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Tame big data and you'll reap the rewards - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Apr. 15 2014

“It’s a catchall term for data that doesn’t fit the usual containers. Big data refers to data that is too big to fit on a single server, too unstructured to fit into a row-and-column database, or too continuously flowing to fit into a static data warehouse. While its size receives all the attention, the most difficult aspect of big data really involves its lack of structure,”....He cites some industries that have big data but aren’t making proper use of it. Banks have massive amounts of information about their customers but have been underachievers in helping them make sense of it all and presenting targeted marketing offers. Retailers have purchase behaviour information from their point-of-sales systems but, with the exception of Wal-Mart and Britain’s Tesco, haven’t done a lot until recently.
Harvey_Schachter  Thomas_Davenport  banks  retailers  massive_data_sets  behavioural_data  books  book_reviews  unstructured_data  analytics  competingonanalytics  sense-making  point-of-sale  Wal-Mart  Tesco 
june 2014 by jerryking
Era Of The Super Cruncher
September 15, 2007 | - Newsweek and The Daily Beast | by Jerry Adler
data_mining  data  competingonanalytics  books  intuition  decision_making  Yale  data_driven 
january 2013 by jerryking
Will This Customer Sink Your Stock? Here's the newest way to grab competitive advantage: Figure out how profitable your customers really are. - September 30, 2002
By Larry Selden and Geoffrey Colvin
September 30, 2002

Get ready for a big idea that's about to sweep through most companies: managing the enterprise not as a collection of products and services, not as a group of territories, but as a portfolio of customers. Of course, managers have always known that some customers are more profitable than others. But it's amazing how many executives, like those of that big retailer, haven't the least idea just how profitable (or unprofitable) individual customers or customer segments are.
customer_profitability  Geoff_Colvin  Dell  RBC  Fidelity_Investments  HBC  customer_lifetime_value  customers  retailers  banks  data_mining  data_driven  competingonanalytics  competitive_advantage 
april 2012 by jerryking
Google carrying real-time data from EU exchanges
Associated Press | Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Google's real-time stock quotes are a potential threat to financial information providers such the Thomson Reuters Corp. and Bloomberg L.P., which earn revenue through the provision of up-to-second market data to traders and analysts. Units of Reuters and Bloomberg compete with The Associated Press.

In an email, Google said it was trying to "provide consumers with the best information as quickly as possible."
data  competingonanalytics  stockmarkets  EU  Thomson_Reuters  Bloomberg  Google  disruption  information  information_flows  real-time  financial_data 
february 2012 by jerryking
Gathering reams of data? Priceless for MasterCard
simon houpt
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Nov. 03, 2011

the Priceless promotion, whose first leg runs until the end of the year, is the company’s initial step on a long road of gathering individualized information.

“That is a first for us, because we do have strict privacy laws in Canada. We’re asking for permission to have an ongoing dialogue directly with them,” Ms. Tomovich said.

“When they go on our website, they’ll identify what experiences and offers they’re interested in – culinary, sports, etc. – and then we’ll serve them up, on a monthly basis, offers that are relevant to their preferences. Then, as we see the utilization of these offers – how many take them up and how many of them continue to spend in those categories – we’ll continue to provide targeted, relevant offers to them in those segments.”

All of which is relatively crude compared with the information that American Express has been compiling on its cardholders, and the levers that company can pull. For the moment, Amex says it is entirely unconcerned with the threat of competition, particularly for its high-end customers whose spending gives the company its highest margins.
MasterCard  credit_cards  data  data_driven  Amex  competingonanalytics  Simon_Houpt  high_net_worth 
november 2011 by jerryking
Playing Matchmaker For Drivers and New Cars

Idea for Brian Makse.

