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When robots buy you gifts with your money

Cass Sunstein produced a nationally representative survey in the #USA, with about 500 respondents and a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. He discovered that a "significant percentage of Americans already welcome predictive shopping." What is predictive shopping? Well, he explains it without saying anything about #robots, but you know, it's possible.

Citation: AS almost everyone knows, we have entered a period in which companies can predict people’s purchases, often with uncanny accuracy. In the near future, they might even use those predictions to enroll you in special programs in which you receive goods and services, and are asked to pay for them, before you have actually chosen them. Call it predictive shopping.
. . .  [Example] . . .
The situation was presented like this: Suppose that over the years, your favorite online bookseller has compiled a great deal of information about your preferences. On the basis of a new algorithm, it thinks it knows what you will want to buy before you do. I asked, would you enroll in a program in which the seller sent you books that it knew you would purchase, and billed your credit card? (Anyone could send the book back for a refund or just opt out of the program.) Fifty-nine percent said no, but 41 percent said yes.

Read more at the NYTimes: http://goo.gl/2CosDB

#PredictiveAnalytics   #Retail   #ArtificialIntelligence  

Posted by +Dan Durrant Image: Employees of a food stand take pictures of Titan, a robot created by England Cyberstein Robots, performing at the Danilovsly market in downtown of Moscow, Russia, 12 May 2014. (EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY) http://goo.gl/2Vk4zc
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Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com
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Value nets: 21C #SupplyChain
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=872787

Citation: A value net is a dynamic network of customer/supplier partnerships and information flows. It is activated by real customer demand and is capable of responding rapidly and reliably to customer preferences. A value net is so named because it creates value for all of its participants – company, suppliers, and customers – and because these participants operate within a collaborative, digitally linked network.

For companies that design their businesses around it, a value net is a practical strategy for providing what so many Internet-age consumers and business customers now demand: customized products, fast order fulfillment, and products bundled with services they value. Customers’ expectations are growing relentlessly, fueled by the Internet’s “click it and get it” proposition in industries as diverse as prescription drugs, custom-built furniture, pick-your-tunes music, and home-delivered groceries. Yet the performance of many companies, both dot-com start-ups and traditional incumbents alike, falls far short of expectations.

The problem lies in the traditional supply chain. Being linear, slow, and rigid, the supply chain can only guess at customer demand and then attempt to satisfy it with standardized products and average service. Materials move sequentially down the chain, where hand-offs, bottlenecks, and buffer stocks are commonplace. Information moves erratically, and customers are seldom in the loop. Speed and performance improvements are possible within this rigid, sequential system, but only at the margins. And because they are driven by forecasted demand, not real demand, inventories build up at every link in the chain (see Exhibit 2).
. . . .
A value net unlocks this rusty old supply chain. Based on a 1999 Mercer Management Consulting study of 30 companies in North America, Europe, and Asia, we find that value net companies share five characteristics:

(1) Customer-aligned. Customer choice triggers sourcing, building, and delivery activities within the company and its supplier network.
(2) Collaborative. Companies engage suppliers and customers in networks of value-creating relationships. Each activity is assigned to the partner best able to perform it.
(3) Agile and scalable. Responsiveness to change is assured through flexible production, distribution, and information flows. Brick-and-mortar restraints and capital requirements are minimized. By design, the enterprise can easily be scaled to meet shifts in demand.
(4) Fast flow. Order-to-delivery cycles are compressed. Inventories are negligible. Delivery dates are extremely reliable. The finished-goods stock room is an express delivery truck.
(5) Digital. Information systems form the neural backbone of the net, connecting customers, suppliers, and value-adding activities.

#Collaboration   #Partnerships   #Globalisation   #BusinessIntelligence   #BuildResilience   #Retail  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com
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U.S. Economy Shrinks by Most in Five Years

Citation: Weather disruptions at home and weak demand abroad caused a contraction of rare severity in the U.S. economy in the first quarter, renewing doubts about the strength of the nation's five-year-old recovery.
. . . 
For economic output to ratchet up to a healthier long-term trend, economists say consumer spending must rise to its prerecession pace of about 3% growth. But five years into the recovery, high unemployment and stagnant incomes continue to restrain the American consumer.

