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Thoughts From the Fast Casual Summit: Data, Analytics and Innovation in the Restaurant Industry

Good Data - 48 min 28 sec ago

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Fast Casual Executive Summit in Orange County, where I led an interactive “Brain Exchange” session about “Analytics as Assets.” This discussion was all about how QSRs are leveraging analytics to increase their trust with operators and automate key workflows, allowing them to dramatically improve margins. After the event, I sat down with Shelly Whitehead from Fast Casual for a Q&A session about some of the insights that were shared. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Analytics aren’t just beneficial for large brands. With respect to sharing data and analytics, some of the participants from larger organizations were surprised learn that the smaller brands were just as passionate and dedicated to innovation as they were.
  • Correlation is key. Simply measuring and communicating metrics is not enough; there is an urgent need to understand why metrics move. By understanding cause and effect, restaurateurs can take better informed actions and create opportunities to innovate (e.g. If restaurateurs understand how a social media marketing campaign impacts demand and traffic, they can leverage data to drive smart menus and automate scheduling.)
  • Think about your servers as end users. Most of the time, we think of the end user in terms of management, suppliers, partners, and those in HQ. But our discussion revealed lots of opportunities to deliver information to servers to help them optimize and maximize their individual tickets, which not only helps them individually but also drives success for the restaurant itself.

These are just a few of the insights from our full discussion. Restaurants today face serious challenges, both internally in the form of large increases in operating costs and externally from emerging business models from companies like Blue Apron, Munchery and others. However there are also massive opportunities for innovation in the restaurant sector, and the leaders I spoke with all commented on the value, business impact, and benefits of distributing analytics can have on their organizations.

To learn more about the possibilities of distributed analytics for restaurants, download How Big Data is Revolutionizing the Restaurant Industry:

Categories: Companies

80% of Companies Will Fail to Monetize IoT Data, According to Gartner

Good Data - 48 min 28 sec ago

It seems that lately, I can’t login to Twitter or open LinkedIn without being bombarded by articles about the coming wave of transformative business opportunities that will be created by of the Internet of Things. They herald IoT as the new frontier of economic growth, with Cisco estimating that connected products have the potential to generate more than $19 trillion of value in the coming years. But even as the promise of IoT has ensnared the minds of the business community, many have ignored or downplayed the massive elephant hiding behind the mountain of gold: that actually monetizing IoT is going to be hard. So hard, in fact, that Gartner estimates that through 2018, 80% of IoT implementations will squander their transformational opportunities.

I’ll give you an example: telematics have the potential to completely transform the insurance industry. But right now, most companies are focused on the data plumbing, rather than putting that data to work making business impacts. In short, the vast majority of the data being generated by connected devices remains undervalued and unmonetized.

There are exceptions. Automakers are leading the way in consumer facing IoT monetization, and in the B2B space Nest is a powerhouse with their Learning Thermostat product which enables them to offer energy management services to utilities. But as Gartner notes, the trend towards treating and deploying data as a monetizable asset is still in the “early adoption” phase.

I believe this shortfall is largely attributable to the fact that I’ve seen very few business leaders that have laid out concrete plans to turn the data being generated by our “things” into actual revenue. Capgemini Consulting notes that although 96% of senior business leaders have said their companies would be leveraging IoT in some way within the next three years, over 70% of organizations do not generate service revenues from their IoT solutions.

This is a huge issue, as to remain competitive and thrive in the digitally connected economy enterprises will need to find ways to monetize IoT data and harness it to enhance performance and create new business value. The problem is that most organizations are poorly equipped when it comes to the knowledge or experience needed to capitalize on monetizing their information assets. But as Albert Einstein famously said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”; and monetizing data from IoT can be a major competitive advantage for the truly innovative organizations that are doing it successfully.

A key piece of solving the IoT data monetization puzzle will be choosing the right technologies and partners to help them achieve their goals. The flood of data from the IoT will be wasted unless organizations can analyze and package it in a valuable way, and Gartner states that most opportunities for monetizing IoT data will involve some level of refinement and analytics. I believe that embedded Smart Business Applications that leverage artificial intelligence will be an integral part of the solution, as they provide the vital layer of “connective tissue” that can turn the raw data generated by IoT devices into actionable insights that drive value.

