Getting Better Analytics And Insights From Your Collected Customer Data

Data collection and analytics are tightly coupled. The mistake we see made over and over again is that companies tend to focus their customer data collection efforts with a single objective (or a single program) in mind. This treats the data collected as a short-term objective, not as a long-term asset. Over time, this results in data islands that eventually “go dark” given that no one is managing customer data as part of an explicit long-term effort.

Have A Long-Term Data Strategy

When it comes to customer data, a long-term data collection strategy almost always proves critical for any advanced analytical work that leads to meaningful business outcomes that can optimize (i.e., simulation management, condition-based maintenance, predictive maintenance and digital twins). Trending analysis, predicting behavior and customer profiling all benefit from long-term data collection strategies. Companies that understand customers’ buying patterns over longer time frames stand to win key insights versus their competitors.

Customer data deserves a data-access-centric strategy to ensure that the data is treated as a reusable asset. This implies that the data should be available to the right people in the company when they need to repurpose it or mine it months or years later. If the data is not findable, threadable (tied to other data sets) or readily accessible, then it’s effectively dark, and its chances of being repurposed are low.

If you are storing your customer data like you store everything else, chances are much of the data you’ve collected from customers has already gone dark. The tendency is to focus on analytical outcomes without preparing the precondition required for the analytics to occur over a longer period of time. If a data strategy for customer information isn’t well-executed, then customer data will reflect the problem you already have in your data center — lots and lots of data sets that represent difficult-to-access data islands.

Thread Your Data

Sophisticated analytical efforts require advanced techniques such as data threading. Threading data across many silos of data is a challenging undertaking. Techniques deployed to achieve threading include (re)ingestion of data, aggregation, parsing, meta data enrichment and indexing. Data is often so extremely siloed that the most efficient first step is simply discovering data islands and recollecting them into an architecture that allows for advanced analytics. The good news is that data capture and storage technologies are relatively cheap, but finding data and then curating it properly does require significant investment.

Customer data needs to be curated and managed as an asset. As more data is collected, it needs to be aggregated with customer data collected during the previous year (or the last campaign, the last payables cycle, etc.).

For example, if a financial institution wants to understand if a customer is approaching a life-changing event such as marriage, having children or purchasing a home, then threading becomes important because it lets you piece together various customer data collection efforts into a single threaded digital dossier. The threaded customer digital dossier allows for different customer data (collected at different points in time) to be accessed for future analytics. It treats customer data as valuable, evergreen and interconnected. A data architecture that allows you to thread and incrementally expand the customer data set is an essential component to making more with your customer data. Advanced analytics, in turn, will allow you make better use of customer data that is properly curated through threading or other data access techniques.

Teamwork

Separating the customer data collection process from the data curation process from data analytics is not a recipe for success. Unfortunately, most companies treat these three activities independent of each other. As a result, customer data is underutilized, undervalued and is not curated as a long-term asset.

The best customer analytics happen when you intersect people who understand the customer data being collected with people who understand how to use and access the data over time. This means that customer data collection efforts need to be discussed in one room with data architecture folks, analytical/data science teams and traditional marketing/customer success teams, ensuring that all have an active voice at the table.

[“Source-forbes”]

Best apps and games for getting out and enjoying the outdoors

Image result for Best apps and games for getting out and enjoying the outdoorsJust because you like being on your phone doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all the time.

Ahh, summer. For those of us who live in the North, it’s that brief couple of months where we can go outside and comfortably enjoy the outdoors. And yet, it’s still all too easy to stay inside, watch Netflix, and just lay about. Sometimes you need something to prod you up on your feet and set you off on a quick and fun adventure.

Whether you’re looking to set up your fitness game, or simply spend a bit more time outside enjoying that fresh air, these apps and games are worth checking out — and stackable! I don’t know about you, but the idea of playing Pokemon Go while outrunning zombies is pretty compelling…

c:geo

If you’ve never tried geocaching before, you’re sure to be surprised with just how many little treasure hunts are hidden in plain sight all around you! It’s a fun hobby that’s really taken off due to cellphone GPS making it easier than ever for the average person to check it out.

Once you’ve registered and configured the app, geocaching is a fun activity you can do at any time, wherever you are. Simply load up an app, use the map to target a nearby geocache, then head to that location and start searching! The geocache will be cleverly hidden in the area. Once you’ve found it you sign and date the included, re-hide the cache exactly how you found it, then share your experiences online.

There are several geocaching apps available for Android, but c:geo is your best bet. It’s an open source app that’s super easy to use for beginners and includes all the features you need to start hunting. It’s an unofficial client for Geocaching.com, one of the internet’s biggest communities for geocachers.

