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Putting Big Data in Context

Putting Big Data in Context | 7wData | Scoop.it

While futurist Ray Kurweizel and Moore’s Law gets all the headlines, over the years there has been a lot of interesting research and creative thought given to the idea of technological innovation and its implications on the need for human involvement in complex decision-making. In the era of Big Data, when social networks capture our conversations, likes and ideas like never before and sensor networks, or the Internet of Things, indexes more of the world around us, the fastest systems have access to more of the raw fuel, in zettabytes of new data, needed to make increasingly more complex decisions. But, does that mean smart systems will soon replace human decision-making?


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a fine approach to show that big data doesn't solve all issues and some pitfalls are most definitely included as well. Take the best out of it and put it to play.

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IoT case study: reducing water leaks by smart pressure management

IoT case study: reducing water leaks by smart pressure management | 7wData | Scoop.it
John Leonard talks to i2O Water software director Mike Williams about the Internet of Things, self-learning systems and the need for new architectures...

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11 Ways to 'Game Plan' for Big Data

11 Ways to 'Game Plan' for Big Data | 7wData | Scoop.it
CIOs can prove themselves as business leaders in the enterprise through data analytics. Find out how to get the most value out of big data initiatives.
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Enhance Your Creativity Through Analytics

Enhance Your Creativity Through Analytics | 7wData | Scoop.it
Think data analysis and creativity are mutually exclusive? Contributor Brian Massey explains how the two can and should work together.

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Charles Tiayon's curator insight, September 18, 9:06 PM

“Addiction Torments Addicts and their Love Ones.” This is a headline that conversion optimization specialist Mike Perla tested for the website of an addiction treatment center. The control headline was, “A Place of New Beginnings.”

Both headlines required creativity. The first is a complete story in seven words. There’s an antagonist (the Addiction), a protagonist (the addicts and loved ones), and a central conflict of torment.

The control draws on primal memories of a time when mistakes can be put behind us. (Example courtesy of Which Test Won.)

Two headlines, each based on sound creative communication principles. Shouldn’t it be sufficient to pick one and move on?

As we will find out, one of these was a “better” creative than the other when considered along with the business purpose of the website.

An Abundance Of Good Creative Ideas

Much of the literature that I read on data analysis paints a false picture of the process. The picture is that of an eggheaded data scientist scanning spreadsheets and graphs for clues to questions not yet asked.

It seems that there is some kind of mutant marketer devoid of the right hemisphere of its brain – the hemisphere associated with symbolic thought and creativity – laboring away in front of a wall of screens searching for a needle in a digital haystack.

Left brain, Right brain

This is not the way things happen, even in an eggheaded company like ours.

When we do our analysis, we begin by coming up with creative ideas about why a particular part of a website is or is not working for the business. We have the same conversations heard in companies and agencies the world over.

  • What if we changed the headline or image?
  • What if we changed the call to action on the button?
  • What if we reduced the number of fields in the form?
  • What if we made the free shipping message more evident?
  • What if we redesigned this page completely?

Like any well-trained designer or writer, we stretch ourselves creatively. We look for “corner cases,” or extreme changes. We try to incorporate non-intuitive thinking, pulling ideas out of left field and putting them on the pitcher’s mound.

In the end, we end up with a long list of good creative ideas for making a website more interesting, more engaging, better at communicating and better at making money.

Without some way of sizing these ideas up, we must simply pick the ones we like best and run with them.

A Dearth Of Data

Like the image of our eggheaded data scientist sitting in a room covered with monitors, there is a similarly false image of marketing creatives. It is the Mad Men image of bright people sitting around coming up with great ideas until BOOM the right one emerges.

To be fair, these ideas are often based on research, traditionally self-reported research such as focus groups. Unfortunately, when we are asked to explain why we buy something, we tell lies. This is human nature and a discussion for another day.

Today, the creative process is backstopped by a search for evidence. For any creative idea there is now a fossil record that can be accessed in the form of web analytics.

