Dec 2014

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
[caption id="attachment_1815" align="alignright" width="300"] People near us influence our in-flight purchases[/caption]

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

We need data and it needs us. Every day, businesses are using data to learn more about their customers, better-target their marketing campaigns and increase their ROI. The right data can do a lot for your business, but without the right people to analyse, interpret and utilise it, your business goals can suffer.

A problem users of data face sometimes is that they are guilty of 'cherry-picking' the data they need to support ideas and opinions that they already have. As put in this article by Tom Fishburne: "Data doesn’t have biases. It’s people who collect and select the data who bring bias

Nov 2014

Idiro Technologies were proud to sponsor the Kilkenomics 2014 economics and comedy festival last week which, once again, was a huge success in County Kilkenny. Top economists, bankers and academics from all over the world joined Irish economist and broadcaster David McWilliams, along with some of Ireland's top stand-ups and comedians, for a long weekend of intensely entertaining debates and stripped back Q & A sessions, not to mention a great deal of laughs in the back rooms of many of Kilkenny's public houses.

David McWilliams spoke highly of Idiro over the course of the weekend and acknowledged that Idiro are an "amazing company

Oct 2014


Atlanta & Dublin – 28th October 2014

NEWTOMS and Idiro Technologies Announce Partnership

Pictured L-R: Winston Rivero, co-Founder and Executive Director & John Dunne, Idiro Chief Commercial Officer

NEWTOMS, Subject Matter Experts and leading provider of specialized professional services related to Data Collection-Mediation, and Idiro Technologies, a leading provider of advanced data analytics and pioneers in Social Network Analysis Technology today announced a partnership.  This partnership gives NEWTOMS the right to offer Idiro’s services in the Latin American markets and strengthens its Mediation, Insight, Action orientation around CDR Analytics and Telco Industry; similarly the alliance gives Idiro Technologies the right to offer

Sep 2014

CeADAR, the Centre for Applied Data Analytics, has held a series of open days in Dublin and Cork, focused on demonstrating how it can transform information or ‘big data’, into insight and into value for its industry partners.

The event entitled 'Big Data Analytics: Technology's Hottest Trend' included a series of prototype demonstrations along with a numbers of speakers from industry and academia.

CeADAR is an industry-led Technology Centre for the development and deployment of analytical technology and innovation and is headquartered at NexusUCD, the Industry Partnership Centre at University College Dublin.

Aidan Connolly, CEO, Idiro said, "Initiatives like CeADAR ensure that big

Idiro Technologies, specialists in advanced and predictive analytics, today announced that its CEO, Mr. Aidan Connolly, will speak at CeADAR's upcoming 'Big Data Analytics: Technology's Hottest Trend' event.

CeADAR, the Centre for Applied Data Analytics, will host the event in Stillorgan Park Hotel on September 18th. Idiro's CEO, Aidan Connolly, will speak at the event about big data analytics and the work that Idiro have been doing with CeADAR to date.CeADAR is an industry-led Technology Centre for the development and deployment of analytical technology and innovation. Technology Centres are a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland and the IDA with funding provided by

Dublin, 5th September 2014Enterprise Ireland have been carrying out a Software & Internationally Traded Services Trade Mission in Australia this week (September 1-5) which has been led by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Richard Bruton and Enterprise Ireland’s CEO Julie Sinnamon. The objective of the mission has been to highlight Irish technology capabilities in supplying financial services, telecoms, healthcare and travel sectors and to grow exports of the indigenous software and services companies travelling on the mission to Australia.

Idiro Analytics, a leading provider of advanced data analytics, today announced it has signed a deal with 2degrees, a leading New Zealand

Aug 2014

Yours truly went to a wedding last weekend. Many of us go through a stage where we go to half-a-dozen weddings in a year, as our friends all seem to get hitched within a couple of years of each other.   And great fun it is too.  There is some anecdotal evidence getting married is contagious - perhaps attending the wedding makes one's own nuptials more urgent (for the woman) or inevitable (for the man)?  Perhaps when one's friends do it, the logistics start to feel doable.  The tragic phenomenon of copycat suicide is well known in academia, and media guidelines have been developed

May 2014

My wife has just bought a new car.  We made a shortlist and test-drove three, but the early front-runner was the one that her friend Bernie drives and recommended.  And so it came to pass that that she bought the same car as Bernie has. It's a great car incidentally - but without Bernie's recommendation, it is unlikely that my wife would have considered it.

