decisions like hiring or granting loans, the rules are otherwise rather thin.

See on Scoop.itData Nerd’s Corner

Understanding the Real Problem – Enterprise Complaints Analytics

A couple of weeks ago, my team was asked to come up with a solution for an Enterprise Complaints Platform with Advanced Analytics capability for a Fortune 50 Bank. The initial scope statements were high level requirements like for example, Identification of high risk complaints that were likely to be escalated to regulatory agencies, Complaint Root Cause Analysis, etc.
It quickly became apparent that while the solution did include Advanced Analytics components what was really needed was a repeatable process for Data Discovery and Descriptive Modeling that would provide the Associates with a semi automated way to complete the Root Cause Analysis or provide a way to identify the initial set of categories that could be used as inputs for Advanced Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics.


With these challenges in mind, it became apparent that any proposal we made for an Advanced Analytics solution would require considerable pre-processing capability on the input data including Big Data and a workflow capability to provide the “value add” repeatable automated processes that the front line associates were looking for. While this may seem obvious in hindsight, it was a concept that was not immediately apparent when we started the evaluation with the business looking for a One stop solution to meet their Advanced Analytics needs.

See on Scoop.itData Nerd’s Corner