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jerryking : geospatial   6

Supercharging retail sales through geospatial analytics
March 2019 | | McKinsey | By Rob Hearne, Alana Podreciks, Nathan Uhlenbrock, and Kelly Ungerman.

A retailer can now use geospatial analytics to understand the interactions between its online and offline channels. With these insights, it can create a higher-performing retail network.
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Is our outlet store in San Francisco hurting foot traffic and sales at our full-price store two miles away? Or is it doing the opposite—attracting new customers and making them more likely to visit both stores? How are our five Manhattan stores affecting our e-commerce revenue? Are they making consumers more likely to shop on our website or to search for our products on Amazon? If we open a new mall store in the Dallas metro area, what impact will it have on sales at our existing stores, at our department-store partners, and online?

The answers to these kinds of questions are increasingly crucial to a retailer’s success, as more and more consumers become omnichannel shoppers......most retailers don’t give adequate thought to the cross-channel impact of their stores. They rely on gut feel or on high-level analysis of aggregated sales data to gauge how their offline and online channels interact.....there’s a way for retailers (and other omnichannel businesses) to quantify cross-channel effects, thus taking the guesswork out of network optimization. Through advanced geospatial analytics and machine learning, a retailer can now generate a detailed quantitative picture of how each of its customer touchpoints—including owned stores and websites, wholesale doors, and partner e-commerce sites—affects sales at all its other touchpoints within a micromarket......US retail sales are on an upward trajectory.....despite the growth of e-commerce, the vast majority of these purchases still happened in brick-and-mortar stores. .....So why have US retailers closed thousands of stores in the past year, with thousands more closures to come?....Because the consumer journey is changing!!......Consumers are transacting in different channels....engaging across multiple channels, often simultaneously rather than sequentially. It’s critical for omnichannel retailers to have a detailed understanding of the interplay between online and offline touchpoints, and between owned and partner networks.

Quantifying cross-channel effects

the starting point is data......from a wide range of internal and external sources. Inputs into a geospatial model would ideally include not just transaction and customer data but also store-specific details such as store size and product mix; site-specific information such as foot traffic and retail intensity; environmental data, including local-area demographics; and anonymized mobile-phone location data.......A simulation model can then quantify the sales effect of each of the retailer’s customer touchpoints on its other channels within a local market. The model must be sophisticated enough to simulate the upward or downward revenue impact of adding or removing a particular touchpoint.

Geospatial analysis reveals that the consistency and magnitude of cross-channel effects vary significantly across channel types and markets.
analytics  bricks-and-mortar  cross-channel  customer_journey  customer_touchpoints  data  e-commerce  foot_traffic  geospatial  gut_feelings  location_based_services  McKinsey  moments_of_truth  omnichannel  privacy  retailers  store_closings  security_consciousness  site_selection 
march 2019 by jerryking
Computer vision: how Israel’s secret soldiers drive its tech success
November 20, 2018 | Financial Times | Mehul Srivastava in Tel Aviv.
.... those experiences that have helped such a tiny country become a leader in one of the most promising frontiers in the technology world: computer vision. Despite the unwieldy name it is an area that has come of age in the past few years, covering applications across dozens of industries that have one thing in common: the need for computers to figure out what their cameras are seeing, and for those computers to tell them what to do next.........Computer vision has become the connecting thread between some of Israel’s most valuable and promising tech companies. And unlike Israel’s traditional strengths— cyber security and mapping — computer vision slides into a broad range of different civilian industries, spawning companies in agriculture, medicine, sports, self-driving cars, the diamond industry and even shopping. 

In Israel, this lucrative field has benefited from a large pool of engineers and entrepreneurs trained for that very task in an elite, little-known group in the military — Unit 9900 — where they fine-tuned computer algorithms to digest millions of surveillance photos and sift out actionable intelligence. .........The full name for Unit 9900 — the Terrain Analysis, Accurate Mapping, Visual Collection and Interpretation Agency — hints at how it has created a critical mass of engineers indispensable for the future of this industry. The secretive unit has only recently allowed limited discussion of its work. But with an estimated 25,000 graduates, it has created a deep pool of talent that the tech sector has snapped up. 