Taking a cue from romantic matchmaking services, several leading auto-shopping and advice websites, including and, are experimenting with online tools designed to help car shoppers choose a new car. Some of the most popular vehicles sold in the U.S. are the Ford F-series pickup, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. But for people whose needs aren't met by any of those, the new online tools might be worth a try.
automobile  tools  match-making  competingonanalytics  data_driven 
november 2011 by jerryking
The Future of Analytics
May 16, 2011 | MIT Technology Review | By Tom Simonite. IBM
researchers are working on systems that can analyze data to tell
businesses exactly what action to take.
IBM  future  analytics  competingonanalytics  Freshbooks 
june 2011 by jerryking
Show Us the Data. (It’s Ours, After All.)
April 24, 2011 | | RICHARD H. THALER.
Companies are accumulating vast amounts of information about your likes
& dislikes. But they are doing this not only because you’re
interesting. The more they know, the more $ they can make.The collection
& dissemination of this information raises a host of privacy
issues, of course, but it also raises a broader issue: We should have
the right to access data about ourselves. Not only should our data be
secure; it should also be available for us to use for our own purposes.
After all, it is our data. A guiding principle: If a business collects
data on consumers electronically, it should provide them with a version
of that data that is easy to download and export to another Web site.
Think of it this way: you've lent the company your data, and you’d like a
copy for your own use...if we’re smart, we’ll also use the data that is
being collected to improve our own lives....US companies should embrace
a “mydata” program.
privacy  personal_data  consumers  consumer_activism  mydata  data  competingonanalytics 
april 2011 by jerryking
Obsessed to a Fault -
APRIL 18, 2006 | WSJ | By LIAM PLEVEN. GeoVera, among the
largest sellers of quake insurance to homeowners on the open market in
California, is trying to buck the trend and make a profit at the same
time. About 40% of its business -- worth roughly $100 M in annual
premiums -- comes from selling quake insurance there. "What sets us
apart is our focus on catastrophe underwriting. That's all we do,"...The
company is a case study in the broader economics of disaster
insurance...GeoVera executives believe they can use their brains -- by
devouring data on the homes it insures, and keeping a close eye on the
location of its customers and the type of coverage they're buying -- to
make the company profitable. They analyze mounds of information about
the 115,000 homes the company insures: What are they made of? When were
they built? What types of foundations do they stand on? How solid is the
soil beneath them? Are they on a slope? How close are they to
California's 200-odd active faults?
catastrophes  insurance  disasters  GeoVera  underwriting  data_driven  risk-management  competingonanalytics  massive_data_sets  haystacks 
october 2010 by jerryking
Are You Ready to Reengineer Your Decision Making? - The Magazine -
July 21, 2010 | MIT Sloan Management Review | Thomas H. Davenport, interviewed by Michael S. Hopkins
Thomas_Davenport  MIT  decision_making  analytics  competingonanalytics 
august 2010 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: Information about information
Posted by Seth Godin on July 15, 2010.

information about information. That's what Facebook and Google and Bloomberg do for a living. They create a meta-layer, a world of information about the information itself.

And why is this so valuable? Because it compounds. A tiny head start in access to this information gives you a huge advantage in the stock market. Or in marketing. Or in fundraising.

Many people and organizations are contributing to this mass of data, but few are taking advantage of the opportunity to collate it and present it to people who desperately need it. Think about how much needs to be sorted, compared, updated and presented to people who want to choose or learn or trade on it.

