Zingography # 14 : Some Data Science Loaded Cognitive Case Studies [WIP]

I also call it “The Road of Data Science to Design Principles

Yes its a Tough Art to Balance + Manage!

Firstly let me try & explain my thought process around it and then next I will share some examples.

The Process am trying to indicate : How can we use customer behavioural data analysis to create a better design experience for them.
This ain’t that easy as it sounds, its basically about converting all the bits + bytes into Cognitive Decision making process. So basically Left Brain neurons making sense for Right Brain to be able to navigate 🙂

So let me try & make it structured :

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I don’t think its an easy task – (Ask Me :)) but these are specific tasks which a PM is expected to fulfill. Let me quote some of my own experiences :

Banking : Here, some of key initial metrics to be noted
– The no. of mobile logins are as many as the no. of customers + no. of of visits (which I thought was unique) & drop off is very less (<5%)
– The no. of logins/visits would not translate into no. of transactions
– The no. of logins/visits was following a seasonal trend cycles with no impact/growth of offers/new communication

The key deductions were :
– The set of customers are loyal & set (they are not majorly growing nor de-growing)
– The regular offers

FinTech :

Ecommerce :

Some Key Startups : 
– Photography & Travel Club :
– Jewellery Designing :
– Sports Content Website :
– Seller Platform :
– VR Future Tech Implementation :
– Organic Fashion/ Sustainable Clothing :
– UX Agency (Health + Education Tech) :

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European Startups Success!

Have been closely following the Europe Tech Startup Scene closely for last 2 years & here are my few realisations.
The continent’s tech Hub scene can be easily divided into below regions :
– UK Tech Hub Scene
– Northern Europe Tech Hub Scene (Scandinivian, Netherlands, Estonia)
– Western Europe Tech Hub Scene (Berlin, Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris)
– Central + Eastern Europe Scenes

europa_accelerators

Now coming to the list of companies – the ones which have succeeded by either crossing $1Bn revenue mark or being sold to another Business Giant can be listed below :

  • Spotify!
  • Booking
  • Nokia (Till it lasted)
  • Revolut/Transferwise/ N26
  • FarFetch
  • Zalando
  • Klarna
  • BlaBla Car
  • Avito.Ru
  • Meero
  • Delivery Hero/HelloFresh/Deliveroo/JustEat
  • Badoo
  • Wix
  • Skype

atomico unicorns

Some Key Observations are :

  • British continues to rule but interesting to see how Brexit changes the scene with UK Products will have limited audience in European markets & vis-a-vis
  • US,China are still BIG as compared to European Markets however very few US, Chinese products find acceptance in Europe Markets – WhatsApp, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft are few I know
  • Few Europe Companies Go Global in terms of office setups & market acquisition

But in my understanding, European Startups are unique in terms of offering & are Long Term for following reasons :

  • IPO Target : They target IPO first rather than being a Unicorn along or raising multiple fundings. This shows a mature Approach – Spotify is one unique example of the same
  • Focus on specific customer offering more than marketing, scaling – I have interacted, worked with multiple Startups & their insistence on researching, experimenting, testing, Data Science Approach is VERY VERY HIGH (to the point of nagging at times :))
  • Data approach, experimentation/Testing approach : Another Mature Approach is that they insist on Data for making all Key Decisions
  • Not in a hurry to scale
  • Skill Focussed & Way Upward from Down
  • Doing Simple Thing But Very well!
  • Options to move around different countries in a small space
  • Social Safety Net & Wealth Equality (Social Democratic Setup)
  • Egalitarism

I do think that where they differ is that Americans tend to be a lot better at sales and marketing from day one. They don’t even have a product and they are shouting about how good they are and really selling the product before it is even built. But Europeans will wait three years until the product is completely finished, or at least up to their standards, and say, hey, we exist. It is really bad from both sides. As a reporter, you are kind of fed up with people shouting before it is ready, because it is nonsense. But I really wish the European entrepreneurs would be a little be a little bit more proactive and shouting about their publicity and making noise and selling. They are very bad at selling.” —- Robin Wauters, Founder Tech.eu

risks chart

Ref :

https://www.businessinsider.com/most-valuable-startups-europe-2011-12?IR=T#mind-candy-pivoted-from-a-failed-idea-into-a-social-network-for-kids-thats-worth-more-than-200-million-2

How European and U.S. startups go global: A look at the numbers

https://www.ft.com/content/bf7b3dd4-127d-11e5-8cd7-00144feabdc0

https://www.inc.com/inc5000-europe/special-report.html

27 European startups that have reached unicorn status

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

Post #MeToo Effects

I have been Travelling a lot in the last 2 years – exploring history, architecture, culture, people from Central Europe, North Africa, Eastern Europe, India, South East Asia, China regarding how origin of Life happened in Pre – Medieval Times & then travelled during Medieval Times resulting into establishments of different Civilisations : Indus Valley, Roman, Persian, Ancient Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, Mesopotamia + Babylon & Latin Civilisations (Haven’t discovered much about Last one).

