Category Archives: Business Intelligence
Cloudcamp in Chicago is an interesting mix of presentations on technology. Presenters are usually from the same industry, and are timed to keep presentations at 5 -10 minute lengths.
I attended the September 3rd, 2014 gathering at TechNexus, an incubator in Chicago which recently moved to the upper office floors of the Opera House. Four healthcare professionals spoke about technological trends and highlights from their industry, specifically about security (HIPAA), the Internet of Things, data security, and health service development from startups. This set of presentations included:
- Security and Sanity in the HIPAA compliant workplace, Alex Connor, lead architect (@HiTizen)
- We are doctors who take care of patience. What can technology do?, Dr Griffin Myers, Co-Founders and CMO, at Oak Street Health (@OakStreetHealth)
- QS and BioHacking Movements, Mark Moschel (@markmoschel), Chief Technology Officer of Factor 75
- Removing silos in Healthcare Data, Carol Zinder, Vice President, Client Experience at CareMerge
All had fascinating looks at their related issues.
Mark Moschel (@markmoschel), Chief Technology Officer of Factor 75 caught my attention the most with his presentation, QS and Biohacking Movements. His presentation focused on the behavior that has arisen from the budding internet of things era. He spoke about the self-care movement.
You may not have heard of it, but you’ve seen hits of it thanks to consumer-available tech devices that measure glucose levels, heart beats, and other personal metrics. There are two groups of tech enthusiasts that have risen from the self care movement.
One is the Quantified Self Movement. QSM is a belief system of “self knowledge through self tracking”, that users manage aspects of their health through the data they collect. According to Mike, Users:
- collect data
- learn about themselves
Users also talk about what they discovered with others, usually in small groups. Mike showed an image in which several execs and well-known technologists, including Wired magazine editorial founder Kevin Kelly, talking to each other about their own experiences with data collection.
The second group are called the Biohackers. The description sound similar to the first, but in the QSM example, practitioners are seeking ways to manage their health. Biohackers seek to improve themselves. Mark calls this system thinking to control and upgrade their own body. Most of the biohacking occurring centers on novel aspects of health, but the outcome is being better able to track posture, heart, mood, blood glucose. The tech that allows for these metrics are include implantable glucose monitors and digestible pills.
The slides for this presentation and all the others are available on the Cloudcamp Slideshare page – shown below is an embed of the presentation.
This Datacamp infographic compares the popular programming languages for statistical analysis – SPSS, SAS, and R. As more data is issued via APIs and databases, organizations are turning to one or more programming languages. As Datacamp has noted on its blog, a “language war” is underway, with statisticians and programmers debating the merits of their favorite language. This comparison explains well the differences, though there are variations and nuances depending on the purpose of the language. R has been widely adopted because of its open source status, but SAS is supported throughout many industries. But in many cases, programmers and statisticians are using one or more languages.
You can learn about SAS through websites such as All Analytics. R Programming is covered at R-Blog. In the meantime, click on the infographic below to view how SAS, SPSS, and R differ…and compare favorably against each other.
Marketing automation is worth more than a process that advances analytics capability. It has a growing important value in a business strategic plan. Businesses struggle to organize their marketing, typically due to running separate social media, email, and platforms. The effort yields individual results to each platform, but can overlook multichannel opportunities or personalization which more customers crave.
Marketing automation addresses that need by consolidates marketing planning and reduces “clutter” from managing separate media. Planning how to automate can highlight where a message may not need to be repeated as well as how to repeat other messages that are valuable for the customer. The planning with marketing automation as a core function saves time and, when done right, improve marketing results.
Automation has a particular value for small businesses. Small business owners and their employees are busy, leaving a limited time to analyze analytics reports repeated. Marketing automation can streamline resources by automating marketing tasks.
There are three tips small and medium sized businesses can follow to prepare for adding marketing automation features.
- Get a lay of the initial data on the land. Establish the best data possible in the systems that will match up to your analytics. This means eliminating duplicate entries in sources such as CRM systems. Use advanced databases tools where possible to find consistent duplicates and errors.
- Roadmap how data will flow through the organization. Roadmap how an automation program will be implemented. Addressing all digital platforms at once can overlook needed steps. Set a six-month goal for full implementation, with milestones along the way. Use features like an annotation in Google Analytics to journal technical changes – some marketing decisions will trigger other analytics-related decisions such as adjusting tags, setting up remarketing campaigns for certain site visitors, changing filters, or adding custom variables.
