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5 habits of effective data-driven organizations

Venture Beat

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A senior banker – let’s call him Jack — was on a conference call attempting to close out an acquisition. The stakes were high. It was a multibillion-dollar deal and the negotiation of the final price hinged on the measurement of the target’s EBITDA, the Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization. Jack argued that the EBITDA was lower; the opposite party asserted it was higher.

In the middle of the lengthy, convoluted discussion of the numbers, a junior associate realized that, in fact, the other side was right. She passed Jack a note letting him know this. Jack stared at the associate with contempt and proceeded to argue even more vehemently for the lower price. He literally just spoke louder than the other party, cutting them off at every opportunity. And he won. The other side just gave up. In the associate’s words, “I knew Jack was wrong. Jack knew Jack was wrong. The other side knew Jack was wrong, and Jack still won!”

How can we build teams and organizations that don’t succumb to the jerk who just yells more, argues louder? We all want to be data-driven instead of being driven by supposition, ego, and ideology

Over the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with analysts and leaders inside data-driven organizations as well as many that were not so data driven. Surprisingly, I’ve learned that being data driven has little correlation to size or geography and only a marginal correlation to industry. Data-driven companies range from small health care firms to large banks and even include mid-sized non-profits. And while the traditional categorizations of businesses have little to offer, I’ve observed a few common characteristics:

1. Size doesn’t matter, but variety does. You would think that a data-driven organization has a lot of data, petabytes of data, exabytes of data. In some cases, this is true. But in general, size matters only to a point. For example, I encountered a large technology firm with petabytes of data but only three business analysts. What really matters is the variety of the data. Are people asking questions in different business functions? Are they measuring cost and quality of service, instrumenting marketing campaigns, or observing employee retention by team? Just getting a report at month end on profits? You’re probably not data driven.

2. Everyone has access to some data. Almost no one has access to all of it. There are very few cultures where everyone can see nearly everything. Data breach threats and privacy requirements are top of mind for most data teams. And while these regulations certainly stunt the ability of the company to make data available, most data-driven companies reach a stage where they have developed clear business processes to address these issues.

3. Data is all over the place. One would think that the data is well organized and well maintained — as in a library, where every book is stored in one place. In fact, most data-driven cultures are exactly the opposite. Data is everywhere — on laptops, desktops, servers.

Continue reading… 

New Opportunity for Emerging Tech Vendors to Participate at CIO 100

 New Opportunity for Emerging Tech Vendors to Participate at CIO 100

Framingham, Mass. – April 10, 2015 – IDG’s CIO—the executive-level IT media brand providing insight into business technology leadership—announces the enhanced focus on emerging technologies in the enterprise at the CIO 100 Symposium & Awards Ceremonyconference, from mobility to data/analytics, next gen security, cloud, social and other disruptive technologies. This focus aligns with CIOs’ spending plans. According to the CIO Magazine Tech Poll: Economic Outlook, CIOs will increase spending on edge technologies to 45% of their tech budget in the next 1-3 years and 54% of enterprise CIOs anticipate spending more with newer technology vendors in the next year. In order to accommodate this interest and provide access to the new technologies and vendors driving innovation within the enterprise, the CIO 100 Symposium & Awards Ceremony, the conference celebrating the innovative use of technology to deliver genuine business value, will add an Emerging Sponsor level.

More than 300 CIOs and technology executives will convene on August 9-11, 2015 in Colorado Springs, CO at the CIO 100 Symposium to hear from peers, industry leaders and technology vendors on innovative ways technology is advancing the enterprise. To expand the scope of this learning, CIO is inviting new technology vendors—defined as established since 2005—to participate in the conference at the Emerging Sponsor level, to share their solutions and expand their visibility with technology purchase decision-makers.

“Technology is the vehicle that will propel enterprises ahead and CIOs want to know what new solutions and services can accelerate this transformation,” said Adam Dennison, senior vice president and publisher, CIO. “The CIO 100 has always focused on innovation and we are excited to roll out this robust partnership portfolio, providing a full scope of potential partners in one place for CIOs to explore.”