Soldiers in Unit 9900 are assigned to strip out nuggets of intelligence from the images provided by Israel’s drones and satellites — from surveilling the crowded, chaotic streets of the Gaza Strip to the unending swaths of desert in Syria and the Sinai. 

With so much data to pour over, Unit 9900 came up with solutions, including recruiting Israelis on the autistic spectrum for their analytical and visual skills. In recent years, says Shir Agassi, who served in Unit 9900 for more than seven years, it learned to automate much of the process, teaching algorithms to spot nuances, slight variations in landscapes and how their targets moved and behaved.....“We had to take all these photos, all this film, all this geospatial evidence and break it down: how do you know what you’re seeing, what’s behind it, how will it impact your intelligence decisions?” .....“You’re asking yourself — if you were the enemy, where would you hide? Where are the tall buildings, where’s the element of surprise? Can you drive there, what will be the impact of weather on all this analysis?”

Computer vision was essential to this task....Teaching computers to look for variations allowed the unit to quickly scan thousands of kilometres of background to find actionable intelligence. “You have to find ways not just to make yourself more efficient, but also to find things that the regular eye can’t,” she says. “You need computer vision to answer these questions.”.....The development of massive databases — from close-ups of farm insects to medical scans to traffic data — has given Israeli companies a valuable headstart over rivals. And in an industry where every new image teaches the algorithm something useful, that has made catching up difficult.......“Computer vision is absolutely the thread that ties us to other Israeli companies,” he says. “I need people with the same unique DNA — smart PhDs in mathematics, neural network analysis — to tell a player in the NBA how to improve his jump shot.”
Israel  cyber_security  hackers  cyber_warfare  dual-use  Israeli  security_&_intelligence  IDF  computer_vision  machine_learning  Unit_9900  start_ups  gene_pool  imagery  algorithms  actionable_information  geospatial  mapping  internal_systems  PhDs  drones  satellites  surveillance  autism 
november 2018 by jerryking
America’s intelligence agencies find creative ways to compete for talent - Spooks for hire
March 1, 2018 | Economist |

AMERICA’S intelligence agencies are struggling to attract and retain talent. Leon Panetta, a former Pentagon and CIA boss, says this is “a developing crisis”......The squeeze is tightest in cyber-security, programming, engineering and data science.....Until the agencies solve this problem, he says, they will fall short in their mission or end up paying more for expertise from contractors. By one estimate, contractors provide a third of the intelligence community’s workforce.....Part of the problem is the demand in the private sector for skills that used to be needed almost exclusively by government agencies, says Robert Cardillo, head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). To hire people for geospatial data analysis, he must now compete with firms like Fitbit, a maker of activity-measurement gadgets. .....The NGA now encourages certain staff to work temporarily for private firms while continuing to draw a government salary. After six months or a year, they return, bringing “invaluable” skills to the NGA, Mr Cardillo says. Firms return the favour by quietly lending the NGA experts in app development and database security. .....
war_for_talent  talent  data_scientists  CIA  security_&_intelligence  cyber_security  Leon_Panetta  SecDef  Pentagon  geospatial 
march 2018 by jerryking
Imprisoned by Innovation - NYTimes.com
By EVGENY MOROZOV
Published: March 23, 2013

“Imagine a virtual incarceration system,” the report’s authors write, “that uses advanced risk modeling, geospatial analytics, smartphone technology and principles from the study of human behavior to achieve superior outcomes.”

Such gizmos are meant to reduce overcrowding and help manage the spiraling costs of incarceration by allowing offenders to serve their sentences at home. Thanks to the almighty smartphone, offenders can be under the constant gaze of case managers, who will monitor their activities in real time.
incarceration  massive_data_sets  human_behavior  innovation  gamification  disruption  prisons  geospatial 
march 2013 by jerryking

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