So what are you waiting for? Grab some friends and head out on your own geocaching adventure!

Download: c:geo (Free)

Zombies, Run!

Part fitness tracker, part audio drama, Zombies, Run! is the perfect app for those of us who really need to be motivated to keep running. Developed by Six to Start, this app has been around for quite some time, but it’s always a fun recommendation to throw out there for anyone looking to jumpstart (and maybe jump scare) a running routine. Simply load up the game on your phone, pop in your favorite workout headphones and head out on your adventure.

You fill the role of Runner 5, a survivor in an ongoing zombie apocalypse that must head out into the infected lands on missions to collect supplies and find new survivors. You’re able to listen to your own music for the stretches, with the story cutting in between songs. If you start slowing down, you may hear the living undead creeping closer — and it proves to be pretty motivating if you’re buying into the narrative. Of course, you don’t have to run. If you’d rather not have your evening jog or walk spoiled by a pack of audio zombies chasing you, you can turn the feature off.

The base app is free, but you can pay a monthly or yearly subscription to unlock all the missions and content at once. If you’ve never tried it before, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Download: Zombies, Run! (Free w/ optional subscription available)

The Walk: Fitness Tracker

If running from zombies is a bit too intense for you, Six to Start also has a step counter app that uses the same storytelling mechanic to tell a different story. Developed and based in the UK, you are the star of an audio drama that spans 500 miles of walking.

While Zombies, Run! plays like a horror movie, the story here is more like a political thriller movie: A bomb has exploded in Inverness Station and you’ve been given a package that just might save the world. You must keep walking to stay alive and deliver the package to the other side of the UK, dodging agents of evil as the story continues to unfolds as you walk.

There are 51 episodes to listen that total over 800 minutes of audio. The game will track your steps even when your phone is asleep also adapt to your individual fitness level, so that it never feels too easy or too challenging. It’s another interesting app that might give you more reason to get up and take a walk outside, which is always a good thing.

Download: The Walk: Fitness Tracker ($2.99)

Clandestine Anomaly

Clandestine Anomaly is a pretty interesting game that turns your neighbourhood into a battleground between intergalactic rivals, with your smartphone supercharged with everything needed to keep the evil Leecher virus from taking over Earth.

One of the first thing you do in the game is outline the perimeter of the play area — about a square mile or so —and each new level pops up linked to a GPS location on a map. At its core, Clandestine Anomaly is a tower defence game where you use sensors to detect the Leecher pathways back to their spawning portals. You’re able to play and destroy the oncoming waves from the comfort of your own home — but if you actually head to the area on the map where the battle is going down, you’re able to use augmented reality to launch devastating attacks and gain the upper hand. In later levels, you need to be there to have any chance of being successful.

It’s a really intriguing concept and while you only get four levels before you’re required to pay to unlock the full game, it’s worth giving it a shot if only for a cool look at how augmented reality can be incorporated into games.

Download: Clandestine Anomaly (Free w/ IAP to unlock full game)

Pokémon Go

A fairly obvious inclusion on this list. As we get closer to the one-year anniversary of the release of Pokémon Go, love it or hate it, it’s still going strong with millions of regular players enjoying regular global events as they work to fill their Pokedex with the recently added Gen 2 Pokémon.

As we head towards summer, Pokemon Go may have a resurgence as we all look for more reasons to go outside for a walk somewhere. If you’re thinking of getting back into the game or trying it for the first time, you might want to invest in Pokemon Go Plus, a Bluetooth accessory that lets you play the game throughout the day without using your smartphone. You can pick yours up at online retailers like Amazon or Best Buy.

Download: Pokemon Go (Free w/IAPs)

The ultimate outdoor challenge

If you’re down for a challenge dive into the maps in c:geo, plan a nice long route with several geocaches on the way, then head out while playing Zombies, Run! and Pokemon Go with the Pokémon Go Plus all at the same time. See how many geocaches you can find, Pokémon you can catch, and zombie hordes you can outrun simultaneously in an hour.

Got any recommendations of your own? Drop us a comment!

[“Source-androidcentral”]

Is Mark Zuckerberg Getting Ready to Run for President?

Is Mark Zuckerberg Getting Ready to Run for President?

Is Mark Zuckerberg Getting Ready to Run for President?
HIGHLIGHTS
Zuckerberg took a new year resolution to visit all 50 US states
Zuckerberg also said that he no longer considers himself an atheist
Some people have started believing that he may run for President
As America changes presidents, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is doing something. This week, he did something in Texas: He went to his first rodeo. He wore a hard hat and a safety vest. He thanked police officers in Dallas for their hard work. He helped plant a community garden.

So what, exactly, is Mark Zuckerberg doing? Well, even without a peep from the man confirming any interest in the job, some have started to believe that Zuckerberg is running for president.

