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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Zingography 11 : Cognitive Abilities in PM

Cognitive Science involves linguistics, psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience and anthropology. My learning & experience says that if we are able to include Cognitive Science into our Product Management Process – they results shall be much more refined, Long term & closest to objective.

Cognitive Science has to include multiple stakeholders views from :

  • Customers perspective
  • Team management perspective
  • Leadership & changing Business Landscape perspective

Am quite sure of developing successful models around the same for different PM Cycle stages & this is my effort for the same.

Below are the key PM Stages & recommended Models for the same :

  1. Business Strategy Roadmap based on Market Research & Secondary Research Data Insights — Model 1 (Leadership Management + Market Analysis – BCG Matrix, PLC, 7S Framework, Value Chain)
  2. Need Gap Analysis Identification — Model 2 (STP + 5Porters Forces)
  3. Recommendation Solutions & Prioritisation of Features (New & Enhancements) – Model 3 (Phase Gate Model/ Spider Mapping Technique ; High & Low Impact)
  4. User Persona Identification – Model 4 (Demography & Behaviour (Tech & Products) Mapping)
  5. Roadmapping + Project Management – Model 5 (Gantt Chart)
  6. BRD/ PRD – Model 6 (Process Note, Unified Modelling Language)
  7. MVP Approach – Model 7 (User – Action – Story ; Pain – Gain)
  8. User Journeys/Scenarios mapping – Model 8 (Decision Tree)
  9. Designing-> with quick dipsticks & quick changes around suggestions Model 9 : Neurological Emotional Branding + Decision of buying

Screenshot 2019-03-07 at 8.25.22 PM

10. Development/Middleware – Library & its adaptations for agile expansion
11. UAT all scenarios/Hackathon (Model 10) /CUG – AB Testing Hypothesis linked to Data          Mining & Big Data Analysis…. Statistics & its variance test analysis! Frequentist vs              Bayesian ..
12. Success Metrics formulation (Model 11) Data visualisation /K Nearest neighbours/              Regression/Clustering ; Random Forests; Time series/sequence; text mining!
13. Launch & Optimise
14. Team Management Model

Disclaimer : My suggestions are based on my experience, research, interactions with other companies & my own theories/understandings on this space. Am quite confident of their inter-relationship with each other.

Some Books I recommend in this regard are :

  • Design of everyday Life
  • Sapiens
  • Art of Deduction
  • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
  • Cognitive Science
  • Psychology of Persuasion
  • Infographica

ZINGOGRAPHY : Tech/Product/UX/Startup Update # 10 – PM ToolKit

Please consider every PM to be a works-person, who needs tools apart from their skills to do a good job out of a situation!

Every worksmith/ carpenter/ chef, etc. is incomplete without their toolbox so its important as a Product Manager to be sure of your own sharpened tools basis your experience, intuition, comfort/compatibility, etc.

I also have now worked for 8+ years in different Products domain starting with Data, OTT, E-commerce, Retail Channels (B2B + B2C), Media, Food, Jewellery, FMCG, FinTech, Travel/OTA, AdTech, Transportation (Cabs/Trucks), etc.
And from my own & other PMs experience – let me share a list which I find is useful for one & all. These are compiled basis checking with other industries & PMs as well :

  1. Research Tools : SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, TypeForm
  2. Current Situation + Need Gap Analysis : Porter’s Frameworks – SWOT, 4P, STP, 5 Porter’s Force
  3. Project Management : Asana, Jira, Trello
  4. Team Management : Slack, Basecamp
  5. MVP & Road-mapping : Asana, Aha, ProdPad,
  6. Spec Writing : Word, DropBox Paper, GitHub
  7. User Scenarios Mapping : Excel, Smaply/StoriesonBoard
  8. Designing : Invision, Iconjar
  9. Coding/ Development : GitHub
  10. UX : Prototype,io, Axure
  11. Team screen sharing + feedback incorporation : Zeplin, Intercom
  12. AB Testing : VWO, Wasabi
  13. Analytics – Front End : Google Analytics, Firebase
  14. Analytics – Middle ware : Moengage, Clevertap, Appsflyer
  15. Analytics – Back End : SQL, ML Tools
  16. Campaign Management : Adobe 360
  17. Targeted Campaigns : Targetting
  18. Revenue + P&L Management : MS Excel Macro

Apart From this – the must have ingredient almost like Oiling is 5-6 hours of Reading, Networking, Experimenting, Failing, Sharing, etc.

