Sure, Big Data Is Great. But So Is Intuition. With the growing potential of data and analytics, where is the shifting line between analytics and intuition?
[Reproduced from MIT Sloan management Review]
Analytics and Intuition: Finding Equilibrium
[By Renee Boucher Ferguson 03.05.13]
As the practice of using data analytics to make organizational decisions grows, where is the line between analytics and intuition? Is there a perfect balance between experience versus data, or data versus experience?
With the growing potential of data and analytics, how should managers balance analytics and intuition?
Just before the New Year, New York Times writer Steve Lohr wrote a blog post, Sure, Big Data Is Great. But So Is Intuition, which addresses a question we here at MIT Sloan Management Reviewhave been researching for the past year: With the growing potential of data and analytics, where is the shifting line between analytics and intuition?
In other words, is there a “correct” balance between analytics and intuition in making good business decisions?
Lohr bases his post on comments made by a number of speakers who presented at a recent MIT Center for Digital Business conference, Big Data: The Management Revolution, including Claudia Perlich, chief scientist at Media6Degrees and Rachel Schutt, a senior statistician at Google Research. His central premise:
Personally, my…concern is that the algorithms that are shaping my digital world are too simple-minded, rather than too smart.
It’s encouraging that thoughtful data scientists like Ms. Perlich and Ms. Schutt recognize the limits and shortcomings of the Big Data technology that they are building. Listening to the data is important, they say, but so is experience and intuition. After all, what is intuition at its best but large amounts of data of all kinds filtered through a human brain rather than a math model?
From Nest to Memoto, the renaissance of hardware is fostered by the combination of smartphone ubiquity, pervasive high speed wireless connectivity, 3D rapid prototyping and crowdfunding. Fascinating.
[Reproduced from wall Street Journal]
Tech Entrepreneurs Switch to Hardware
[By Ben Rooney 06.14.13]
Tony Fadell, father of the iPod, was right. "There is a reason they call it hardware—it is hard," he said at the LeWeb conference in Paris last year. But that hasn't stopped many tech entrepreneurs from eschewing software for physical products.
What is behind the renaissance in hardware? According to entrepreneurs, a number of things have coincided to lower the barriers for hardware startups and speed up development: the growth of the smartphone, the rise of 3-D printing and, to a lesser extent, the impact of new funding models.
But is the growth in interest among entrepreneurs matched by investors? And if not, why not?
In much the same way that mobile devices have disrupted the desktop, they have liberated hardware products from having their own interfaces, allowing companies to create devices that can communicate with a smartphone. Shamus Husheer is chief executive officer of Cambridge Temperature Concepts Limited, which offers a service to help women detect the moment of ovulation. The company was founded in 2006, before the smartphone revolution. "We had to build a hand-held wireless device. But for unregulated sectors it is just obvious that you use a smartphone. The speed of development is blinding and the quality of interface is so far beyond anything you could hope to produce yourself."
The smartphone also hints at one of the big changes in what someone somewhere has almost certainly christened "hardware 2.0": while they are physical products, their real value lies in the software that drives them and the data they produce, rather than the device itself. The "quantified self" movement—the idea that people record every aspect of their lives from how long they sleep to how many steps they take—has driven a whole new category of health-data related devices.
The other big technology enabler is the availability of 3-D printers. These devices work a bit like a bubble-jet printer, but instead of squirting drops of ink on paper from a printer head, they exude plastic, building up a 3-D object a layer at a time and allowing highly accurate prototypes to be made in well under an hour. "I don't know how many iterations we made of our card reader but 3-D printing was essential for us," said Jacob De Geer, CEO of Stockholm-based iZettle AB, which allows retailers to take card payments either through a device plugged into a smartphone, or a stand-alone CHIP and PIN reader. "In just a couple of minutes we can have a new version just to look at a new surface texture, or changing the roundness of a corner."
Because of connected mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, shopping is becoming an iterative rather than a serial process. Consumers no longer go shopping, they always are shopping.
[Reproduced from Harvard Business Review]
The Mobile Shopping Life Cycle
[by Chuck Martin 06.11.13]
Mobile is turning "path to purchase" on its head. One of the most time-honored marketing concepts, that notion that a customer takes a predictable journey toward a sales transaction (in its earliest definition, starting with attention to a product, then moving to interest in it, then desire for it, and finally, action), has long provided the framework for marketers to strategize how to communicate with customers and exert influence. While the steps have been debated and refined over time, and the path is often now depicted as a "sales funnel" (with a large initial audience having awareness, funneling down to successively smaller groups having familiarity, consideration, purchase, and loyalty), the basic idea has remained that a customer's commitment to a purchase intensifies at each step, and so should the marketer's investment in bringing the transaction to a successful close.
Now, because of smartphones and tablets, marketers need to fundamentally rethink things. Shopping is becoming an iterative rather than a serial process. Consumers no longer go shopping, they always are shopping.
To adapt to this transformation, marketers must begin by recognizing that, in this new world of mobile commerce, the traditional sales funnel is dead. It's being replaced by something more like a shopping life cycle, in which marketers have the opportunity to influence mobile consumer behavior and purchase decisions at various key moments.
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