Tag Archives: Analytics

You need to discover fire before you can launch a rocket!

I was recently in Germany attending the Gartner Data and Analytics Summit in Frankfurt. I had a chance to meet many clients and prospects who are struggling to get their analytics projects off the ground. Every client wants a moon shot – to leapfrog immediately to space flight without having even discovered the wheel.

I also had the opportunity to meet with an amazing thought leader in analytics, Alexander Thamm and we discussed this topic in depth.

Alex Thamm, the CEO of Alexander Thamm GmbH has helped some of the leading companies in Germany achieve amazing results with analytics. In our discussion, Alex shared what he is seeing: organizations want the nirvana promised by AI and Cognitive technologies. The challenge with many of these organizations is that they do not even have the basics down. A recent HBR article backs this view up. Many organizations either do not understand, don’t appreciate or even worse, are in denial of what is really needed to be successful to move up the analytics curve.

So, as I sat there at Alex’s headquarters in Munich, Germany I thought about an analogy I have shared multiple times because I have too frequently experienced vendors pitching the magic of artificial intelligence and analytics only to see a deer the headlights type of gaze.

So I shared the following analogy with Alex to see if this is what he is also seeing.

Explaining artificial intelligence and advanced analytics is like explaining the space shuttle launch to cave men. First you start a fire. Once the fire is going and strong enough you need to get yourself a tin can. You take that tin can and fill it with some type of combustible fuel and set it on top of the fire. Enough pressure will build up and send the tin can into the sky. The tin can will go around the earth. Voila! You have space travel. The cave men tend to sit there completely astonished…..amazed really. After overcoming their initial amazement….they eventually say: “Wow, that is absolutely amazing!!!!! Incredible! So, how did you get the fire??

Alex’s reaction was clear. This is what he is seeing too. He like the analogy so much he recommended I share it as a blog post.

I am not saying that most organizations are filled with cave men. I AM saying that we as vendors owe it to our clients to help the progress along the analytics curve. If we are truly dedicated to our clients’ success, sometimes we need to have the tough conversation with the client – Yes, I understand you want to have artificial intelligence across your organization (moon shot). I recommend you start with getting your data collection and management processes (fire) down first and then we can build up to your moon shot.

4 ways your analytics can deceive you

This is post 1 of a 3 part series to help dispel the myth that fast and agile analytics are always better. 

 

How do youNugget  zero in on the right information to make the best decisions with all the technology, data, and new analytics techniques available to you today?
How do you find opportunities or identify problems before anyone else?

We have entered the age of “Required Knowledge”. With all the data available to us – internally and externally – employees and executives are expected to know.cost of not knowing.png There is a “cost of not knowing” and getting caught not knowing could lead to sensational news headlines accompanied by loss of shareholder value, loss of customers, and even industry fines.

So how do you find opportunities or identify problems before anyone else? How do you avoid getting caught not knowing something you should and also open the opportunity to make better data-driven decisions and find opportunities for competitive advantage? We went to work studying market trends and interviewing hundreds of customers and reviewing thousands of projects and the common theme we have been hearing is all around “Smarts”.

When you look at business results, it will naturally lead to questions about why certain things are happening. It’s how you answer those questions that determine your level of competitive advantage. Companies that apply “Smarts” to those questions are relying on cognitive services, machine learning, optimization and pattern-based planning to drive sounder decision and identify trends before they could even know which questions to ask…….

To be continued……. 4 questions to ask yourself!

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 11.41.22 AM

Trump: Sentimental Tweetist!

I recently saw this blog post which was shared on linked in by Ahmed Sharif from Convergence Consulting Group.  It is really a great tutorial about how to use Python for sentiment analysis.

I found the topic fascinating but as a “mere mortal” (aka Business User) there was no way I was going to be able to open up Python, Tweepy, or any of the other tools in that tutorial.  It is just not in my DNA.  For a data scientist or a technical person, Python is an extremely powerful tool.  What about for the average business person? Say, in marketing, customer service or even product development…..how could they access twitter data or other internet data to understand sentiment?

I used this social media analytics solution which aggregates, structures and classifies ALL of the data for me in one location.  The solution then applies a variety of analytical techniques against this now structured information to provide me recommended topics I should explore, share of voice and most importantly SENTIMENT.  Sentiment is how people feel about a given topic.  Whether you are PRO or ANTI Trump, there was a LOT of sentiment out there and each side is fighting for their share of voice.

So what did I find?   What is being said and how do people feel about it? I found a mix of sentiment.  Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 3.54.35 PMSome people were extremely positive in their topics about the president while other were extremely negative.  There was even some ambivalence as indicated by the grey dot.  If I were doing some damage control or political campaigns, I could use this information to identify those topics people are most interested in without needing to manually group aggregate and classify the information myself.  This saves a ton of time and highlights topics I had not necessarily even thought about.

Who was talking about the President and more specifically the handle @realdonaldtrump?  I see a mix of genders, split right down the middle.  Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 4.20.24 PM

Now, this gender data is self reported in Twitter and other internet sources..  I can only see what people are willing to share on their profile which about 60% or so chose to do.  If I were running a marketing campaign this would help me identify who to target.  I can further refine this information to determine the topics each gender is interested in.

This is just a bit of a taste of what you can do with social media analytics.  And here is the key:  I was able to do this analysis in 5 minutes without writing a single line of code!

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

 

 

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!
Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 12.00.46 PM.png
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?

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!