Big data – will it solve your marketing problems?

Big data – will it solve your marketing problems?

As ever, Tom Fishburne has a point.  Increasingly, organisations are turning to their data to improve decision-making and improve commercial results - but buying big data infrastructure won't solve your marketing problems.  In many ways, installing the big data infrastructure is the easy bit.  The real challenge, as Idiro has found time and time again, is turning all that data into money.  For this you need people with the BI and analytics skills to mine all that newly-available data for dashboards, insights and predictions.  And of course the organisation needs to be ready to change - to try new ways of using data to drive commercial activity - and it needs to be prepared to fail.  Samuel Beckett said:

'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'

With the right analytics partner, the journey to excellence in data-driven marketing should be a lot easier than Beckett paints it - but nevertheless, it takes skill and a ruthless focus on the results.  However, the results from using your organisation's data to drive its business are nearly always well worth the effort.

Major International Telco chooses Red Sqirl

Major International Telco chooses Red Sqirl

Major International Telco chooses Red Sqirl

 

One of the first commercial users of the Red Sqirl analytics platform for Big Data is a multinational telco, which has deployed Red Sqirl in two countries and is using it to deliver analytics on its Hadoop platform. This customer has asked to remain anonymous.  

Red Sqirl is a flexible drag-and-drop Big Data analytics platform with a unique open architecture. Red Sqirl makes it easy for analysts and data scientists to analyse the data on your Hadoop platform.  

The problem

 

This multinational telco operates on four continents worldwide. Unfortunately, for historical reasons these operating companies use a wide variety of different database systems and analytical platforms.  

As data becomes an increasingly important asset for organisations, many companies are taking steps to maximise the value of their data. In addition, most large companies now have access to many new types of data - for example, social media posts.

To exploit synergies across the worldwide organisation, this multinational telco decided to standardise database platforms across the group. In order to best meet the challenges of storing and using ‘big data’, the company chose Hadoop as its standard database platform.  Hadoop is currently being rolled out across the company’s operations.  

The company now faces the challenge of migrating existing code onto Hadoop, and allowing asset re-use and swapping across business units who have multiple historic platforms and assets.  Moreover, the Hadoop ecosystem does not contain a ready-made data analytics module.  The market leading traditional data analytics software platforms are not designed for the Hadoop ecosystem and tend to be inefficient when analysing Hadoop data. The telco searched for a native Hadoop analytics platform with an easy-to-use graphical interface.  In addition, because of the wide variety of requirements, the platform had to be highly flexible and cost-effective for a worldwide rollout.

Solution chosen: Red Sqirl

 

Following a thorough technical / usability evaluation of a number of analytics platforms, the company agreed a contract to trial Red Sqirl - initially in the company’s head office and in one operating company.  

Red Sqirl exceeds the telco’s requirements as set out above. Of particular interest to this company is Red Sqirl's unique capability for sharing, via the Red Sqirl Analytics Store.  Moreover, the Red Sqirl development has deep experience of telco analytics.  Red Sqirl is already proven in predicting telco churn, as shown in the workflow below.

A Red Sqirl screenshot showing a telco churn modelling workflow
Telco churn modelling in Red Sqirl - a workflow


This telecoms operator now has the confidence that their analytics solutions are scalable, deployable and easy to use.

Implementation

 

Red Sqirl was installed in both the head office and the country telco, which took a matter of minutes in each case. Training workshops were held in both locations, to ensure that analysts could get the most out of the Red Sqirl platform. Red Sqirl’s drag-and-drop interface is similar to that of most GUI analytical tools, so the training was quickly completed.  Feedback from students was very positive - as the graph below shows, students scored the training very highly.

Student feedback on Red Sqirl training course
Student feedback on Red Sqirl training course


The company then needed to migrate analytical assets from legacy infrastructure to Red Sqirl.  The Red Sqirl development team showed the way by taking a particular analytical model that had been developed in another language and quickly porting it onto Red Sqirl.

The company is now using Red Sqirl as its primary analytics platform in the country in question - and early results are promising.  

When it comes to buying houses, people in Dublin are clearly superstitious

When it comes to buying houses, people in Dublin are clearly superstitious

When it comes to buying houses, people in Dublin are clearly superstitious


 

Who would have thought that in this day and age, the Irish people would still be suffering from this ancient affliction? The terrible problem of Triskaidekaphobia, or the fear of the number thirteen.

