Zingography # 13 : Cognitive Behaviour + Data Science ; AB Test Validation Tool

I have been really fascinated by the capability of AB Testing Tool to make Designing Decisions using Data Science.
If you combine Machine Learning & Statistical Science to the same – then Previous Combo becomes more Potent & Effective.

AB Testing can be a tough Art to Master, even the most experienced ones go wrong all the time with their hypothesis & metrics selection.
Hence accepting your own & your colleagues varying opinions + navigating through the same to get most effective Long Term Impacts is they Key for Success.
But one should be honest to the science of AB Testing & how it is designed even if results are not favourable – it’s like a daily routine that should be practiced as it is.

What am here to discuss is the New Art of combining “Cognitive Design Behaviour with Data Science Algorithms” and especially use Spotify’s Playlist Recommendation for the same.

My Current Research Analysis says that Spotify’s Recommendation Engine is one of the best in this space!

Yeah better than Apple‘s iTunes, Alibaba‘s + Amazon’s Return HomePage Pages Recommendations or Similar SKU suggestions, Google‘s Search Engine or Google News Feed, Netflix‘s Similar Shows Features. What makes Spotify shine here is how it has used the Music Preferences Attributes along with Human Emotion Capture Calculations ! They use a unique score assigned to each song preferences & suggest them if your attributes matches the range of moods/preferences! Also their Engine is constantly improving & updating based on bigger cluster preferences. What I appreciate is that they are not using Other Platforms similar data but trusting self engines to contribute. Secondly, it empowers the customers to play with the algorithm to change preferences.

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As per further search, AB Testing plays a very important role in making below decisions:

  • UI Decisions : Button Shape, Contrast colour, Position, Text, Headline, Icons (+ vs Heart), Widget Decisions, Hamburger Menu
  • Page Format – list view vs card view, the information architecture, number of information shared in a single page view
  • Metrics selection & Order Prioritisation for Making recommendations of Playlist
  • Deciding the Weightage of different Key Factors for engine’s Logic – which is the Highlight of Spotify’s Success!

  • Localising + Personalising the Site : https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/success-stories/how-spotify-increased-premium-subscriptions-using-google-optimize-360/
  • Optimising the Keywords Search : When users in Germany searched for “audiobook” and clicked on one of Spotify’s ads, they were either brought to the custom page or to the original page.
  • Creating Culture of Experimentation & Real Time AB Testing Result platform which is most crucial. (They were earlier using Google’s Optimizely for a long time)

Did I ever share the perfect method of conducting an AB Test Experiment :

  1. Define the Problem – To increase conversion, to increase revenue
  2. Come up with a series of ideas to work around the same basis historical data, recent findings, industry insights – This should be a collective + collaborative process wherein everyone should be heard & allowed to explain their logic. Also while prospecting, one has to think about the impact % on success metrics with what confidence, duration, sample size.  Do not hesitate to use AB Testing calculator for same.
  3. Finally one has to prioritise these ideas basis their impact, time + effort + cost and decide on the order of these tests
  4. While designing the test – decide the Hypothesis that by doing so & so the impact shall increase. What is important to note is that while choosing these tests – they have to be such that can be proven only by data results. Also for tests with drastically different options – it can be a short duration test while for closer options, sample size hence duration has to be longer.
  5. So Hypothesis, success metric, options selection are very crucial aspects of the test
  6. Keep observing the performance of key metrics (Primary, Secondary at least) during the tests – no need to take sudden decisions basis this but observe the pattern.
  7. Let the test complete & observe the results – if results are drastically different, you have a clear winner. If test results are negative (do not worry), try with a different hypothesis & options. If test results are closer then decide whether to increase sample size or to discard the test or to go ahead with partial winner (last one not recommended but call can be taken depending on experience/circumstance/influence of other tests).
  8. Keep doing the same for different cases
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Women IPL 2019

Had to write about it as had been following it closely & enjoyed it thoroughly too – all the matches went down to the wire so one has to appreciate the efforts of all organizers, players, administrators, sponsors, broadcasters!

Popularity of Women Cricket not just in India but across the world is on the rise, no two hoots about it. India being the largest country playing the game & because of the mass following plays the fulcrum role.
Post WC 2017 Success, Women cricketers have become household names & this is only going to increase with time. There have been milestones achieved like Launch of Historical Biography book, Magazines, Training facilities, WC T20 Semi Final berth, talks of mixed gender T20 Match, One Leg WIPL 2019, Exclusive Sponsorships, Women Commentators, etc.
These were not thinkable 2 years back but have happened & continue to evolve as a fresh source of involving more people in the game at the same time giving girls an equal opportunity as boys.