All The Best : Let the Magic Begin!

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TOP 5 Europe Moments.. I might need to stretch it!

Meeting Dr. Emily Bacon

Drinking Bar sessions with Nicole, Darcy, Emily, Chriss

Prague City Walk

Budapest Evenings

Krakow Late Night Walk

Berlin History Tour

Slovakia Sleepy Town Walks

Vienna Amusement Park Fun

Vienna Concert

Schindler’s + Auschwitz Guided Tour

Details + Pics later

ZINGOGRAPHY : Tech/Product/UX/Startup Update # 8

Today I wish to compare the startup spaces in Indian & European Context. Those who read this should know that I share this majorly for my own clarity & perspective and if it helps others then great!

Recently, I have been focussing on 3 main things apart from my daily work & travel :

  • Reading a lot about new skill sets essential for PM especially like Deep Learning, Data Mining
  • Linking it with my current Work & Profile as well as Future Roles that I wish to do
  • Collaborating it with other PMs in different sectors/industries/companies

And there are some Key Insights regarding Different Geographical Consumer Tech companies that I have concluded :

  • Focus in Indian Companies (Startups as well as Big Ones) is to scale
  • Focus in European Companies is to understand the consumer behaviour first & sync all departments of technology, data, customer service towards that ONE Customer Proposition/their USP which will help them Succeed while focussing less or almost nothing on others
  • In US Companies, they go for massive funding & their aim is that – once establishing a prototype (more or less that with a short term vision)
  • SEA are replicating Chinese models more or less in terms of consumer personas as well as Tech Propositions
  • MENA regions are going like Indian Conglomerates – slow & cautious for the models that are already well proven for success

Let me also talk about a few skills which are becoming redundant as in they are understood that you will have when you apply for Product Roles :

  • Digital Marketing
  • Product Design & Strategy
  • KPI Metrics Management
  • Project Management
  • P&L Ownership
  • Business Development
  • Hiring & Training

These are the new skills towards which you need to show inclination & an aptitude for – please remember that though these may seem new worlds, their nuances are based in subjects well introduced to us. So let me give the picture complete for better understanding :

  • Machine Learning/AI/Deep Learning : Maths, Statistics, Computer Science for Coding
  • Blockchain : Telecom, Communications, System/Server Integration
  • AR/VR : Electronics, Robotics, Graphic Designing
  • 3D Printing : Biotechnology, Engineering Drawing

Personally I enjoy first 3 a lot & keep looking how it can be valuable in my current scope of work!

My Time is Yet to Come!

Hence it is important to believe….. With undeterred confidence..

Believe well & strong & in a non – deterring way

Let nothing make you think otherwise!

Do more of things that make you feel wanted, Loved, at peace, balanced.

Be indifferent to wants, desires, expectations, results, what next!

Just focus on doing your best in current moment & leave the rest!

Success/ Failure should be considered the same..

Doing your deed with dedication should be your focus.

Detach yourself from all that is false, just focus on Good & your deed

It is important to remind yourself of these small things….

ZINGOGRAPHY : TECH/PRODUCT/UX/STARTUP UPDATE # 7.5

Sharing my list of most useful Apps (based on popularity, experience, usefulness) :

  • WhatsApp
  • Gmail
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Amazon
  • Google Maps
  • Wikipedia
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Last two are my least favourite of all – they are just latching around for lack of options!

Will add more in due course.

 

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There shall be changes in coming years but one has to adapt the learnings from the top performing apps.