AI will transform the business side of IoT, with applications for every industry from automotive to healthcare and insurance. IBM Watson, Google Now, Alexa, Siri and other platforms have opened people’s eyes to the possibilities of AI, and business users want that technology applied to the tools that make them better at their jobs. Truly “smart” business applications will harness the power of AI by taking data from a myriad of connected sources and applying predictive and statistical analysis to that data to ultimately predict outcomes and deliver powerful insights that recommend and inform actions to business users, unlocking monetization possibilities.

Categories: Companies

Making Data Products Habit-Forming: Insights from Lunch with Nir Eyal

Good Data - 48 min 28 sec ago

I never imagined that a simple Tweet could lead to me sitting across a table from one of the most influential thought leaders in my field, but that’s exactly what happened to me earlier this year when I met Nir Eyal.

I gave a Data Talk video about designing and launching data products back in April, where I mentioned that GoodData follows a data product model inspired by Nir’s groundbreaking book Hooked. Nir is well known as a premier expert on creating “sticky” technology products that users employ over and over again out of sheer habit.

When the video and the accompanying blog post were published, I shared them on Twitter, with a nod to Nir for his inspiration. Nir actually responded, and those tweets led to a meeting over lunch.

Toting a suitcase full of books for him to sign for our customers, I met Nir for lunch. After clarifying that I was not, as he’d mistakenly assumed, the founder of GoodData, I posed a question that had been on my mind since I first read his book: How do you make technology “sticky” — or to use his terminology, “habit-forming” — if it’s not something people use on a daily basis?

In Nir’s book, his examples of sticky products include the iPhone, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest — all products that people are likely to use every day. But the data products that we create are different, more likely to be used on a weekly or monthly basis. So what’re the best strategies to make these products habit-forming?

Make It Personal

The first thing we can do, Nir shared, is make sure that our data products surface the insights that matter most to the end user. In other words, we need to make it as easy and intuitive as possible for users to find and absorb the analytics that are most pertinent to achieving their goals.

Go With the (Work)flow

The second insight Nir shared with me is the importance of embedding data products into users’ regular workflow. Instead of asking them to click over to another tool or another online portal, we make those analytics an integral part of the tools they use on a regular basis, increasing the likelihood that they use them.

I walked away from our lunch meeting with much more than a suitcase full of signed books (thanks, Nir!). I had confirmation from an objective industry expert that we’re delivering what our clients need in a habit-forming data solution. By delivering products that allow personalization of reports and embedding of solutions into regular workflows, we empower our clients to offer value-driven products that aren’t simply useful — they’re habit forming.

For more insights on designing and launching data products, keep an eye out for my upcoming article on the Data Informed website.

Categories: Companies

My Top 16 Rules to Running a Successful Company

Good Data - 48 min 28 sec ago

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Big Data, Big Business event organised by the Universal Startup Centre at the Node5 accelerator in Prague. While I was there I had the opportunity not only to talk about my thoughts on the future of big data, but also share some of my experiences as a founder and business leader.

The thing about leadership is that nobody will tell you how to do it; ultimately, you have to figure it out yourself. But after more than 20 years in the game, I’ve learned some key lessons, which I’ve listed below.

1) Find Your “Product/Market Fit”

The most important task of any founder is to find harmony between their product and the markets’ demands. But 99 percent of companies cease to exist because they fail to correctly find their market fit, and align their products to it. Entrepreneurs struggling with this should read Peter Drucker, who has some amazing books on the subject.

2) Set Up Goals and Get Out of the Way

The enthusiasm of a group of smart people working together to achieve a certain goal is what makes a great company. Founders of successful companies should set goals, but shouldn’t dictate how to reach them. They should give feedback where needed, but always allow the talented people that they’ve hired the freedom and trust they deserve to get the job done.

3) See to Company Values

Ten years ago, no one cared about company values; today, they are often what attract people to a company. Strive to be your best self, and have your company strive for the same. Just remember, the company value of a small or big company is defined as the worst behaviour of your managers you are willing to tolerate.

4) Have a Mission

When I ask my employees what our mission is and they don’t know (or I watch them struggle to think something up on the spot) that’s bad. Each businessperson should know where they are heading. Each company must have a clear mission to know what it is doing. And each employee should know that mission, and if they don’t know the mission teach them until they do.

5) Communicate

Having a vision and mission doesn’t mean anything unless you’re able to communicate it to three key entities: your team, investors and customers.

Take investors, for example. You have to be able to persuade them that if they don’t invest in you immediately, they’ll lose money. You’ll know you’ve nailed this communication skill if investors start calling you back soon after you meet with them; if they don’t, they’re simply not interested.