To learn more about becoming an Emerging Sponsor at the CIO 100 Symposium & Awards, or any sponsorship level, please contact Adam Dennison at adennison@cio.com.

Registration Information
To learn more about the symposium or to register to attend visit www.CIO100.com, call 800.366.0246 or email: executiveprograms@cxo.com.

Current Sponsors
2015 CIO 100 sponsors include underwriting partner VMware and corporate partnersDropbox and Sungard Availability Services.

More Information…

Top Tips On How To Prioritize Big Data

IDG Connect 0811 Top Tips On How To Prioritize Big Data

Nikhil Govindaraj is Vice President of Product at Moxie where he is responsible for all aspects of product management, product design and strategy. Nikhil has more than 15 years of experience in CRM, enterprise collaboration and multi-channel contact centres.

Nikhil shares his tips on how businesses can harness big data to enhance the customer experience.

For many companies, “big data” has become a must-have strategic tool to win more business and outsmart the competition. In particular, consumer retail businesses rely on the data they have collected about their customers to deliver everything from personalised advertising campaigns to new products that precisely target each individual’s interests.

Unfortunately, many companies make the mistake of using big data to solely focus on the “buy” side of the business, but the most successful retailers understand that the overall customer experience is just as important as the sale itself.  These companies leverage big data throughout the customer journey and during every engagement in an effort to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and, yes, purchases.

These are five key ways your company can harness big data to enhance the customer journey.

1. Deliver the In-Store “Human Touch” Online with Digital Cues

Physical stores have one great advantage: Sales staff and customers engage face-to-face. This gives sales associates the opportunity to “read” customers, using visual data cues to make judgments about how best to approach a customer, such as how long someone has been comparing two products. Armed with this information, sales associates tailor their treatment to customers’ needs to best assist them with purchases. And it works—conversion rates for stores range from 10 percent for apparel to 100 percent for groceries, outpacing Internet conversion rates of just 1-3 percent (Deloitte).

When it comes to online stores, companies have focused on driving prospects to their websites, but then letting them wander around the site without any assistance or guidance. It’s one of the main reasons conversion rates have remained abysmally low. Online brands need to emulate the in-store experience by using digital cues to identify when a customer would benefit from attention to complete a transaction. For example, did the customer get an error message when processing a payment? If so, immediately offer a live chat session with an agent to help the customer solve the problem and complete the purchase.

Read More Tips Here… 

Reuters Is The Latest News Organization To Get Blocked In China

TechCrunch

Reuters has joined Bloomberg, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in being blocked in China. Reuters itself reported that its website is not reachable in the country as of today.

The organization said it has suffered partial censorship in China in the past, but this time its English and Chinese sites are both affected. That’s verified by data from internet monitoring site Great Fire.

“Reuters is committed to practicing fair and accurate journalism worldwide. We recognize the great importance of news about China to all our customers, and we hope that our sites will be restored in China soon,” Reuters said in a statement.

The reason for the block is not clear. China’s internet censorship organ often blocks new sites and services without warning, but in cases of media it often follows controversial stories. That was the case for past restrictions imposed on The Guardian,New York Times and Bloomberg — each of which published political exposes prior to being blocked. However Reuters hasn’t recently put out stories that obviously raise red flags or cover sensitive topics.

In related news in China, Great Fire itself has been under fire from a strong DDoS attack over the past few days targeting sites that it mirrors in order to avoid censorship. The organization is being served 2.6 billion requests per hour, that’s hoicked the hosting fees up to $30,000 per day, prompting it to go public with a plea for help.

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5 Tips For Mobile Video

Journalism.co.uk

Mobile and video are two buzzwords of digital journalism from recent years, but there were initial doubts over whether they could be combined successfully.

As screen sizes have grown and internet connectivity improved, the concept is no longer in question.

Mobile was the focus at last week’s Online News Association event in London, and Cameron Church, director of digital video company Stream Foundations and previously of Brightcove, discussed his work in helping news publishers make the most out of their video offering, especially on mobile.