I thought of Bernie when I read an Adweek article about a survey carried out by the USA-based 'Ladies' Home Journal' on the ways in which women influence others' purchases.  Adweek published an interesting infographic on the survey.

[caption id="attachment_1404" align="alignnone" width="500"] Ladies'

At this stage, everyone in marketing understands the power of word-of-mouth - which Tom Fishburne's cartoon, below, elegantly illustrates. Organisations with link data - telcos, gaming companies, social networks and the like - can take a scientific approach to word-of-mouth marketing (aka influencer marketing) by deploying Social Network Analysis algorithms to target the influencers - or the influenced.   Idiro is a pioneer in this space.

Over the past few weeks we have been talking with two mobile operators who, prior to talking to Idiro, had each run projects to evaluate the benefit of Social Network Analysis (SNA) for improving targeting in marketing.  However, in

Apr 2014

The warmer weather in Northern Europe has put some of us Idiro folk in mind of music festivals.  That reminds us of how we helped a mobile operator not so long ago.

This mobile operator customer of Idiro's, like many of its peers, sponsors music festivals and concerts in order to build brand preference - and to reward loyal customers.

Historically, the telco gave VIP tickets away to customers chosen for their high spend or long tenure.  However, a perennial problem with free tickets is that many more customers will say yes to free VIP tickets than will actually turn up on the day.  Typically this

Mar 2014

Dublin, Ireland; Beirut, Lebanon:

Idiro Announces Partnership with Apliman.

[caption id="attachment_1487" align="alignright" width="300"] Idiro Announces Partnership with Apliman[/caption]

Idiro Technologies, a leading provider of advanced data analytics for enterprises, today announced a partnership with Apliman, a leading provider of carrier-grade telecom solutions in the Middle East.  This partnership gives Apliman the exclusive right to offer Idiro services in Middle East markets.  

Idiro's Social Network Analysis (SNA) platform is a scalable solution capable of analyzing billions of transactions and the hundreds of millions of users who generate them. According to Rabie Al Masri, COO of Apliman, "This partnership will help put Apliman and Idiro at the forefront

Feb 2014

In 1991, US landline carrier MCI launched an offer that was to be copied by fixed and mobile telcos across the world - its 'Friends and family' tariff and campaign.

Nowadays it is hard to imagine a world without competitive telecoms, but competition in US telecoms had only begun, slowly, from 1984 (in Europe, competitive telecoms began with Mercury Communications in 1982).  The USA telecoms market was split between the local exchange carriers (LECs) and the long-distance carriers.  At the time, there were three significant long-distance operators in the USA - AT&T, the incumbent, plus MCI and Sprint, the challengers.

MCI's early

Dec 2013

Idiro has a long relationship with Santa, as reported in previous blog posts.  Idiro has been applying Social Network Analysis techniques to assist Santa in discriminating between the naughty and the nice.

Therefore, the announcement (see news report, above) that Santa has chosen to locate his workshop to Ireland came as no surprise to the Idiro team. An unnamed elf, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the power of Idiro analytics and Santa's long relationship with Idiro was a major factor in Santa's decision to relocate his operations to Ireland

Welcome to Ireland, Santa.  Merry Christmas to all our customers, partners

Nov 2013

In the never-ending quest to find new ways to measure a company's success with its customers (and to earn fees for the consultants that promote them), the Customer Effort Score has become one of the more fashionable tools.
What is the Customer Effort Score?
For some years, companies have been exhorted to delight their customers - the idea being that delighted customers become loyal and tell their friends how good the service / product is.  This approach has given us the popular and fashionable Net Promoter Score, for example.

