Tagged: business

Over the years I have done quite nicely for myself as the Founder of Analytical Solution, as everyone says, wish I had done it sooner. But every once in a while I reach out to other businesses in order to do something different or I see potential I could add by joining forces with them, unfortunately each time I have tried, I have been dismiss or ignored, curious since Data Scientist are supposed to be in such demand? In all honesty, if I never added another client to my base, I would be fine financially but what fun would that be? After 2 years of “going it alone” I miss comradery and giggling because someones chair made a strange noise, giggle, you know what I mean. I am a NERD and we are not solitary creatures.

 

My most recent dissing, giggle, was from a company in Louisville, not far from me, I could have popped over, done some analysis, crunched some numbers, built a model, taught them about databases, ETL, Modeling… the possibilities are endless because I’ve been doing this for so many years but the guy just blew me off, like it was everyday that a Data Scientist / Economist / Mathematician with over 15 years of experience contacts him. No biggie, but what if he had joined forces with me?

 

Recently Big Data Republic started a Big Data 100 who to follow list, all the Data people are smiling or joining PeerIndex to raise their scores, giggle, it has actually been fun finding new data people on Twitter to follow (which was their original intent, not to exclude or make anyone upset) but I digress – the point is, I’m on this list and every time someone clicks on this site, there is my name, they can drill down by clicking my name or icon to receive more information. Imagine all the thousands of chances missed by NOT partnering with me, the info under my name could have said Founder of Analytical Solution and Partner XXXXX blah blah, you get the point. So, before you pass up an opportunity, the next time someone emails, tweets, or calls, give them a chance, you never know what could come of it 🙂

It’s not everyday someone with my experience wants to share the wealth of knowledge accumulated working with Fortune 100 and 500 companies, Colleges, Financial Institutions and Econometrical Consulting Firms. If you are in the Louisville area and would be interesting in speaking – send me an email to carla.gentry@analytical-solution.com (who knows, it could be the opportunity of a life time)

Push verses Pull – are you marketing or spamming

There have been a lot of articles over the years; going into great depth about “Push verses Pull Marketing” therefore I am not going to over kill the subject by regurgitating what has already been written. What I will add is that marketing has changed with the introduction of social media into our daily regimen, analysis and reporting. We try various things when we, break into the world of social media, i.e. “push verses pull” marketing, do we blast our message to the world or do we provide great content and let them come to us? In my time on social media, I have seen links stolen and articles cloned, “how many likes for this” (what?) Facebook post, pins redirected to unintended sites and auto-posting gone mad with old articles from 2010 passed around like “hot news” because no one even bothered to read the article they just wanted to re-tweet someone with high Klout. So, push marketing has definitely taken on a new aspect, it is not just about spitting out your product news to anyone out there, it about misdirection and un-professional behavior. Followers and fans figure this out pretty fast so any sales they make are a single purchase and not about building a loyal clientele. I guess if that is your purpose, you have succeeded but businesses are built on longevity not tricks. I have seen great social media campaigns which made me think, giggle, scratch my head and lean into with anticipation of their next tweet so I know there are many companies that are doing it right. Hats off to the social media teams out there that create great content that goes viral and circles the world, you inspire us to turn it up a notch! Companies like Kellogg’s want to be part of your family, they don’t blast their message to unexpected recipients or beg you to “like” their page, they drip, drip, drip, with their messages, until one days, boom, you need cereal and without even thinking, you are buying corn pops.
It takes time to build a following, good marketers know this and slowly build a loyal following through likes, re-tweets, pins, discussion on LinkedIn groups and providing thought provoking content and ads. Occasionally ads go viral but the norm is to engage and be the 1st product or service that pops into someone minds. Take me for example, I am not unique by any means, they are lots of great people out there to follow. I started my Twitter account in 2010 but didn’t bring in the business aspect until March 2011, since then I have added over 5,000 followers, not because I have a high Klout score, beg for followers or talk about my business every 5 minutes. I spend hours a day searching for relevant content to share with my fans and friend on social media, to educate, inform, entertain and spread the word about analysis, data mining, mathematics as well as good habits in analytics and social media marketing. Not because I want to just give away good content but to form a relationship, to imprint my name, whether it be @data_nerd, Carla Gentry or Analytical Solution, into your mind so when you need research, sentiment or text analysis, social media campaign and analytical marketing you’ll head over to my site and give me a call.
In conclusion, when you are creating your social media marketing plan, keep this in mind, do you want to be a household name or a spammer who “gets and loses” followers on a daily basis, the choice is yours. Blast your message to anyone who will listen or target your message, create relevant content, respect your followers, and follow up with leads in a dignified manner. Engage and show potential clients why they should do business with you, if you have expert knowledge, share with others and promote your field. No matter what strategy you use (push verse pull), showing you and your businesses character might not make you a millionaire but I guarantee it will lengthen your business career and lifetime earning potential. Thanks for taking the time to read this article and have a great day of marketing!