Now it’s time for IPL Teams (all 8) to start Women’s teams and give them a platform to perform by playing co-sponsors as Men’s teams. It should not be very difficult as the facilities, infra, trainers, coaches, grounds, etc. just need to be shared and not newly created.

How it has to be executed with Men’s IPL being a 55 day affair with hardly any scope of double games is to be seen.
Some efforts on part of sports administrators to show their creativity.

And as I conclude – may I please ask people to stop bashing Mithali Raj, the lady has been at the helm of so unnecessary criticism from the adrenaline junkies who don’t understand or wish to understand the nuances of games.
People should stop comparing Women players or try to create rifts amongst them, they all have their own strengths which is amazing given where they have reached almost single handedly with only parents & at times board supporting them.

I might be known as a Mithali Fan but am equally happy to see Smriti or Harman or Veda or Jemi or now Shafali, Harleen, etc. perform. They are faces that are girls in hinterlands of India shall look upto and seek inspiration from especially in times of doubts. So they all & many more need to be encouraged.
I do agree that I do not appreciate or like to see overtly high aggression in body language, words or expressions. Am most for aggression but through your performance like waiting for your turn & when you get it – make the most of the situation. But in doing that do not cause the natural turn of events get harmed.

 I do urge Mithali if she’s reading or listening to the +Ves around to stick around till WC2021 & get India the trophy. Build a team for that stage that can handle pressure & look to beat the best in the world like Aussies, England. I do think India is in Top 3 of the world in terms of ODI, its just a matter of being able to hold nerves & accelerate whenever necessary.
Mithali, herself can be a good weapon for India in WC2020 as there is no better (wo)man manger as a leader, who has seen it all & knows the opposition in all conditions, can be a reliable batswoman at any stage of the game. She just needs to focus on some solid power hitting – then there is nothing stopping her. She needs to hold on!

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My Moroccan Diaries…

I chose Morocco coz I wanted to experience the different offerings of Middle East World Zone – The blue, white & Brown Arabic Architecture in between the inter-twining streets against the Blue Sky & Blue Sea with Quiet & Conventional People Folks really appealed to me as a place I really wanted to see.

I had been to Mountains a lot, European destinations, South East Asian Beaches, Cape Town’s valley streets but never to Middle Eastern World & that appealed to me as something I have to see with my eyes to experience. And surely, overall I was not disappointed.

Here are the things I loved :

  • The Medina walks with amazingly interesting architecture, culture, people, markets, practices (one of the most fascinating was how pretty houses were hidden inside non revealing brown walls), lives insights, handicraft industries (though my new friend Gracia mentioned that its not possible to make so much of stuff by hand alone – I agree).
  • The Hasan Mosque in Casablanca was breath-taking with its architecture & grandness – Pure Grandness of location & design – WOW!
  • The landscape were varying from Mountains (Green, Brown) to small villages to loads of markets to wide open spaces. Morocco has apparently everything from seas, deserts, mountains, modernism & medina lives to offer.
  • How the infrastructure is so much in place – very similar to Europe & a developed Islamic Country – very impressive.
  • The hotels we stayed in were majorly 4 star with lovely swimming pool views
  • Some Interesting travel places thrown in form of Roman Remains, French ski resort amongst many others.
  • I was amazed with what Progressive Islamic nation with Monarchy Dictatorship focussed on public spends at infrastructure, education, tourism, agriculture (oranges, indigo, handicrafts) can go on to achieve – my regards for this small (in geographical area) has gone up many times.
  • Though I did not expect the group I got – was able to make friends with two Italian ladies which worked out rather well & also got to see how Italians & Spanish families travel which was quite interesting
  • Morocco was filled with visitors at this point & hence one could see all age groups & nationalities floating around with so many Japanese thrown in with their selfie sticks!
  • I got some time to do self evaluation which is MOST CRITICAL for me while travelling
  • The weather was mostly pleasant with some times becoming too hot or cold
  • Also very few Indian tourists thankfully.. and no extra charge for camera..

For my next travel, here are my thoughts :

  • I would like to be more involved in the planning & probably do it on my own totally & see how it goes
  • I would want to know the itinerary more in detail so I can plan what to buy, what to wear, what to carry a bit more in advance
  • I think 4 days is enough for me to get a flavour of the place & I would like to explore something more new next quickly

Will share the pictures & some more insights in some days.

Emotional Quotient

EQ is a very rare quality in a human being & even a rarer quality in a Successful Leader.

