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Gamification Can Help People Actually Use Analytics Tools

Harvard Business Review

If you’re trying to use advanced analytics to improve your organization’s decisions, join the club. Most of the companies I talk to are embarked on just such a quest. But it’s a rocky one.

The technological challenge is hard enough. You have to identify the right data and develop useful tools, such as predictive algorithms. But then comes an even tougher task: getting people to actually use the new tools.

Why is the people factor so important? It’s easy enough to automate routine decisions, such as identifying likely buyers for a product upgrade. But many decisions in today’s knowledge economy depend on expertise and experience. Think of bankers deciding on business loans, product developers determining tradeoffs between features and cost, or B2B sales reps figuring out which prospects to target. Analytics can help codify the logic of the best decision makers, but it can’t replace human judgment.

Moreover, the tools developed for contexts like these can be complex, often involving a steep learning curve. If decision makers aren’t willing to experiment with the tool and improve their outcomes over time, then your investment in the technology is wasted.

Right here, some say, is where a company could use gamification to encourage people to invest the time and learn how to use the new tools.

 

Gamification means using motivational techniques like those the videogame industry has put to such effective use. Anyone with teenagers in the house knows that they will spend long hours on their own, trying to get to the next level of their favorite game. Motivation experts like Dan Pink would say that the games are tapping into some basic human drives: for autonomy (you control your own pace), for mastery (you get better over time), and for a sense of purpose (you’re aiming at a well-defined goal). The social factor is important, too. Gamers love to match their skills against others and to compare notes on how they’re doing.

Read More… 

The top demographic trends for every major social network

Business Insider

The demographics of who’s on what social network are shifting — older social networks are reaching maturity, while newer social messaging apps are gaining younger users fast.

In a report from BI Intelligence, we unpack data from over a dozen sources to understand how social media demographics are still shifting.

Purchase the full report >>

Here are a few of the key takeaways from the BI Intelligence report:

Read more…

This is Your Brain on Twitter

Medium

Twitter’s senior director of market research, Jeffrey Graham is always looking for ways to show the effectiveness of ad campaigns on Twitter — surveys, home visits, data models.

One of the more interesting studies involved two groups of people watching the NCAA basketball tournament on television. One group was permitted to bring their phones and tweet all they wanted. The other had to leave their phones outside and somehow manage without a second screen. Both groups had sweat monitors on their wrists and foreheads, a pulse rate monitor, and eye tracking goggles, to track how engaged they were. In comparison with the no-device crowd, the metrics went wild for the group permitted to tweet. “For people able to do Twitter and TV at the same time, there was a huge lift versus people who were just watching TV,” says Twitter’s global president of revenue and partnerships, Adam Bain.

But Graham felt that Twitter could really make a mark using a technology he learned about in an advertising research association’s report. It described how using neuroscience could get you other unavailable data, stuff from the subconscious reaches of people’s minds.

Continue Reading…

Three Alternatives to Improve A Reader’s User Experience

Medium

At De Correspondent, a Dutch journalism platform with 30,000 paying subscribers (60 p/y), we’re all about providing context to the world in a thoughtful and in-depth way. This takes an effort, both from our writers as our readers. Because, after years and years of being bombarded with ever easier content, how do you get readers to take the time again to start reading longer publications online?

One of the most distracting phenomenons during reading are links. They keep pointing us to directions that are probably valuable, but at the same time force us to make a decision: to click or not to click.

These links are the backbone of the internet. And yet, no improvements have made to this quintessential part of the web for decades. We took up the challenge. Here’s how.

Continue Reading…

2015 Will See The Rise Of Dark Social

MediaPost

Dark social is the sharing activity that is somewhat invisible to traditional analytics. It’s the culmination of referrals and sharing of content that originates from instant messages, e-mails containing links, and most recently, the rise of ephemeral social communication platforms such as Snapchat, WeChat and WhatsApp.

A majority of focus today is on social broadcast platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. With the tides shifting toward ephemeral social communication applications as a key driver of sharing, the attribution data of the share — and all of the value that comes with it — is essentially untapped and, in some cases, simply unknown.

According to a recent Radium One study, 59% of all online sharing is via dark social. Further, a whopping 91% of Americans regularly share information via dark social methods. This study also showed that 72% of sharing is simply users copying and pasting long URLs and either e-mailing or texting the information.

There are a significant number of conversations — and more importantly, potential intent — from a marketing perspective that is simply being ignored and untapped. Currently, there’s an over-reliance on retargeting. Dark social could represent an opportunity to bring balance to the equation.

