Posts Tagged ‘analytics’

What Big Data means to Digital Signage

August 1, 2016

Data Complexity


The cliché, catch all phrase “big data” has confounding marketers who ask, “where do I start” and “what do I do with it”. Everyone in the marketing supply chain should be aware of the value that they bring to this dilemma and opportunity.

For digital signage providers and end users, the digital-ness of digital place-based media offers some immediate and high value answers when systems are organized to capture and apply insights.

Insights are the result of using data in all its levels of abstraction from data to statistics to information to knowledge to wisdom.

As will be presented in a July webinar hosted by BUNN, each level of data can contribute to the communications goal supporting both capture and exploitation.

Data results from transactions. An inherent value of digital signage is that it is always working to be causal in transaction generation in the form of purchase requests and enquiries and in leading the consumer down the path to purchase.

The “muscles” of digital signage are flexed further toward intended outcomes when cause and effect are the basis of message presentation.

Think of a quick serve restaurant (QSR) drive-thru in which the digital order confirmation board is used to suggest menu options. Order data related to time of day, weather conditions, number in the drive-thru party or a revisiting patron provide data per transaction which when reflecting multiple transaction are statistics and provide information that can be used to predict probable future transactions.

In that same drive-thru, the suggestions of different menu items that can augment the patron order offer additional insights, which when applied in future can change the transaction pattern.

This allows the QSR to move from message presentation to applying a prescription of suggested items relative to the order, and then to a predictive model of menu suggestion. The result in each case is higher revenue and margin per transaction.

“I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts,” notes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Author of Sherlock Holmes stories. Dr. Holmes knew about the application of data.

Facts have a transformative influence on business. Truth, as reflected and supported by fact, are the basis of modern commerce.

This transformation in business began in the “management by objectives (MBO)” movement of the 60’s, and computational power that began on the 70’s led rapidly to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) which sought to align resources with priorities. Operational efficiencies in back office functions such as improved inventory awareness, point of sale and supply chain management spawned automated management based on business rules with attention paid to exceptions.

Most enterprises now have adequate back office systems. The insights model of data levels of abstraction has transformed business operations.

Through this, marketing has shifted slowly from being primarily a creative exercise into the rule-base science of revenue and profit-delivering efficiency.

Marketers believe intrinsically that they are creating a new reality for their product, service or enterprise. This creativity is manifested in jingles, tag lines and icons drummed into consumers with huge advertising budgets. It was the age of Mad Men.

Every marketer, C-Suite and investor begged duplication of the past branding successes of “a little dab’ll do ya”, Kodak-moments and the Rice Crispie Kids. Madison avenue asks for, and get, the money.

As the internet of the 90’s began to transform marketing through increased access to information and the e-commerce and mobile commerce, and social media that have followed, agencies have simply added these arrows to their quiver of billable services.

Through this, brands and retailers have focused on gaining return on bricks and mortar investment, most recently adding “owned” media, such as place-based digital signage to “paid” media investment.

Now, digital signage has become essential to activating revenues. The traffic that is delivered to the premises by “paid” media is activated by the on-site digital signage that is “owned” by the enterprise.

Analytics associated with on-location digital signage use, are the transformative influence on the modern and growing business.

Lyle Bunn (Ph.D. Hon.) is an independent analyst, advisor and educator in the place-based digital media industry. He has assisted hundreds of organizations in their planning, sourcing and optimization of the media and has helped to train over 10,000 marketing and supply professionals.  


Rational Ignorance & The Illusion of the Unskilled

September 9, 2015

Economists use this term to describe inattention that is justified because the costs of paying attention outweigh the benefits.

Eyes looking

Digital signage has its points of rational ignorance. We accept that software designers know what they were doing, that operators are aware of network health and that some impact analysis is not worth quantifying.

Just as in financial matters, ignorance can have its price. Loss of portfolio valuation in finances is akin to loss of network value in digital signage.

In a blog titled “The Strike Zone of Digital Signage” the relationship between knowledge and deployment are described. The highest value – lowest risk relationship between knowledge and investment is characterized, as the areas of risk and under-benefit are noted.

Knowing “enough” is the key. But people’s Achilles heal is that we don’t know what we don’t know.

We further suffer from The Dunning-Kruger Effect, which was named from research at Cornell University in 1999. Wikipedia describes “this illusion of the unskilled” as “a cognitive bias wherein relatively unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than is accurate”.

These human biases indicate that we are pre-disposed to errors and omissions, with a tendency toward incurring risk where decisions are concerned.

While risk is part of every situation, managing or mitigating risk is part of what makes organizations successful. Acquiring knowledge through research, experience or drawing on subject matter expertise are tools in the process of accomplishing a worthy goal.

Expertise is especially valuable because knowledge acquisition is based on direction rather than discovery. The inter-relationship of elements and the relevance of each related to the investment decision being contemplated is a primary way of mitigating risk and reducing the fear of the unknown.

These, while going boldly, and knowingly forth will get the results you seek.