csra1

Past Issues

Themes

Strategic Opportunities

Social Business Tools for Digital Transformation

Join Discussions

I invite your voice in these conversations on other blogs:

Why Probability Is the Key to Profit in the Digital Social Big-Data Age

10 Detailed Case Studies + Big Data & Analytics’ New Digital Divide + How to Think Like a Data Scientist Book Review: Numbers Rule Your World/Kaiser Fung

Why Probability Is the Key to Profit in the Digital Big-Data Age[UPDATED] Step inside a data scientist’s mind, and learn why probability is the key to profit and how it’s the key to understanding and using big data for better decision making. This fascinating and useful book clearly shows how people misunderstand probability and misuse statistics—and therefore big data—and how the knowledge gap leads to faulty models, thinking and decisions. New winners and losers are emerging in the digital social and big-data age. A new digital divide, people who think like data scientists and use probability to support decision making—and everyone else. The data science group will outperform, and Fung shows how creative, fun and useful data science is.

This book is a perfect twin to Duncan Watts’ Everything Is Obvious* Once You Know the Answer, which exposes how common sense pervades management decisions and failure. I shall refer to several specific connections between the […]

Big Data Practical Primer: Junk Charts' Kaiser Fung

Big Data Practical Primer: the book

[UPDATED] Big Data Practical Primer is my notes from Kaiser Fung’s presentation at Big Frontier in which he highlighted his new book, Numbers Rule Your World. Big data is a simple word, but its nuances are critical and require a new way of thinking. This presentation did a good job of covering many high-level definitions and issues of big data & analytics and combined those with some practical how-tos that may surprise you. It can be fairly easy to make serious impact, but, as I suggest in Insights, the biggest barrier to big data is one of imagination and the requirement to think creatively about using data correctly to make business decisions that pay off.

[…]

Hightech and U.S. Healthcare Transformation

Healthcare social businessHightech and U.S. Healthcare Transformation recaps The Future of Healthcare: How Technology is Enabling New Models of Healthcare Delivery, which was cosponsored by Katten Muchin Rosenmann and the Illinois Technology Association. The seminar featured five panelists with various points of view: two CEOs of healthcare start-ups, one venture capitalist, one healthcare management consultant and a healthcare attorney.

The consensus was that, at long last, U.S. healthcare is going to progress beyond the waiting room; a perfect storm of market forces and technology enablement has created the conditions for significant reform. Regulations are balancing privacy, protections and digitization, and start-ups are attacking pockets of inefficiency, often through mobile applications and cloud solutions. Technology empowers patients and providers because information is increasingly available real-time. Information enables patients to be more aware of their health as well as the ramifications of their decisions, and it can improve collaboration between provider and patient.

Government is a major change agent; the U.S. taxpayer is footing a higher and higher bill, and healthcare has absorbed all wage gains for many years now, effectively preventing Americans from improving their quality of life. Read on for my notes […]

Herd the Cats [Social Business Team Building]

Herd the Cats [Social Business Team Building] Case4[UPDATED] Herd the Cats is usually initiated by the CMO/CDO (Chief Digital Officer) or other enterprise practice or brand executive who discovers that various business units or brands in the organization have diverse social media presences without much apparent direction or business results. S/He wants to use strategy to provide a keel that resonates with corporate strategy, addressing issues as diverse as corporate citizenship, community, health or policy.

In 2013, digital marketing and firm executives are thinking about building their internal teams to provide more continuity and scale, so the champion often wants to create a social business “center of excellence” to serve several businesses or brands, leveraging enterprise resources to improve social business performance and contributions.

Herd the cats is the fourth of the five-part social business team building series The series describes team building in the context of various scenarios in which firms build social business capability, step by step, while investing wisely. Social Business Strategy Use Cases outlines and compares all five use cases while Social Business Team Building gives general guidance for how […]

Social Business Team Building [Recruiting]

[UPDATED] Several times over the past few years, I have been contacted by major brands to advise them on finding a “social media executive” to help them “figure out social media” and “create a strategy.” In 2012, many firms began building social media teams in earnest, and this trend will continue to grow in the years ahead. Firms are also bringing “social media work” inside after having outsourced it to agencies. All of my client work has involved helping clients to build social business competency and teams, so here I’ll offer some pointers for how to build teams and avoid the pitfalls most companies experience.

