Monthly Archives: November 2015

Can Help People Actually Use Analytics Tools – Gamification

Description: 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.

Source: HBR.com

Date: Feb 25, 2015

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.  Read the rest of the Story

Questions for discussion:

1.  Why is the people factor so important in the use of data analytics?  explain

2.  Explain the following statement “Analytics can help codify the logic of the best decision makers”   —- can you think any industries where this holds true?

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Monopolists of Data Like Google Are Threatening the Economy

Description: The White House recently released a report about the danger of big data in our lives. Its main focus was the same old topic of how it can hurt customer privacy.

Source: HBR.com

Date: March 2, 2015

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Federal government regulators must ask themselves: Should data that only one company owns, to the extent that it prevents others from entering the market, be considered a form of monopoly?

The search market is a perfect example of data as an unfair barrier-to-entry. Google revolutionized the search market in 1996 when it introduced a search-engine algorithm based on the concept of website importance — the famous PageRank algorithm. But search algorithms have significantly evolved since then, and today, most of the modern search engines are based on machine learning algorithms combining thousands of factors — only one of which is the PageRank of a website. Today, the most prominent factors are historical search query logs and their corresponding search result clicks. Studies show that the historical search improves search results up to 31%. In effect, today’s search engines cannot reach high-quality results without this historical user behavior.  Read the rest of the Story

Questions for discussion:

1.  Do monopolies  in the information markets hurt competition? yes or no   — explain.

2.  Do you see a lot of new entries into this marketspace in the future?  is that important?  explain

  Putting Mobile Ad Blockers to the Test

 Description:  To block ads or not to block ads on your mobile device? That’s the philosophical dilemma facing consumerssince Apple added support for ad blockers to its iPhone operating system

Source: NYtimes.com

Date: Oct 1, 2015

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We will get to the results in a minute, after a quick primer on the ethical debate surrounding ad blocking. While such technology has existed for years — it has long been available on PC browsers — ad blockers are new for iPhones and iPads. Using the blockers is easy: You download one of the programs from the App Store and then set your Safari web browser to enable the blocking. Ads are choked off inside the browser when you load mobile websites, but the blockers do not stop ads from appearing in apps READ REST OF STORY

Questions for discussion:

1. Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt?  Why or why not?

2. What are the ethical and commercial impacts of this technology?

Internet of Things Changes Almost Everything

Description: Currently in the business world we are witnessing something like the epic collision of two galaxies — a rapid convergence of two very unlike systems that will cause the elements of both to realign. It’s all thanks to the Internet of Things.

Source: Harvard Business Review

Date: May 7, 2013

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If you are not familiar with the term, the Internet of Things refers to a dramatic development in the internet’s function: the fact that, even more than among people, it now enables communication among physical objects. By 2015, according to my own firm’s projections, not only will 75 percent of the world’s population have access to the internet. So will some six billion devices. The fact that there will be a global system of interconnected computer networks, sensors, actuators, and devices all using the internet protocol holds so much potential to change our lives that it is often referred to as the internet’s next generation.
For managers, this development creates challenges both long-term and urgent. They need to envision the valuable new offerings that become possible when the physical world is merged with the virtual world and potentially every physical object can be both intelligent and networked. And, starting now, they must create the organizations and web-based business models that can turn these ideas into reality.  READ REST OF STORY

Questions for discussion:
1. What is the INTERNET of THINGS and why is it important?
2. List some market technologies that you see around you that are part of this INTERNET of Things

Billion $ Bet by Disney on Technology to Track Theme-Park Visitors

Description: Jason McInerney and his wife, Melissa, recently tapped their lunch orders onto a touchscreen at the entrance to the Be Our Guest restaurant at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort and were told to take any open seat. Moments later a food server appeared at their table with their croque-monsieur and carved turkey sandwiches. Asks McInerney, a once-a-year visitor to Disney theme parks: “How did they know where we were sitting?”

Source: businessweek.com

Date: March 7, 2014


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Change is always tricky for Disney, especially at its parks, where introducing a new brand of coffee can spark a revolt by fans. Unhappy mouseketeers last year began a petition drive to keep Disneyland in January from pulling the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show after 21 years (it didn’t work). Others marched on the park’s City Hall in 2004 after recalibrations made to the Mad Tea Party ride in the name of safety slowed it down.

MyMagic+ promises far more radical change. It’s a sweeping reservation and ride planning system that allows for bookings months in advance on a website or smartphone app. Bracelets called MagicBands, which link electronically to an encrypted database of visitor information, serve as admission tickets, hotel keys, and credit or debit cards; a tap against a sensor pays for food or trinkets. The bands have radio frequency identification (RFID) chips—which critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things.  READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1.  Why is Disney investing in this RFID technology and why is it important?

2.  What potential applications do you see for RFID technology and in what industries will this add the greatest value?

3.  Comment on the statement “critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things.

Siri transforms the new Apple TV

Description:  No matter how many times I ask Apple TV’s Siri for shows starring   “Bea Arthur,” it only hears “be Arthur.”

Source: money.cnn.com

Date: Nov 3, 2015

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Siri is one of the new Apple TV’s most important features. It can stumble over proper names (“Keanu” took multiple tries but it nailed “Fassbender”), and Apple has saddled it with some key limitations. But ultimately, Siri is a neat way to surf TV.

In addition to the Siri upgrade, the new gadget includes a fancy touchpad remote control, beautiful interface and an all new app store. Apple (AAPLTech30) calls it the “future” of television.

The product upgrade, the first in three years, is a huge leap forward for Apple. And after spending a few days watching TV (for journalism), I think it’s very much the TV of our time.  Read Rest of Story 

 Questions for discussion:

1.  Are you an Apple TV user? Why or why not?

2. Does this product look like something you would adopt? Why or Why not?

3.  What do you think the chances are for success with this product?  Dexribe

The Digital Disparities Facing Lower-Income Teenagers

Description:  Teenagers in lower-income households have fewer desktop, laptop and tablet computers to use at home than their higher-income peers, according to a new study.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Nov 3, 2015

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One-fifth of teenagers in lower-income households reported that they never used computers for their homework — or used them less than once a month. And one-tenth of lower-income teenagers said they had only dial-up web access, an often slow and erratic Internet connection, at home. None of the higher-income youths said they had only dial-up access, according to the report.     Read Rest of Story 

 Questions for discussion:

  1. What is the digital divide, and is it problem?       Why?
  2. What is the solution to the digital divide?       Should the government be involved in the solution? Why or Why Not?