The reason people think that is, well, because whatever it is that Zuckerberg is doing looks a lot like what presidential hopefuls do:

In this case, Zuckerberg was in Dallas to testify in a $2 billion (roughly Rs. 13,616 crores) lawsuit. The Facebook-owned Oculus VR company has been accused of corporate theft by ZeniMax – an accusation that Facebook has denied. But the chief executive managed to make the most of his trip on Facebook itself by looping it into an unrelated personal project.

Zuckerberg’s New Year’s resolution this year is to make sure that he has visited each of the 50 states by the end of the year. He has been to several already, (for instance: Hawaii, where he owns a house and is suing some of his neighbours), so the resolution will mean making sure he visits about 30 additional states by December.

“My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice. I want to personally hear more of those voices this year,” Zuckerberg wrote in his Facebook post explaining the resolution.

But that resolution wasn’t the first thing Zuckerberg that sounded a bit presidential to some. Over the holidays, Zuckerberg said he no longer considers himself an atheist and that religion is “very important” to him. He also hired David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s former campaign chair, to work for the philanthropic organization that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, created.

Once again, it is important to emphasize that while the above sure does make you go “hmm,” Mark Zuckerberg has not said that he is running, or would like to run, for president.
One other reason that Zuckerberg might want to spend 2017 meeting Americans could have to do with, you know, Facebook. This year, the company was accused of having a bias against conservative news sources and topics in its trending topics bar. That accusation had a lasting impact on Facebook’s reputation in conservative circles. And after the 2016 election, the company faced repeated interrogations from the media about its influential role in spreading fake news and hoaxes. As a result, Facebook announced changes designed to improve its ability to discourage the sharing of outright false information.

Zuckerberg’s business model depends on its users believing that the platform is a newsworthy and trustworthy place where they might feel comfortable posting lots of things from their personal lives. Both perceptions have been threatened over the past year. Going out and talking to people, particularly those who have recently lost trust in the company, could be helpful PR for Zuckerberg – for reasons that have nothing to do with running for president.

With someone like Zuckerberg, it can be hard to separate signs of insatiable ambition from those pointing to a specific political goal. Take this passage from Nick Bilton, who outlined the case for at least thinking about the possibility that Zuckerberg might run over at Vanity Fair:

“If he does want the job, Zuckerberg definitely has the personality for it. When Facebook went public in 2012, I co-authored a profile of the young C.E.O. During the reporting, I heard from several friends about his penchant for playing world-conquering board and video games. Early childhood pals told me that one of Zuckerberg’s favorite video games as a boy was Civilization, the game in which you have to “build an empire to stand the test of time.” Others have told me that, to this day, Zuckerberg loves to play Risk, a strategy board game where you have to essentially take over the world.”

Interesting. Except, my dudes, I too really love playing Civilization, and I would never want to run for president. Other things pointed to in that Vanity Fair story are more concrete – like the fact that a Facebook proxy statement from April said Zuckerberg could leave Facebook to serve in a government office but still keep control of his company. Hmm. (In a long statement about those changes in April, Zuckerberg said he was “committed to our mission and to leading Facebook there over the long term.”)

Zuckerberg would be 36 by the time the 2020 election rolls around, which is one year over the minimum required age to be president (by contrast, incumbent President Donald Trump would be 74). But even if the rumors of a Zuckerberg run are true – which, again, is not something that has been confirmed in any way – Bilton says that the prevailing thought in Silicon Valley is that the still completely hypothetical Zuckerberg run for office would happen in 2024.

© 2017 The Washington Post

Tags: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, Social, Oculus, Donald Trump

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Getting the Right Funding Can be Daunting – But There is Hope

getting-business-funding

Vendedy is the first social network designed to connect global travelers to street markets. Founded by Forbes30Under30 Entrepreneur Christine Souffrant Ntim, the small business’s goal is to digitize the $10 trillion dollar street market economy and make it accessible to anyone and everyone.

But when Ntim started out, she had an incredibly difficult time getting the funding she needed. Watch this quick video to find out how Vendedy turned fails into sales:

When you’re an entrepreneur attempting to start a small business, getting funding can be tough. That’s especially true if you’re like Ntim and trying to launch something bold and new. So its important to explore all both traditional and newer funding options and pick the one that best fits you and your business best.For example, you might be able to get a traditional small business loan, just beware of prepayment and other penalties that are part of the agreement. Newer types of options to consider include crowdfunding, online lenders and non-profit lenders. You might also consider applying for a loan from the U.S. Small Business Association.

Watch more of Carbonite’s “Small Business Storytellers” videos.

Image: Video Still

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[“source-smallbiztrends”]