Although each organization’s culture is different, the CEO, CDO, CMO or CAO will be happier with the social business investment if s/he doesn’t invest far ahead of return on investment, which remains low at firms that insist on “business-meaningful” metrics, not the PR- or “brand-building” variety. It’s a chicken-and-egg challenge: how do you know what kind of team to build until you’re achieving real business-meaningful returns on your social business initiatives?

[…]

Social Business in Insurance: State Farm's Chicago Coworking Space

social business in insurance: State Farm's Next Door taps The Social Channel to engage millennials/Gen YNext Door Chicago is a newish concept for State Farm Insurance that’s a great example of social business in insurance. It differentiates the firm by interacting in the Social Channel. The Lincoln Park/Lakeview community center and coworking space is notable because its DNA is empowering people to improve their lives through financial education. Next Door offers free coworking space and wifi, classes on financial management that are free of product pitches, free events (some financial, some art showings and other diverse events), free conference rooms and an energetic environment. Only the optional coffee bar is paid.

Next Door’s main online presence is oriented toward free membership. Members can book space, sign up for classes and hold events. Here’s IDEO’s case study on the concept and design process.

[…]

Financial Services Social Business Pioneer: Putnam Investments

Financial Services Social Business Pioneer: Putnam InvestmentsPutnam Investments has been a financial services social business pioneer for many years, so here I’ll summarize their pioneering initiatives that show that regulated financial services firms can communicate with clients and prospects in many-to-many social venues without going astray. True, it helps having a CEO that was the first CEO from a mutual funds firm on Twitter.

The point remains, imagination and inertia are preventing financial services firms from engaging with clients and prospects in digital social venues, not regulators. Here’s how it’s done.

[…]

Financial Services Social Business Example Featuring Twitter, LinkedIn

conversationsHere’s a useful financial services social business example from Forbes. It details how a Midwest financial services firm grew at competitors’ expense by using LinkedIn, Twitter & legacy communications.

Notice that Jefferson, an investments firm, engaged its channel (financial advisors), using LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and legacy marcom. Their momentum enabled them to maintain their pricing while competitors felt compelled to lower theirs.

Another powerful lesson is, during “downturns,” don’t follow the herd and cut sales and marketing investments, especially when you can use social business to magnify impact as Jefferson did. Well done! #li

Giving as Cultural Glue and Smart Business: Blake Mycoskie, Founder TOMS Shoes

Giving as Smart Business: Blake Mycoskie, Founder TOMS ShoesGiving as Smart Business: Blake Mycoskie, Founder TOMS Shoes is a fantastic story and a smart business idea. Blake Mycoskie is a gifted storyteller in his own right, and, in this South by Southwest 2011 keynote, he entertained the audience with the story of TOMS Shoes while imparting a simple but profound principle of 21st century business: discovering the meaning and potential of giving. Here are the highlights of TOMS story, which will help you appreciate the context of the blockbuster business idea.

[…]

The Maple Leaf Digital Lounge Uses SNR for a Fast Launch

Toronto Incubator Uses Social Network Roadmap for Fast Launch: Maple Leaf Digital LoungeThe Maple Leaf Digital Lounge has selected the Social Network Roadmap(SM) to build the social presence behind its launch, and CSRA has been working with their team for a few weeks. The Maple Leaf Digital Lounge (“MLDLCA”) is a virtual ecosystem that promotes discovery and collaboration among Canadian digital startups, foreign and Canadian investors and other enablers. Their mission is to facilitate cross-border high tech deals. “The Lounge” has two incarnations: several online venues combined with periodic physical events. Their launch event will happen on March 12 at the South by Southwest Interactive (“SxSW”) conference. Read on for my insights from working with them so far.

Also see the case study in video and presentation formats, which illustrates the social business model, Digivents. Note, the case study uses the MLDLCA’s new name, North of 41.

[…]