Where is the line between cool and creepy? It's not an easy question to answer, at least when it comes to retail analytics.
Why do consumers like getting personalized discounts at the grocery store but find it invasive for another retailer to tell them that an item they browsed online is in stock -- in their size?
Why do consumers feel special when they get relevant solicitations from one company and upset when another suggests possible purchases based on their buying patterns?
As David Mattin, lead strategist at the independent agency Trendwatching, told me for a post this week, sophisticated customer intelligence poses opportunities and challenges. "Privacy is a key question here," he said. "Consumers are willing to share their data, with two provisos: They will not accept flagrant abuses of trust, and, increasingly, that they expect to benefit."
When IBM surveyed more than 28,000 consumers early this year, it found them willing to tell retailers about their media use (75 percent); demographics (73 percent); identification, such as name and address (61 percent); lifestyle (59 percent); and location (56 percent) in exchange for more targeted and smarter shopping experiences.
No one disputes the fact that data is a huge issue right now, or, as Mattin put it, "consumer expectation around data -- and the innovations that brands and businesses are launching around data -- are key forces helping to shape the consumer arena."
For several years, retailers have been expanding their use of customer data. Using data amassed from loyalty card use, Kroger is just one of numerous grocery store chains offering personalized in-store discounts to give shoppers money off their favorite brands.
Now companies are going even further -- using consumer data to shape products and services before consumers even use them. Mattin cited the Know Me program British Airways launched in July. It uses Google Images to source pictures of VIP passengers before their arrival at the plane or terminal, enabling staff to greet customers personally. "Staff can also use iPads to access information on passengers' previous experiences with BA, meal preferences, and onward travel plans, all to help tailor the passenger experience."
Is that cool -- or creepy? Where do you draw the line?
True, monitoring how the privacy line is changing will be a challenge, probably the most talked about subject in 2013. When does monitoring one customer's selection become a nuissance when the customer makes a switch? How does a company deploy the right resources to manage? Given Target's baby diaper incident earlier in the year, retailers should see these kinds of questions appear more frequently and more publicly in some instances.
Kq writes Maybe, customers can be provided a sliding scale of permissions they wish to grant to data collecting websites. Selecting from 0 to 10 would give consumers some real control over what they perceive as the appropriate amount of data they want to volunteer.
Well, as I've said in a previous thread, basically privacy is toast. I think big business and the government will find ways around any rules, and the averge Joe or Jane can only try to bollix the snooping as much as possible.
I sorta expect some kind of "countermeasures" industry to arise. There's a market for everything...
I suspect men are a bit more tolerant of any perceived privacy invasions than women. Knowing that companies are data mining my most personal bits of web history doesn't really bother me at all. I've given permission, even if sometimes inadvertently, and as far as I know, haven't been harmed.
But there are those who by nature or nurture just don't want anyone gathering their personal information.
Maybe, customers can be provided a sliding scale of permissions they wish to grant to data collecting websites. Selecting from 0 to 10 would give consumers some real control over what they perceive as the appropriate amount of data they want to volunteer.
Earlier I wrote The whole issue of smartphone non-privacy, and intrusive tracking and snooping by companies and other snoopers, was the focus of a CBS This Morning report this AM. I'll try to find and post a link when CBS posts it
Alexis writes Yesterday out of no where I received am offer from Amex on my phone because I was close to the restaurant it was promoting. Hht fact that oh knew my location was a little creepy!
The whole issue of smartphone non-privacy, and intrusive tracking and snooping by companies and other snoopers, was the focus of a CBS This Morning report this AM. I'll try to find and post a link when CBS posts it, but meanwhile, here are some highlights I recall...
The story started with a reporter stopping a man and child on the street to use their smartphone to snap a photo of them. Via Instagram, the photo was then sent to a CBS consultant who immeditately identified their precise location (and in fact joined them within a few minutes). The main point of this segment was that most people don't seem to be aware of the volume of info about their behavior and whereabouts that their phones are "broadcasting".
The focus then shifted to an in-studio interview with the CEO of Techonomy, who emphasized that a lot of the emergence of snooping capabilities, even with loss of privacy, is embraced by much of the public — younger people especially — because of the facilitation of social interaction and (ahem) sexual pursuits (he gave as an example the SceneTap app). He also underscored that the explosion of smartphone apps illustrates that Analytics/Big Data (which he referred to as "data analytics") is one of today's foremost growth industries. As the segment drew to a close, there was more discussion aboiut the difficulties of trying to preserve some remnants of privacy.
Beth writes That is definitely a waste of advertising money, especially as opera glasses, even if a personal purchase and not a gift, certainly can't be a repeat purchase. Unless you're prone to losing stuff.
Yes it's a waste. Hey, wait — isn't good analytivcs supposed to prevent that? Sounds to me like there's a lot of heavy-duty analytics and algorithmic refining that needs to be applied to all this online marketing...
@Seth that's a good option for marking items as gifts. I would like Amazon to work on a solution like this. There's a way to personalized suggestions there but who cares to spend the time clicking off items that were gifts?
Diego Klabjan, chair of the INFORMS University Analytics Program Committee and program director for Northwestern University's Master of Science in Analytics program, gives his advice for figuring out where to get an advanced analytics degree.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- Cary, NCThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SASŪ Data Management and SASŪ Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SASŪ Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
Essential Practice Skills for Analytics Professionals Drawing on best practices from the field, this INFORMS course helps analytics professionals add value from beginning to end: listening to clients, framing the central problem, scoping a project, defining metrics for success, creating a work plan, assembling data and expert sources, selecting modeling approaches, validating and verifying analytical results, communicating and presenting results to clients, driving organizational change, and assessing impact.
