helping you master customer insight leadership

Extras: More analytics news

Stand_Studio_Geek_-_Monaco_Anime_Game_Show_-_P1560500This week there seems to have been more analytics in the news than usual, so despite the earlier post on Analytics awards & trends, I’m going to share another ‘other’ post round-up on this topic.

First to catch my eye was the news that Microsoft has purchased Revolution Analytics.

This is interesting not just because it adds to Microsoft’s analytics arsenal, all of which have the potential to benefit from integration with the rest of Microsoft’s technology (including Office), but also because of the focus on R. In an earlier poll we identified the rise of R as an alternative to the more popular SAS & IBM analytics software currently used by insight teams. Revolution Analytics already provided commercial support & simpler front-end to R, integration with Microsoft’s other software has the potential to take this further towards being a mainstream contender (hopefully not at the loss of affordability). It’s also interesting in this article to hear how popular R is as a language for data scientists within Microsoft (including those working on Xbox Live service). (more…)

Awards & trends for Analytics 2015

awards & trends for analyticsFollowing research & data, in our series on awards & forecast trends for 2015, it’s the turn of analytics.

Surprisingly, given the level of press attention these days on the topics of Predictive Analytics or Data Scientists, there are few awards dedicated to celebrating excellence in analytics.

In most cases data analytics is a sub-category of an award focussed on a wider marketing application, like the prestigious Digitals. This dearth of awards is a shame and risks continuing to undervalue good quality holistic analysis (rather than leaving other awards to focus on application of specific vendor technology, or what marketers did with the results).


Awards & trends for Data 2015

Following on from our first post about awards & trends for research professionals, this week we turn our attention to data teams. Foundational to holistic customer insight, in the past they have too often been neglected as a cinderella services within the insight department. However, that is changing. The cache of “big data” and momentum for organisations to understand the data they have or even better monetise that asset has meant much more media attention for data geeks.

To start with awards, I’ve noticed a few being publicised during 2014 or planned for 2015, but one organisation has consistently delivered these for years and pioneered more focus on data issues. They are DataIQ, who together with their well worth reading magazine, provide advice services and awards throughout the year. Their latest creation, as they seek to innovate in this category, is The Big Data 100. More than just an award ceremony, it’s a means of recognising the movers and shakers in the data industry. With a launch event on 25 Feb it will be interested to see who is recognised as shaping this industry, beyond all the ‘smoke & mirrors’ that surround big data conferences. Sadly not me 😉 (more…)

Awards & trends for Research 2015

NASA Television 2009 Philo T. Farnsworth Primetime Emmy AwardEven though we are still fresh into a new year, it is around this time that we often see a spate of awards and pundits forecasting the key trends for the year. A few of these have caught my eye so I thought I’d share those I think add value. As there are developments in each of the technical disciplines which make up Holistic Customer Insight, it will be a review which covers a number of weeks. To start this week, let’s focus on the awards & trends for research in 2015.


The award I want to highlight is the DIVAs Europe award run by Infotools. What strikes me as important about these awards is the focus on best practice examples of storytelling and data visualisation in research reports. For that reason the examples of winners & strong contenders here should also be of interest beyond the research community – there are lessons that could be learnt by plenty of analytics professionals as well. Anyway, judge for yourself and if you’ve been delivering quality storytelling & visualisation to help your research make an impact, then consider entering. Here are the details: (more…)

Do your products inculcate helpful habits?

HookedThanks to Jeffrey Slater of Nomacorc for sharing this great YouTube video of Nir Eyal from Stanford University presenting at The Next Web 2014 conference in USA. It is a brilliant exploration of how design can exploit behavioural psychology to the benefit of consumers (the users of products designed to promote habits that are better for their users).

Right from the start, the definition of habit as “a behaviour done with little or no conscious thought”, is clearly aligned to Kahnemann’s System 1.

Principles in this video like the ‘hook’ (an experience designed to connect a user’s problem with your solution with sufficient frequency to become a habit), all behaviours needing motivation + ability + trigger, the brain’s reward for anticipation (especially of the unknown) – these should all be trained as design principles for product marketers. But they are also relevant to Customer Insight work. Understanding what psychology can teach us about how our customers are actually experiencing our products is a Customer Insight priority.


Looking forward at this time of year

Russian icon of the Theophany (wikipedia)
Russian icon of the Theophany (wikipedia)

Well here we are on the fourth day of Christmas, so I hope those calling birds have arrived!

If you’re like me, right now you are probably feeling a mixture of awareness that the over-indulgence over recent days needs to end soon and excitement at the prospect of a fresh start in the New Year.

It can be a very peaceful and productive couple of days between the celebrations.


I don’t know about you, but traditionally this is a time when I tend to reflect on how I’m doing against my life priorities and consider setting goals. This year I’ve been nudged in that direction by a vodcast from Jeff Walker, a timely reminder of how we can spend this time productively:

As a trained executive coach, I fully endorse the power of goal setting. But I would also recommend taking that time out first to reflect on “why” you want to set that goal in particular roles within your life. A structured questioning session can help you do this, ideally using an appropriate coach for you, but this can be a useful practice by yourself.

The G.R.O.W. model is a well practiced simple framework for such a review, to help you set goals. Try these questions as an example on a role in your life:


Motor Insurers’ Digital Marketing Effectiveness

insurance disclaimer
andrew steinmetz (flickr)

A new type of ‘other post. Given the number of our readers who work within the Insurance sector, I thought it might be helpful to share the results which Global Reviews shared with me, from their Digital Marketing Effectiveness Study (Q3 2014) of UK Motor Insurance providers.

There are some interesting lessons for customer insight leaders from other sectors as well, when you reflect on the key findings into consumer behaviour.

Here are the highlights:

  1. One third of consumers decide, which car insurance provider to go with, via a comparison website

While 92% of UK consumers will use a search engine at some stage of the pathway to purchase motor insurance, 87% actually start the journey there. 30% then move to the brand website, however almost half go to a comparison or aggregator site. 29% are then making the decision to purchase and stopping their journey on the aggregator site. A further 9% of those who visit provider’s site are going back to aggregator sites. (more…)