Future Topics

What Do You Know/Blog About {. . .}

In Terms Of {. . .},

Your Experience In Particular {. . .}?

If you are working on an interesting problem related to the topics below, or even better an integration of multiple, I am interested in connecting. My email.

Analytical Thinking:

Decision Making, Decision Modeling

Attending a baseball game as a youngster I once wanted to understand what would be the decision making model for a manager who had runners on first and third with two outs: would they take a run off the board to get an out back? Would the other manager make this trade?

Since that time I have been addicted to the mechanism by which individuals evaluate, make and then implement decisions.

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Web Analytics:

Advanced Segmentation, Competitive Analysis, Behavioral Targeting

Over ten years ago I was trying to integrate the marketing for a car dealership into an online focused business, away from their traditional newspaper derived business. While in transition at the time newspapers were still more attractive and cost effective that online ads, for that particular industry.

I could see some pretty seismic changes coming when a very nice AOL ad salesperson tried to sell me a randomly rotating banner ad in our target market for $10k a month. Missed my chance at a different lifestyle when I posited to him that AOL could really make some money by figuring out who was searching for our brand of cars, then target them with out ads.

More recently I have worked with firms of different sizes who are trying to gain insights into their web analytics which will provide them with answers to their business questions instead of just charts and numbers.

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Econometrics:

A/B Testing, Multi-Variate Testing, Regression Analysis, etc.

Traditional controlled experiments are largely impossible in Econometrics, asking a country to reduce the interest rate for an experiment would never go over well. This leads to data that are messy in analysis that is often done after the fact, even if to develop a model for the future.

Web Analytics data have fit nicely into the Econometric models that I have relied on.

We could also chat about the impact of air pollution from Midway airport on the surrounding homes, or the best practices for aid in developing countries.

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Predictive Analytics

Predictive Analytics, Advanced Segmentation, PMML

Prediciting the future is attractive to everyone, but doing it correctly can be a challenge

Fist knowing how to measure what you should measure, then setting expectations correctly are steps to begin with.

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Competitive Intelligence

Competitor Research, Passive Monitoring, Collection Analysis

Having worked in sales professionally, competitive analysis is near and dear to me.

So much information is available about your competitors, that filterering out the noise is the first challenge.

Working with clients to anticipate the most likely future opportunities to advance their business goals as a result of competitive intelligence makes all business units happy.

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Linguistics:

Natural Language Processing, Transliteration, Semantic HTML

Between 1450 and 1750 the English language underwent the Great Vowel Shift; TV was supposed to make all Americans talk the same. Instead of solidifying American English, chain shifts like the Northern Cities Vowel Shift are either hardening or increasing regional dialects.

Understanding the regional differences in spoken American English seems like a good starting point for understanding the flow of language on the Internet.

If you are local to the SF Bay Area we can hella catch up.

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Mobile:

Mobile API’s

If you mobile traffic today is huge or influential you should know that. If you mobile traffic today is small and inconsequential, you should also know that.

Declaring mobile important doesn’t make it important to your clients/prospective clients because mobile is often a descriptive process instead of a prescriptive process.

Getting the right audience to participate in a worthwhile fashion with a mobile initiative is much better than just declaring a mobile initiative.

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Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

PostGIS, GDAL, GRASS, QGIS

Location aware solutions can be effective tools for marketers, but they are only properly enabled in a GIS compliant database and analyzed in a GIS compliant tool.
Dropping the lat/long of locations into a MySQL database which an application will reference is not a GIS solution, its a cost/technology effective hack that works today but probably not in the near future.
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Big Data:

Hadoop, PIG, Dumbo (Python)

Today the options for large scale computing are almost too numerous, with the opportunities for businesses of all sizes to leverage that power a factor increase of that.

The cost of large scale computing in the reach of any business of any size anywhere in the world, every company should consider some sort of distributed computing solution.

Evaluating, analyzing, implementing, and testing cloud solutions is something I get excited about every single time I do it.

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Tools:

R, Gnumeric, Python, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Linux, Ubuntu, Bash Shell Scripting

The state of finances for all levels of governments around the world is such that non-partisan advisors predict taxes will rise in near future, for individuals and businesses. Companies dealing with increased taxation will ask departments to do more with less, making Free and Open Source Solutions (FOSS) increasingly attractive as tools to solve business problems.

Flexibility in learning new tools is more attractive to me that specializing in a particular tool that may or may not be around after the next RFP or at the next client site.

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Getting Out:

Web Analytics Wednesdays, Meetup, Conferences

Meeting with people in person is still an integral way to stay up of the current trends in methods or technologies. I attend numerous Meetups, Conferences and other User Group type functions that sound interesting to me.

I am the host for the Web Analytics Wednesdays events held in the San Francisco Bay Area starting in 2010. We have a great group that past participants have reported back great responses to sponsoring.

If you are a vendor looking for a forum to network with smart people in an enjoyable setting, reach out to me so we can start a conversation about the events.

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Reading:

Academic, Professional Development, Recreation

Reading blogs about interesting topics can be, at times, a time intensive venture but always proves out a great ROI.

I have an expanding folder file full of academic articles, and a stack of books next to my desk that comprise my current TODO list for reading.

My recreational tastes tend towards topics related to analytics, aside from that I enjoy non-fiction more than fiction. Particularly enjoyable are books based on or comprising first hand accounts of turbulent events. The decision making process of the real people under incredible stress is very fascinating.

Two in particular that I enjoy are:

“Endurance: Shackelton’s Incredible Journey”, Alfred Lansing

What should be a must read for any person who is about to, or already does, manage people. Shackelton gives a clinic on leadership throughout the journey from their crippled ship across the Weddell Sea to South Georgia Island via Elephant Island in the South Atlantic Ocean.

“Romance of the Three Kingdoms” (“三國演義”), Luo Guanzhong (羅貫中)

A narrative that is historically based but enhanced with fantastic elements at times it is not a love story, but rather of the genre “romance”.

The vacuum of power in China from the last days of the Han Empire in 184 AD until the consolidation of the Jin Dynasty in 280 created an environment of mobility for three different entities competing to become the next Emperor.

Available in English translation, the full version is not exactly the most accessible introduction to Chinese Literature so I would recommend the abridged version.

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