Analytics 2014 The Analytics 2014 Conference is a two-day, educational event for anyone who is serious about analytics. This annual event brings together hundreds of professionals, industry experts and leading researchers in the field of analytics. All Analytics members save $500 on conference fees by using promo code ACAA.
Premier Business Leadership Series 2014 The Premier Business Leadership Series is an exclusive event for senior executives and decision makers that focuses on solving the current issues that affect governments and businesses globally. The Series is a unique learning and networking experience focused on the most innovative leadership strategies and analytic solutions for competing in todayâs global economy.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- BostonThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SASŪ Data Management and SASŪ Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SASŪ Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
Data Exploration & Visualization Get hands-on training that focuses on the critical steps in the process of analyzing data: accessing and extracting data, cleaning and preparing data, exploring and visualizing data. This INFORMS course will use several of the most popular software tools intensively, and provide an overview of the range of software options.
Foundations of Modern Predictive Analytics In this INFORMS course, learn about modern predictive analytics, the science of discovering and exploiting complex data relationships. This course will give participants hands-on practice in handling real data types, real business problems and practical methods for delivering business-useful results.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- AtlantaThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SASŪ Data Management and SASŪ Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SASŪ Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
LEADERS FROM THE BUSINESS AND IT COMMUNITIES DUEL OVER CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY ISSUES
The Current Discussion
Visual Analytics: Who Carries the Onus? The Issue: Data visualization is an up-and-coming technology for businesses that want to deliver analytical results in a visual way, enabling analysts the ability to spot patterns more easily and business users to absorb the insight at a glance and better understand what questions to ask of the data. But does it make more sense to train everybody to handle the visualization mandate or bring on visualization expertise? Our experts are divided on the question. The Speakers: Hyoun Park, Principal Analyst, Nucleus Research; Jonathan Schwabish, US Economist & Data Visualizer
The hospitality industry gathers massive amounts of customer data, and mining that data effectively can yield tremendous results in terms of improved CRM, better-targeted marketing spend, and more efficient back-end processes. Roger Ares, vice president of analytics at Hyatt Corp., discusses the ways he and his staff use big data.
Charged with keeping track of travel assets, including employees, iJET International relies on data management best-practices and advanced analytics to keep its clients in the know on current and potential world events affecting travel, Rich Murnane, Director of Enterprise Data Operations & Data Architect, told All Analytics in an interview from the 2014 SAS Global Forum Executive Conference.
Jason Dorsey, chief strategy officer for the Center for Generational Kinetics and keynote speaker at last month's SAS Global Forum 2014, describes how Gen Y professionals are enhancing the makeup of multigenerational analytics organizations.
From analytics talent development to the power of visual analytics, All Analytics found a variety of common themes circulating throughout the exhibition floor and session discussions at the 2014 SAS Global Forum and SAS Global Forum Executive Conference events held last month in Washington, DC.
Talking with All Analytics live from the 2014 SAS Global Forum Executive Conference, Eric Helmer, senior manager of campaign design and execution for T-Mobile, discussed the importance of customer data -- starting internally -- in devising the mobile operator's marketing plans.
The big-data analytics market can be a confusing place. Among the vendors vying for your dollars are traditional database management providers, Hadoop startup services, and IT giants. In this video, All Analytics editors Beth Schultz and Michael Steinhart sit down in a Google+ Hangout on Air with Doug Henschen, executive editor of InformationWeek. Henschen discusses use cases for big-data analytics, purchase considerations, and his recent roundup of the top 16 big-data analytics platforms.
At the National Retail Federation BIG Show last month, All Analytics executive editor Michael Steinhart noted a host of solutions for tracking and analyzing customer activity in retail stores. From Bluetooth beacons to RFID tags to NFC connections to video analytics, retailers must find the right combination of tools to help optimize the shopper experience, streamline operations, and boost revenues.
The days when historical shipment trends and gut feelings were enough to forecast retail demand accurately are long over. SAS chief industry consultant Charles Chase outlines the benefits of pulling real-time sales information from point-of-sale and product scanner systems, then flowing that data into dynamic forecasting tools from SAS.
With today's advanced visual analytics tools, you can stream data into memory for real-time processing, provide users the ability to explore and manipulate the data, and bring your data to life for the business.
Dynamic data visualizations let analysts and business users interact with the data, changing variables or drilling down into data points, and see results in a flash. Advance your use of data visualization with tools that support features like auto-charting, explanatory pop-ups, and mobile sharing.
No doubt your enterprise is amassing loads of data for fact-based decision-making. Hand in hand with all that data comes big computational requirements. Can traditional IT infrastructure handle the increasing number and complexity of your analytical work? Probably not, which is why you need a backend rethink. Big data calls for a high-performance analytics infrastructure, as Fern Halper, a partner at the IT consulting and research firm, Hurwitz & Associates, discusses here.
Redbox's bright-red DVD kiosks are all but ubiquitous these days, located in more than 28,000 spots across the country. Jayson Tipp, Redbox VP of Analytics and CRM, provides an insider's look at how the company has accomplished its phenomenal nine-year growth.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a seven-brand global hotelier, has woven analytics into the fabric of its operations. David Schmitt, director of performance strategy and planning, shares IHG's analytics story and his lessons learned.