Speed isn’t the only winning Formula for Analytics!

Speed! Seems like everybody wants to go faster and faster.  But here is the question:  Why is speed only half the story when it comes to analytics?  IMAGE$1508AC4836EB4FE0.gifYeah, the desktop business intelligence and data discovery vendors all tell you that they will get you there quickly but will they get you there safely in first place???

 

I was speaking with Derek Daly, former Formula 1 race car driver from Ireland, about what it takes to win in both Formula 1 racing and in today’s business environment.  It was a fascinating topic as many people think you just have to go fast to get to the finish line.  The reality of Formula 1 racing is that it is about both speed and the right actions.  Drivers must make split second accurate decisions at the speed of thought.  Otherwise, they end up driving their car into the wall and in the worst case scenario they die.

This made me think about my day job which is in the analytics space.  I hear so often from prospects and clients that they need speed…they need insights faster than anyone else.  Well, what happens if the “fast insights” are accurate but don’t give you the nuance behind the data? Or even worse, what if they are just inaccurate?

The fast insights that are offered to you by the data discovery vendors get you the answer of “what happened” fast but often leave out the answer to “why something happened”. This perception about needing fast insights can lead to some very dangerous decisions.  Just because you got there quickly does not mean the answers are right.

Fast ≠ Right

The real issue is “confident decisions.”  To build real confidence, you have to start by fixing the data problems that can undermine your analytics – ensure you have all the data you need and that the data and analytics are trusted. makedecisions_0You also need the full spectrum of analytics which address all questions bringing context to your analysis.

  • Descriptive (What happened?) ,
  • Diagnostic (Why did it happen?)
  • Predictive (What is likely to happen?) 
  • Prescriptive (What should I be doing?)

That way you’ll cut through the uncertainty of the what, while getting deeper insights into the why to understand what you should actually be doing!

Just like the Formula 1 race car driver – business leaders need speed but they need to take the right actions and have confidence in their decisions.  For business leaders, they may not drive their car into the wall but making the wrong decisions quickly can lead to lost revenue, lost customers and in some cases industry fines.

You can learn more by joining us in person on November 16th at the Manhattan Classic Car Club. Learn more and register here:  ibm.co/2i6NLEA

 

 

Why speeding up your analytics is 1/2 the story!

Speed! Seems like everybody wants to go faster and faster.  But here is the question:  Why is speed only half the story when it comes to analytics?  Yeah, the desktop business intelligence and data discovery vendors all tell you that they will get you there quickly but will they get you there safely in first place???

I was speaking with Derek Daly, former Formula 1 race car driver from Ireland, about what it takes to win in both Formula 1 racing and in today’s business environment.  It was a fascinating topic as many people think you just have to go fast to get to the finish line.  The reality of Formula 1 racing is that it is about both speed and the right actions.  Drivers must make split second accurate decisions at the speed of thought.  Otherwise, they end up driving their car into the wall and in the worst case scenario they die.

This made me think about my day job which is in the analytics space.  I hear so often from prospects and clients that they need speed…they need insights faster than anyone else.  Well, what happens if the “fast insights” are accurate but don’t give you the nuance behind the data? Or even worse, what if they are just inaccurate?

The fast insights that are offered to you by the data discovery vendors get you the answer of “what happened” fast but often leave out the answer to “why something happened”. This perception about needing fast insights can lead to some very dangerous decisions.  Just because you got there quickly does not mean the answers are right.

Fast ≠ Right

The real issue is “confident decisions.”  To build real confidence, you have to start by fixing the data problems that can undermine your analytics – ensure you have all the data you need and that the data and analytics are trusted. makedecisions_0You also need the full spectrum of analytics which address all questions bringing context to your analysis.

  • Descriptive (What happened?) ,
  • Diagnostic (Why did it happen?)
  • Predictive (What is likely to happen?) 
  • Prescriptive (What should I be doing?)

That way you’ll cut through the uncertainty of the what, while getting deeper insights into the why to understand what you should actually be doing!

Just like the Formula 1 race car driver – business leaders need speed but they need to take the right actions and have confidence in their decisions.  For business leaders, they may not drive their car into the wall but making the wrong decisions quickly can lead to lost revenue, lost customers and in some cases industry fines.

You can learn more by joining us in person on November 16th at the Manhattan Classic Car Club. Learn more and register here:  ibm.co/2i6NLEA

 

 

How not to be “dumb and dangerous”!

The data visualization vendors have had a lot of success over the past several years by providing easy to use data discovery tools targeted at average line of business users.  I have always looked at this approach with skepticism.  While I think providing business users self-service analytics is clearly the right thing to do, I have seen too many presentations and reports which have just justified someone’s opinions or hunch.

Let’s take a look at how using only traditional business intelligence, data visualization or data discovery tools can be completely misleading…enabling the average business user to make “dumb and dangerous” decisions.
Woah…We need to shut down cheese production immediately!  Apparently the amount of cheese consumption per capital can lead to dying by getting tangled in bed sheets!  Holy cow!


Now lookee here….If I were a lawyer in Maine,  I would be working closely with the makers of margarine.  That dip in margerine consumption seems to be linked to the dropping divorce rate!!!  Let’s harden our arteries with a little hydrogenated oil and get ourselves a divorce!

Ok, my kid is never ever going to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling bee!  Other than the fact neither of them are good spellers….this is just downright frightening.  Long words = death by venomous spiders!  Creepy crawlies are less fun than 22 letter words.

