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  • admin 9:58 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink
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    Machine Learning Goes Back to the Future 

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  • admin 9:55 am on August 31, 2015 Permalink
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    Don’t Put Your Brand On The Back Burner 

    back burnerThere’s never been a more exciting time to be a marketer than right now.

    On the one hand, our jobs are growing increasingly complex, thanks to the seemingly endless streams of rich, relevant customer data, the proliferation of digital channels and platforms, and the constant evolution of marketing technologies. But on the other, it’s the combination of those things that make what we do so effective… and rewarding. Make no mistake about it: Today’s marketers have unprecedented capabilities to deliver individualized interactions and compelling customer experiences –and to me, that’s absolutely thrilling.

    Still, amidst all this transformation, I’m finding that many are losing sight of one of the most fundamental mandates of our industry.

    We all know that, as marketers, we are charged with engaging new customers, fostering loyalty among existing customers and ensuring that we stay on top of — and hopefully ahead of — the competition. But let’s not forget that we’re also charged with something that isn’t as easily quantifiable, even though it’s absolutely critical to the health of our enterprise: brand building.

    In today’s omnichannel world, a strong brand is as essential as ever; however, if you get too caught up in tactics, content deliverables and process, it may be easy to lose sight of the big picture. You might start to forget that every nuance of how you’re seen, experienced or felt as a business is actually what makes up your brand. Brand-driven marketing remains a world where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

    These days, the people who love what you do have more ways than ever to champion your brand publicly. But at the same time, detractors have just as many ways to make a dent in your reputation. That’s why, ultimately, the best way to maintain and evolve a healthy brand is to be intentional and consistent about establishing it – so much so that the “noise” can’t drown out the tune you want the world to hear.

    What’s your approach? Do your marketing campaigns and strategies put brand first — or are you hoping that your long checklist of tasks will get you there in the end?

    Not so long ago, you could publish some online marketing collateral peppered with the appropriate tags and keywords, and hope for the search engines to deliver the right eyeballs and dollars. You could identify optimal channels, establish tactics and track your results. Those were the days of “linear” marketing, and they’re drawing to a close… if they’re not already over.

    Now it’s time to make way for data driven marketing and the Internet of Things, when technology, people and things interact in ways that greatly enhance the customer experience. It starts with listening to your customers via all channels and touchpoints, and companies are already being rewarded for building smart interactions that empower the consumer to connect, while minimizing the effort required to transact, communicate or enjoy products, services and brands. But even if you’re using the latest and greatest technology… even if you’re effectively analyzing and leveraging your data… even if you create and manage individualized content across channels… without brand management at the core, “steering” it all, you’re going to fall short of what’s possible.

    Fortunately, the wealth of marketing applications available today are as useful for establishing brands as are they are for putting content out into the world — IF you start with your brand as your priority, instead of hoping it’ll take care of itself as you go.

    The post Don’t Put Your Brand On The Back Burner appeared first on Teradata Applications.

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  • admin 9:56 am on June 19, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , Almost, Back, DataDive, , Steroids, , went   

    PARTNERS DataDive: I Put Agile on Steroids & Almost Went Back in Time! 

    I recently participated in a business analytics project for non-profits that, as the planning progressed, seemed like a perfect opportunity to implement an agile approach, except that the work was to be completed in two days! But all the developers would be co-located. We had three objectives that fit the profile of user stories. We would cleanse, analyze, and report on the data and, hopefully, discover some insights. We would have the business stakeholders in the room with us the whole time. But doing all this in two days seemed like agile on steroids to me. And it reminded me of an old Stephen Wright joke, “I put instant coffee in the microwave and almost went back in time!”

    So, if you put agile on steroids, can you go back in time? Well, maybe not, but we did accomplish a lot in those two days! The project was a DataDive, a collaboration between the non-profit, DataKind, and Teradata, that was held the two days before the Teradata Partners 2014 conference.

    Blog data dive teamsI was a Data Ambassador paired with another Data Ambassador to work with a non-governmental organization (NGO) to prepare for the DataDive and make sure we reached our goals. The NGO that DataKind assigned us to was iCouldBe, an organization that provides on-line mentoring to at-risk kids at over 250 schools in the U.S. Since I am not a data scientist or analyst, I found my role as gathering requirements from the business stakeholders at iCouldBe. I worked with them to prioritize the requirements and identify the expected business value. Sounds like the product owner role in “Scrum” — right? My partner Data Ambassador worked with the head of IT at iCouldBe to identify the data we needed and worked to prepare it for the data dive. This is similar to a Scrum project, where preparatory work must be completed to be ready for the first sprint.

    DataKind wanted us to identify the tasks to accomplish each user story, so I immediately thought about using a task board for the actual DataDive. I created one ahead of time in Excel that identified the tasks for each user story as well as the development and handoff phases for each story. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was creating a Kanban board (a portion of the board is shown in the picture) that allowed us to track workflow.

    Blog - Data dive KanbanOnce I got to the DataDive, I recreated the Kanban board using flip chart paper and used sticky notes for the tasks, much the way it might be done for a real project. The user stories were listed in priority order from top to bottom. The tasks represented the metrics, dimensions, text and other analysis required to address the user stories. Some tasks supported multiple user stories, so we noted those and used that “re-use” to help prioritize. We placed these reusable tasks at the top of the board in the swimlane with the highest priority user story. (Click on the figure at left to enlarge – DataDive Kanban Board – Partial Workflow)

     

    For example, the number of posts and words per post that mentors and mentees made in the online mentoring program was an important metric that iCouldBe wanted to calculate to help identify successful mentee completion of the program. Are mentees that write more posts and words per post more likely to complete the program? This question addresses the first user story. But number of posts and words per post can also be used to analyze the amount of engagement between mentors and their mentees and what areas of the curriculum need to be improved.

    As the volunteers arrived, they chose tasks, focusing on the high priority tasks first, wrote their name on the sticky notes, and moved the note to the first development column, which was to review the available data.

    blog data dive - whiteboardAt different times during the day, DataKind asked each team to review what they had done so far, and what they planned on doing next, similar to the daily standup in Scrum (and we actually did stand).

    As the DataDive progressed to day two, only tasks for user stories 1 and 2 progressed across the board, but I reminded the team that some of the tasks we completed for the first two user stories also helped address the third user story. At the end of the DataDive, to better visually show this, I moved some of the sticky notes from user story 1 into the user story 3 swimlane. This way, we could show the business stakeholders from iCouldBe that, although we focused on the higher priority user stories 1 and 2, we had also partially addressed user story 3.

    Although this project did not check all the boxes in being a standard agile implementation, it served as a great opportunity for me to put some agile practices in motion in a real project and learn from it. One of the most important aspects was the close collaboration between the developers and stakeholders. It was great to see how thrilled the stakeholders were with the work we had accomplished in just two days!

    While I wish I could go back in time and do the DataDive all over again, as it was a great personal experience for me, instead I’ll look to the future and apply what I’ve learned from this project to my next agile project.

    Blog ElissaElisia Getts is a Sr. Product Manager, Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and member of the Teradata Agile COE. She has been with Teradata for 15 years and has over 25 years of experience in IT as a product manager, business/IT consultant, programmer/analyst, and technical writer supporting industries such as travel and hospitality, transportation and logistics, and defense. She is the team’s expert on Scrum.

    The post PARTNERS DataDive: I Put Agile on Steroids & Almost Went Back in Time! appeared first on Data Points.

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