He shared his thoughts and advice on the subject.

‘You are not your audience’

“Unless you sit there and click play a million times a day or week,” said Church, “you’re not going to be the one that gets to choose what works or doesn’t work.”

While producers or journalists may sit in their cosy, stationary editing suite or at a desk, the audience is out watching video on the move.

Editors still need to “empower creative spirit,” he said, “but rein them in a little bit because they have to get back into real connection” with serving their audience.

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The New York Times on Social Media: Not About the ‘Hyperbole’

American Journalism Review

Michael Roston has a clear vision of what makes a good social media editor — and it’s not about driving empty clicks back to a website.

It’s really about knowing how to publish true things on the Internet. To put it simply, a great social media editor needs what every journalist needs: a “strong editorial judgment,” he said.

“That’s what everyone on our team shares: we all have a sense of how not to blow things out of proportion and not to get ahead of journalists and editors,” said Roston, a senior staff editor on the New York Times’ social media desk. “It’s very important to know what we’re actually reporting and when we can’t say more or exaggerate things and get into the kind of hyperbole that you might see on other social media platforms, where they’re just trying to get people to click through to content.

“For us, it’s very important that we focus on delivering what the news actually is.”

Roston and his team are responsible for distributing the Times’ content on its Twitter account, with 15.5 million followers, and its Facebook page, with almost 9.3 million likes. He recently spoke with AJR about the team’s strategy. The following is an edited Q & A.

American Journalism Review: In a January Nieman Lab articleyou talked about the Times’ social media desk joining a new department. Explain some of the changes your desk has gone through.

Michael Roston: The social media desk of the Times, for many years, was hosted under the interactive news desk. The idea was that we were the leading technology enterprise in the newsroom, so we needed to work closely with developers and interactive news, who build a lot of the really cool things you might see on the Times website.

The changes made around the Times newsroom indicate that, rather than working hand in hand with the technology providers, it makes more sense if we’re working hand in hand with the people who generate analytics for the newsroom, so we can understand who is coming to us, and who’s reading what kind of stories and when they’re reading them. We’re also working more with the SEO team that’s been built within the newsroom. These teams of people have all been put under one group so we can work together more seamlessly.

We’ve always had a very strong relationship with the people who ran the Facebook page, but we’ve recently just formalized the relationship. So now they work in the newsroom, just like the rest of the social media team.

Continue Reading… 

Ethernet Switch Market Increased 3.8% Year-Over-Year in Fourth Quarter of 2014

IDC PMS4colorversion no shadow Ethernet Switch Market Increased 3.8% Year Over Year in Fourth Quarter of 2014

The worldwide Ethernet switch market (Layer 2/3) revenues reached a record $6.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), representing an increase of 3.8% year over year and 3.6% over the previous quarter. For the full year 2014, the market expanded by 3.9% over 2013. Meanwhile, the worldwide total router market reversed recent year-over-year declines, growing 2.5% year over year and 5.6% sequentially. However, the router market contracted -0.6% for the full year 2014, according to the preliminary results published in the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Ethernet Switch Trackerand the Worldwide Quarterly Router Tracker.

From a geographic perspective, the 4Q14 results saw a break in recent trends with the Ethernet switch market seeing its highest growth in Latin America, which increased at a strong 13.8% year over year and 24.4% on a sequential basis. The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region also performed well, growing 7.0% year over year and 8.8% sequentially. North America grew more modestly at 2.5% year over year, while contracting -1.8% sequentially. On the other hand, the Asia/Pacific region, including Japan (APJ), was essentially flat year over year (increasing 0.7%), but was more in line with global results sequentially (up 4.1%).

“Despite precipitous price erosion, 10Gb Ethernet is the primary growth driver of the Ethernet switching market, with 40Gb Ethernet growing in stature quickly, as datacenters seek greater capacity to deliver a feverishly proliferating ecosystem of enterprise and cloud applications,” said Rohit Mehra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure at IDC. “The 1Gb Ethernet market remains important to the enterprise campus network, although price declines will potentially challenge market growth.”

