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September 2009 Blog Posts (20)

Why do Social Media?

By Katie Colbourne

Over the last 6 months or so people keep asking me ‘what is social media’, ‘how are you using it’ ‘why do social media’, ‘what exactly is your job?’. I will (hopefully) try to give you a brief introduction to social media, some tips and why companies from big conglomerates right down to small businesses should use social media.

Social media is online conversation. It’s the ‘new word of mouth’ – Conversations that were previously happening offline are now… Continue

Added by Eric Melchor on September 28, 2009 at 5:49am — No Comments

New Mathematical Statistician Job in D.C.

Added by Jim Varriale | on September 23, 2009 at 2:49pm — No Comments

The Politics of Data!

Companies collect so much data today and yet when you go looking for it you will often find barriers! So what’s wrong…If we were honest with ourselves, as professionals, we would admit what Rosabeth Moss Kanter suggested in 1979 in a famous Harvard Business Review article: that “Power is Americas last dirty word. It is easier to talk about money -- and much easier to talk about sex -- than it is to talk about power. People who have it deny it; people who want to it do not want to appear to… Continue

Added by Chandan Pathak on September 22, 2009 at 2:01pm — No Comments

Making data talk-the Coke way!

Many businesses do not have direct interactions with their customers. Service industries like Retailers, Banks & Telecom companies have millions of customer interactions which give them the customer’s pulse! How do packaged consumer goods companies achieve the same customer intimacy?

Coke has done a fantastic job of creating a strong connection with its consumers.

Coke’s marketing team first asked themselves three questions:

1) How can we connect with consumers?

2) How… Continue

Added by Chandan Pathak on September 22, 2009 at 1:55pm — No Comments

The Wisdom of Crowds

Netflix has a computerized recommendation system which seeks to find the common threads in millions of people’s recommendations and throw up “what’s best for you”? A lot of Online commerce sites have this kind of recommendation engine at work and Amazon is another well known example.

Netflix had a unique challenge: they wanted to improve Cinematic, their “recommendation engine.” Cinematic is the bit of software embedded in the Netflix Web site that analyzes each customer’s… Continue

Added by Chandan Pathak on September 22, 2009 at 1:51pm — 1 Comment

Who controls Personalized Customer Communication?

Marketers believe that creating “personalized communication” is important to drive a relevant communication strategy. But often they do not have control over the personalization process. Often very shoddy and “very personal” communication gets sent out by local sales folk which does nothing to enhance the brand perception and even less to the effectiveness of the communication. In a bank, the billing process is possibly as “personal as it can get” but rarely would you find anything but mass… Continue

Added by Chandan Pathak on September 22, 2009 at 1:49pm — No Comments

Drowning in Data!

Companies around the world are literally drowning in data. A typical airline or retailer, for example, is collecting data from many operational systems and storing terabytes, if not petabytes, of data. But how closely do CMO’s and CIO’s actually work or are they often at cross purposes! In India and I am sure in other furiously growing markets as well, IT is so busy building the basic infrastructure to manage the business that they often ignore the strategic priorities that Marketing is trying… Continue

Added by Chandan Pathak on September 22, 2009 at 1:46pm — 2 Comments

Reducing crime in Cinci through unique police + researcher collaboration

Police collab w/ researchers to reduce crime in Cinci. Culture critical: Police must be open to it, researchers need personal skills

Added by Joey Fitts on September 20, 2009 at 12:32pm — No Comments

#22: Here's a thought...

An occasional series in which a review of recent posts on SmartData Collective reveals the following nuggets:

Who’s with you on this?

Executive sponsors are the people with enough position and authority to put some weight behind the decision to change. If the executive sponsors do NOT support the change or are on the fence about the change, you have more work to do. Be mindful of their emotions, beliefs, and behaviors and ask yourself if they really understand the need… Continue

Added by Brian Roger on September 19, 2009 at 4:49pm — No Comments

Business are Not Trees Business Histories are not a single narrative

I'm trying to build up a research project proposal drawing together complexity, qualitative and quantitative overlap, fuzzy modelling, partial order facets, comparisons of narratives etc...

I'm not quite sure where it's going but I'm wanting to generate a toolkit to mean that data collection isn't hamstrung by over-simplistic data structures... etc

At the moment I'm reading Peter Abell's mathematical sociology writings to see if there's a way that they could be one of a series of… Continue

Added by Dr Stephen Tagg on September 19, 2009 at 3:01pm — No Comments


India has a huge mobile revolution and for so many years the game has been only about “acquisition”. We now have quite a few new entrants. Do Co Mo has just launched with its 1 sec pulse strategy which will probably further drive down industry revenues by 10-15 % if others also adopt it. And to top it all one may even see “Number portability” in the near future in the Indian Telecom business.

