Friday, February 28, 2014

The signal and the noise of The Oscars

I'm a big fan of predictive data and analytics, with the statistical findings of Nate Silver being a pet subject.  The ability to see through statistics and see the patterns than some data makes is: part skill, part art and part alchemy.

So it was fun to see that Nate has focused his attention on this weekend's Oscars:

However rather than picking a winner, such as best film or director, the Moneyball statistician has analysed previous films for trends and common themes.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The need for an agile Digital Strategy

Most industries and vertical sectors now face increased pressure from digital technologies to transform the way they run business. This pressure exists all the way across the online spectrum, from customers with new and increasingly diverse channel preferences through to agile market entrants that threaten to disrupt the status quo, the need for change (at speed) is huge.

Organisations therefore need to respond quickly and build the right digital, commercial and information technology road map for future demands...
  • To protect key revenue streams
  • To remain competitive
  • To find new lucrative products and markets
In other works, any Digital Strategy that exists in an organisation needs to be flexible enough to change quickly, whilst still providing consistency in service levels, customer experience and product quality.

The agile digital strategy may therefore not just be an ideal... but possibly the only way to fully relevant and valuable in a world that is changing at an ever-increasing rate.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Multichannel retailing trends in 2014

If you've never heard Ian Jindal from Internet Retailing present, then I suggest you get yourself along to one of the many digital and eCommerce events that he either runs or participates in.

As part of my involvement at the ScotlandIS Scottish eCommerce Forum today, I saw him give the keynote below. What was supposed to be an outline of the trends in multichannel retail for the next year actually became more of a philosophical view of the meeting (AKA a clash) of the human condition with the always-on & connected paradigm of the world wide web.

Just what was needed to kick-start an entire day (and evening) of thought-provoking presentations and discussions on the future of eCommerce north of the border.


Friday, February 7, 2014

You can't answer everything with analytics

I'm a big believer in the use of digital analytics to inform business decision making. And this isn't just the correct presentation of data in the right format, but in the delivery of insight from this data.

But statistician John Tukey had a different perspective. He once stated:
“Data may not contain the answer. The coordination of some data and an aching desire for an answer will not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data.”

In other words... sometime the data you have collected just isn't enough. Or more pointedly... if you have not originally set-out to collect the data you need to make the right decision, then no amount of analysis effort can generate the answer.

So how do you resolve this? Collect everything you possibly can, in the hope that you will one day find a use from  it?