I used to study & try to understand in college, but it’s a different ball game when you appear in work arena & then see how work demands/pressures are to be met with the People/Cultural aspects.

Of course one learns to manage the work demands & skill demands depending on one’s capacity. It’s always the people skill management that is the trickiest to master as it is very dynamic, variable to unpredictability.

I struggled with the same as well – majorly because there were a lot of aspects about myself that I had not explored or made myself aware e.g. how I respond to pressure, to a New team person, to a vendor, etc. Since I had not given them any thoughts consciously, mastering them was a far away task.

I think – till the age of 28, and 5 years of work experience – the effort was more or less optimise/adjust for survival and observe around. But I think it was during my 6th year of work experience, in 2015 when I decided to do a proper analysis & self haul of :

  1. Who i am?

  2. What do i want in life?

  3. What do I want in work life?

  4. What I need to do achieve 2 & 3?

This gave a lot of perspective & a lot of peace to myself as I then felt am moving in life with some sort of direction (not 100% clear but still some LIGHT). This made a lot of people interactions & my senior leadership alignments easier as well. I won’t say that it has been absolutely smooth sailing since then but still the choppy waters have seemed manageable & the belief to be able to make it the shore has grown stronger.

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Of course, the presence of my last manager & a few other leaders with higher EQ has made me realise even stronger & clearer on what I want in life & am thankful for that. I cannot stress more on the importance on such People focussed Leaders who groom young people & motivate them to achieve what they want in Life. They become life coaches & mentors, role models for them in moments of crisis.

Last week, one of the senior women leaders decided to move out of the company & it made me feel bad beyond what I imagined. Of course in the short span that I got to know her – she came across as an extremely understanding, warm, affectionate and easy to approach (Again rare leadership qualities). The extent to which she understood your position & could advise you accordingly amazed me – High High EQ. The amount of comfort she offered to a non – direct team member speaks volumes on her ability to connect. The fact that it wells up my eyes every time I think about the fact that she could not continue due to family commitments, speaks volumes about her ability to connect & leave a positive mark.
I do wish to be always there in her life & vice versa plus also hope for many more such people in life moving forward to make it worth it!

Have 0 Resolutions, 100 More Dreams!

Yes! Dreams Work!

Visualise them, clearly, cleanly & with no references nor influences. See them with a Happy & Relaxed Mindset with no pressures & no desires. Just visualise where You See yourself doing what, with who!

It is important that you see your Dream Vividly & Stay Honest to IT all the while.

Believe.

Now find steps to reach them & Get after them Non – Stop with complete focus & belief.

Surround Yourself with People who will be happy to see you there!

Be Patient.

Yes, its that Simple – Dream, Be Focussed, Find Steps, Work incessantly & Surround Yourself with Right People.

All Your Dreams will come True Like A Brightly Lit Sky Full of Stars & The Moon! Just Believe & Be Focussed.

Life Filled with Contradictions!

There are Contradictions/ Paradoxes all over to be seen :

  • We all know, 5-10 years are our Life’s most formative years & at least in India & even otherwise Our Parents (50-60%), Society (20%), Our school(15-20%), Media (5-10%) play the most crucial role in deciding what shall we be, what our values, our likings/dis-likings, our career choice will be. Still we complain/grudge about our choices without realising that they have been unconsciously ingrained into our systems long before us & changing the same will take a hell lot of secluded exclusive efforts on the particular issue/behavioural change!
  • We all know our true sides TRULY like none others ; Some our parents, siblings, friends get to see & even help us be our better versions. However, the true growth happens only when you invest your emotions in a situation/ person without hoping to get anything out of it – they result in failure (more)/success for different reasons but you always come out of it learning something new about yourself. That’s the most beautiful part about LIFE & LIVING! Yet, we either resist to invest or we do not listen what the Life is telling us.
  • Most of us are well aware of our history & the significant incidents, characters, their mistakes, things well done. Yet we continue to make same mistakes hoping for a different result, misjudging small lapses of revolt as complete absence of it.
  • We all know the conditions of different people in different countries, different cultures/societies still when we interact with them we are able to connect with them on same level & also we forget to take them into account when we consider their overall situation – their interests, lifestyle thinking they should be like us 🙂

 

So far so Good!

It’s good to have reached so far professionally & having found my true MoJo (in terms of work, interests, hobbies, lifestyle) & having learnt much more about myself – but this thirst is something that never stops & you want to learn more & more about yourself.

Abroad (UK/USA) Role in Digital Space & A Pleasant Guy who’s smiling, values driven, global in approach, professional, mature (Not necessarily Indian) with pleasant personality.