There are two primary kinds of analytics you can use to validate your creative ideas:

1. Behavioral analytics like those delivered by Google Analytics and Adobe SiteCatalyst. These tools track the page-to-page behavior of visitors en masse.

Behavioral data tells us how visitors navigate across our website from entry to exit.

2. User interaction analytics like those delivered by Crazy Egg and ClickTale. These tools use heatmaps and session replays to uncover the way visitors interact with specific pages.

 

User interaction analytics tell us where visitors click on a page and how far they scroll.

With these tools, we can look for evidence that our creative ideas will make a difference.

From Creative To Proof

An online business owner recently lamented, “We have the best prices and free shipping. Why aren’t people buying from us? Do I need to put up a neon sign telling them to just buy?!” In exasperation, this is exactly what he decided to do. In scientist terms, his hypothesis is, “If I make my call-to-action button more noticeable, more visitors will buy.”

How would we find evidence that the call-to-action button is the issue?

For most e-commerce sites, the “Add to Cart” or “Add to Bag” button is found on the product detail page, or just Product Page.

We can look at our behavioral database to speculate on two questions: Are visitors serious about buying? If so, are they confounded by our call-to-action?

It just so happens that our analytics packages are equipped to tell us these two things.

Google Analytics lets us look at just product pages for clues to support our creative.

In the above table, we see from the first column that the product pages represent 20.35% of all page views on the site. The other 80% will be on the home page, on category pages and on landing pages.

The third column of numbers gives us an average of the time visitors spend on product pages. It’s higher the average time spent on all pages of the site, so visitors aren’t whizzing past these pages, but they aren’t lingering, either.

The seventh column, % Exit, tells us that 17.88% of visits end on these pages. This number is below the site average, but why is this the terminus for 18% of visitors? Are our prices too high? Is our description poor or our pictures wanting? Is our call-to-action button not being seen?

The sixth column shows a bounce rate considerably higher than the site average. This means that 61.77% of visitors are leaving after seeing this page. We can deduce from this that visitors coming to this page directly aren’t being grabbed.

There is some evidence that these pages are not performing at their peak. The high bounce rate and average exit % tell us we can be doing better.

Do we see something in the way visitors are interacting with the site that we should pay attention to?

A scrollmap tells us how our visitors are scrolling.

A scroll map is one report presented by click-tracking software. The “hotter” the shaded color, the more eyes are seeing it. Where it is cool green and blue, we can be sure few are getting the chance to see that information.

Our example scroll map is typical of many of them. It’s hot near the top, but quickly gets cool “below the fold.”

The Add to Cart button is seen by a large percentage of visitors.

So, where is our call-to-action button? It’s right in the middle of a band of high attention. Hmmm. Our hypothesis that making the Add to Cart button bigger and brighter isn’t holding up too well. One thing is for sure: if we change the Add to Cart button, many people will see it.

There is something else that we see from this scroll map, though. There, in a sea of blue near the bottom of the page is a very important piece of information: “Free Shipping.”

Free shipping won’t work for you if nobody knows about it.

This tells us that there may be a better creative hypothesis available: “If we mention free shipping somewhere in the hot part of the page, more people will see it and are more likely to buy from us.”

Which should we test first? There is more “evidence” in the scroll map report that the free shipping offer is being missed by visitors than the “Add to Cart” button. I would test the free shipping hypothesis first.

Other Sources Of Proof

There are many other places we could look to bolster our hypothesis.

  • Search live chat transcripts for the word “shipping” or “free shipping.”
  • Survey our competition to see if they are offering free shipping.
  • Ask our customer service folks if they get questions about free shipping often.

Every “creative” idea can be verified or disproved by a dedicated search for proof.

When The Data Don’t Exist

I don’t know if Mike Perla had analytics evidence to support his headline hypothesis. But we know he decided to collect the data to support it.

He did a split test.

You can look at testing as a way to collect data about your hypothesis. The data from a split test is very convincing.

What did Perla find in his test?

