What Marketers Are Doing Wrong in Data Analytics

Companies gather and analyze data to fine-tune their operations, whether it’s to help them figure out which webpage design works best for customers or what features to include in their product or service to boost sales. Marketers, in particular, use data analytics to answer questions like this: To put people in a shopping mood, is it better to make the webpage banner blue or yellow? … [ Read more ]

Ajay Agrawal

When looking at artificial intelligence from the perspective of economics, we ask the same, single question that we ask with any technology: What does it reduce the cost of? Economists are good at taking the fun and wizardry out of technology and leaving us with this dry but illuminating question. The answer reveals why AI is so important relative to many other exciting technologies. AI … [ Read more ]

Howard Yu

In the midst of predictive analytics and machine learning, with big data sweeping across sectors and industries, the importance of small data cannot be overstated. Big data and machine learning concern themselves with correlation, not causation. Computers excel at precision, rigor, and consistency, but they are not designed to integrate social interactions across domains, or traverse data online and offline, or come up with a … [ Read more ]

Michael Chui, James Manyika, and Mehdi Miremadi

It can be difficult to discern how a mathematical model trained by deep learning arrives at a particular prediction, recommendation, or decision. A black box, even one that does what it’s supposed to, may have limited utility, especially where the predictions or decisions impact society and hold ramifications that can affect individual well-being. In such cases, users sometimes need to know the “whys” behind the … [ Read more ]

Blockchain Beyond the Hype: What is the Strategic Business Value?

Companies can determine whether they should invest in blockchain by focusing on specific use cases and their market position.

Carl F. Mela, Christine Moorman

Companies should do two things to harness the power of analytics in their marketing functions. First, rather than create data and then decide what to do with it, firms should decide what to do first, and then which data they need to do it. This means better integrating marketing and IT, and developing systems around the information needs of the senior management team instead of … [ Read more ]

The Economics of Artificial Intelligence

Rotman School of Management professor Ajay Agrawal explains how AI changes the cost of prediction and what this means for business.

What AI Can and Can’t Do (Yet) for Your Business

As recent McKinsey Global Institute research indicates, there’s a yawning divide between leaders and laggards in the application of AI both across and within sectors. Executives hoping to narrow the gap must be able to address AI in an informed way. In other words, they need to understand not just where AI can boost innovation, insight, and decision making; lead to revenue growth; and capture … [ Read more ]

Why Marketing Analytics Hasn’t Lived Up to Its Promise

We see a paradox in two important analytics trends. The percentage of marketing budgets companies plan to allocate to analytics over the next three years will increase from 5.8% to 17.3%—a whopping 198% increase. These increases are expected despite the fact that top marketers report that the effect of analytics on company-wide performance remains modest, with an average performance score of 4.1 on a seven-point … [ Read more ]

Shelly Palmer

We’ve found that few enterprises fully recognize the value of data, data governance, and data hygiene. Data is cash, and it should be treated like cash. You need a data P&L.

There are really three kinds of data. First-party data is your own company’s asset, which you are directly responsible for collecting. It may be from cookies, email subscriptions, orders, or sales receipts. Or it may … [ Read more ]

Running on Data: Activity Trackers and the Internet of Things

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is often described as a collection of connected sensors, but it is actually a much more complex concept. It involves not only the connection and integration of devices that monitor the physical world—temperature, pressure, altitude, motion, proximity to something else, biometrics, sound, images, and so forth—but also the aggregation, relationship, and analysis of the information those devices create in order … [ Read more ]

The Tenets of A/B Testing from Duolingo’s Master Growth Hacker

Optimizing a product is always a mix of the grand and the granular. Gina Gotthilf, VP of Growth at language education platform Duolingo, knows that anything you send out to your users — even a dot — yields valuable data. So test it all, internalize every number, and use those results to inform what you do next.

By assiduously testing every notification, app screen and line … [ Read more ]

Seven Rules for Spinning Analytics Straw into Golden Results

While IoT-enabled advanced analytics could be worth trillions to manufacturers, turning insights into outcomes requires more than just the right technology.

The Perils of Democratic Decision Making

Enterprise Social Software (ESS)-enabled communities can contribute significantly to decision making, but how well they contribute depends on the type of decision being made and the role given to ESS. Deploying online communities to democratize decision making is very conducive to enhancing operational and tactical decisions in terms of identifying and including the “right” stakeholders and decision makers impacting work practices, as well as gaining … [ Read more ]

Four Ways to Shape Customer-Experience Measurement for Impact

Too many companies are themselves unhappy customers when it comes to building measurement systems. Here’s how to make better investments.

Being Digital: Fast-Forward to the Right Digital Strategy

Digital disrupts business strategy. Finding the right competitive response is complex. Executives must act fast across multiple layers of the business.

There is no one path to becoming a digital leader. Intelligent experimentation— a marathon in sprints—means business leaders need a fundamentally different approach to how strategies are developed and executed.

Unlocking the Power of Data in Sales

Analytics plays an increasingly important role in B2B sales—and high-performing sales organizations take it to a new level to differentiate themselves from the also-rans.

Being Digital: Seven Essential “No-Regret” Capabilities

This report offers pragmatic advice on how incumbent organizations can identify, develop and excel with digital— and suggests seven critical “no-regret” capabilities to be digital now. As the term implies, these capabilities can help organizations develop and improve today, irrespective of their digital strategy or industry, to realize benefits for the longer term.

Adopting an Ecosystem View of Business Technology

To fully benefit from new business technology, CIOs need to adapt their traditional IT functions to the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology “ecosystems.” Here’s how it’s done.

Helen Mayhew, Tamim Saleh, Simon Williams

Just because information may be incomplete, based on conjecture, or notably biased does not mean that it should be treated as “garbage.” Soft information does have value. Sometimes, it may even be essential, especially when people try to “connect the dots” between more exact inputs or make a best guess for the emerging future.

To optimize available information in an intelligent, nuanced way, companies should strive … [ Read more ]