6) Focus on Your Customers

Too often, I see technology companies over-concentrate on their products or on their founder. It is absolutely critical that founders focus on understanding what, why, when and how customers buy, as during a business’ startup phase it is usually the founder who brings a new product to the market. So my advice is to serve your first 50 or 100 customers yourself, to really get to know their needs and what your business can do for them.

7) Know How to Say Yes/No

Effective leadership is like playing sports. You might not know what will happen three plays later, but you can’t just stand there saying you don’t know where to throw the ball. You just have to play the game.

Similarly, a founder or manager will always feel that they have too little information to make a decision. Often, they will say they need additional studies, analyses, etc. But this isn’t what your employees want to hear; they need to hear a clear yes or no. And this same principle applies to investors.

8) Focus on Opportunities, not Problems

Problems never pay out in the long run as much as opportunities do. So don’t let problems consume so much of your time that you’re unable to do anything else because of them.

9) Organise your Time

As a founder, time can be your most precious resource or your worst enemy. If you don’t take control of your time, it will take control of you and you won’t manage anything. Make sure you reserve time to clear your head, even if others want something from you.

10) Finish your Work

Too many people start fifty things and never finish anything. A prerequisite of successful founders is following through.

11) Enjoy What You Do

If you do something because someone else wants you to do it, or if you do it for money, you can do that for a month or two. But not for ten years. Work is hard, success is harder, so to make it worth it you had better enjoy what you’re doing.

12) Do not Search for Consensus

It might sound counterintuitive, but companies that always act in consensus sometimes find themselves in a complicated situation. This is because they are missing disharmony, which can be a driving force for doing things differently or better. It is important to create some disharmony, because this gives birth to new ideas and innovations.

13) Let the Ship Sail

If you have started a certain project, or set your teams on a specific course, do not regret it the next morning and change it; see it through.

14) Energise your Team

Really working with your employees is critically important. A founder should be in touch with their team, motivating them and sometimes sharing common activities (I love to go cycling with members of my team.) This not only keeps your team motivated and makes them feel lead rather than commanded, it keeps you in touch with the pulse of your company in a way that you just don’t get otherwise. I’ve known many managers that didn’t talk to or interact with anyone on their team, and then were surprised then they finally found out their team had broken up.

15) Measure Everything

If you do not measure, you will get nowhere. Good founders and managers should use metrics to understand how they are performing, although it is sometimes difficult to find the right people for the problem. Even using the wrong metrics can provide valuable lessons, and as you move forward you can reevaluate what you measure.

16) Be True to Yourselves

If a person becomes a founder, they should remain true to themselves and should not pretend to be anything else. It’s impossible to live under a false pretence for any significant length of time; inevitably, people will see through to the real you. So make sure the real you is worthy of of being seen.

A version of this article was originally published in the Czech edition of Forbes Online.

Categories: Companies

Retail TouchPoints: Analytics Drive New Revenue Opportunities for Retailers

Good Data - 48 min 28 sec ago

The retail industry has reached a tipping point where retailers can — and should — leverage advanced analytics to improve the overall consumer buying experience. The latest research from the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that retailers that leverage data analytics at scale can grow their profits by a whopping 60%. But even though retailers are generating more data than ever, it’s not enough to simply gather stockpiles of data and send it to the CIO. Rather, retailers need systems that can consolidate data from multiple sources, transform it into powerful insights that can inform tangible business actions, and get those insights into the hands of the people that need them.

“The idea is to capture a single 360-degree view of today’s multichannel shopper to inform smart merchandising and marketing decisions. Retailers that don’t get this right are leaving money on the table: Multichannel shoppers, whose ranks are growing, spend more than single-channel shoppers.” Retail TouchPoints

These are just a few of the insights contained in our latest eBook, “10 Ways to Drive ROI With Distributed Analytics: The Power of Data Collaboration For Suppliers, Managers And HQ.” We partnered with Retail TouchPoints to uncover the top ten ways that retailers can benefit from distributed analytics to drive increased revenue, including:

  • Bringing newfound scale and accuracy to market- basket analysis
  • Delivering personalized products and experiences to shoppers
  • Tapping into new revenue streams with vendor partners
  • Boosting the effectiveness of social-media marketing
  • Turning heightened visibility into consumers’ omnichannel shopping journeys into top- and bottom-line gains

We also sat down with Retail Touchpoints for a webinar, where we discussed how smart retailers are harnessing distributed analytics unlock the full value contained in their data and business networks. The webinar covers data challenges and trends in the retail industry, using analytics to drive customer retention and enhance your customer experience, how your internal data can create valuable opportunities with external partners, and much more.

