Consider the problem of problem ambiguity and the solution that analytics brings to the Lean Startup – “letting thousands decide what millions do”. Time to unpack that. The problem of problem ambiguity refers to the creation of a business models or products which are intended to solve fuzzy, low-defined, problems. Yes! It really does happen! One of the mentalities within the Y-Combinator hive mind is to simply produce a product and get it out there. Iterate. Dominate. Be capital efficient. Be lean. Ponies. Stickers. Double Rainbows. And so, there are any number of firms out there that are generating solutions to problems that they don’t fully understand and loads of potential customers that are aware of ambiguous problems. The behavior[…]

Much discussion and fun was had at the July 28th installment of web analytics wednesday Toronto (#WAWTO). There was a large variety of folks who turned out – from some of the best developers in the city, some of the best strategists, and some of the best analysts and measurement scientists. Name drop commences: Attendees included June Li, Maciek Adwent, Jenn Fong-Adwent, Mark Dykeman, Dave Hamel, Glinski, Alex Brasil, Mike Fiorillo, Jose Davilla, Romy Klaus (in from London!), Lida and Mike Sukmanowski, Gar, and the whole Syncapse Measurement Science team – among many others. I counted some 45 attendees at the apogee. Thank you all for making it an excellent evening. Name drop ends. There are no stated agendas at[…]

Certain technologies bring about changes in customer behaviour. I’ll state that while not every behaviour-changing technology is profitable (from the beginning or ever), aiming to change a behaviour is more likely to result in a profitable technology. It’s relatively easy for me think of such technologies. Bronze, printing press, and internet are the three that come to mind most easily. The incremental evidence of benefits is what caused them to be adopted. That adoption, for those benefits, resulted in changes in their behaviour. We generally like to believe for the long-term good, though, for every social action there is a reaction. The environment didn’t benefit from bronze wielding humans too much. Certain factions certainly didn’t benefit from the press. And,[…]

The next WAW Toronto will be on July 28. It’s being held on the second floor of Bar Wellington. It’s free to attend and You can sign up to attend here. The invite: “Developers make it possible to measure anything, statisticians and dataminers work models, IAs finesse interfaces, analysts mash and managers action. Effective Analytics takes an orchestra. Lets talk to each other and see whats possible.” Historically, WAW’s attract a strong contingent of web analysts, social analysts (many from Syncapse), IA’s, a few dev’s, recruiters, vendors, and yes, two dataminers. And it’s a great mix. Let’s keep that mix and expand it. Additional invites to business strategists, eScientists, Marketing Scientists, and specialized developers.

Jim Novo wrote: “The people that come to the party with relevant facts are the people who get to contribute to Strategy. That’s not to say that all Strategic decisions are fact-based, but these decisions begin with facts. So, if R & D and the CFO have relevant facts, they get to play. If Marketing does not have relevant facts, they don’t get to play. If Marketing s not involved in the Strategic decision making, they end up being “handed” problems rather than having a chance to solve them.” Strategy formulation, from the C-suite, ought to be informed with facts. Ideally, there’s a mix of aspiration and forethought involved in there. So resolved: Yes, analytics should play a role in[…]

Verhoef and Leeflang (2009) come forward with some pretty compelling evidence about the state of marketing departments and their influence on strategy. I stopped reading JAM in 2009, so the original paper escaped my attention. The updated 2010 version in “New Theories” did capture it though. You can get the paper from either source. You can also read the following summary: There’s an issue with marketing departments themselves and their relationship with strategy at the C-suite. Its influence within an organization, on strategy, is waning as compared to R&D and the CFO. I thank Peter and Peter for writing the piece and will now shove into analytics. So, marketing has an issue. There’s good evidence to support that assertion. I’m[…]

“Here is a people of two distinct races, speaking different languages, with religions and social and municipal and educational institutions totally different; with sectional hostilities of such character as to render government for many years well-nigh impossible; with a constitution so unjust in the view of one section as to justify any resort to enforce a remedy. And yet, sir, here we sit, patiently and temperately discussing how these great evils and hostilities may justly and amicably be swept away forever. (Hear, Hear). We are endeavoring to adjust harmoniously greater difficulties than have plunged other countries into all the horrors of civil war. We are striving to do peacefully and satisfactorily what Holland and Belgium, after years of strife, were[…]