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8 Steps to Executing a Machine Learning Solution

Posted by Anatoli Olkhovets on Tue, Sep 12, 2017

Managers and executives at all levels are now expected to be at least familiar with how machine learning models are built and deployed. However, if you don’t have a formal data science education, reading through industry publications is not very helpful: High-level use case descriptions and marketing materials too often present machine learning as somewhat of a dark magic powering their products; technical publications tend to be incomprehensible for a nonspecialist, and how-to guides simply list the steps without giving sufficient background as to why each step is needed, which limits understanding. 

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Topics: Big Data, Machine Learning, Analytics

Get More Mileage Out of Your Third-Party Data

Posted by Nicholas Wetherbee and Alissa Zhang on Thu, Jun 01, 2017

Here at Opera Solutions, we often refer to data equity, which we define as not just the amount of data you have, but also the ability to derive value from it. And to get value from your data, you need to ensure it is high quality. But how? Knowing the answer could make the difference between data equity and data bust. 

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Topics: Big Data, Signal Hub Technologies, Analytics, Data Equity

Why You Need Multiple Clustering Techniques

Posted by Anatoli Olkhovets on Tue, May 30, 2017

Shopping around for a Big Data analytics solution is a daunting task for anyone. But for those who are somewhat familiar with data science, a common area of misunderstanding — and underestimating — is clustering techniques. Whether the assumption is that all clustering techniques are created equal or that a company needs only one or two clustering techniques, business buyers are often left scratching their heads. The fact is several types of clustering techniques exist — each with its own strengths and weaknesses — and companies need access to a variety of techniques to accomplish optimal results.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Analytics

The Data-Driven CMO: Opera Solutions Announces New Podcast Series

Posted by Sarah Anderson on Tue, May 09, 2017

Opera Solutions is pleased to announce its new podcast series, the Data-Driven CMO. With an increasing focus on technology and Big Data, the marketing profession must rapidly learn how to use such technologies as predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. 

At Opera Solutions, we have helped several global companies transform their marketing using our predictive analytics software. However, technology and products are only part of the story, and we wanted to bring the organizational and human perspective on this transformative shift to light. Our new podcast series opens the discourse through direct conversations with some of the most technically adept marketing leaders. 

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Topics: Big Data, Analytics, Marketing

Analysis Paralysis — How to Turn Big Data into Profits

Posted by Laks Srinivasan on Wed, May 03, 2017

As the amount of data accumulated by businesses continues to grow, one of the often confounding questions asked is “How do we turn it into insights and then profits?” Sooner or later, most businesses find themselves confronted with analysis paralysis and become unable to extract meaningful insights or monetary value from the data that should be fueling their growth.

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Topics: Big Data, Analytics

How to Recruit Data Scientists

Posted by Tim Bridges on Tue, Feb 07, 2017

A guide from the head of HR at a leading analytics company

Data scientists are in higher demand than ever before. According to the latest CrowdFlower survey, 79% of respondents reported a data scientist shortage in 2015. In 2016, that number grew to 83%. The race is on to find skilled people who can organize, structure, and make business sense out of Big Data sets. People with heavy STEM, analytics, and conceptual skills, and the attendant work-friendly personality traits (insatiable curiosity, ability to prioritize, and a healthy dose of skepticism, to name a few), can virtually write their own tickets.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Analytics

How to Transform Marketing with the Membership Economy and Advanced Analytics

Posted by John Mack and Sarah Anderson on Wed, Nov 30, 2016

Everyone wants to belong. But how can that basic human need coexist with the commercial needs of a business so that both the customer and the business find the relationship beneficial? Big Data analytics makes it possible while also opening new possibilities.

History is replete with examples of human beings finding ways to connect with one another. We form tribes, congregations, clubs, and entire societies. We develop communications channels and pass specialized content through those channels. Even efforts to divide these groups and disrupt these channels simply engender new ones and actually help strengthen our identity as individuals. This pattern has continued to evolve with the advent of the digital age and extends to peoples’ relationships with products and services. Are you loyal to Mac or PC? Do you use Facebook or Instagram? Are you enrolled in Amazon Prime? Are you a Netflix subscriber? This need to identify one’s self with a larger group is a primal human instinct no matter how contemporary the group.

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Topics: Big Data, Analytics, Marketing

CLV and Clumpy Customers: Why Clumpy Behavior Is Changing the Customer Lifetime Value Equation

Posted by Michael Turon on Fri, Sep 23, 2016

Calculating customer lifetime value has been a critical part of the marketing process for years, but new technologies are changing consumer behavior, and marketing professionals need to catch up.

Ever have a weekend where you just can’t stop spending money? Maybe you’re using some free time to stock up, or you’re decorating a room or planning a party. Or maybe you’re not spending more but just consuming more — a good television or movie series or, for example, plowing through a good book on your Kindle. This kind of behavior is called “clumpiness.” And while it’s not necessarily new, new technologies — particularly in the world of digital content — have shed light on this type of behavior for all industries. The problem is that it hasn’t been included in the formula marketers have been using for decades.

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Topics: Signal Hub Technologies, Analytics, Marketing

Data Science for Business Users — An Overview of Popular Techniques

Posted by Anatoli Olkhovets on Thu, Aug 04, 2016

Everybody seems to be talking about machine learning these days, and a quick check of Google returns 21.2 million search results for the term. Clearly, this is a popular topic. Yet the term “machine learning” can have many different meanings, depending on the context in which it is being discussed. It is also associated with an equally lengthy list of data science techniques and technologies. Business leaders often feel overwhelmed by this rather bewildering array of terms, analytical approaches, and technology solutions. There are hundreds of algorithms, with new variants seemingly appearing every day. Researching them online does not seem to clarify the choices or point to an obviously superior decision, as most articles target deep experts and revolve around nuances of a particular model or open source package. As a result, business leaders can be reluctant to adopt something they don’t fully understand, resulting in missed opportunities.

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Topics: Data Science, Machine Learning, Analytics

Big Data Analytics: Necessary but Not Sufficient

Posted by John Mack on Thu, Jun 30, 2016

Part 2 of 4: Grow Revenue from Your Existing Customers: How Big Data Analytics Can Help

This post is the second in a four-part series. The first installment, “Go Beyond the Symptoms: How to Overcome Revenue Growth Challenges,” discussed the key signs of slowing growth and the first steps organizations can take to turn it around. Here, we’ll discuss three new ways in which companies can use Big Data analytics to improve a business’ ability to consistently improve revenue growth from their existing customers.

Big Data analytics in 2016 occupies roughly the same spot in the corporate consciousness as did the concept of cloud computing in 2008. By now, every world-class company that generates vast quantities of data has recognized that this data has exceptionally high value as an asset. These companies have made technology investments accordingly, procuring software solutions to organize, analyze, and manage the data, storage solutions (cloud or on-premise) to facilitate access to and distribution of the data, and often also professional services to enable and operate this infrastructure.

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Topics: Big Data, Signal Hub Technologies, Analytics