The race to deliver this essential scalable asset isn't over, it's just beginning.
information_flows  Information_Rules  Seth_Godin  data_driven  competingonanalytics  overlay_networks  sorting  metadata  slight_edge  compounded  inequality_of_information  multiplicative  cumulative 
july 2010 by jerryking
The Best New York Times Business Columnist You've Never Heard Of - Michael Schrage -
April 29, 2010 | Harvard Business Review | by Michael Schrage.
Bigs up Steven Strogatz of the NYT whose columns have quickly become
"must reads" for entrepreneurs and executives who grasp that mathematics
is now the "lingua franca" of serious business analysis.
HBR  mathematics  competingonanalytics  Michael_Schrage  Communicating_&_Connecting 
may 2010 by jerryking
Computer Science Loses to Math in New Hiring Formula -
APRIL 8, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By JESSICA E.
VASCELLARO. New Hiring Formula Values Math Pros. Region's Employers Seek
Statistical Experts Over Computer-Science Generalists.
hiring  silicon_valley  statistics  competingonanalytics  pattern_recognition  Jessica_E._Vascellaro  mathematics  data_scientists 
april 2010 by jerryking
The data deluge
Feb 27, 2010 | The Economist. Vol. 394, Iss. 8671; pg. 11 |
Anonymous. Everywhere you look, the quantity of information in the
world is soaring. According to one estimate, mankind created 150
exabytes (billion gigabytes) of data in 2005. This year, it will create
1,200 exabytes. Merely keeping up with this flood, and storing the bits
that might be useful, is difficult enough. Analysing it, to spot
patterns and extract useful information, is harder still. Even so, the
data deluge is already starting to transform business, government,
science and everyday life (see our special report in this issue). It has
great potential for good--as long as consumers, companies and
governments make the right choices about when to restrict the flow of
data, and when to encourage it. Plucking the diamond from the waste
ProQuest  data_driven  data_mining  competingonanalytics  transparency  massive_data_sets 
march 2010 by jerryking
Unboxed - A Data Explosion Is Remaking Retailing
January 2, 2010 | | By STEVE LOHR. Retailing is
emerging as a real-world incubator for testing how computer firepower
and smart software can be applied to social science — in this case, how
variables like household economics and human behavior affect shopping.
competingonanalytics  retailers  Steve_Lohr  Wal-Mart  human_behavior  Wet_Seal  user_generated  Web_2.0  data  data_driven  massive_data_sets 
january 2010 by jerryking
Reaping Results: Data-Mining Goes Mainstream
May 20, 2007 | New York Times | By STEVE LOHR. "And Cemex, the
big cement company, uses global positioning satellite locators and
traffic and weather data to improve delivery-time performance in
data_mining  competingonanalytics  data_driven  Steve_Lohr  weather  Cemex 
november 2009 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
Stuck in traffic? Phone may soon help you escape - The Globe and Mail
Monday, Jan. 15, 2007 | Globe & Mail pg. A12 | by JEFF
GRAY. "In the surprisingly near future, your cellphone may be able to
warn you about a traffic jam ahead, predict precisely how long your
commute home will take, or even recommend an alternative route."
computers essentially take a look at the torrent of data this "pinging"
pours in, using a "triangulation" process based on the time-delay
between pings. Its system figures out which cellphones are moving, where
they are, and how fast they are going. The data are then streamed into a
traffic map and produce precise information on speeds and estimated
travel times not just on major expressways, but on every single road in
cellphone range.
Jeff_Gray  mobile_phones  triangulation  privacy  congestion  competingonanalytics  data_mining  massive_data_sets  location_based_services  metadata  traffic_congestion 
october 2009 by jerryking
Ian Ayres, Barry Nalebuff. Forbes. New York: Sep 3, 2007. Vol. 180, Iss. 4; pg. 130
competingonanalytics  experiential_learning  experimentation  Barry_Nalebuff 
august 2009 by jerryking
Put Ad on Web. Count Clicks. Revise. -
May 30, 2009 | New York Times | By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD. This
approach turns marketing “upside down,” says Ron Proleika, the vice
president of marketing communications at Windstream Communications, an
Internet service provider and a client of Mr. Herman’s. “It forces
marketers to stay on their toes and think of thousands of small great
ideas instead of one great big one."
online_advertising  analytics  data_mining  competingonanalytics  advertising 
june 2009 by jerryking
Competing with Analytics
Outline of a 3-day workshop at the ING-Ivey center in Toronto.
Offered by: Professors Peter C. Bell and Gregory S. Zaric of the
Richard Ivey School of Business, December 15 - 17, 2008, 9:00am -
competingonanalytics  analytics  Ivey  curriculum  data_driven  data 
may 2009 by jerryking
What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You? -
May 12, 2009 | New York Times | By CHARLES DUHIGG. Credit card
companies are focusing on those customers most likely to honor their
debts. Credit-card companies are investing more in understanding their
customers’ lives and psyches, because they believe knowing what makes
cardholders tick will help firms differentiate those who are good risks
from those who should be weeded out.
analytics  competingonanalytics  psychology  data  data_driven  credit_cards  credit_scoring  human_psyche  market_research 
may 2009 by jerryking
Political Device Goes Corporate -
MAY 21, 2007 | Wall street Journal | by JOHN D. MCKINNON.