The idea behind the Customer Effort Score is that most customers of most companies

At Idiro, we are constantly searching for word-of-mouth case studies to help our customers understand and apply best practice in word-of-mouth and influencer marketing, in order that they gain maximum value from Idiro's social network analysis service.  Here are some instructive examples from the past. The New Yorker recently published an article by Atul Gawande about how two innovations - anaesthesia and antisepsis - revolutionised medical science.  One - the use of ether as an anaesthetic - spread quickly through the medical community, whereas the other - the use of hygienic practices by surgeons to minimise infection - took far

Oct 2013

[caption id="attachment_1070" align="alignright" width="300"] Freddie McBride of CEPT presenting on service portability[/caption]

I had the privilege of attending the IQPC Number Portability Global Summit earlier this month.

Number portability has been important for the development of competition in telecoms.  The conference addressed a wide variety of topics around the subject.

Here are some of the points that resonated:

According to one speaker, 75 countries have implemented number portability (NP) on their fixed (FNP) or mobile (MNP) networks.
Many others, including Jamaica, Trinidad, Afghanistan, Armenia, Togo and Tunisia are likely to implement number portability by the end of 2014.
Some countries, e.g. Russia, are struggling against technical and

Idiro Technologies, a leading provider of advanced data analytics for enterprises, today announced a partnership with Manx Telecom, a provider of world class data centre solutions. 
The partnership with Idiro Technologies will combine Manx Telecom’s world class hosting expertise with Idiro’s unique predictive and social network analysis platform, providing the ability to handle big data, analyse it and effectively use it for commercial advantage. Manx Telecom Intelligent Analytics – powered by Idiro – will be an addition to Manx Telecom’s hosting and eGaming proposition and can be applied in a number of sectors including egaming, financial services, hospitality, retail, and utilities.

Sep 2013

[caption id="attachment_1015" align="alignright" width="240"] Dr. Daniel Birke's book[/caption]

A former employee of Idiro, Dr. Daniel Birke, has published a book entitled 'Social Networks and their Economics - Influencing Consumer Choice'.

The book is a practical guide to using Social Network Analysis to understand and influence consumers' business decisions.  Based in part on Daniel's experiences during his time at Idiro, the book:

Explores network effects and the analysis of social networks, and provides an overview of the state-of-the art research.
Looks at consumption interdependences between friends and peers: Who is influencing who, through which channels, and to what degree?
Presents statistical methods and research techniques that

Nielsen have just published their latest report on Global trust in advertising and brand messages.

It finds, as did the previous report published in 2007, that word-of-mouth is the most trusted source of commercial information.

Word-of-mouth communication, sometimes called 'Earned Advertising' is a full 15 percentage points above its nearest rival. The accompanying press release states:
"Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, often referred to as earned advertising, are still the most influential, as 84 percent of global respondents across 58 countries to the Nielsen online survey said this source was the most trustworthy."
Not only is word-of-mouth the most trusted source of information,

Idiro Technologies, a leading provider of advanced data analytics for enterprises, today announced it is to speak at the 2013 Global Summit on Number Portability.

As described in a recent Idiro blog post, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is an important topic for nearly all mobile telcos.  Many countries allow customers to switch operators and keep their number.  Among those countries that have not implemented it yet, many are working towards implementation.

MNP is important for telecomms markets because it removes a bar to switching that keeps those with much equity in the number - in particular many business users - prisoner behind

Jul 2013

Ten years ago today, our company was formed with the mission of bringing the science of Social Network Analysis to the telecoms industry.

Aidan Connolly's original idea was as simple as it was groundbreaking: to apply the little-known principles of Social Network Analysis, the science of groups, to the call records (CDRs) generated by the mobile phone industry to map customer relationships - and to use these social graphs to help mobile network operators do better marketing.  Idiro SNA, as it came to be known, identifies the influencers and the influenced - and by targeting these people with the right offers,

May 2013

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="361"] © GSMA Intelligence 2013[/caption]

According to a GSMA Wireless Intelligence report just published, prepaid mobile has peaked. The proportion of mobile customers opting for prepaid plans is forecast to decline  as postpaid becomes more popular worldwide, except in the Americas.

