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Bill Schmarzo's Blog (14)

Design Thinking: Future-proof Yourself from AI

It’s all over for us humans. It may not have been “The Matrix”[1], but the machines look like they are finally poised to take our jobs. Machines powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning process data faster, aren’t hindered by stupid human biases, don’t waste time with gossip on social media and don’t demand raises or more days…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on August 31, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Autonomous to Smart: Importance of Artificial Intelligence

On Saturday February 11, 2017, my daughter and her friend were driving from a basketball game in Chico back to our home in Palo Alto. Unfortunately, due to several days of heavier than normal rains, the Oroville Dam spillway broke and flooded many of the roads between Chico and Palo Alto. My daughter’s smartphone mapping application wasn’t aware of the sudden danger, and proceeded to send her into the heart of the flooding (see Figure 1).…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on July 22, 2017 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Embracing Conflict to Fuel Digital Innovation

When talking to clients about their business goals, most business executives are pretty clear as to what they want to accomplish, such as reducing customer churn or reducing inventory costs or improving quality of care or improving product line profitability. But these “one dimensional” business initiatives really don’t push the organization’s innovative thinking. For example, I can easily reduce marketing costs if I significantly reduce advertising and promotional spending. Or I can easily…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on July 12, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

Me, Myself and Digital Twins

It’s hard to get into the world of the Internet of Things (IOT) without eventually talking about Digital Twins. I was first exposed to the concept of Digital Twins when working with GE. Great concept. But are Digital Twins only relevant to physical machines such as wind turbines, jet engines, and locomotives? What can we learn about the concept of digital twins that we can apply more broadly – to other physical entities (like contracts and agreements) and even humans?…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on July 10, 2017 at 6:30pm — 2 Comments

Heart of the Data Science Revolution… Mankato, MN?

My job has the great advantage of bringing me in touch with some outstanding and truly brilliant people.  As an example, last year I spoke at the PrecisionAg Vision Conference in Phoenix (and I’ll be speaking there again this fall on October 12), and ran into a number of companies that were applying data science and big data principals to the world of agriculture.  Having grown up in Charles City, Iowa, I have a special place in my heart for farming and the importance of agriculture to the…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on July 6, 2017 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

What tomorrow’s business leaders need to know about Machine Learning?

Sometimes I write a blog just to formulate and organize a point of view, and I think it’s time that I pull together the bounty of excellent information about Machine Learning. This is a topic with which business leaders must become comfortable, especially tomorrow’s business leaders (tip for my next semester University of San Francisco business students!). Machine learning is a key capability that will help organizations drive optimization and monetization…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on June 27, 2017 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

Analytic Profiles: Key to Data Monetization

Many organizations are associating data monetization with selling their data. But selling data is not a trivial task, especially for organizations whose primary business relies on its data. Organizations new to selling data need to be concerned with privacy and Personally Identifiable Information (PII), data quality and accuracy, data transmission reliability, pricing, packaging, marketing, sales, support, etc. Companies such as Nielsen, Experian and Acxiom are…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on June 10, 2017 at 5:30am — No Comments

Management Challenge: P-hacking or “The Danger of Alternative Facts”

Mark Twain famously said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Maybe if Mark Twain were alive today, he’d add “alternative facts” to that list. BusinessWeek in the article “Lies, Damn Lies, and Financial Statistics” reminds us of the management challenges with statisticians or “data scientists” who manipulate the…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on May 25, 2017 at 4:00am — No Comments

Golden State Warriors Data Analytics Exercise

For a recent University of San Francisco MBA class, I wanted to put my students in a challenging situation where they would be forced to make difficult data science trade-offs between gathering data, preparing the data and performing the actual analysis.

The purpose of the exercise was to test their ability to “think like a data scientist” with respect to identifying and quantifying variables that might be better predictors of performance. The exercise would…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on May 18, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Can Design Thinking Unleash Organizational Innovation?

I am so blessed with smart friends, and I am fortunate to count John Morley among that group. John recently introduced me to Stanford’s Design School (d.school). To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I was so jazzed by the one-hour tour that I have signed up for a 3-hour class (very expensive…costs like $12…my Starbucks coffee that will get me fired up for the class costs almost that much).

So what about design thinking got me so jazzed? Three…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on May 2, 2017 at 4:00am — No Comments

The Future Is Intelligent Apps

I have seen the future! Of course, I seem to say that every other month (maybe that’s because the future keeps changing?), but this is a good one. The future is a collision between big data (and data science) and application development that will yield a world of “intelligent apps.” These “intelligent apps” combine customer, product and operational insights (uncovered with predictive and prescriptive analytics) with modern application development tools and user-centric design to create a…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on March 9, 2017 at 10:30am — No Comments

The Danger of Pursuing Customer 360 View

One of the best parts of my job is talking to a wide variety of customers across a wide variety of industries at a wide variety of different points on their big data journey. I’ve recently had several customer engagements where the client’s top business initiative is creating a Customer 360 View. Danger, Will Robinson!! I think the Customer 360 View business initiative is both dangerous and distracting; it is dangerous because it gives organizations a false goal to pursue, and it…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on March 8, 2017 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Data Science: Identifying Variables That Might Be Better Predictors

I love the simplicity of the data science concepts as taught by the book “Moneyball.” Everyone wants to jump right into the real meaty, highly technical data science books. But I recommend to my students to start with the book “Moneyball.” The book does a great job of making the power of data science come to life (and the movie doesn’t count, as my wife saw it and “Brad Pitt is so cute!” was her only takeaway…ugh). One of my favorite lessons out of the book is the…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on February 9, 2017 at 5:30am — No Comments

Business Model Transformation and What it Means to the Data Industry

I recently read an MIT Sloan Management Review article by Clayton Christensen’s recent book titled “The Hard Truth About Business Model Innovations.” While the article is full of great observations about business model transformation, the most important motivation for business model transformation is found at the end:

“..our understanding of the business model journey allows us to see that, over the long term, the greatest innovation risk a company can take is to decide not…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on February 7, 2017 at 4:30am — No Comments

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