Read more here… 

Four New IDC MaturityScape Benchmarks to Assist CIOs, IT and Line of Business Executives to Achieve Industry Superiority

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 300x99 Four New IDC MaturityScape Benchmarks to Assist CIOs, IT and Line of Business Executives to Achieve Industry Superiority

New reports explore enterprise architecture, enterprise IT transformation, vendor and sourcing management, and service management

Framingham, MA – October 6, 2014 – International Data Corporation (IDC) today announced four new IDC MaturityScape Benchmark studies, providing organizations a unique opportunity to compare maturity against that of peers with the IDC MaturityScape system of dimensions and sub-dimensions. The four IDC MaturityScape Benchmark studies explore Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise IT Transformation (EIT), Vendor and Sourcing Management, and Service Management. These studies build on IDC MaturityScapes, unveiled earlier this year, which provide a structured way for organizations to identify their current level of capability or maturity, and the gap between where they are and where they should be to maintain competitive balance or achieve industry superiority.

  • ClicktoTweet, “@IDC Releases Four New #IDCMaturityScapeBenchmarks to Assist CIOs, #IT and Line of Business Executives to Achieve #IndustrySuperiority”

IDC MaturityScape Benchmark: Enterprise Architecture in the United States

This IDC study presents the results of IDC’s 2014 MaturityScape Benchmark: Enterprise Architecture Survey, a companion to IDC MaturityScape: Enterprise Architecture (IDC # 247401, March 2014). This pair of studies provides an opportunity for enterprise-class organizations to benchmark themselves against other similarly sized organizations in terms of their enterprise architecture maturity, to uncover maturity gaps among different dimensions, and to plan for improvement. These studies enable CIOs, IT executives, and other senior leaders to optimize decision making from both a business and a technical perspective.

IDC MaturityScape Benchmark: Enterprise IT Transformation (EIT)

This IDC study presents the results of IDC’s global 2014 Enterprise IT Transformation MaturityScape Benchmark Survey, and complements IDC MaturityScape: Enterprise IT Transformation (EIT) (IDC # 248141, April 2014). The new study enables organizations to assess their capabilities with regard to 3rd Platform strategy and innovation, to identify maturity gaps among different dimensions and areas of capability that need improvement, and to take actions to achieve the level of maturity that satisfies their business needs.

IDC MaturityScape Benchmark: Vendor and Sourcing Management in the United States

This study presents the results of IDC’s 2014 Vendor and Sourcing Management MaturityScape Benchmark Survey and is a supplement to IDC MaturityScape: Vendor and Sourcing Management — A Framework to Maximize Value and Drive Innovation (IDC # 247458, March 2014). This IDC study provides an opportunity for organizations to benchmark their VSM maturity against the industry standard, assess IT vendor and sourcing management competency and maturity and, most important, prioritize their VSM-related investment decisions.

For the full release, click here

Why most people aren’t downloading apps anymore

Quartz

In August, a widely reported report from comScore, a measurement firm, concluded that the majority of smartphone users in the United States download precisely zero apps in any given month.

 Why most people aren’t downloading apps anymore

“One possible explanation is that people just don’t need that many apps, and the apps people already have are more than suitable for most functions,” speculated Quartz’s Dan Frommer at the time. New datafrom Localytics, an app analytics firm which tracks 28,000 apps across 1.5 billion global devices, lends some evidence to this theory.

According to Localytics, the amount of time people spend within apps has shot up by a fifth over the past year, helping app use alone outpace all desktop computer use. Moreover, people are launching apps more often, up from 9.4 times to 11.5 times a month.

Driving this increase in use is the stickiness, to use a Silicon Valley term, of the apps people already use. It will surprise nobody that the categories with the most significant uptick in time used fall into categories of music, health and fitness, and social networking.

Continue reading…

InfoWorld Announces the 2014 Technology of the Year Award Recipients

InfoWorld  InfoWorld Announces the 2014 Technology of the Year Award Recipients

35 winning products represent the best in information technology today, from cloud to data center to mobile computing
 
Framingham, Mass. – January 15, 2014 – IDG’s InfoWorld, the technology media brand devoted to modernizing enterprise IT, has announced the winners of its 2014 Technology of the Year Awards (click to Tweet). Selected by InfoWorld Test Center editors and product reviewers, InfoWorld’s annual Technology of the Year Awards celebrate the best and most innovative products across the IT landscape.

The 2014 awards recognize 35 products from nearly every corner of information technology including application development, Web and database technologies, cloud computing and software-as-a-service, business intelligence and big data analytics, mobile computing and desktop productivity, and data center hardware. These winning products represent not only the best hardware and software available to IT professionals, but the most important information technology innovations to businesses today.

