Opening plenary session: Trends, Mobile Surveys, and Hacking Data #IIeX


Live blogged at #IIeX Atlanta. Any errors or bad jokes are my own. 


Using future trends to change business outcomes by J. Walker Smith

  • we should focus more on the vanishing point, turning points that look like cliffs not hockey sticks
  • we always look for the next best thing, weak signals getting stronger, before things become mainstream
  • its a coding problem, how do you know what to look for if you’ve never seen it, we don’t know how to look for it, is it just luck

  • experts are worse than chance at predicting the future
  • start with things you know how to code for, the obvious big things that you can’t ignore, what are the strong signals that are weakening because these are where innovation opportunities are opening up
  • narrow field of view to zero in on one spot where we know change is going to occur, these are unrecognized things that are already eroding.
  • big things have to make room for smaller things to spread
  • single households/solo living is the next big thing approach, we need products and services to allow people to live solo livestyles. but this is wrong. single households are just one small piece of a major dynamic. Bigger dynamic is actually shift from marrying early to marrying later. Vanishing point is marrying early. Many reasons for this. Result is not no marriage or solo living. People still get married but it’s just later. Longer transition to a married lifestyle.
  • In USA, 7 year increase, China 1 year, Russia, 2 years, India 3 years, [sorry, can’t read the others but some countries look like marrying up to 10 years later!]
  • People are not learning how to live alone but how to connect. How do you replace the lost family connections around things like eating a meal. Zipbob is a website where single people make restaurant reservations to share a meal with strangers. Mokbang is a website where you livestream with foodporn stars eating meals.  Use technology to live together in a different way.
  • The Kinship economy – data is always a secondary consideration of technology. Its always been about connecting people.
  • We spend all our time trying to get people to connect with our brand. We brought this to social media in the last ten years. But people don’t want a relationship with your brand but rather with people.
  • we need to be in the business of social currency, give people a way to connect with other people.
  • the bigger opportunity space is togetherness not single-ness.
  • [interesting talk, never really thought about it like that]

Who needs to ask a question? Using social media data to predict behavior by Vesselin Popov

  • digital footprints are a new way of doing psychometrics [i LOVE psychometrics. that was my career goal that led me to MR]
  • started with a facebook app mypersonality, among many other test games. They let people take them for free. Asked people to opt in to share the data with them. 6 million people shared their data. They share this data with 18 universities. They also have people’s status updates and facebook demos likes etc.
  • Is there a relatinship between your likes and your personality profile. Massively.
  • Compared friend ratings to computer model. Computer is better than a human judge once you have 300 likes. Used the Big 5 Index.
  • Can predict intelligence, life satisfaction, and more
  • Can compare profiles of people who like tom cruise vs frank sinatra – sinatra is more liberal and artistic. Artistic people like oscar wilde, banhause, plato, jon waters, Leonard Cohen. Try targeting on these criteria
  • introverts use different words than extraverts who talk about parties, night, tonight, weekend, excited where introverts talk about computers, anime [seriously? anime suggests a very skewed sample of introverts participated. Or we’re looking at differences due to decimal places not reality]
  • you can reach the hard to reach through their digital footprint [if you have permission to do so, just because you have a facebook profile doesn’t mean you’ve opted in to research]

It’s not me, It’s you: Research participants and data speak on mobile design and data quality by Melanie Courtright

  • we take participants for granted, we make promises to them and disappoint them

  •  we promise that they can answer the surveys, that we’ll be device agnostic but we’re now. More than half of surveys fail when taken on a mobile device. Enrollment via mobile device as increased by 300%
  • Most often a grid is turned into a set of vertical scale single questions
  • PC style surveys on a smartphone take ridiculous amount of time. people speed through once they’ve had enough. Speeding or quiting – what’s your preference.
  • Enjoyability scores are massively lower. Ease scores are a lot lower as well. When it’s fun and easy, people use the variability that is present in the scale.
  • people stop using the end of scale because it’s too difficult to do all the scrolling
  • when all the data is living together, you only need to ask questions about what isn’t already in that data. we must ask less and track more. don’t ask everything you can think of. stop ‘just adding one more question’
  • right isn’t always easy.

Hacking insights to drive innovation and ROI by Rolfe Swinton

  • cracker is someone who hacks with malicious intent
  • playful solving of technical work that requires deep understanding especially of a computer system
  • do you want your parole board meeting at 9am or 4pm? It’s just data right? the best time is first thing in the morning, immediately after lunch, or immediately after break. Never just before break time or home time.
  • sensor technology is becoming ubiquitous and nearly free. first gps cost $120000, now it’s $50
  • are companies changing at the same rate? digital video growth is 3 times in the last 3 years, across all age groups
  • hacking reason – tackling big problems requires a lot of components coming together
  • hacking reason – needs to be an act of play, need to take risks and have fun
  • when should you reach car buyers? peeople think about hair cuts near the end of the week,  cars they think about at the beginning of the week and go at the end of the wee
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