Which teams make it to the college football playoffs isn’t as random as it sometimes seems, says University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Laura Albert. In this week’s Counterpoints podcast, we look at how Albert uses analytics to predict the brackets and how the football playoff selections compare to that other big college tournament, March Madness.
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- Read Time: 4 min
Many different factors determine how consumers balance data privacy against a desire for personalized products and services — age, geography, and education among them. Companies can help their customers feel more comfortable with the data collection needed for personalized service by understanding customer values and maintaining transparency and good communication when it comes to data collection.
- Read Time: 4 min
As AI moves from the hype stage to implementation within organizations, retailers and marketers have new competitive opportunities with customer centricity. AI enables companies to apply data about their customers’ wants, needs, and preferences to customize their offerings, create personalized shopping experiences, and make the purchase process simpler and more convenient.
One of the newest and most important players in the sports world isn’t a soccer phenom or an NBA all-star — it’s a multiplayer video gaming platform known as eSports. The universe of eSports relies heavily on data analytics, but the surprising twist is the role of social science analytics in this world of virtual contests between far-flung players. Counterpoints talks to eSports analytics guru Tim Sevenhuysen.
- Read Time: 7 min
While AI is brilliantly placed to solve decisions that are concrete and well-defined, in other contexts it can fail spectacularly, showing connections between facts or events but stumbling when the need to disentangle cause from correlation arises. Human input in the form of subject matter knowledge and common sense are often needed to complement AI. And executives must understand which challenges are right for these new technologies to address.
- Read Time: 8 min
B2B Marketing departments never have enough time, manpower, or money. AI solutions such as automated emails and predictive analytics can help companies push back against these constraints. AI marketing products can act as a force multiplier. Imagine filling your headquarters with thousands of brilliant marketers, expertly analyzing data and providing actionable insights that increase the productivity of your existing marketing team.
MIT SMR Connections | Content Commissioned by SAS
Success in analytics requires having data you can trust. On Feb. 14, MIT SMR Connections and SAS will hold a Twitter chat on the best practices of building a foundation of trust toward data.
This episode of Counterpoints examines the strategic value of data analytics — and more to the point, whether the data scientists creating the analysis are being rewarded appropriately for their contribution to strategy.
While many businesses have embraced the idea that analytics can help improve performance, there are plenty of skeptics. Can analytics really show business leaders something old-fashioned intuition can’t? In this podcast episode, analytics expert Ben Alamar seeks proof that analytics really do lead to improved results.
- Read Time: 6 min
Companies are racing to apply machine learning to important business decisions, only to realize that the data they need doesn’t even exist yet. In essence, the fancy new AI systems are being asked to apply new techniques to the same old material. The result is a visible arms race as companies bring on machine learning coders and kick off AI initiatives alongside a behind-the-scenes, panicked race for new and different data.
In this episode of the sports analytics podcast, Counterpoints looks at the unusual case of Larry Murphy, a right-handed hockey defenseman whose support for Hall of Fame lefthanders helped two teams win the Stanley Cup in the 1990s. Was this outcome due to a unique quality Murphy brought to the game, or does a more general strategy of finding complementary talents improve team performance?
This episode of the sports analytics podcast Counterpoints shows that the greatest legal advantage in sports is a good night’s sleep. Using wearable devices to monitor athletes’ sleep, physiologists have shown that at least 8 hours of sleep can greatly improve performance — with implications not just for sports, but all areas of business and daily life.
- Read Time: 9 min
Companies can monetize data internally to optimize operations and client services. They can also leverage that data across various client use cases.
A winning record seems like it would help teams draw more fans to their games, yet there’s plenty of evidence that even losing teams can be profitable — sometimes more so than winners. This episode of the sports analytics podcast Counterpoints looks at the problem of selling a product with unpredictable performance by focusing on baseball.
Recommendation engines influence the choices we make every day — what book to read next, which song to download, which person to date. But digital recommendations are also a source of unintended consequences. Research shows that recommendations do more than just reflect consumer preferences — they actually shape them. Given that perfect prediction is not possible, retailers and managers must be aware of the potential discord from unintended side effects of their recommendations.
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- Read Time: 1 min
Defining the right KPIs for machine-learning efforts is a sophisticated, but not necessarily complex, endeavor. GoDaddy’s chief revenue officer Andrew Low Ah Kee offers advice.
- Read Time: 4 min
Data is recognized as a business asset, but we lack efficient ways to price it, says MIT professor Munther Dahleh. In this Q&A, he proposes a marketplace that bases the cost of data on the financial value it generates.
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