The Irish people, as a nation have achieved many great things, we’ve become one of the biggest technology capitals in Europe, we’ve produced some of the world's greatest athletes and sports stars, we’ve lead the way in giving equal rights to every citizen, not to mention the musicians and actors that other countries would love to claim as their own, but we know they’re Irish in their hearts.

But alas, we still have trouble shaking the quaint “luck of the Irish” image that American tourists hope to see when they step foot in temple bar. The image of a superstitious nation who base decisions on old wives tales and mythology.

We may say to ourselves that this isn’t the case, that it’s just how the Irish people are portrayed on tea towels found in Carroll’s. But like everything in life, you can only really find the truth by looking at the data.

So that’s what we here at Idiro Analytics did. We are experts in data analytics for business. We looked at the data, to prove how far we’ve come as a nation, that we base our decisions on reason and logic and not on whether or not our palm itches (so we know we’ll be coming into some money). But unfortunately, the data showed us our true colours.

We looked at the price of houses in Ireland over the past six years. We took the data from the Property Services Regulatory Authority, showing every house sold in the Republic of Ireland since January 1st, 2010. We analysed housing data from every corner of Ireland, looking at the values, the locations, the house names etc.

And we found that when it comes to a large decision, such as buying a house, a lot of our nation are still as superstitious as ever. The value of properties sold in counties such as Dublin, Cork, Kildare, Cavan and Longford is significantly lower if the house is a number thirteen.

When analysing the average prices of houses we can see the drop in value for houses numbered 13 compared to their neighbours 12 and 14. It seems the Dublin population are slightly more superstitious 4.01% than the people from Cork 3,46%. In Longford, this drop in value is as much as 23.8%.

So all that hard work done by Brian O'Driscoll, all of those times he put his body on the line to dispel the unlucky nature of the number 13, it appears, have all been in vain.

This isn’t the case for the entire country though, the west of Ireland can be proud that they have bucked the trend. With counties Galway having an 8.67% increase in value for houses numbered 13 over their 12 and 14 neighbours, Mayo having a 3.28% increase, and Sligo having a massive 20.22% increase.

Some other insights we’ve pulled from the data are, that houses with particular words in the names have a higher average value. If you’re looking to buy a house with “Mara” in the name (refers to the sea) in Dublin, you might have to be willing to pay up to 115.18% on average more than houses named “An Tigin” (The Cottage).

The two most popular saints in Ireland to name a house after are St. Patrick and St. Mary, although we probably could have guessed that one. With the choice of over 10,000 named saints (it’s difficult to get a definitive ‘headcount’), the Irish people prefer to keep it traditional.

Idiro Analytics provide Big Data Analytics solutions to businesses across Ireland. We help businesses gain a better return on investment by helping them understand and use the data they already have.

- Ends -
About Idiro
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Idiro Analytics is an award-winning provider of analytics to businesses around the world. For an overview of Idiro’s analytics services, see our homepage www.idiro.com.
Media contact information
Simon Rees, Clients & Marketing Director, Idiro Analytics.
087 240 5999
simon.rees@idiro.com

housing

Idiro & Alternatives.ie host a breakfast seminar on analytics for Irish executives

Idiro Analytics and Alternives.ie

On the 2nd of February Idiro Analytics, along with our partners Alternatives, hosted a breakfast seminar for over 70 senior executives in the Irish market.

The seminar “Where are you on the data analytics journey”, was very successful in highlighting key issues surrounding data analytics in business, and informing the attendees about the potential benefits of data analytics and processes involved in getting started on the analytics journey.      

The event was facilitated by Charley Stoney, Managing Director of Alternatives and the panel of speakers consisted of:

Richard Harris, Head of Online Marketing & Customer Intelligence, Paddy Power/Betfair,
Olivier Van Parys, Head of Analytics, Bank of Ireland,
Ronan Brennan, Insights Manager, LinkedIn and
Aidan Connolly, CEO, Idiro Analytics

Below are images from the event and video highlights.

If you would like to be kept informed of future events hosted by Idiro, please contact us at info@idiro.com

On the 17th of February 2016, the analytics breakfast seminar held by Idiro and Alternatives was featured in the Irish Herald by Michael Cullen.