Away from everyone & everything who’s holding me back wherever they are – to have a small set of people who get you in the most obvious warm, accepting, welcoming way! Bedi, Mac, Hitesh, Rahul, Chetna! Piush/Manish, Vandana… Tata Steel Folks… J&J folks…

A key Learning for me is that I make better friends with people I connect outside my daily curriculum & with who I connect on subjects of common interest like music, travel, philosophy, values in life, reading, writing, clicking, etc. with the undercurrent of Career & Aspirations. Plus with who I connect for my “pure connect” and not for any common interests & means to achieve something.

Since I give so much value to people in my life – its most important I do more of following :

  • Let people Be – let them choose, react, behave, they wish to be
  • Be an observer & listener more
  • Choose to only speak in the end & when very necessary & mostly well, smiling, polite
  • Be a Giver always with people
  • Take it slow & organic
  • Always be encouraging of their efforts & their achievements + supportive of their challenges/issues
  • Always speak well & with a calm serene head
  • Come out approachable, helpful but within the constraints of the situation. Do not go out of your way always & definitely at first

Have recently decided to invest in Art of Diplomacy & have moved on the path of mastering it.

More Interests : World History especially Political ; Human Psychology evolution ; Documentaries + Podcasts on Sports, Tech, Good Music, Travel Passions, Journalism, Creativity, Diplomacy, Animation, UX, Business, Social Entrepreneurship, Mystery/ Detective-ship (Art of Deduction/Art of Induction) ; Hypothesis & Building Logic for Predictions!

Goodness in History!

History always fascinates me! (Such a Young Sheldon inspired line ;))

Because of the stories, because of the varied characters, their intentions, motives, emotions – it is always interesting for me to hear & read, discuss about Roman/ Greek Culture + Renaissance + Industrial Revolution & Indian, Mongol history along with cultural, social changes.

Its most fascinating for me to imagine how the times & the people were in those times & how it has resulted in creating new world order. In my experience, as much one learns about the history & culture better – they are able to do better with current space as the understanding for present increases & what all is feasible for future becomes better.

One may argue that it limits your understanding about possibilities but for me it only works as an inspiration for the imaginations in my head.
I feel, since the life was much simpler before even if it was less safer and hence people had more time & less distractions towards focussing energy what they wanted to do. Hence one sees the efforts people put in inventions, discoveries, writings – the quality of thoughts, the depth of meaning shows.

So it’s not correct to discard the history & learnings altogether.

Even in my space of technology & business – I do see there are enough examples of great technical inventions, business models, good companies, leaders to provide learnings for current & future generations.

Perhaps this is what education/ qualification/ degrees provide – enough examples, inspiration, insights for the subject one is interested in. The motivation/ inspiration/ new ideas/ in depth findings, etc. are supposed to be brought by oneself towards their own causes. Also the dedication to keep on going to create your own path is to be brought by one’s own life story.

An example worth noting is how America has been able to bring up some strong models in almost every field of Technology, politics, economics, social welfare, cultural celebration, policy making, justice, media setups, etc. That’s because of the true advancement it made during the 40s, 50s in setting the foundations strong for a society which is fed on innovation, independence & human excellence. That way one has to appreciate American forefathers.

The 4th Dimension – TIME

Science is Guided by Spiritualism … Spiritualism is ably supported by Science!

TIME! Its the mightiest… The most Powerful!

  • It can do the impossible
  • It can Grant you Miracles – never imagined
  • It can make hurdles appear boons never imagined

At times – my sense says that all you are trying to do most of the time is convince Time to be on your side. All you are trying to tell Time is that am Good & hence be gentle on me.

But nobody can fool or lie to TIME – as it sees through, through & through! You can’t be drinking most of the time & then complain about gaining weight or losing concentration or about shivering hands later on.

So here is how TIME can be on your side :
– Be Consistent with who you are & who you wish to be
– Be Persistent in what you want from life
– After this, there is not much you can do – Believe in Time & Let it Be!

Yes its that simple but never that easy to follow. Because there are demons (Self created, society adapted, unnecessarily thrown at you) on daily basis which you have to fight – more mentally than physically. They make the above 3’s strengths weaker. Hence it is important to Believe – strong & with Patience.

