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The Special Trouble With Special Ops - WSJ
By Ian F.W. Beckett
April 24, 2017

Mark Moyar’s “Oppose Any Foe: The Rise of America’s Special Operations Forces” demonstrates, traces the rise of various American special forces, which date from the formation of the Army First Ranger Battalion in 1942, now number 70,000 members. They have moved from being a secondary weapon to a primary weapon.......But, at best, unconventional units have offered tactical rather than strategic success. The one exception was the ousting of the Taliban from Afghanistan in support of the Northern Alliance immediately after 9/11; operations against al Qaeda in eastern Afghanistan were not as successful. There has been a litany of failures, including Operation Eagle Claw in Iran in April 1980 and Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia in October 1993. Successive presidents, however, have fallen under the spell of special forces, although their support has often been qualified and quickly withdrawn, as was the case with President Bill Clinton after Somalia......

It is Mr. Moyar’s contention that the problem has been that few incumbents of the White House have understood special forces’ limitations. Special forces, he says, are best suited to counterinsurgency. He sees little likelihood of future opportunities to use special forces in the strategic role they played in Afghanistan in 2001, for example. Indeed, he argues that given the persistence of conventional threats, “the best solution at the present time would be to expand conventional forces rather than special operations forces.” New roles and missions may evolve, but special forces must be properly integrated into broader strategic enterprises. Successive presidents, he writes, have made decisions about unconventional units “based on superficial and romanticized views.”....Following a policy preference instituted by Donald Rumsfeld, Barack Obama embraced “surgical strikes” as a substitute for a real strategy, because “they enabled him to show the American public that he was combating terrorism forcefully and efficiently.”.....
books  book_reviews  SAS  security_&_intelligence  counterinsurgency  SEALs  covert_operations  U.S._Special_Forces  unconventional_warfare 
may 2017 by jerryking
Sponsor Generated Content: The State of the Data Economy
June 23, 2014

Where the Growth is
So for many companies right now, the core of the data economy is a small but growing segment—the information two billion-plus global Internet users create when they click "like" on a social media page or take action online. Digital customer tracking—the selling of “digital footprints” (the trail of information consumers leave behind each time they surf the Web)—is now a $3 billion segment, according to a May 2014 Outsell report. At the moment, that's tiny compared to the monetary value of traditional market research such as surveys, forecasting and trend analysis. But digital customer tracking "is where the excitement and growth is," says Giusto.

Real-time data that measures actions consumers are actually taking has more value than study results that rely on consumer opinions. Not surprising, businesses are willing to pay more for activity-based data.

Striking it Richer
Outsell Inc.'s analyst Chuck Richard notes that the specificity of data has a huge affect on its value. In days past, companies would sell names, phone numbers, and email addresses as sales leads. Now, data buyers have upped the ante. They want richer data—names of consumers whose current "buying intent" has been analyzed through behavioral analytics. Beyond the “who,” companies want the “what” and “when” of purchases, along with “how” best to engage with prospects.
"Some companies are getting a tenfold premium for data that is very focused and detailed," Richard says. "For example, if you had a list of all the heart specialists in one region, that’s worth a lot."

Tapping into New Veins
Moving forward, marketers will increasingly value datasets that they can identify, curate and exploit. New technology could increase the value of data by gleaning insights from unstructured data (video, email and other non-traditional data sources); crowdsourcing and social media could generate new types of shareable data; predictive modeling and machine learning could find new patterns in data, increasing the value of different types of data.

Given all this, the data economy is sure to keep growing, as companies tap into new veins of ever-richer and more-specific data.
data  data_driven  SAS  real-time  digital_footprints  OPMA  datasets  unstructured_data  data_marketplaces  value_creation  specificity  value_chains  intentionality  digital_economy  LBMA  behavioural_data  predictive_modeling  machine_learning  contextual  location_based_services  activity-based  consumer_behavior 
july 2014 by jerryking
Beyond loyalty: Why retailers track your every purchase - The Globe and Mail
OMAR EL AKKAD AND JOSH KERR

The Globe and Mail

Published
Friday, Jul. 19 2013,

Using variants of the same tools that banks and insurance companies use to detect patterns of account fraud, retail chains in Canada and the U.S. mine their customers’ shopping patterns looking for opportunities to personalize the shopping experience. For example, earlier this year, Shoppers began rolling out a personalized e-mail brochure to each of its loyalty card customers. The e-mails often contain offers not found in their general flyers, as well as limited-time discounts on the sorts of products that individual customers have purchased in the past.

“We’ve had the data for a while now and it has allowed us to make improvements within the store format, but now we’re taking it to the next level,” says Tammy Smitham, vice president of communications and corporate affairs at Shoppers. “We’re giving them exactly what they’re shopping for.”
retailers  customer_loyalty  Omar_el_Akkad  SAS  data_mining  massive_data_sets  store_footprints  Loblaws  Shoppers  personal_data  loyalty_management  Turnstyle 
august 2013 by jerryking
Britain's Excellent Libyan Adventure - NYTimes.com
March 7, 2011, 4:03 pm
Britain’s Excellent Libyan Adventure
By SCOTT MALCOMSON
SAS  Libya  MI6  covert_operations 
march 2011 by jerryking
For SAS, Asia Offers Risks and Potential - WSJ.com
NOV. 21, 2010 | WSJ| By JASON CHOW. "SAS "uses companies'
historical data to work out their futures."...Q: Where is growth in Asia
coming from? A: We do a lot of work in risk management for banks. We
make sure their risk computations are up-to-date and [help them] with
their anti-money laundering. ...We see a lot of growth from the
pharmaceutical sector. SAS has a tool to analyze clinical trials &
effectiveness of a particular drug. We're seeing more pharmaceutical
drug trials move to Asia, esp. in India....Essentially, anybody who's
got data. And lots of it. Of course, there are things like social-media
analysis that don't require your data. We can tell you what people think
of you or your brand without any data from you. We can search out every
blog & tweet that's been done about you for the last 30 days or
whatever time frame, and tell you how people are thinking of your
brand. We call it sentiment analysis. We're having a hard time keeping
up with customer demand on that product.
SAS  Asian  analytics  social_media  reputation  money_laundering  pharmaceutical_industry  sentiment_analysis  risk-management  historical_data 
november 2010 by jerryking
At a Software Powerhouse, the Good Life Is Under Siege
November 21, 2009 | New York Times |By STEVE LOHR. SAS’s
specialty, a lucrative niche called business intelligence software, is
becoming mainstream. Free, open-source alternatives to some of the
company’s products are increasingly popular. On the other end of the
spectrum, the heavyweights of the software industry — Oracle, SAP,
Microsoft and, especially, I.B.M. — are plunging in and investing
billions of dollars. As the stream of companies’ collected data turns
into a torrent, SAS and other software companies are trying to find new
ways to harness it.
Freshbooks  Steve_Lohr  competingonanalytics  data_driven  data_mining  SAS  haystacks 
november 2009 by jerryking

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