Idiro Analytics Herald

 

Idiro Analytics – proud to announce the launch of our new website

Idiro Analytics website logo

Here at Idiro Analytics we’re very excited to announce the launch of our new re-designed website, which has gone live today at www.idiro.com

Following our recent name change earlier this year, we wanted to provide our customers, and potential new customers, with a new website that more accurately represents Idiro Analytics, what we do, and how we have grown from where we began back in 2003.

We have carefully designed a new website layout, that now has a better user experience, and will help our customers find all the information they need about Idiro, and answer any questions they may have.

We are also extremely proud of the experience and expertise of our staff and we wanted to showcase this. Our company page now shows more information about our company, and the people in charge, who are always driving Idiro Analytics forward.   

Our CEO, Aidan Connolly said:

“I am very pleased to introduce our new Idiro Analytics website. This new website reflects where Idiro is today and our company’s evolution over the past twelve years. We work hard to always stay ahead in an ever-changing technology world,  and this new website is another representation of that work. On behalf of everyone here in Idiro Analytics, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support.”

Why you should not buy an Irish lottery ticket until the weekend

Irish lotto

Buying an Irish lottery ticket for the weekend draw? Hold on a minute.

Here’s why you should not buy an Irish lottery ticket until the weekend.  This month changes take effect in Ireland’s national lottery game – they are adding two numbers, so we now pick from 47 numbers. The odds of each row winning will now be just under one in eleven million. Expect more rollover draws, bigger wins and fewer winners.  And if you buy a Saturday ticket on the previous Sunday, you have a bigger chance of being murdered before the draw than you have of winning the big prize.

Bear with me.  There were 52 murders in Ireland last year. Therefore, the overall odds of being murdered in any given week is one in 4.5 million (one person per week, out of each of Ireland’s circa 4.5M population).  There were 196 road deaths last year, giving you average weekly odds of being killed on the roads of one in 1.2 million.  Let’s not talk about how many die of heart disease…

Let’s say you buy a 2-line ticket on a Sunday for the following weekend lottery draw.  You have a higher chance of being murdered (all things being equal) by the weekend than you have of your numbers coming up for the big prize on Saturday.  Furthermore, you have a much higher chance of dying on Ireland’s roads than of winning.

And worse, if you win the lottery, someone else may have the same numbers, meaning you have to share the prize money, reducing the benefit. If you die next week, however, it doesn’t matter how many others share your fate – there is no upside to dying in company.

Here’s the good news: your chance of being murdered or dying on the roads before the draw falls steadily as you get closer to Saturday – but your odds of winning Saturday’s lottery stay the same, at eleven million to one.

So keep your Saturday lotto draw money in your pocket, at least till the weekend!

p.s. your chance of winning the big Euromillions prize is one in 116,531,800 – so buy that ticket as close to the draw as you can. Good luck!

Idiro ladies to tell all at Geek Girl Dinners, Dublin

Idiro are proud to sponsor the August meetup ggd

of Girl Geek Dinner Ireland. The GGD Ireland initiative was formed as part of the wider International Girl Geek Dinners to promote the exchange of knowledge and to provide a platform for women in technology and science to network in Ireland. Sarah Lamb, the founder of Girl Geek Dinners started this group with a few friends in London and the rest as they say, is history. The dinners grew in size and various types of cuisine, but the format has stayed consistent, more or less. Informal, casual but focussed on delivering and sharing knowledge/geekiness!

As part of the “Idiro night” for the Geek Girl Dinners, Dublin – August meetup, we hope to introduce people to the “happening” world of Analytics and Data. Clare will take the guests through the Idiro story – a brief introduction to the company and team, highlighting the key services and solutions Idiro provide. Krithika will then try to explain how data is all around us and why we should analyse it to arrive at “intelligent” decisions.

See http://ireland.girlgeekdinners.com/2015/07/30/august-2015-meetup/

Business Intelligence, Business Analytics, Big Data, all the hot/current buzzwords aside, this talk checks other boxes too, it is about a group of people passionate about what they do, how they help each other and work together as a team to achieve success (well their own definition of it anyway).

More information can be found here: http://ireland.girlgeekdinners.com/

Idiro Analytics to speak at National Conference on Cloud Computing & Commerce

Idiro’s Simon Rees has been invited to speak at Ireland’s National Conference on Cloud Computing and Commerce in Dublin City University on the 14th of April 2015.