10Gb Ethernet switch (Layer 2/3) revenue increased 5.2% year over year to reach $2.3 billion while 10Gb Ethernet switch port shipments grew a robust 24.4% year over year to reach nearly 6.8 million ports shipped in 4Q14 as average selling prices continue to fall. 40Gb Ethernet continues to rapidly grow as a stand-alone segment and now accounts for more than $520 million in revenue per quarter with year-over-year growth of more than 100%. 10Gb and 40Gb Ethernet continue to be the primary drivers of the overall Ethernet switch market.

 

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Is There A Profitable Market For Local Tech News?

Simon Owens Blog

If you’re a member of the Washington, DC tech scene and frequent its various happy hours and networking events, you may have recently noticed a new addition to the crowd, a woman named Lalita Clozel. Clozel, a 2013 University of Pennsylvania grad who moved to DC to intern for outlets like the LA Times and OpenSecrets.org, was hired last fall by Technical.ly, a Philadelphia-based company that specializes in producing local tech news coverage. The DC version of the site launched late last year, and right now a major facet of her job is attending these events “just to meet people and have them aware of what Technical.ly DC is trying to do here. It’s the same for any reporter starting out with their beat; you get your stories by hanging out with people and hearing their conversations.”

Though no business venture is guaranteed to work, Technical.ly by now has ample experience in entering new local markets, and its playbook for DC will closely mirror its entries into Philly, Baltimore, Brooklyn, and Delaware. The bootstrapped company has become adept at setting up shop in a city and positioning itself as a central information hub around which local tech companies clamor for coverage, recruit talent, and attend industry events. While national tech publications ranging from Wired to TechCrunch have thrived for years, Technical.ly is attempting to answer whether local tech industries — particularly in cities outside Silicon Valley — can support news outlets launched specifically to cover them. So far the answer seems to be yes.

Technical.ly is a company that was born out of the Great Recession, and by that I mean it was launched, in part, because its three co-founders couldn’t find journalism jobs after graduating college. Sean Blanda, Christopher Wink, and Brian James Kirk were all attending Temple University and worked on the school newspaper together. “I found there were these really interesting tech stories locally in Philly, and there wasn’t anyone writing about some of the topics,” Kirk told me in a phone interview. “Business coverage from newspapers was mostly focused on the big companies and most tech coverage was self-reported from the community, either on Twitter or blogs.”

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How to Promote your Business Away from the Internet

IDG Connect 0811 How to Promote your Business Away from the Internet

Marc Michaels is Director of Behaviour and Planning at the GIG at DST. As a marketing professional and procurement expert with extensive experience, Marc has become a champion for marketing communications for 28 years. As Director of Direct and Relationship Marketing and Evaluation at the COI, he managed a team of 50 professionals delivering hundreds of high profile government behaviour change campaigns involving direct mail, door drops, e-mail, contact centre and fulfilment, household distribution, field marketing, customer relationship management and campaign evaluation across all major COI clients. Now at the GIG at DST Marc now provides ‘end to end’ consultancy across strategy development, planning, implementation and evaluation. 

Marc is a life-time Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing and industry speaker. His extensive experience in marketing has provided Marc with a unique stance. He believes wholeheartedly that marketing doesn’t just have to be digital.

In a tough economic climate where competition is rife it can be difficult to generate business exposure. From large businesses to SMEs, companies are constantly trying to market themselves better. Often this will be through the multitude of emerging digital channels that have opened up a wealth of opportunity for the savvy marketer. Channels like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, to name only three, have made it easier and less expensive for businesses to promote themselves, if they have the skills and time to exploit them. However, whilst these new and flashy channels may look attractive and appear cheaper, it is important not to be seduced by them exclusively. Too many marketers are too quick to abandon physical marketing, perhaps because these particular methods are seen as outdated or untrendy compared to an eye-grabbing Vine or promoted Facebook post. Relying solely on social channels exclusively is flawed. Even within our continually and rapidly evolving digital world, offline solutions can still be right for your business.

Check out his tips here…