The story headline (“Addiction torments addicts and their loved ones”) increased conversions by a whopping 184% over “A Place Of New Beginnings”.

To summarize, we can use analytics, click-tracking and other analytics data to help us choose what to test. Then we use split testing to provide the kind of data that is hard to argue with.

This is how the creative design process is supported and guided by data. Both are necessary. Designers and writers can be supported in their creative decisions by data created by the people they are designing and writing for.

What creative ideas do you need data for? Let me know in the comments and I’ll tell you where to look for support.

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Enhance Your Creativity Through Analytics

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Customer Experience Increasingly the Focus of Big Data Projects

Customer Experience Increasingly the Focus of Big Data Projects | 7wData | Scoop.it
Gartner finds the number of organizations investing or planning to invest in big data technologies has increased significantly though the number of implementations remains low.
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edX “Learning From Data” Caltech course

edX “Learning From Data” Caltech course | 7wData | Scoop.it
This introductory Machine Learning course taught by top Caltech professor Abu-Mostafa covers theory, algorithms and applications, with focus on real understanding. Starts Sep 25 on edX.
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C-Level Executives Seeing Big Results From Big Data

C-Level Executives Seeing Big Results From Big Data | 7wData | Scoop.it
A study by Accenture finds that many organizations are putting big data initiatives into production and the vast majority of those that do are pleased with the results. (RT @mjcavaretta: Driven by #iot.
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Best of the Tableau Web... August 2014

Best of the Tableau Web... August 2014 | 7wData | Scoop.it
At Tableau, the end of the summer doesn't mean back-to-school, it means back to CONFERENCE!
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Business Intelligence Moving to the Cloud

Business Intelligence Moving to the Cloud | 7wData | Scoop.it
Business Intelligence Moving to the CloudAs data is increasingly stored and managed in the cloud, more businesses are considering moving their business intelligence (BI) to the cloud as well.
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BSN's curator insight, September 2, 6:57 AM

Business Intelligence Moving to the Cloud.
#business #businessintelligence

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Kristalytics Maximizes Revenue with Data Blending

Kristalytics Maximizes Revenue with Data Blending | 7wData | Scoop.it
The following big data use case is an example of how data blending techniques can help businesses maximize their revenue.
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Hackers steal data on 4.5 million US hospital patients

Hackers steal data on 4.5 million US hospital patients | 7wData | Scoop.it
A major U.S. hospital operator says hackers based in China broke into its computer systems and stole data on 4.5 million patients.Community Health Systems said the attack occurred in April and June of this year, but it wasn’t until July that it determined the theft had taken place.Working with a computer security company, it determined the attack was carried out by a group based in China that used “highly sophisticated malware” to attack its systems. It didn’t release specific details of the attack.“The attacker was able to bypass the company’s security measures and successfully copy and transfer certain data outside the company,” it said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.The group is apparently known to U.S. federal law enforcement authorities, which are now involved in the case. But the identity of the group was not disclosed.The hackers got away with patient names, addresses, birthdates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers of the 4.5 million people who were referred to or received services from doctors affiliated with the company in the last five years. The stolen data did not include patient credit card, medical or clinical information.Community Health Systems, based in Franklin, Tennessee, is one of the largest hospital operators in the U.S. with 206 hospitals in 29 states from New York across the South to the Pacific coast.Click headline to read more--
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Emerging Markets: Does Location Matter?

Emerging Markets: Does Location Matter? | 7wData | Scoop.it
I recently wrapped up two overseas trips; one to Central America and another to South Africa. As such, I had the opportunity to meet with a national bank and a regional retail.
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International SEO is a Huge Opportunity For Marketers: Interview With Eli Schwartz by @murraynewlands

International SEO is a Huge Opportunity For Marketers: Interview With Eli Schwartz by @murraynewlands | 7wData | Scoop.it
As part of our coverage from the sold-out Searchmetrics x Search Engine Journal conference in San Francisco on SEO, content marketing, and analytics, I caught up with Eli Schwartz of SurveyMonkey to discuss the opportunities marketers are missing...
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New college data give fuller picture of graduation rates