To learn more, download your copy of the eBook here, and click here to access an on-demand version of the webinar.

Categories: Companies

Turning Data Into Profit: GoodData at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016

Good Data - 48 min 28 sec ago

Today’s CIOs and senior IT leaders need actionable advice to drive digital to the core of their products, processes, and talent … while also preparing for disruptive trends that can deliver long-term business benefits. At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, coming up October 16–20 in Orlando, hundreds of attendees will get the best of both worlds as they discover how to make digital a core competence across the organization.

Built around the theme Lead 360: Drive Digital to the Core, this year’s event features six tracks, spanning technology and information, leadership, and business strategy, plus industry-specific presentations focused on healthcare, finance, retail, and other key sectors. Keynote speakers will include former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins.

If you’re attending, be sure to catch my presentation, “Turning Data Into Profit and Accelerating Digital Transformation,” on Tuesday (10/18) at 1:45 pm in the Dolphin Hotel Southern Room. I’ll be showing you how to accelerate your company's digital transformation—and boost its bottom line—by creating and distributing data products and Smart Business Applications to your B2B networks.

Always backing me up, the GoodData team will also be on site at ITxpo! Come visit us at Booth 965 in the Dolphin Hotel Pacific Hall and learn how GoodData can help you commercialize and monetize your data and analytics. If you’d like to reserve a time to chat with us, just fill out this quick form and we’ll be in touch to schedule a meeting. Here’s a sneak peek at what we’ll be talking about:

 

 

See you in Orlando!

 

Categories: Companies

Driving Revenue From Data in Financial Services: GoodData at Money20/20 2016

Good Data - 48 min 28 sec ago

On October 23–26, more than 10,000 leaders, innovators, and disruptors from across the financial services industry — including more than 1,000 CEOs — will gather in Las Vegas to explore the latest innovations in financial and banking technology at Money20/20.

Over four days, financial and banking executives will enjoy an exemplary experience highlighting the boldest and the best of the industry. This year’s keynote speaker lineup executives from leading companies such as Visa, Stripe, Square, Google, Forbes Media, and Bank of America. Attendees can choose from more than 20 tracks covering leading-edge topics such as Data Analytics & Algorithm-Based Innovation, Global, Real-Time & X-Border Payments, Mobile Wallets & Payments, and Risk, Security & Fraud.

GoodData is proud to be a sponsor of Money20/20 2016, and we look forward to meeting you there! Come see me and the rest of the team at booth 1344 to see how leading financial service and payment processing companies are currently leveraging the GoodData platform. Here’s a sneak peek at what we’ll be talking about:

 


It’s going to be a busy four days, so I recommend reserving a time to meet with the team. Click here to enter your request, and we’ll be in touch to schedule your slot.

See you in Vegas!

Categories: Companies

Fourth Uncovers New Revenue Opportunities in the Hospitality Industry

Good Data - 48 min 28 sec ago

Just months after MediGain won a Nucleus Research Technology ROI Award, another GoodData customer has disrupted their industry. Headquartered in London, Fourth is a leading provider of cloud-based cost control solutions to the hospitality industry. When the company partnered with GoodData to add an analytics product to its offerings, it uncovered not only a unique way to deliver additional value to customers, but also a profitable new revenue stream.

In an ROI case study on Fourth, Nucleus Research reports that the company needed a distributed analytics solution that could consolidate customer data from diverse geographic locations and put it into the hands of decision makers at multiple levels. GoodData met all Fourth’s requirements, including

  • A focus on business line operations that lends itself well to the hospitality industry
  • Ability to distribute customized reporting to their entire business ecosystem
  • Easy deployment and scalability through Customer Lifecycle Management
  • Easy sharing and embedding of the platform to eliminate geographic and organizational hurdles
  • Integration with third-party systems

Fourth Analytics launched in 2013 as a subscription-based service, expanding Fourth’s product offerings and opening new revenue streams. The company benefits from previously untapped revenue opportunities, and its customers benefit from a more comprehensive view of their operations — a capability previously unheard of for the vast majority in the hospitality industry.

According to Nucleus’ calculations, Fourth achieved an ROI of 117 percent over a payback period of 2.7 years, with an average annual benefit of £169,833. Thanks to its partnership with GoodData, the company has successfully disrupted the hospitality industry by introducing a one-of-a-kind product that builds its bottom line while enhancing customer relationships.