NC4 logo 2015

Simon will speak on ‘Analysing customer networks for influencer marketing’ within the conference’s Analytics track.  He explained: “It is an honour to be invited to address this conference.  This talk will focus on Idiro’s pioneering work on Social Network Analysis – but with a heavy emphasis on bringing business value through advanced analytics.  This talk is aimed at businesses that wish to gain competitive advantage through big data analytics”.

To register for the conference, visit http://www.nc4.ie/.

Join Idiro at Mobile World Congress 2015 this March

MWC 2015 Logo

Idiro are thrilled to announce that we will be attending this years GSMA Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona with our partners, Apliman, from March 2-5.

MWC, ‘the world’s greatest mobile event’, acknowledges and showcases that we, as an industry, are on ‘The Edge of Innovation’ and this is something that resonates strongly with all of us here in Idiro. We are constantly striving to be innovative, original and efficient in our approach to understanding our customers and their needs.

If you would like to arrange a meeting with us during the first two days of the event (March 2-3), please contact our Analytical Solutions Manager, Clare Curtin, who will be happy to accommodate you.

You can contact Clare via: clare.curtin@idiro.com

Alternatively, you can find us on the Apliman stand in Hall 5, Stand 5G23.

See you in Barcelona!

Some research tidbits for Christmas

Over the last couple of weeks a few interesting research items on social psychology and social network analysis have crossed our desks – so we have compiled them into this collection of research tidbits for Christmas.  Enjoy!

In-flight influence

The power of influence, in-flight
People near us influence our in-flight purchases

First up, a study that shows how the decisions of people around us influence our decisions, even if we don’t know the people.  This elegant piece of analysis, written up in this working paper and covered by the Washington Post (albeit with a misleading headline) shows how our decisions about whether to purchase in-flight food and drink are influenced by those around us.   Because the study had access to reservations data, it was able to exclude groups travelling together, and control for parameters such as seat choice.

The research found that people sitting near other purchasers were 30% more likely to make in-flight purchases.  If this is the the level of influence that strangers hold over us, how much more is our behaviour influenced by those who we care about?  Answer: in Idiro’s experience, lots.

The same Washington Post article referred to an interesting piece of research demonstrating the power of peer pressure in schools.  Message to all parents: make sure your kids are in classes with people cleverer and more diligent than them.

A link analysis of languages

Multi-lingual Wikipedia editors: which languages?
Multi-lingual Wikipedia editors: which languages?

There are plenty of studies showing how which languages are spoken by the greatest number of people, which languages are economically the most powerful – but which languages serve as the pivots between other, less popular languages?  To put it another way, if you speak a minority language (like Welsh) and want to understand it written in another (e.g. Kikuyu), which other languages are necessary to make the link?  In this case, most Welsh speakers know English, as do many Kikuyu speakers – so the answer is simple: just English.

Quartz published details of an interesting MIT study looking at this in depth, using three data sources: multi-lingual Wikipedia editors, multi-lingual Twitter accounts, and book translations.  The data is displayed in an interactive website but it’s worth watching this video, as it’s a complex enough study.

One can criticise the data sources, of course (for example, the great firewall of China restricts Chinese Twitter usage) but nevertheless it’s a fascinating topic.  Here in  multi-cultural Idiro, the most common hub language is English (of course), followed, we observe, by Russian.

How many friends?

How many people do we have contact with through our mobile phones?  Idiro’s researchers took a week’s worth of connection data from a European mobile phone network, and counted the number of different phones that each person had contact with over a week.  We then plotted the distribution of the number of contacts each phone had – in other words, the total number of links per person.  As the graph shows, a number of phones were (as one would expect) used rarely or not at all that week.  A few users made over sixty unique connections in a week, and a large number of people made between 5 and 15 connections.  We compared Christmas with an average summer week. and found – no surprise – that people make more connections over Christmas week, as we renew old friendships.

Distribution of the number of mobile contacts per person
Distribution of the number of mobile contacts per person

Finally, here is a study by Hill and Dunbar demonstrating that Christmas card networks are (or were, when we used to send Christmas card to all our friends) a reasonable approximation of Dunbar’s number – 150.

Merry Christmas to all, from the Idiro team