New college data give fuller picture of graduation rates | 7wData | Scoop.it
That finding emerges from an unusual cache of data posted on a non-government Web site in an effort to provide what sponsors call “a more comprehensive...
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The Next Industrial Revolution? How The Internet Of Things Will Transform Manufacturing

The Next Industrial Revolution? How The Internet Of Things Will Transform Manufacturing | 7wData | Scoop.it
The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to transform manufacturing – from improved operational efficiency on the plant floor to new product and service offerings that create stronger customer relationships. For example elevator manufacturer ThyssenKrupp has leveraged IoT to dramatically change the game in ...

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Big Data Is Changing the Way We Get Well

Big Data Is Changing the Way We Get Well | 7wData | Scoop.it
Big Data Is Changing the Way We Get Well Mashable You might call it a revolution, or maybe a remaking, but either way big data is changing the scale and scope of how doctors care for patients and how caregivers and insurance companies address...
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Visualizing Publicly Available US Government Data Online

Visualizing Publicly Available US Government Data Online | 7wData | Scoop.it
Brightpoint Consulting recently released a small collection of interactive visualizations based on open, publicly available data from the US government.
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Updated! 273 data visualisation tools and resources

Updated! 273 data visualisation tools and resources | 7wData | Scoop.it
It has taken a while to complete this task but I have finally managed to complete the task of updating the large collection of data visualisation tools and resources. You can view the full collection by visiting the resources page on the menu above.
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A Field Guide to Overloaded Data

A Field Guide to Overloaded Data | 7wData | Scoop.it
At the very first TDWI Conference, Duane Hufford described a phenomenon he called “embedded data”, now more commonly called “overloaded data”, where two or more concepts are stuffed into a single data field (“Metadata Repositories,” TDWI Conference...
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Futurist Rachel Botsman on "The Personal Internet" and Big Data

Futurist Rachel Botsman on "The Personal Internet" and Big Data | 7wData | Scoop.it
We hear it in today’s lexicon, how consumers refer to “my Facebook page”, “my iTunes account” or “my smartphone”. Quite quickly, these services and products become highly curated and personalised, and have given exciting new vitality to very old industries in books, movies and communications. In essence, they have moved from the “one to many” business models of the past, to “one to one” models.
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How Big Data is Turning FC Bayern Munich into an International Business

How Big Data is Turning FC Bayern Munich into an International Business | 7wData | Scoop.it
Remember when the New York Yankees were just a local baseball team in the U.S.? Of course you don’t. No one does. The team has been a global icon for that long.
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White paper: Making the business case for text analytics

White paper: Making the business case for text analytics | 7wData | Scoop.it
Download a free white paper which focuses on the business benefits (and challenges!) of text analytics from the perspectives of 4 experts from slated to speak at the 13th Annual Text Analytics Summit West, Nov 4-5 in San Francisco.
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From Data Wrangling to Data Harmony

From Data Wrangling to Data Harmony | 7wData | Scoop.it
More and better automation tools such as machine-learning technologies are needed to free data scientists from mundane “data-wrangling” chores.
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Big Lessons in Small Data

Big Lessons in Small Data | 7wData | Scoop.it
Big data has been the recent buzz in security circles, but what are organizations missing by overlooking the power of "small data?
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12 experts define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

12 experts define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) | 7wData | Scoop.it
Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are one of the most over-used and little understood terms in business development and management. They are too often taken to mean any metric or data used to meas…
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How Data Mining Helps Business Make Smarter Decision?

How Data Mining Helps Business Make Smarter Decision? | 7wData | Scoop.it

Data mining services helps businesses to extract goldmine of data that can be utilized for informed decision making process. It is always better to know more about your customers & hence this kind of data will yield significant business opportunities and foresightedness. Why Businesses should opt. for data mining solutions?Business intelligence data mining optimizes the business processes which help businesses to minimal risks and get proportionate premiums. Feel free to send your queries on info@hitechbpo.com

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