“InfoWorld’s Technology of the Year Award winners are the best products we know, but they’re more than great products,” said Doug Dineley, executive editor of InfoWorld’s Test Center. “These are the tools that point the way to the data centers, clouds, and applications of tomorrow. They’re the innovations that are changing the way we work and do business.”

InfoWorld’s 2014 Technology of the Year Recipients

IDC Predicts 2014 Will Be a Year of Escalation, Consolidation, and Innovation as the Transition to IT’s “3rd Platform” Accelerates

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 IDC Predicts 2014 Will Be a Year of Escalation, Consolidation, and Innovation as the Transition to ITs 3rd Platform Accelerates

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.– International Data Corporation (IDC) today offered the first of its annual predictions for the coming year in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. IDC’s predictions for 2014 were heavily influenced by the 3rd Platform, the industry’s emerging platform for growth and innovation built on the technology pillars of mobile computing, cloud services, big data and analytics, and social networking.

“The 3rd Platform’s impact was felt throughout the ICT industry in 2013 as a high-profile CEO lost his job, a major IT player went private, numerous vendors endured cash cow stagnation, and billion-dollar bets were placed on 3rd Platform technologies,” said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC. “In 2014, we’ll see every major player make big investments to scale up cloud, mobile, and big data capabilities, and fiercely battle for the hearts and minds of the developers who will create the solutions driving the next two decades of IT spending. Outside the IT industry, 3rd Platform technologies will play a leading role in the disruption (or “Amazoning”) of almost every other industry on the planet.”

IDC’s predictions for 2014, presented by Gens in a Web conference today, include the following:

1. Worldwide IT spending will grow 5% year over year to $2.1 trillion in 2014. Spending will be driven by 3rd Platform technologies, which will grow 15% year over year and capture 89% of IT spending growth. Sales of smartphones and tablets will continue at a torrid pace while outlays for servers, storage, networks, software, and services will fare better than in 2013. The PC market will remain under stress, with worldwide revenues down -6% year over year.
2. Emerging markets will return to double-digit growth of 10%, driving nearly $740 billion or 35% of worldwide IT revenues and, for the first time, more than 60% of worldwide IT spending growth. In the BRIC countries, IT spending will grow by 13% year over year, led by an economic recovery in China. In dollar terms, China’s IT spending growth will match that of the United States, even though the Chinese market is only one third the size of the U.S. market. Elsewhere, emerging market growth will be uneven, ushering in the beginning of a new “Post-BRIC” era.

See all predictions… 

Big Data & Analytics and Enterprise Applications Will Continue to Drive Software Spending Growth Into 2017

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Big Data & Analytics and Enterprise Applications Will Continue to Drive Software Spending Growth Into 2017

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.– International Data Corporation (IDC) today released the latest forecast from the Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker. Year-over-year growth in the worldwide software market for 2013 has been revised to 4.3% in current U.S. dollars. The forecast was lowered from the 5.7% year-over-year growth projected in May because of an important currency exchange rate depreciation in the Japanese yen announced during the second quarter. In constant U.S. dollars, the expected growth rate for 2013 remains very close to the forecast of 5.9%. Despite the fluctuation in currency exchange rates, IDC believes that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the 2012-2017 forecast period will remain close to 6%.

Collaborative Applications along with Structured Data Management Software and Data Access, Analysis and Delivery solutions are expected to show the strongest growth over the five-year forecast period with over 8% CAGR from 2012-2017. “Leveraging the social dimensions of the Internet keeps fueling the collaboration growth, much of which is in the form of software as a service. This is complementary to the increased attention to Big Data & Analytics solutions, which help enterprises to understand and act on anticipated customer behavior and provide new insights into product reliability and maintenance,” said Henry Morris, Senior Vice President for Worldwide Software, Services, and Executive Advisory Research.

On a second tier, Enterprise Applications such as CRM, ERM, SCM, and Operations and Manufacturing Applications show CAGR rates around 6%. “Enterprises are starting to implement applications that either didn’t exist or weren’t needed in the past, such as commerce applications in all industries, not just retail, but also manufacturing, hospitality, food and beverage, and even the public sector. IDC is also seeing applications in categories that didn’t exist in the past (e.g., subscription billing, spend optimization, and revenue management) for requirements that may have been met using custom applications or manual processes,” said Christine Dover, Research Director, Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce.

On a regional basis, the emerging economies continue to experience stronger growth than the mature economies. The average 2012-2017 CAGR for Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, and Central Eastern, Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) is 8.2% while the average CAGR for the mature regions – North America, Western Europe, and Japan – is 5.4%.

 Read the original release here