At the end of the nineteenth century, electricity was starting to have a profound effect on the world. As dramatized in the excellent novel The Last Days of Night, Thomas Edison battled with George Westinghouse (the latter aided by Croatian genius/madman Nikola Tesla) for control over the burgeoning market for electricity generation and supply. The popular symbol of the electrical revolution is of course Edison’s famous light bulb, but almost more important was the humble electric motor.
Garry Kasparov will forever be remembered as perhaps the greatest chess player of all time, dominating the game for almost twenty years until his retirement in 2005. But ironically he may be best remembered for the match he failed to win twenty years ago in 1997 against IBM’s Deep Blue chess computer. That watershed moment – marking the point at which computers effectively surpassed humans in chess-playing ability – prompted much speculation and hand-wringing about the coming obsolescence of the human brain, now that a mere computer had been able to beat the best chess grandmaster in the world.
I’ve been a member of the Digital Analytics Association for, it turns out, about twelve years – over half my professional life. In that time I’ve seen the organization grow and blossom into a vibrant community of professionals who are passionate about the work they do and about helping others to develop their own skills … Read more
Accurate multichannel campaign attribution has stumped the online marketing industry for years. But what if the solution is to stop worrying about attribution, and move to an optimization-driven approach?
Your company has a Marketing Strategy, right? It’s that set of 102 slides presented by the CMO at the offsite last quarter, immediately after lunch on the second day, the session you may have nodded off in (it’s ok, nobody noticed. Probably). It was the one that talked about customer personas and brand positioning and … Read more
If you’re like me, and have succumbed to the unpardonably bourgeois luxury of hiring a cleaner, then you may also have found yourself running around your house before the cleaner comes, picking up stray items of laundry and frantically doing the dishes. Much of this is motivated by “cleaner guilt”, but there is a more … Read more
Congratulations! You just got the call – you’ve been asked to start a data team to extract valuable customer insights from your product usage, improve your company’s marketing effectiveness, or make your boss look all “data-savvy” (hopefully not just the last one of these). And even better, you’ve been given carte blanche to go hire … Read more
As the final season of Mad Men came to a close this weekend, one of my favorite memories from Season 7 is the appearance of the IBM 360 mainframe in the Sterling Cooper & Partners offices, much to the chagrin of the creative team (whose lounge was removed to make space for the beast), especially … Read more
It’s been a busy couple of years here at Microsoft. For the dwindling few of you who are keeping track, at the beginning of 2012 I took a new job, running our “Big Data” platform for Microsoft’s Online Services Division (OSD) – the division that owns the Bing search engine and MSN, as well as … Read more
Some interesting news today: Google has fully launched the cloud-based BigQuery service that it first previewed last November. From the website: Google BigQuery is a web service that lets you do interactive analysis of massive datasets—up to billions of rows. Scalable and easy to use, BigQuery lets developers and businesses tap into powerful data analytics … Read more