"We just don't see consumer spending coming back to the levels that they were before," Virginia McDowell, chief executive of Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc., recently told investors at a presentation of the company's fourth-quarter earnings. "We continue to get pressured on the top line because our consumer spending habits have changed," Ms. McDowell said.

#Retail   #US   #Globalisation  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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A Radical Strategy: Tell Customers To Use Less Of Your Product

Citation: A few years ago Patagonia ran ads asking people not to buy their products. The Don’t Buy This Jacket campaign was part of a larger initiative to question consumption entirely. The company has proposed a new social contract: “We make useful gear that lasts a long time. You don’t buy what you don’t need.” Patagonia followed this up with a more recent attempt to promote a “responsible economy.” / 
#PositiveLocalImpact   #Storytelling   #Retail  
. . .. 
Asking your own customers to use less of your product is one of ten strategies that make up what I’m calling “The Big Pivot,” a new way of doing business to navigate the realities of a hotter, scarcer, and more transparent world, where everyone can see how your business operates. The other strategies include fighting short-termism, setting goals based on science, redefining ROI to make better investment decisions, and collaborating in radically new ways with even your fiercest competitors. But perhaps the most heretical strategy is to actually inspire your own customers to challenge their consumption habits. / #Transparency   #Partnerships   #TodaysChallenges  
. . . . 
Offering products and services that help customers reduce energy, carbon emissions, water, and resource use does not necessarily equal pure altruism, tree hugging, or sacrifice (either financial or in quality or usefulness). The best innovations lead to products that do more for customers while reducing impacts. Consider the simple example of LED lighting: LED lights may cost more up front, but use drastically less energy and last much longer than old incandescent technology, saving homeowners and businesses a lot of money throughout the years. / #DriveInnovation   #ConserveEnergy  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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Big data driven sales

Actually, big data doesn't 'do' anything, but what can be done with it can most certainly assist in selling. This article is particularly focused on data gathered from social media channels. Indeed, there is a lot of information online about prospects which at times can seem very big.

Citation: The best sales professionals understand that in order to win the customer, it is important to know as much as possible about them. According to a survey performed by CSO Insights, sales representatives are, often manually, analysing 15 different external sources like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and the web, next to all the internal data sources they have to analyse. According to a different study by Aberdeen, sales representative spend 24% of their time doing research, resulting in lost sales opportunities. Big Data can do all this work for the sales representative and deliver automatically generated, detailed reports of prospects so that all your sales reps have the same information, in a fraction of the time. In addition, Big Data analytics can find the common traits among the best customers to determine new customers or better approach existing customers.
. . .
Walmart is relying extremely heavily on Big Data to increase their sales by creating the Social Genome, a vast, constantly changing, up-to-date knowledge base, with hundreds of millions of entities and relationships, of their customers in order to recommend the right product at the right moment to the right customer.

#BigData   #Sales   #Retail   #GrowIncome   #Automation   #SocialAnalytics   #DataWarehouse   #Analytics  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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Individual capitalists in the networked world of big data

In 2010, Julie Meyer noted a trend involving a generation of "go it alone" freelancers and entrepreneurs who she says are "to be  reckoned with". Sounds like you, +David Pidsley.

Citation:
They may not call themselves entrepreneurs, but they certainly are "Individual capitalists". The unit of trading has shifted from the company to the individual.
. . .
They have left their company and are working from home and through virtual receptions, Skype or serviced offices. They are operating a freelance career and have no intention of working for anyone else again.
. . .
Individual capitalism is a megatrend. Iqbal Quadir, founder of the GrameenPhone, said: "Capitalism was about empowered authority which didn't necessarily activate the citizenry; the internet stands that on its head, and shifts the power to the individual – making individual capitalism the force of the 21st Century".
. . . 
Everything is driven by networks today. This implies multiple dependencies. So in order to achieve "lift-off" as a new product or service, you must make it in the interest of as many people or entities for your product to be adopted as possible.
. . . 
Today's idea merchants can reach their audiences more cheaply, and if they're smart, they'll work to organise a more inclusive set of economics for the world in which they transact. 
. . . 
One of the largest battlegrounds for the next wave of web development will be around who owns the economic value of your data that you release when you shop, search or just "are" online.