Here is something which I have acquired recently which helps me :

  • Looking back at Historical characters – the few ones I admire from mythology, medieval + modern periods & studying their responses to various situations – good & bad. This is a childhood fascination which has become more vivid & I have somehow started relating with them on human level more than leader or figurine level.
  • Choosing a few strong personalities with impacts – mostly female (As I understand that emotion is tough to avoid for them too) in fields which I relate a lot with – Sports, Services, Journalism who are fighting for the Right at the same time fighting in male dominated spaces to be their own best versions. But am particular about not selecting Females with connects, wealths, privilege or other non- conformists ‘starting grounds’ as it makes the whole study biased.
  • A few other role models in my personal, work life to relate with & understand me by, while understanding that no overlapping can be 100% true.

I do not state that these are the only ways by which Time can be controlled or befriended at best – but I feel by doing above I feel much in control of my own demons to face the Swings of Time Reels!

Happy Weekend Everyone!


The Past is over, no matter how you look at it. The future is only anticipated on the basis of your past experience. What you completely overlook in your emotional involvement with what is over and gone… is the Present, which is the only time there really is. The Present is the only time in which you can experience the whole Universe. It is the only time in which you are happy and free and alive. The Power of Now holds everything you really want, and everything that is real. This is the essential message of awakened teacher, Eckhart Tolle in his bestselling books, “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” which is also the universal experience that A Course in Miracles reveals.
The thing to remember is that the transition from time to eternity does not occur through death, but through a change of mind about yourself and the purpose of the world. Be assured that this is not a sacrifice, but a joyful glad return to the natural state of the wholeness and freedom of your mind.
We are made whole in our desire to make whole. Let not time worry you, for all the fear that you and your brother experience is really past. Time has been readjusted to help us do, together, what your separate pasts would hinder. You have gone past fear, for no two minds can join in the desire for love without love’s joining them.-A Course in Miracles

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Is India even close to the #MeToo Movement?

There has been some recent discussion in Indian Media regarding how India needs a #MeToo movement! I can’t help but agree. It makes me feel sick that how a Female is made to feel so little physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically basis her Gender/sexuality/ right to expression.

I had been feeling very strongly about gender discrimination for a very long time now and since #MeToo movement last year it only became more firm that expressing it & agreeing formally with system + stakeholders is the only constructive way ahead. Today’s Freida Pinto’s Post made me want to write this blog much more in detail.

As a middle class growing girl in India – one has to go through several weird experiences (even boys have to go through their own share of experiences but), am talking about the socially avoidable & enforced ones because of limited mindsets of people & historically dragged dogmas.

When one is touched inappropriately ; when one is made to shut up again n again ; when one is looked upon differently especially at their boobs & V-part; when one is not expected to do well in Sports or Studies ; when one is not expected to enter Kitchen during “that time of the month” ; when one is made fun of for asking equal treatment ; when one is not expected to carry her own bags or taking care of herself while travelling alone or completing her own projects/ assignments without their male counterpart (Father/brother/friend/ colleague/husband/son/ etc.) – THESE ARE CONSIDERED NORMAL EXPERIENCES in our Society!

SHAME ON SUCH PEOPLE – who let it happen
SHAME ON SUCH PEOPLE – who go through it quietly

SHAME ON SUCH PEOPLE – who scheme, perpetuate it knowingly or unknowingly

SHAME ON SUCH PEOPLE – who encourage & create an environment for such experiences to happen
SHAME ON SUCH PEOPLE – who laugh about it & make fun about it
And Most Importantly, SHAME ON SUCH PEOPLE – who do not raise it to right authority

When I say People – I mean girls, women, parents, family, husbands, everyone.

There is no Other way to deal with such behaviours/experiences but by being vigilant & aware to immediately raise the bell at the right authority and at right time. Also keep raising the issue till a resolution is found. To make it mandatory to make the system listen to you & give you justice. You are a human at the end of the day & deserve nothing less especially basis your gender.

I feel so burnt up inside when I think of what an emotional torture it must be for the girls, parents especially to be made to feel inferior & discriminated because of her Gender! If a city, educated, professional girl is made to Shut Up – Imagine the plights of those who are poor, unaware, ignorant.

To be Told this is acceptable is the Last Thing at least I will Take! I am ready to put in extra hours, ready to push my limits to extra miles but to be made to feel humiliated, uncomfortable, harassed or not respected for being myself is not acceptable in my Family, Social Circle, Office Environment or anywhere I decide to Breathe.

Am not for a loud, conflicting, verbose or hormonally high environment either – am all for Peace, Respect, Love, Humour, Smiles, Nods, Success : BUT not at the cost of Women or any race/caste/creed/color being sidelined.

So does India or the World or any society needs a #MeToo movement repeatedly – Hell Yes! Will there be negative repercussions of the same – Could be but the +Ves are far more especially the Noise, awareness & the empowerment to be yourself.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

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