Journal of Political Marketing.

Political operatives who perfected political "microtargeting," a system
for squeezing votes from neglected segments of the electorate, based
largely on reams of data about such things as voter demographics and
personal-spending habits--are taking their mastery of sophisticated new
campaign techniques into the corporate world. Particularly useful in
helping corporations focus on potential customers' core feelings about
buying a product or service.
microtrends  microtargeting  demographics  competingonanalytics  data_mining  political_campaigns  customer_insights  customer_experience  behavioural_targeting  data 
april 2009 by jerryking
IBM's Big Push into Business Consulting - BusinessWeek
April 16, 2009 | Business Week | by Steve Hamm

IBM sees rich opportunity to profit if it can help improve productivity
in sectors such as transportation, electric utilities, and health care.
"We're at the beginning of a new wave," says Kern. "We've begun to
instrument the world [with sensors and other devices that collect
information], but now we have to take that data and analyze it."
competingonanalytics  IBM  data_mining  analytics  sensors  Industrial_Internet  productivity  management_consulting 
april 2009 by jerryking
Math Will Rock Your World
JANUARY 23, 2006 | Business Week | Stephen Baker

The world is moving into a new age of numbers. Partnerships between mathematicians and computer scientists are bulling into whole new domains of business and imposing the efficiencies of math. Look at where the mathematicians are now. They're helping to map out advertising campaigns, they're changing the nature of research in newsrooms and in biology labs, and they're enabling marketers to forge new one-on-one
relationships with customers.
advertising  Stephen_Baker  competingonanalytics  data  data_mining  mathematics  analytics  algorithms  data_scientists  marketing 
april 2009 by jerryking
Can Wall Street's Numerati land in tech? - BusinessWeek
Can Wall Street's Numerati land in tech?

Posted by: Stephen Baker on March 19
competingonanalytics  Stephen_Baker 
march 2009 by jerryking / Companies / US & Canada - The digital revolution transforms learning
October 26 2006 03:00 | Financial Times pg. 16|By Andrew
Edgecliffe-Johnson, Media Editor. Digital tools that can quickly assess
individual students' weak spots, offer tailored exercises to improve
them and produce a mass of data for teachers and school boards are
rapidly gaining market share.
tools  education  digital_media  school_districts  teaching  data_driven  competingonanalytics  digital_revolution 
march 2009 by jerryking
The HBR List 2009 - Should You Outsource Your Brain?
February 2009 HBR article by Thomas Davenport on companies outsourcing decision analysis.
Octothorpe_Software  analytics  competingonanalytics  decision_making  Thomas_Davenport 
february 2009 by jerryking
Drilling Through Data -
Stephen Baker reviews The Numerati, a book about data mining,
analytics and their application n the worlds of advertising, terrorism,
marketing, dating services, etc.
book_reviews  analytics  competingonanalytics  Stephen_Baker 
january 2009 by jerryking
Mining for Gold -
Interview with Deutsche Bank Asset Management CIO, Sean Kelly.
Details how the firm sorts through the clutter of information to gain an

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: How is information technology strategically important for Deutsche Asset Management?

MR. KELLEY: In finance there is a concept called "alpha," which means that you make returns beyond the market as a whole. It's really what asset managers get paid for. For us technology is a sizable factor for creating alpha.

"There's a lot of information but also a lot of noise. You have to figure out algorithms to crawl through [all] this automatically, taking out 95% of the noise and finding signals that indicate the emotions of the market. That's the thing: The information doesn't have to be correct -- it just has to be dominant. A person doesn't have to be right. It just has to be that everyone thinks that way. So if you can figure out ways to get to that information and act on it before the market has a chance to correct itself, it gives you an added edge."
alpha  Deutsche_Bank  data_mining  slight_edge  information_overload  competingonanalytics  CIOs  sorting  noise  signals  informational_advantages 
january 2009 by jerryking

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