I love writing about applying lessons from sports to the tech and game spaces, so an article I saw in the MIT Sloan Management Review, “What Businesses Can Learn from Sports Analytics” by Thomas Davenport, really resonated with me. Davenport is one of the people who have molded strongly my love of analytics, as his book Competing on Analytics initially got me thinking how the game industry could be improved by applying analytics. That the Oakland A’s are again one of the surprise success stories in baseball further reinforced the relationship of analytics and sports. In Davenport’s recent article, he shows how we can apply techniques used successfully in sports to tech or game companies.
Analytics is all the rage in sports. Davenport points out that every professional baseball team has an analyst on staff, while many professional football, soccer and basketball teams also do. Yet, other sports teams are behind many other industries because they are often smaller organizations and typically have old-school executives who do not appreciate the value of analytics. Although not applied universally, Davenport draws several lessons from how sports teams use analytics that are relevant to all businesses. Continue reading “Lessons from sports analytics”
As many know, I believe end-of-year predictions have zero value and I prefer to look at important trends that are already unfolding and will impact readers next year. The most important trend right now for people in the social media and gaming spaces, as well as almost anyone in the tech space, is the evolution of analytics. Thomas Davenport, author of the seminal work Competing on Analytics, recently wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review about Analytics 3.0. Just as Analytics 2.0 transformed the gaming space, allowing companies like Zynga, Playfish and Disney to leap over established competitors, Analytics 3.0 can reshape as dramatically the gaming ecosystem. Analytics 3.0 is a new resolve to apply powerful data gathering and analysis methods not just to a company’s operations but also to its offerings—to embed data smartness into the products, services and games that customers buy.
A brief history of analytics
To understand best the impact of Analytics 3.0, it is helpful to understand 1.0 and 2.0 and their impact. Analytics 1.0 ushered in an objective, deep understanding of important business phenomena and gave managers and leaders the fact-based comprehension to go beyond intuition when making decisions. Data about sales, customer interactions, production processes, etc., were recorded, aggregated and analyzed. For the first time, analytics were used to compete by creating greater efficiency: making better decisions on key issues to improve performance. Continue reading “Analytics 3.0”
One of the popular buzzwords these days is “Big Data,” but few people, even in companies that use analytics extensively, really know what this phrase means. A recent article, co-written by one of my favorite authors, Thomas Davenport, in the MIT Sloan Management Review titled How Big Data is Different does a great job of explaining the concept and showing how it can be applied to social media.
Big data starts with all the data your company is collecting but goes well beyond it. It includes clickstream data from your games, web analytics, social media content (Tweets, blogs, Facebook wall postings, Pinterest Pins, etc.), AppData information and even YouTube views. Big data, however, also includes everything from customer service requests to game development processes and learnings. As the article points out, very little of this information is formatted in the traditional structure of conventional databases. Companies do three things to capitalize on this plethora of data: Continue reading “What is big data and how can social game companies leverage it”
I have hesitated in publishing a “reading list” because often when I see them on other blogs, they are little more than the author’s effort to get some referral income. As many of you know, I do not monetize this blog at all (there is no advertising and I have refused all sponsorship offers) and the links in this post are not tied to any monetization. With that in mind, I wanted to share some books that have made me much more successful and I think will help anyone in the gaming ecosystem (and probably any other business). Given that we all have very limited time, even to read, I have listed the books by how much of an impact they have had for me. Continue reading “Great books for social game companies”