- Align your sales and marketing teams to sync promotion communication. Plan the marketing and supporting automation system based on the buying cycle and lead nurturing stages. The sales team’s insight can ensure that your marketing efforts to brand and convert potential customers align with the sales team’s capabilities to execute. This can also indicate how alerts in analytics solutions should be distributed to the teams involved.
To be successful in business these days, small and medium businesses must become students of applying transparency at the right points within a business digital strategy. This has been due to customers increasingly using online search and social media to determine a purchase decision. Thus businesses can examine analytics data to reveal how its digital transparency online influences that sales decision.
Influence has been emerging as an crucial measurement to be monitored. It affects the approach a business takes towards meaningful analytics strategy and igniting ongoing debate about how to define digital influence from a post or ad.
Do you think influence online is overemphasized? You may want to consider these changes as a signal of influence’s value:
- Google’s search engine update in November 2011 heralded site content recency or “freshness” as a significant algorithm factor. Subsequent algorithms, such as Hummingbird, introduced in 2013, extended the emphasis on content relevancy to search queries.
- Improvements to Google Analytics reports include social plug-in, which measures the reach of tagged pages shared through Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter platforms, and multichannel reporting, which indicates which channel influences a conversion.
- Enterprise level analytic solutions incorporating API-based data into their reports, permitting more dashboard and visualization options.
Influence is becoming a great strategic value, drawing businesses to increase their reliance on social media and digital marketing tools. Forrester has also noted in its report US Interactive Marketing Forecast that digital marketers expect to spend $4.4 billion by 2016. That spend indicates investment in sending a message in front of an audience. Furthermore, this burgeoning interest reinforces the benefits analytics brings to business, and drive further overall interest in analytics beyond discussion of website technicalities.
A business desiring to measure influence must also provide proof that validates customers’ interest in them. That means being transparent with operations that are relevant with a potential customer. People want to learn more about whom they are doing business with online. Badges and rating have thus gained mindshare of website visitors. The end result is visitor who may repeat a visit. Increased repetition of visits can turn a fence-sitting customer into an actual customer.
Rajeev Malik, co-founder of KikScore, an online rating system bought by Google in 2012, references his start up as an example of how influential online confidence badging can be through the transparency of its rating system. KikScore offered a rating system that displayed a confidence badge of key policies and services displays credibility information for a small business. The score was meant to raise the trustworthiness of a business, increasing the likelihood of converting website visitors into sales or leads.
In an email exchange with me, Malik showed me the key information that visitors look for in transparency.
- Management Information: Displaying the owners and management team behind a business and website gives shoppers an idea of who they are dealing with.
- Financial History: Baseline non-confidential financial stability and track records of strong financial stability help comfort shoppers that the business and website that they are visiting is legitimate and not a fraudster/scammer.
- Location Information: Offering website visitors and shoppers information about locations for your business can remind visitors and shoppers that you are convenient to their travels.
- Website Information: To the extent that small businesses can provide information about their infrastructure, security and hosting information that indicates website security and that there is a legitimate person that is operating the website.
- Policy Information: Providing details and specifics, such as deliveries, returns, customer service, privacy and other types of related policies helps shoppers get an idea about expectations in the event that a purchase is not delivered or a service is not rendered.
- Certifications and Awards: Instead of hanging awards up in their own offices, small businesses should mention their honors on the business website. Third party certifications and awards provide confirmation that others believe your website and business is credible and trustworthy.
As stated earlier, there will be much debate about what influence measurement truly means and how it connects to business decisions. Ultimately the importance of transparent rating systems and influence online can not be underestimated. Managing a Klout score, for example, has gained traction – and rancorous debate – among marketing critics.
Analytics is rooted in Greek language. The word means “breakdown”. What we choose to breakdown has changed from what we know a few years ago, and we need to continue our vigilance in developing the right message in our digital marketing that reflect transparent business values.
The video below was created for UBM Tech’s site Business Agility (sponsored by IBM). The site, a perspective on business technology that analysts and managers face, went dark about a year ago, but much of the material remains relevant.
This video examines the importance of analytics, but from a perspective of business structure. Analytics impacts how your business operates. The iterative nature of analytics creates an opportunity to manage resources and tools. These operations can then be optimized for growing a business vs. mere acquiring a business. Looking at the leaders in retail and technology give evidence that analytics, when launched properly, can provide the right boost for a business.
What do think managers should focus upon to strengthen their tool set? Share your thoughts here on Zimana blog.