How do you become a data scientist?

Modern Day Data Scientist

Modern Day Data Scientist

I have read several articles on the subject, but none of the authors were really “Data Scientist” and they admit that, so I thought it was time that something was written by an actual Data Scientist.

First off, let’s make sure you understand that there’s lots of college involved, no way around that one. If you noticed a lady in the 2nd row, 3rd from the left had a mole on her nose in the last commercial you watched, you might have what it takes, even if you hadn’t thought of Mathematics, Engineering or Econometrics as a field of study. What I am implying is that it’s take someone who is VERY observant to be successful in Data Science. Why, because you deal with such large data sets and large outputs/results, your ability to absorb lots of information quickly and exactly, is your best friend. I can scroll a million records in minutes or run a small SQL script, analyze the results and tell you if that data is bad or corrupt in minutes. Cleansing data is always the 1st step, if this part is left out, I can guarantee you will have lots of N/A’s or characters where number should be, etc… so make QA your friend not your enemy.

What major or course work produces the best Data Scientist? Econometrics and Mathematics as long as they have an additional major in Business, why, because of the logic involved as well as the classic theory of Left Brain people and numbers. Creative is great for making power point presentations but when you have 10 terabytes of raw data, pretty is not the 1st things on your mind. Minor or actively engage in courses that will teach you programming, you don’t need hard core Pearl but you will need SQL skills at the very least. Microsoft Visual Studio, SSAS, SSIS, SSRS package, SAS, SPSS, SQL, Cognos, Macros, Visual Basic are all not only good to know but vital when you have multiple client who use different CRM, BI and ETL tools.

Once the schooling ends, the real world begins. My 1st boss said, “forget everything you learned in College, there is no “bell curve” here; meaning, statistics, programming, mathematics, logics and common sense are only the start. Practice on cleansing data, extracting data, normalizing data, segmenting data, loading data, trending data, modeling…. in other words data data data data data. Never assume your results, never ignore anomalies, do keep a unbiased mind and never scrimp on tools, software or classes. Yes, that’s right I still attend webinars and read like crazy to stay sharp on my tools and technic.

We need more people desperately in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) so please consider Data Science as a career. According to the latest study we’re in high demand and considered rock stars according to some.
What can your data do you for? @Data_Nerd :o)

More information doesn’t mean correct information: Do you really know?

I had a gentleman tell me today that he read that companies were becoming more efficient, that more was being done by fewer employees. Wow, really, are we that naive? The truth is that 84% of employees polled said that they would leave their jobs if another position became available (CNN Money). Guess what employers, the economy is getting better and companies are starting to hire again. If you haven’t already lost some of your employees, you will. So, why do stories conflict each other, because no one checks their facts or they put too much faith in what they hear from friend without verification. Recently I was told that “Person X” was an expert at a particular subject, only to find out, not only did this person not know what he was doing, he also caused a rift in the department that caused others to quit. How did this happen, the person in charge of hiring was not qualified to understand the intricacies of the position but his biggest mistake was, he assumed that the resume was 100% correct. In fact a 2010 survey suggests that 53% of perspective employees lie on their resume (click here). So, would some follow up with previous employers or checking references have changed the above scenario? Probably not, suggestions are to mandate a 90 day review and it have completed by the person working closest to the new hire. Co-workers know faster than anyone what is “really” going on. Below is from A Checklist for Success in Hiring Employees (http://humanresources.about.com/od/recruiting/a/recruitingtips.htm) Companies that select new employees from the candidates who walk in their door or answer an ad in the paper or online are missing the best candidates. They’re usually working for someone else and they may not even be looking for a new position. Here are steps to take to improve your candidate pool. • Invest time in developing relationships with university placement offices, recruiters and executive search firms. • Enable current staff members to actively participate in industry professional associations and conferences where they are likely to meet candidates you may successfully woo. • Watch the online job boards for potential candidates who may have resumes online even if they’re not currently looking. • Use professional association Web sites and magazines to advertise for professional staff. The key is to build your candidate pool before you need it. Good luck and remember to always check your facts and follow up on employee complaints.