Zingography : Tech/Product/UX/StartUp Update # 7

Today, let us discuss the importance of “Art of Organising” to be relevant in today’s Management Space.

The Optimum Art of Organising & Planning to ensure efficiency however not causing too much delay & redundancy is a difficult Art to Manage.
It requires attention to detail, understanding of situations + people, right amount of patience to hold your horses or speak at the most opportune time. Above all it required alot of maturity, analytical skills & calmness to manage all the situations.

In my understanding, this is quite the skillset a qualified MBA is supposed to have to be an effective manager & leader. In same breath let me mention the subjects of MBA course in my understanding prove to be most critical for a leader in due course of their professional careers :

  • Organisational Behaviour : Though its difficult for young MBA minds to absorb & estimate the impact of all the topics in a class of 20+ hours, it is the subject which cuts across all students & is applicable throughout the careers every single moment
  • Game Theory : If one subject can teach the outcome probability best then it is this subject – one should always be prepared & calculating to know the best outcome possible in every situation/event for themselves or colleagues or business, etc. Its quite the lovely topic
  • Operational Research : This subject teaches the art of balancing different sets, values, variables, constants to ultimately reach your optimum goal of efficient results.

There are other subjects worth mentioning though matter a lot on how they are taught – Managerial Skills, Leadership Skills, Strategy, Accounting, etc.

My efforts of mentioning all this in my Tech/Product Blog is that how relevant they prove in giving me a grip & edge for doing Product Management on daily basis. Phase Gate, Optimisations, Filtering, Detailing, Deep diving should become more of a habit that comes naturally while thinking, talking, acting, deciding on things for future growth/Leadership roles.

A word of caution – please do not even think of becoming “Monica” for the same! Phew, that’s OCD.

Zingography : Tech/Product/UX/StartUp Update # 5

I have chosen a subject very close to my heart & mind since long …

“SUSTAINABLE CREATIVITY…”

I personally feel Creativity is great & has to be nurtured.. esp for the corporate space where one is chasing numbers, KPIs, KRAs & hardly has time to think consumers..

So one has to think Creative & Scale while at work or else in my humble opinion you are just not adding value!

I understand the importance of Business Philosophies, Business Visions, Business Leadership Styles with the exposure so far & lately have been reading a lot upon them.

But somewhere my mind tells me that only when one is creating something new & is able to convince internal, external stakeholders for the same does one take one’s company forward and via that the whole society/generation forward.

Let me give some example, Gandhi for all the controversial discussions around creating an emotional blackmail/socialism model was at least able to create something called AHIMSA that is being re-called by the global generations much later.. even if it is debated which is the whole purpose!

Similarly Invention of Electricity, Revolutions, Renaissance have seemed to be extremely tough brainstorming times but have been successful in pushing the society forward..

Since Ancient times, every Kingdom also has tried to nurture the art, dance, creativity, etc. for the free flow of ideas, thoughts, talents, etc. across geographies, caste, creed, religion but without beating the overall purpose of the Preamble, Constitution or Administration! So Welfare & growth of people first however give them a source of relief, outwardness, dream for a better lifestyle.

Even in our Indian Society –  we have the majority who is inspired by the Bollywood & its glamour which is not great always…  but point is anything new, disruptive always catches the eye & makes people inspired, think, talk, maybe even act upon (sadly the last one is toughest yet most critical).

I also feel, in a country like India with a population of 1.3 Billion & life dazzling, bazzling through roads & streets or now digitally on mobile phones – ideas emerge by the micro second, many repeat, many overlapping, many spoken, many hidden, majority waste 😉 a lot waiting to be implemented..

My personal Bias is towards the Rural Youth as I feel they see the root cause & really wish to resolve it – just need to be guided & supported to resolve it…

If somehow a Design Lab can connect with this Rural Thinking Lab – we have a SURE SHOT WINNER in hand ! Godrej has been able to develop one, time shall tell what kind of products & solutions come out of it.

Amen! GodSpeed!

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