Along with travel, I have tried to relate to their situations & research + read about how it was 5000 years back and most importantly how things moved resulting into today’s Modern times and what are the impacts we carry. Here are few things which struck me the most as a learning for today :

  • Constant Evolution – Slow in days but very fast in years/ages
  • Role of Women
  • Dominance of Power : Physical, Financial, Collusion
  • Innovation is always appreciated
  • Faith vs Logic Struggle
  • Abuse of Nature & Natural Powers/Resources
  • Time/Nature are BIGGEST POWERS
  • Sticking to one’s Beliefs + Values has always been tough but rewarding sooner or Later! Silent Warrior Heroes have always existed and History has been Kind to them

Coming back to the topic, I felt that #MeToo Movement has been one of the most powerful social empowering revolutions (driven by media majorly) to have happened in recent times which spoke RIGHT after LONG LONG abuse of Women as Weaker Sex! I felt great & empowered about the same and made sure my female friends, colleagues, relatives+family are well aware about the intrinsic detailed insights so to not repeat the mistakes of the past!

But I feel, it rose like a HIGH TIDE WAVE during 2017 + 2018 and has settled for now though it has enhanced the awareness about the concerns & issues. I do wish to avoid the opportunistic cases which (if) came up, my expectations are clear :

  • Women Should speak Up & express themselves in the Best possible manner & Most effective way possible
  • Women need to standup more for other Women basis right values as that creates a lot of confidence for all
  • Everyone (Male & Female) must act respectfully towards everyone without any prejudice for Gender. Acting respectfully involves giving space & opportunity in terms of every aspects – conversation, growth opportunities, household responsibilities, roles & responsibilities. Basically remove Biases.
  • Enhance Women Representation in responsibility oriented roles from Village Organisations -> Senates -> Sports -> Engineering Colleges -> Corporate -> World Organisations. Families, Friends, Organisations will have to play an important role.
  • Remove Slave mentality & Despondency attitude and have a more independent, relaxed + confident, informed approach For Women. Stop associating weakness with Gender, Caste!

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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.

global-economics-effect-emotional-4-228-g001

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!

Law of Attraction!

So I have been thinking about it a lot recently… that you DO control & are responsible for everything happening to you in most of the ways! You chose those experiences.

Its mystical & probably mythical but I do Believe in this Totally.

When I go back into my past & try look at critical moments from an unattached way – I do find lots of answers for Present being the Way it is.

jack-canfield-law-of-attraction-quote

Somethings are pre-defined or pre-subscribed like the macro-economic factors, your Physical Appearances, Your Lineage/Birth, Your career path (to great extent) but the extract you take out of it is completely YOUR OWN & YOUR VERY OWN!

This is What defines your Remarkableness or Your Quest for Greatness !

Seek That Juice Made for you & Keep it like Your Secret Portion coz no one else can create that is meant for you.
Let that juice have all the ingredients you wish for – money, fame, social acceptance, satisfaction, peace, Love, Sex, Physical intimacy, spirituality, knowledge, fitness, Pride – my only secret addition will be that of Empathy or Compassion for other Human Beings! Coz Our World needs it Badly.

How quickly can you understand the other people’s needs, issues, challenges & provide for that will define the success of this human race & in a way of your own.

Try & Find Values Dear To you & Stick by them forever – they will be Your Guiding Light! But Learn to master them by not letting you do the same mistake again n again.

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.

What is up with the WRONG Celebrity Culture?

I do think that most of the people on earth do not know how to spend their time!

I do not claim that I do that myself but I definitely do not think that only Idol/Individual Worship helps anyone from personal experience! When I say Idol worship, it includes a known human face worship as well!

It’s good to have ideals – personal as well as public related, but to put a face to it or give a human that personification of those age old + modern evolved idols should be TREATED CRIMINAL. I repeat, HeroWorship in any form and shape should be a CRIMINAL OFFENCE.

What happens is that in doing so, one is empowering a person (made of bones, skin with emotions, thoughts, needs, desires like us all) to be the KING/QUEEN or GOD – You are by default telling him/her/it to rule them, control them & you have to follow them unquestioned coz you chose them unquestioned.

Let me also specify that in world terms – my problem lies with Global Leaders chosen by default system/process and in National terms with Male Cricketers, Movie Stars (not even good actors just celebrities), family owned industrialists, politicians, beaurecrats & their kids.

They treat public, democracy, media, judiciary, legislative bodies, Law & order as pawns to their wills & fancies. Perhaps it is a very age old problem running but with today’s times of more confident youth who are selfish (lets admit it) and don’t give a damn about anyone/anything plus more scrutiny thanks to social media & outspoken-ness of public – I do wish this UNWARRANTED POWER OF SO CALLED POWERFUL PEOPLE to go away!

I want more and more people & new systems to stand up to such powerful individuals who bring their individual interests first & public welfare/ social welfare last!

shallowness

So what’s the solution :

  • More vigilant, flexible & faster system biased towards social welfare, public opinions backed by data & figures of qualified sources to take centre – stage (yes yes, its always subjective but there are models still). To have other institutions follow these system & not rally around eyeballs.
  • Educated & qualified public (who understand that this celebrity culture is doomed to put society to fail) to Speak Up & Take Ownership. It has always happened in history in all forms & there is no reason why people who attract others based on their flesh & faces should be respected & not on simple basic skills. Parents & Schools shall play the most important role.
  • Media Content control mechanism – there is so much need for Media to be told that public are no fools & they can see through their intentions of putting up a story so better make those intentions clean & RIGHT! This should be done at all levels & channels – we need more powerful regulated bodies linked to Public systems (indirectly to Democratic powers)

Honestly, am not so sure if I will see the above moving in my lifetime but will be good to see some sort of beginning made towards it.

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