© 2011 Analytical Solution

I am not a Social Media expert but I play one on TV

I love that one liner from movies so I thought it appropriate for what I wanted to write this morning. There are lots of people out there playing Social Media experts, they promise followers, 1,000’s of them but how are they attaining them? Are they mining for followers from your niche or are they just searching for “follow-back” or others on Twitter who automatically accepts followers? What promises “on paper” did they make you? Did they guarantee your results? Did they guarantee to increase your ROI? NO? Well then, you are just wasting your money and you also stand the chance of these “Experts” or “Guru’s” damaging your brand or your name.

When I first branched off on my own, I envisioned I would be using analytics to increase market share, increase ROI, introduce new products to the market just, as I have been doing for the last 15 years for companies like Firestone, Kraft, Hershey…etc. I never dreamed that my best avenue for introducing and spreading the world of analytics would be Social Media. I had been using social media for years as a “tool” to help keep in touch so why not branch out and use it now.

Some Businesses “get analytics”, they see its importance not only in advertising and marketing but in social media as well. They use my service and others like me, to find their “target audience” or their niche. They depend on the research we provide to get the “Big” picture of what is really going on with their business or product. They know that by using statistics and data mining, they can make a change in their social media efforts. Unfortunately, a majority of the social media marketing community has decided to stick their heads in the sand and pretend analytics isn’t important or “can’t” be done (Oh yes, it can). We have made it easy entry into social media, placing in-experienced and un-professional GURU’s in as valid Marketers. We have been invaded with back seat driving experts who, because they have a Twitter account, think they can be “your” social media guru. Thanks to people like them we now have more spam than ever, you see the same “unique” page post from different URLs (hijacking ENTIRE websites) so the true author may see his or her post from multiple sites. The latest is promises of analysis as well, I’ve seen firms profess that they can handle your data and analysis as well but don’t have the first trained expert on site to achieve this. Gurus or experts focus on quantity over quality, and those results don’t get businesses anywhere. Websites offering 1000 Facebook or other social media fans with a low price are spam that are trying to enforce the already present notion that we need to have a significant social media following to get any kind of ROI.

In conclusion, be careful out there, social media is no different than any other aspect of life, there are good and bad people out there. Research the firm you plan on hiring and ask for references, protect your brand, your company and your reputation by only using professionals (ask for a Business License). If you need analytics assistance, make sure they have a scientific or mathematical background. If you need a social media expert get a “real” one and not just someone who plays one on TV. It’s your money, spend it wisely. If you need assistance in identifying best practices on how to use analysis in Social Media give me a call at 630-673-2345

Social Media and Analytics

We all have seen the hundreds of post and blogs dedicated to Social Media and I think it’s wonderful but please keep in mind; it is time consuming to engage your audience and you must be sure you have the right potential “buyers mix” or you’ll never be more than an interesting tweet or post.

Social Media is a wonderful way to introduce potential consumers with your product and or services. But doing a little research 1st, will assist you in improving the future of your sales/engagement. There are many “Self Proclaimed Gurus” out there screaming that they can get you 100,000’s of follower, well that would be great if they were 100,000 followers that were interested in your product or service but that isn’t the case. What I want to convey is that by being behavior-selective, geo-targeting and product-targeting your audience you can increase your sales and ROI. So, what do I mean by that? If I am selling products for older customers then I need to find them, right? How? Data! If you have your own data great, email your Analytical department and have one of your analyst start working with your Social Media department. Your analyst (if experienced) will be able to data mine your internal transactional data and find “your target audience” to engage with through Social Media. What if you don’t have an “Analytical department” or a “Social Media department”? I would recommend you use someone similar to myself, or learn how to do it yourself. I would love to assist anyone out there interested in either hiring Analytical Solution as a Consulting Company and or a Trainer. Regardless if you are a CMO or a C staff member or just a Small to Medium Business Owner, analytics can greatly improve your ability to find and engage with the “right” customers.

An example of Twitters potential for engagement ( “On Twitter, we saw a 500 percent increase in Tweets from Japan as people reached out to friends, family and loved ones in the moments after the earthquake”). Amazing that within hours, millions of tweets and post were sent to a captivated audience begging for more information. Families were reunited, others avoided harm all together thanks to a well timed comment from Social Media.

T.V. and Radio are in AWE of the power of “engagement” and I think most of the world is too. Let’s use this wonderful tool but let’s use it Smartly, Responsibly and with Ethics. Remember that it’s your “Name” or “Company” that is being put out there for millions to see. Have fun, make someone laugh, tell them something interest and you’ll have a person ready to listen to more about what you sell or promote.

A couple of examples of how analytics are used:

‘Grocery Stores’
The stocking layout in a grocery store has been designed to increase the dollar amount you purchase. Cereal is not next to milk, so you have to walk past other tempting items to buy both. This was designed using the analysis of data from shopping receipts.