So the need to “protect revenue” is probably more real than ever before in this… Continue

Added by Chandan Pathak on September 17, 2009 at 6:54am — No Comments


Frank Capek has this very interesting take on something that we end up doing everyday - WAITING! In fact today “waiting” has become multi-channel-you wait in physical queues and you also wait on the IVR for the call centre agent.

Here is what Frank says: It’s hard to overestimate the impact of waiting on your customers’ experience. Across the research we’ve conducted, some of the most dramatic customer defections occur because of bad waiting experiences.

You can help… Continue

Added by Chandan Pathak on September 17, 2009 at 6:52am — No Comments


Participatory marketing-fascinating idea!

It does sound completely new for “growth markets” such as Asia where the marketing focus is still predominately on acquisition and “push based marketing”. When you are getting hounded by spam mails, sms & getting called by pesky telemarketers at odd times, it does seem like a breath of fresh air to seek participation from the consumer! I could choose to not get hounded by any of the push marketing stuff!

Ron Shevlin’s wrote a… Continue

Added by Chandan Pathak on September 17, 2009 at 6:49am — No Comments


“Banks will let you overspend on your debit card in a way that is much, much more expensive than almost any credit card,” said Eric Halperin, director of the Washington office of the Center for Responsible Lending. Debit has essentially changed into a stealth form of credit, according to critics like him.

The problem is that banks charge you an overdraft fee when you spend more than what is in your account, instead of denying the purchase. Three-quarters of the largest American banks… Continue

Added by Chandan Pathak on September 17, 2009 at 6:40am — No Comments


CEOs often talk about the need to use data while taking key decisions. But Marketers still seem to operate more from the gut. Why is that?

Thomas Wailgum in News captures the reasons why the gut still reigns supreme. Here is what he says: “So why is the gut still so in vogue? Of those respondents who said their companies still make decisions based on judgment rather than business analytics, 61 percent said it was because good data was not available, and just over half (55 percent)… Continue

Added by Chandan Pathak on September 17, 2009 at 6:30am — No Comments

Web Analytics & Interactive Marketing Internship

At Alight Interactive, we are web analytics and online marketing optimization specialists. We help companies measure, manage and increase the return on investment for websites and marketing initiatives.

We are looking for an individual with a passion for web analytics, data analysis and interactive marketing. This is a an internship with the potential to become a permanent position. The successful candidate will be a… Continue

Added by Michelle on September 8, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

#21: Here's a thought...

An occasional series in which a review of recent posts on SmartData Collective reveals the following nuggets:

They just don’t get it

Usually very few other Senior Managers / C-level Executives appreciate the value of good data. Intellectually, most usually agree with me, but when priorities are being set, data quality almost invariably gets pushed down the priority list by more 'burning' issues. Issues where managers see a more immediate impact on the bottom… Continue

Added by Brian Roger on September 5, 2009 at 2:04pm — No Comments

New iPhone app "Outbreaks Near Me" locates H1N1 (swine flu), infectious diseases

See article below. I have 2 questions:

  • Privacy issues - risks of being quarantined for reporting contamination by infectious disease. Can you report anonymously? How can a user trust that her report is anonymous?
  • Fraud and errors - people reporting wrong information (on purpose or not). After all, the average citizen is not an expert in infectious diseases.
These issues can be handled (that's my domain of expertize), but I am wondering if and how these… Continue

Added by Vincent Granville on September 4, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

Featured in news from Microsoft today - "Authors say: Create a Culture of Performance"

Featured in news from Microsoft today - "Authors say: Create a Culture of Performance"

Added by Joey Fitts on September 3, 2009 at 11:20pm — No Comments

Principal Components Analysis (of the Robust Type) REFERENCES

A "sparring partner" on Twitter, @CMastication asked a question about PCA the other day & in looking for quick riposte I realised that I have been rather banging on here about the Copula. I couldn't find a reference here at all to PCA! So I need to fix that since I am a huge fan and big user of PCA. Of course the leading thinker in the space is Professor Croux at UKL here in Belgium who is an adviser to my firm.…


Added by John A Morrison on September 3, 2009 at 1:00am — No Comments

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