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iBeacon : when #IoT tracks customers

iBeacon is an indoor positioning system from Apple that is available on iOS 7 for iPhone (4S and higher). The  transmitting devices combine NFC for data transfer with an indoor form of GPS technology, giving it this technology the strength to push information to your iPhone when within proximity. / #Mobile  

Citation:
iBeacon’s ability to individually target consumers and gather contextual information will have a major impact on privacy. This is a huge issue, as one of the major questions currently being debated in the marketing world is data access and control. / #Privacy  
. . . .
Cookies are at the heart of the online ecosystem and the Internet, as we know it today, could not work without them. iBeacon not only creates a system of cookies in the real world, it also aligns it with the existing online system. / #InternetofThings  
. . . .
Democratized access to web analytics has largely influenced the digital user experience (UX) by identifying the best practices for creating websites that offer a better experience. In the mid term, we can easily imagine that beacon analytics will have a similar impact on in-store user experience strategies and enhanced experiences that will be deployed in the physical world. / #Retail   #Analytics  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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APIs can boost your business performance

Joe Moriarty, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Contact Raven, shares how #APIs  can help streamline disparate business processes.

Citation:
APIs can help small businesses by saving time, automating processes and scaling data operations. Many organizations may already be using APIs without even realizing it — for instance, companies that create RSS feeds for their blogs are using API technology. / #Automation  
. . . . 
For online storefronts, an API can help boost user experience by connecting customers with up-to-the-minute data. 

Imagine that your store sells speakers. An inventory API allows customers to know, in real-time, how many speakers are in stock. This information can help alleviate frustrations and inspire consumers to make purchasing decisions faster if the inventory is low. / #RealTime   #Retail   #GrowIncome  
. . . . 
Business owners should expect some need for technical resources and people, but on the whole, APIs are intuitive and easy to integrate. Non-technical business owners can consider hiring an on-site programmer or teams of consultants. The costs will vary on a case-by-case basis, depending on the scope of individual projects. / #InformationTechnology  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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A Unified Approach Can Help You Get the Most from Your Data

Duncan Ross, Director of Data Science, Teradata International, says that with big data, the role of analytics is "shifting toward becoming the driving force for innovation". He encourages a "unified approach, using traditional data warehouse for structured data and Hadoop for unstructured data." He argues that "utilizing the strengths of each data analysis environment" can allow the organisation to "support its users as a whole and drive innovation". He points to eBay as an example:

"In balancing these data requirements, online auction giant eBay has opted to created separate analytic environments. On the business side, its enterprise data warehouse (EDW) contains structured data such as orders, shipments, listings, bids, payments and customer records. The whole organization can connect to the EDW via SQL and use it for essential day-to-day business queries.

"As well as running a relational database, eBay also uses Hadoop for more complex, longer-term analytics, such as the impact of specific changes to a particular image. However, this experimentation is being done by just a handful of users, compared with the thousands of eBay employees who use its EDW."

#DataWarehouse   #BigData   #Retail     #DriveInnovation      #Analytics  

Featured in Data Storytelling for Disruptors
http://blog.causeanalytics.com/2014/10/data-storytelling-for-disruptors.html 

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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Morrisons hit by massive data theft

"Morrisons says the majority of its staff have been affected by the theft of payroll data."
. . . . 
"Morrisons says that staff will be not be 'financially disadvantaged' by the data theft."
. . . . 
"Morrisons said its initial investigation does not point to the work of an outside hacker."
. . . . 
"The firm is also undertaking an urgent review of its internal data security systems and it has set up a helpline for its staff."
. . . . 
"Guy Bunker, chief technical officer at cyber protection company, Clearswift, said that the security lapse at Morrisons proves that organisations have to be aware of internal security threats."

"'It is a real problem. There are more challenges from within than without. People need to look at where they're spending their money and what they're spending on internal security protection.

"'You can't ignore the enemy within,' he said."

#Security   #PreventFraud   #UK   #Retail  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com
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