Monthly Archives: October 2015

An Algorithm for Everything–Bras

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Feb 23, 2013

images-1

Professional bra fitters have also moved online. Linda Becker, whose family owns two bra stores in New York, says she sells twice as many bras online today at LindaTheBraLady.com as she does in her stores. Some of her online customers have previously visited one of her shops and been fitted in person. But new customers take their own measurements and work with customer service representatives on the phone. She says only 10 percent of online orders are returned.  But some customers turn out to be extremely hard to fit and it’s hard to tell why, Ms. Becker says. “That kind of customer will be impossible to fit online because the problem is unseen. There’s no way of figuring it out over the phone.”  Read Rest of Story 

Definition of algorithm: a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a computer.

 Questions for discussion:

  1. What applications of this particular kind of algorithm do you think would be valuable in the marketplace?
  2. Will this e-commerce application replace brick and mortar stores for this application?  Why or why not?
Advertisements

BIG DATA Explained

Description: Big Data is the next big thing in computing. This video explains Big Data characteristics, technologies and opportunities.

Source: http://www.explainingcomputers.com

Due to the issues raised by its volume, velocity and variety, Big Data requires new technology solutions. Currently leading the field is an open-source project from Apache called Hadoop. This is developing a software library for reliable, scalable, distributed computing systems capable of handling the Big Data deluge, and provides the first viable platform for Big Data analytics. Hadoop is already used by most Big Data pioneers. For example, LinkedIn currently uses Hadoop to generate over 100 billion personalized recommendations every week.

What Hadoop does is to distribute the storage and processing of large data sets across groups or “clusters” of server computers using a simple programming model. The number of servers in a cluster can also be scaled easily as requirements dictate, from maybe 50 machines to perhaps 2000 or more. Whereas traditional large-scale computing solutions rely on expensive server hardware with a high fault tolerance, Hadoop detects and compensates for hardware failures or other system problems at the application level. This allows a high level of service continuity to be delivered from clusters of individual server computers, each of which may be prone to failure. Processing vast quantities of data across large, lower-cost distributed computing infrastructures therefore becomes a viable proposition.     READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

  1.  What is Big Data and why is it important?
  2. What potential applications do you see for Big Data and in what industries will this add the greatest value?

Can Companies Can Learn Your Secrets?

Description:  “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? ”

Source: nytimes.com

Date: Feb 16, 2012

the-incredible-story-of-how-target-exposed-a-teen-girls-pregnancy

As the marketers explained to Pole — and as Pole later explained to me, back when we were still speaking and before Target told him to stop — new parents are a retailer’s holy grail. Most shoppers don’t buy everything they need at one store. Instead, they buy groceries at the grocery store and toys at the toy store, and they visit Target only when they need certain items they associate with Target — cleaning supplies, say, or new socks or a six-month supply of toilet paper. But Target sells everything from milk to stuffed animals to lawn furniture to electronics, so one of the company’s primary goals is convincing customers that the only store they need is Target. But it’s a tough message to get across, even with the most ingenious ad campaigns, because once consumers’ shopping habits are ingrained, it’s incredibly difficult to change them.  READ REST OF STORY 

 Questions for discussion:

  1.  Are there any ethical dilemmas to using big data in consumer services?
  2. What other commercial applications can you see for organizations in using big data?
  3. What skill would you need to be able to use Big Data in an organization that you work for

A Primer on Google Wallet and Android Pay

Description: Android Pay is essentially a digital payments system that consumers can use to buy things online or in stores from retailers and others who also use the service.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Date: May 28, 2015

28bits-androidpay-blog480

To use Android Pay, smartphone users with up-to-date versions of the Android operating system will be able to load Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover cards onto their phones. From there, they will be able to wave the phone over the terminals in more than 700,000 stores around the United States to pay for items. Android Pay will also work inside mobile apps from participating developers.

Google will use a technology called tokenization to provide merchants with a customer’s payment information without having to hand over their actual credit card number.

As with Apple Pay, Google will let customers verify their identity using their fingerprint, a technique which will be built into the next version of Android.    Read Rest of Story 

 Questions for discussion:

1.  Will this new payment system succeed “ANDROID PAY”  Why or Why Not?

2.  What is the business model of both Android Pay, Google Wallet or Apple Pay?  Is it sustainable?