For more information on how Fourth achieved these results, download the case study by Nucleus Research here.

Categories: Companies

Unveiling the Possibilities for Distributed Analytics in the Financial World: GoodData at FinovateFall 2016

Good Data - 48 min 28 sec ago

Last week we had the pleasure of representing GoodData at the FinovateFall 2016 conference in New York, a showcase of the best and most innovative new financial and banking technologies.

I have to say the level of energy and excitement among the Finovate attendees was impressive. From morning to evening, our booth saw a constant flow of visitors, among them many senior executives from top financial services companies. Some had scheduled appointments ahead of time, some were drawn to our new financial services video, and some had simply heard the buzz about what was going on at the GoodData booth:

Here you can see our team hard at work, giving personal attention to everyone who stopped by:

And here’s Blaine Mathieu and Marco on stage presenting our 7-minute demo to a packed room — about 1,600 attendees!

Here’s another demo shot, this one of Blaine playing “front man” while Marco rocked the demo:

Our time at FinovateFall 2016 was a whirlwind, and I can hardly believe it’s already behind us. We were so impressed with the quality of attendees, the level of expertise among presenters, and the high energy of the rapid-fire agenda that we can’t wait for next year!

Categories: Companies

Martin Butler: GoodData Is Pioneering Production Analytics

Good Data - 48 min 28 sec ago

At GoodData, we believe that the power of enterprise data goes far beyond simply making better decisions. We believe that data is valuable, and our mission is to help enterprises transform their data into a profit center.

“GoodData, somewhat uniquely, is focusing on the embedding and monetizing of analytics, transforming it from cottage industry to a mainstream profitable production activity,” said Butler Analytics founder Martin Butler in his post “GoodData – Pioneering Production Analytics.” Butler asserts that if data is to be useful, it must be integrated into what he calls the “production environment”:

‘Analytics need to be part of the production environment, and that means they need to be embedded within production applications – sales, purchasing, accounts, HR, production – and so on. But there is also something else. The terabytes of data most businesses have acquired, at considerable cost, represent an asset in their own right. This means the data can be used to generate revenue and profits. Why else would be call it an asset?’

 

The number of employees in any organization who need direct access to analytical tools, Butler contends, is actually quite small — sometimes no more than a few hundred in the largest corporations. However, the number of people who potentially benefit from embedded analytics can easily number in the tens of thousands. This is just one level at which GoodData offers unique value: through embedded analytics that offer mission-critical insights, when and where the user needs them.

Butler contends that the next level of analytics is the ability to use internal and external data assets to create revenue-generating data products.

“The people who will pay for this information,” Butler writes, “might be partners (a distribution network for example), suppliers and any other agents who might be able to profitably use the information services a business delivers.”

But it’s at a third level — what Butler calls “one of the most exciting developments in recent years” — that GoodData truly distinguishes itself by acting “as a data middle-man, bringing organizations together who work in related industries so they can create much higher value information products.”

By collaborating and sharing data, complementary organizations can accomplish together what no one business could do alone, offering high-level data products from which a broad audience can benefit. And as Butler notes, these concepts have the potential to transform the business analytics industry:

The winners in any industry are always those that do something different. In the business analytics space it is GoodData that has moved away from the catchy, but largely meaningless marketing cliches such as ‘self-service’, ‘ease-of-use’, ‘big data’ and others that are starting to lose their sparkle — simply because they are not delivering. Having spent a decade in a hype wilderness, businesses can now start to production-line their analytics — the real work begins.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Read the full article here.

Categories: Companies

Can Facebook solve its violent video problem? - CNET

As more videos involving murder and violence crop up on the social network, pressure is mounting for Facebook to gain control.
Categories: Blogs

Amazon Echo with a built-in screen may be on deck next month - CNET

The device, code named "Knight," could make the Echo more useful for video chats and online shopping.
Categories: Blogs

Ransomware became three times as expensive in 2016 - CNET

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Categories: Blogs

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Categories: Blogs

Get a set of sport Bluetooth earphones for $9 - CNET

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Categories: Blogs

BlackBerry's keyboard phone sells May 31, comes to Sprint this summer - CNET

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Categories: Blogs

Reactions and new camera effects are coming to Facebook Lite - CNET

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Categories: Blogs

MIT built a robot that can 3D print a building - CNET

A robotic system developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology can 3D print the basic structure of a building.
Categories: Blogs