‘The Love Canal’
In short, a neighborhood was worried about a high number of birth defects among their children. A statistical analysis found that there were no statistical significant difference in the number of birth defects in the neighborhood, compared to similar neighborhoods.

A scientist took up the case and instead looked at the number of birth defects in houses built on top of a filled-in canal, compared to other houses in the neighborhood. The result jumped out at them and revealed that toxic waste had been dumped in the canals. Waste which was now causing birth defects

The morale: When you crunch the numbers and do a thorough data analysis that combine different data (health records and geographic info in this case), you can discover significant things right in your back yard! The data of your business can hide clues that you’d never discover in your day-to-day activities. At the same time, it shows that it’s important to listen and work with the guys on the floor, which sense and see things that others higher up can’t.

@Data_Nerd

© 2011 Analytical Solution

Have your data warehouse dreams died?

Have you attempted a data warehouse and failed, let experience and expertise lead the way to successfully attaining your goals – Analytical Solution.

The talent pool is short for mathematicians and data miners, and people in general who understand what it take to successfully deal with large amounts of data. Analysis and segmenting large data sets is not for the faint of heart, it require skill and experience that is only gained from day to day handling of transactional data.

Small business owners often spend a large chuck of time planning their company’s operations, with thousands of dollars spent on buildings, equipment, employees and advertising but they forget the one asset they get for free, DATA. Without data, an organization loses its record of transactions and or its ability to deliver value to its customers.

Organizations need to focus on strategic matters on a more or less continuous basis in the modern business world. Business analysts, serving this need, are well-versed in analyzing the strategic profile of the organization and its environment. Analysts are “Subject matter experts” who understand the data and are able to translate the results of data mining into actionable business information.

Data mining has found support in many areas. It has been used by companies like Kellogg’s and Kraft to find their target audience for new products; It has been used by Real Estate agents to determine the probability that a new area of town will thrive; even Police departments have used data mining to identify new crime waves by what is filed in reports.

Let data mining and analysis take your company to the “next” level of success. Don’t let this opportunity to use your free resource “data” pass you by because you don’t have “in-house” talent, Analytical Solution is up for the task!
423-552-2062 for a free evaluation.

© 2011 Analytical Solution

What is Analytical Solution?

 

Market Research

At Analytical Solution, we offer expertise in the design and execution of market surveys and custom market research to meet the specific needs of our individual clients. Our expert researchers will assist you in obtaining the market insights you need to grow and expand your business. We offer expertise in conducting all phases of both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Market Research Capabilities

Analytical Solution offers a suite of consulting and market research services that enable our customers to increase market share and profitability. We provide near real-time intelligence and strategic insights to assist in making confident business decisions. We have continuous networking with customers, suppliers and competitors – thus providing you with complete visibility of the whole value chain in composites and various verticals such as automotive, construction, consumer goods, medical, and financial institutes. We have proven interviewing and data collection technique and we provide unmatched data accuracy and integrity. Some of the services offered by us in Market Research Category are:

·     Convert business problems into analytic projects with well-defined deliverables. Let your data work for you not against you. Knowledge is POWER

Market Research

·         Capability

·         Competitive Assessment

·         Concept Testing

·         Customer Analysis

·         Customer Satisfaction Survey

·         Market Segmentation

© 2011 Analytical Solution

Analytics versus Creative

My father once told me that being “different” is neither good nor bad, it’s just different. Our differences make us “who we are.” Thus, I live my life with this philosophy, which includes being me, doing the things I love most, and being happy to be the nerd I truly am. Since graduating from the University of Tennessee, many of the positions I’ve held have been analytical in nature—data crunching and the dissection of relative info to be passed on to business users, helping them make more informed decisions. I see things in black and white with very little gray area: if you spend X number of dollars, you will receive Y profit. For the most part, my past colleagues have always been like me, cerebral or nerdy, if you will, but recently that has changed. I now work for a great organization (Area203) that mixes analytics and creative, yielding wonderful results. It has shown me that I can fit in with people who aren’t exactly like me. I can work with people who look at the glass and don’t see it as half full or half empty, but rather, see it as not being a glass at all but a work of art. Sometimes, people like me have to take a step back and remind themselves that things aren’t always black or white; it’s okay to embrace the gray area. To enjoy that a flower smells nice and not care why; to dance and play in the rain even though I might catch cold; and to tweet because it’s fun and not because I can create a report or run an analysis on it. Our creative staff is comprised of artists, writers, and generally, cool people who give me a periodic giggle. Their talents, skills, and desire to be “different” amaze me. I see them as equals and friends with whom I am proud to work side by side, read their tweets and blogs, and laugh with them.

© 2011 Analytical Solution