This does seem to tally with the facts on the ground as Idiro experiences them - our mobile operator customers worldwide are finding that their consumer users are switching in larger number from prepaid plans to postpaid.

However, extrapolating this to a long-term trend is not so obvious.

From when Portuguese operator TMN gave us the world's first prepaid mobile

[caption id="attachment_837" align="alignright" width="189"] He who hesitates is lost...[/caption]

A good friend said to me recently that Big Data and analytics is a bit like teenagers and sex; everybody is talking about it but very few are actually doing it. I think he may need to update his knowledge of teenage behaviour but I got his point nonetheless.

The rush to Big Data has the usual hallmarks of other past industry hot trends i.e. lots of hot air and hype. Additionally, there are a lot of definitions of what Big Data actually is and what differentiates it from, say, your bog standard Oracle

Mar 2013

A recent article on smartphones in says:
"Smartphone technology has swiftly reached the point where most future improvements will be incremental. This means that from now on launches of new smartphones will be about as exciting as the latest operating system from Microsoft. This means the primary reason to buy a new smartphone is because you just dropped yours in the toilet."
Which begs the question - will smartphones continue to be highly viral?  Or, put another way, when people buy smartphones, will this continue to cause numbers of their friends to follow suit, as it currently does?

[caption id="attachment_817" align="alignright" width="252"]

Nov 2012

Here's a refreshingly different take on using influencers to generate word-of-mouth and thereby increase revenue for a cellular telco.

U.S. Cellular: Local Relationships Support National Goals, presented by Sherri Maxson and Jessica Masterson from on Vimeo.

Too often we think of social influence in large-scale terms.  Here's an example of a mobile operator doing influencer marketing - starting small and building a community around influencers at local level.  Now, it strikes me that that this success won't be easy to copy - it requires a person like Sharif with strong social media and leadership skills to make the project work -

May 2012

In his latest cartoon, Mr. Fishburne has nailed it again, I think you'll agree. These days anybody who is anybody (and quite probably anybody who is nobody too) gets plenty of lazy, unsolicited connection requests from people they don't know.

And the questionable nature of online influence is not just a matter of connection spam. I have over 500 Linkedin contacts, none of whom are complete strangers. Would I be sure to recognise one of them at random, if she/he were to pass me on the street when I nip out for my lunch? Of course not! I'm human; I have an average memory

Mar 2012

OFCOM, the UK communications regulator, has just released its latest report on complaints about major telecoms providers in the UK. Some operators attract far more complaints than others. Of the mobile operators, Three UK attracts a consistently high level of complaints, while O2 UK customers tend to complain the least. This is an impressive achievement for O2.
One big problem with complaining behaviour is that it’s contagious. Idiro carried out a study recently for an Asian mobile operator on the viral spread of complaining among their customer base. The study found that friends of complainers were far more likely to complain themselves than the overall customer

Oct 2011

We, the internet generation (if you are reading this you are almost certainly online) sometimes forget that many people do not use the internet. This week I was surprised to read this report, which states 27% of the UK population still do not use the internet. Note that this measure is different to (and I think more useful than) measurements of internet connections or PCs. We ignore all these people at our peril. A poll predicting the outcome of the 1936 US presidential election got the result spectacularly wrong by polling telephone owners. This was in an age when telephones were

Apr 2011

[caption id="attachment_1252" align="alignright" width="300"] DMI students participating in a word-of-mouth marketing workshop[/caption]

Idiro’s director of sales and marketing, Simon Rees, has been busy educating students on word-of-mouth and viral marketing on professional marketing courses.

During this quarter he has delivered lectures on viral marketing to students at the Irish Management Institute, the Dublin Institute of Technology and the Digital Marketing Institute.