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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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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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.

How to be Successful

There are still not many who really know what they want in their lives. They are majorly happy with whatever they are offered & are content with that. They will still complaint, be unhappy, unhealthy but that’s another matter.

I, for one & many reasons, believe in being a self driver & doing your best in every moment while leaving the results to the Bigger Power.

There are absolutely most of the things which are out of one’s control & rightly so. Plus as you grow, you realise that more & more things are not in your control – the only thing is how you feel, think, say, do, react to situations on immediate & long term basis.

As many of us have felt – both kinds of reactions immediate & long term ones are based on our past experiences, personality, beliefs, etc. And our learnings based on these.

In order to have Consistency in our behavior patterns – it is important they are interlinked via a common goal.

And hence one should have dreams… Progressive, Long term, all inclusive, Ultimate Dreams!

How to achieve them…

  • Visualize them very clearly
  • Break them down into blocks to work on
  • Start working incessantly & with all honesty towards it – without distractions
  • Surround yourself with people who will help you achieve that – very important!

There is no force that can stop you once you are able to focus everything on your own efforts without worrying about the results!

One shall observe things falling into place on there own without forcing them to and that’s the ACTUAL way of Living! Letting things fall into place while doing your Karma.

Good Luck 🙂

ZINGOGRAPHY : Tech/Product/UX/Startup Update # 9

AB Testing is a Cultural & Personal Choice

Ittakes a lot number of weeks of research into white papers of statistics, informative articles on application, Live blogs for examples hunting, speaking to relevant stakeholders in competition & outside companies to discuss & link it with your current situation & problem statements to finally conform on your Approach.

I did the same with AB Testing!

And in all fairness, I have to admit that this has to be one of the most Surreal experiences since I realised there was a missing piece I was not including in the whole Picture/Frame/Painting of Product Design Thought Process.

AB Testing is critical to make your Product/Campaigns/Analytics/ Development Decision making simple & obvious decision making come out with an astounding clarity once AB Testing is conducted.
Plus how important it is to be persistent & have patience with the tests (design, conducting, results) — to know when to stop & when to start again.

There are two places where conducting AB Testing is a MUST :

  • Once when the prototypes of your App Key Pages are ready & you must know the initial response to them from your target consumer personas.
  • Second, before doing the campaigns & scaling the features/products — knowing the intricacies details in the form of headline, text, image, theme, colour palette, etc.

A few things must have technical :

  • AB Testing tool —

for beginners : VWO/Optimisely like SaaS tool ;

for mature organisations : Building the capability from scratch

for organisations in between who wish advanced readymade tool — I would recommend the hybrid way by using an open platform like Wasabi which can be customised to your requirements.

  • Good Quality Team with understanding of Statistics, SaaS Tools, Consumer Behavioural Analysis
  • Data Mart/Warehouse with access to Transactional Data as well as Online Behavioural Data with necessary cuts for segmentation basis Business Intelligence

A Few things in terms of Soft Power :

  • Open Mind — ready to question obvious right answers (infact more if they are obvious)
  • Capability to deep dive & look at intrinsic details
  • Collaborate with different teams/people to check if the findings or the direction of the findings are correct — this in my understanding is the most POTENT!

Organisations must insist their people to only come to leaders once they have collaborative evidences to move in a certain direction.

It may so happen that after spending significant time also — you may not come to an conclusive evidence & one should be open & amiable about the same & not push for an evidence for the sake of it.

I must thank quite a few people for the same but most of all Booking.com to highlight that there is something missing in my thought process — the webinar by Lukas was really helpful!

Celebrity Diarrhoea!

Had to write this to get it out of my system!

These days when the economy is on a sort of stand still & not much movement is happening on the policy decision making after a few biggies like Demonetisation, GST, Jio, Patanjali – it looks like the media especially the Digital Media is hell bent on making someone a Hero & creating content around them! They are making anything around a movie ‘star’ or a cricket ‘star’ a national event & wish everyone involved to be following every hook, step, twitch, bowel movement or what not! Am Sorry! Spare me the least!

When I open my newspaper – I want to read actual news in politics, economics, public policies, education, rural reformation, science or even art, literature. But this celebrity worship syndrome (CWS) that the media seems to be suffering from & want to infect the remaining sane audience is just not cool, so very unhealthy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebrity_worship_syndrome

It has reached to the level that am afraid of opening my Google Feed News, Youtube Feed, Various News Channel Feeds, websites – am also sceptical to meet some of my wannabe friends & other immature people, who cannot help but discuss Celebrities & their wonderful lives. How their lives are perfect & how we are made to feel worse. Am sorry again, I refuse to be part of this shanghais! #SpareMe again!

I anyways have started to lose a lot of respect for the internet generation & the Smartphone generation (15-28 yrs old, well provided for the first 3 needs on Hierarchy Pyramid) who seem to be hell bent on only following what looks, sounds, appears “COOL” & have stopped understanding the harsh parts of sacrifice, hardwork, dedication, mental toughness, focus, attention span deficiency! But they are hell bent ambitious & know how to get their work done.

Current Digital Media & this “COOL” generation are a lethal combination who shall take our social, mental, physical, financial, economical sensibilities to a quick down trail very soon! #SpareMe

Mithali Raj – Second Blog in 6 mths!

http://www.livemint.com/Sports/P2K1h746W6lHenFvfNWYZJ/Mithali-Rajs-long-innings.html

This article made me write a 2nd blog on her!

I feel so much common with her that its difficult to describe in words. The struggle, standing up for self, not giving up on one’s values, keeping parents & performance first – these are the simple but strong values that middle class girls in India from 80s & early 90s were brought up with.

So many of them gave in to marriage, materialism, shallowness for reasons unknown! Yet it feels so RIGHT when a few of them make it to the TOP & wish to be raring to go even more – Mithali Raj, you inspire me to not give up despite all hardships & disappointments and am most thankful to you for that.

Second, you inspire me how to carry myself with grit & humbleness!

Am sure you inspire so many others a lot more – my wish & pray that girls in India find a permanent place for sports in their daily lives for keeping fit & personality development. Also I hope more parents encourage their girls to not give up on sports!

Emotional Intelligence – Back to My Fav Topic

This one is never ending – isn’t it 🙂

These days have been weird, very weird – perhaps all uncomfortable & pushing/evolving phases are! I now recall being in lots of them – Phew!
However the intensity of the same & its impact can vary.

Perhaps best learning from my experience has been to let things happen while giving your best at it & expect nothing in return – Let Go of expectations, Don’t focus on what happens next or the results but just focus on current Moment & Live everyday as it is!

Its easier said than done – but its a methodological process if one can learn to master it, almost like working on a master piece patiently or running a marathon or working on a relationship!

One has to slowly & carefully identify which are the things that makes you upset – is it the thought of going to office, is it the thought of making dinner, is it the thought of travelling, it it the thought of working on something intensive. So WHAT?

Once you identify the WHAT, identify the WHY !

And then focus on Solution & Be Patient about it to come! That is it.. There is no two way about the last part coz you may think that since you have identified the What, Why & Solution – everything should fall into place but you have to Let the Universe do its work.

However much it may hurt but do not look down upon yourself & keep your head high!

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