Yes, I know…..this is a stretch.  A good data scientist will tell me I am thinking about this all the wrong way.  Nonetheless, the point is this:  straight up data visulization can show you what happened and in some cases, like these funny examples, lead to incorrect conclusions.  So how can you avoid this?

We can take the best of both worlds:  business intelligence + smart data discovery.    

BI tells you “what” happened through interactive visualizations, reports and dashboards.

Smart Data Discovery helps you discover why things happened through predictive analytics, pattern detection, guided discovery  and visualizations.

DM me @BrendanRGrady to learn more

Barbie, meatballs, crabmeat or get over it???

A guest post by the one and only Steve Archut!!!

March 9th is a special day.  It is National Barbie Day, National Meatball Day, National Crabmeat Day, and my favorite, National Get Over It Day.

Of those amazing topics though, which one is most popular on social media. I could look at hashtags on Twitter or what my friends are talking about on Facebook to get a rough idea, but that probably won’t be totally accurate.

To get a view into which of those days are most popular, I used Watson Analytics for Social Media.

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National Barbie Day is the clear winner with Get Over It and Meatball lagging behind. Apparently no one knows it’s Crabmeat day. What a shame because I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a good crab cake.

Watson Analytics for Social Media allows you to quickly look at a range of analytics on what you’re analyzing, from share of voice, demographics, geography, even sentiment.

UPDATE: What’s the buzz around the big game on 2/5?

Let’s check back in on our Super Bowl analysis using Watson Analytics for Social Media

Since we built all these assets last week, all I need to do is refresh my project, and Watson Analytics for Social Media will update the underlying data. We can see the conversation has completely changed!
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After the conference championships last week, everyone was talking about Tom Brady and Matt Ryan. Now the entire conversation has shifted to the halftime show and commercials. Nearly 61% of posts are related to those two topics. Looks like most people will be loading up on their wings and hoagies during the actual game! 
There are two other interesting changes I have noticed. The sentiment has definitely increased for the entire conversation. Also, looking at the geography of the posts, the majority are coming from Texas where the game is being played.
Hope you enjoyed the update. Whatever you are doing for the game this weekend, have a happy and safe time!

Continue reading UPDATE: What’s the buzz around the big game on 2/5?

Planning the perfect party for the big game!

Guest post by Steve Archut

Hosting a party for the Big game? Here’s what to feed your guests

The game this weekend has practically become holiday in America with many people hosting parties and epic amounts of junk food consumed. Roughly 28,000,000 pounds (13,000,000 kg) of chips, 1.25 billion chicken wings, and 8,000,000 pounds (3,600,000 kg) of guacamole are consumed during the game. The question remains for those hosting a party, what do I serve my guests?

Using Watson Analytics for Social Media, I wanted to see what people were saying about some of the most popular dishes out there. In under 10 minutes I was able to identify what to serve and maybe more importantly what NOT to serve.

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We can see that wings, hoagies(subs & heroes to those not from Philadelphia), and pizza are dominating the conversation.

The overwhelming majority of people prefer to order their food instead of opting for home cooking.  This is great since it will free up time to watch the pre-game festivities!

Watson Analytics for Social Media also gives me the ability to quickly view the sentiment around the different dishes:

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Party trays have a surprisingly amount of negative sentiment.  (What did party trays ever do?)  Maybe I will avoid that this year.

When it comes to the Super Bowl, everyone is in on the food action.  Though men and women tend to have different opinions on what to serve.  This will really help plan what I should serve based on who is coming to the party.

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In just a few minutes, Watson Analytics for Social Media gave me an in depth look at what people are saying about popular dishes for the big game this Sunday and I was able to glean insights previously unavailable to me. As for me, I’ll be serving meatball sandwiches this Sunday.

 

What’s the buzz around the big game on 2/5?

A GUEST POST BY ALEX JOSEPHS
With the Super Bowl right around the corner, I figured now would be a great time to use Watson Analytics for Social Media to analyze what the conversation has been about.  There are always many story lines surrounding the game, and this year is no different.
  • Will Matt Ryan get his first ring?
  • Will the Super Bowl commercials live up to the expectation?
  • How inflated are the footballs?
  • Who is just there for the half time show?

These are all questions we can explore!

I used seven themes to scrape the social web. I chose Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, and Roger Goodell to understand what people are saying about those three. It sure would be interesting if Roger Goodell had to hand Tom Brady the Lombardi trophy, I don’t think they play golf together in the offseason. As the Super Bowl has turned into quite a social event, for my other themes I looked at if people are going to parties or bars, and what the conversation is around commercials and the halftime show feature Lady Gaga.
Looking at the geospatial map, we can see that more people are talking about the game in Georgia than any other state. Falcons fans are excited to be back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1998.map
Next we can analyze how these themes have evolved over the week.  We can see that Tom Brady was the hot topic on Monday, but as the week progressed, more people started discussing the commercials.trend
We can see here about 34% of the conversation is about the commercials and the halftime show, and more people are talking about going to parties rather than out to a bar.pie
Finally, we can look at what the sentiment is around these topics. The overall sentiment looks to be quite positive, alluding to many people being excited for the game.sentiment
Stay tuned as we will be monitoring the conversation and providing updates. Next week is media week at the Super Bowl and there are always a few interesting topics that pop up to shift the conversation. It will be interesting to see how the analysis evolves as the game gets closer.
To see how you can do the same type of analysis, try Watson Analytics for Social Media for FREE!