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IBM Social Media FAIL

March 27th, 2014 · 11 Comments

Who is IBM Fooling?

No, I’m not talking about their trite Watson publicity stunt this time, I’m talking about a social media fail. I think IBM’s lack of understanding around social media today is one of several reasons why we joke that the company has turned into a retirement home for octogenarian IT hacks, best suited to offshoring their clients IT help desk. If you’ve ever received IBM tech support, you’ll no doubt question their capability even in this area.

What am I talking about today? The invitation which I and 200 other “select” Big Data Influencers just received:

Hi Tom,

You are one of approximately 200 individuals that IBM has identified as a critical market thought leader on the topic of Big Data & Analytics. As such, IBM would like to extend an invitation to our exclusive IBM Big Data & Analytics Digital VIP group.

As one of the carefully selected group members, you’ll have exclusive access to information, announcements, virtual briefings and IBM subject matter experts prior to the general public. Invitations will also be extended to certain group members to attend in-person events as an IBM VIP, entitling you to enhanced access onsite.

IBM has carefully screened the big data and analytics landscape and selected the most eminent thought leaders. As part of this group, you’ll have the opportunity to connect and network with top market thinkers and discuss this burgeoning topic.

Due to the sensitive nature of the material and access being extended to group members, we must ask that you please download, digitally sign and upload a signed copy of IBM’s Non-Disclosure Agreement. This can be found on the IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub Digital VIPs page at

Once we’ve received your signed NDA, we’ll extend an invitation to you for the group.

We look forward to the great conversations and exchanges to come!

The Link brings you to this page below on IBM’s site where they actually expect you to download their NDA in PDF form without capability of markup.

Don’t get me wrong, I sign Mutual-NDA’s every day with clients and potential clients and partners. But only after we have established a common interest and purpose.

But why would anyone worth their salt working in an innovative field like Big Data Analytics want to enter into an NDA crafted to protect IBM’s interest, with no clear benefits to yourself? Moreover, the idea defeats the whole purpose of Social Media!

It certainly helps one understand why no bright young developer in their right mind would choose to go to work for “Big Blue”.

IBM, it’s not a good way to do business, it’s not polite, and it certainly isn’t the way to do social media. Best of luck with building your group of mediocrity!


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Text Analytics at INFORMS

March 26th, 2014 · No Comments

Just posting a quick note about the upcoming INFORMS conference in Boston next week, March 30 - April 1. It always surprises me how few market researchers are familiar with The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), since so much of what they do coincides with why NGMR group was founded (Advanced Analytics and Optimization).

Tuesday afternoon I’ll be giving a long talk at INFORMS on my favorite topic, Text Analytics, highlighting how it can best be applied with several OdinText - Anderson Analytics real case study examples. If you’re attending please stop by and say hello.

If you can’t and would like to know more about text analytics and/or INFORMS, as always feel free to contact me.


[Full Disclosure: Tom H. C. Anderson is Managing Partner of Anderson Analytics, developers of a patented second generation approach to text analytics known as OdinText. For more information and to inquire about software licensing visit OdinText INFO Request.]

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The Future of Market Research

February 26th, 2014 · No Comments

(A Response to “The Test of Time)

Marketing Research is Changing - Human Psychology is Not!

In order to separate the wheat from chaff in the market research industry - and industry which until recently changed at a painstakingly slow rate, but which now seems to be grasping at any ‘innovation’ straws no matter how absurd - it is helpful to look to the past.

My colleague and President of the Insights Council at the American Marketing Association, Matt Valle just wrote an interesting article channeling David Ogilvy. There are several good points in the article which is pro ‘Next Gen’ Research. However, it also points out the problems we see with many “New” or “Innovative” techniques often born from those with less formal research training or experience within consumer psychology, economics and statistics.

I believe many of these new money changers in the temple of consumer insights research rightly need to be thrown out.

How do you determine whether a new technique is worth paying attention to? Matt and Ogilvy offer several points of advice, three of which resonated strongly with me. Quoting some of these points:

1. To be worthwhile market research must prove it’s ROI

“If you … want to win the award, devote your genius to making the cash register ring.”

I think so much of what we see today ties to indirect metrics, “Promoters and Detractors”, “Retweets and Likes”, “Sentiment”, market research should be tied to Dollars!

2. Data is not a substitute for knowledge and judgement

“I notice increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination.”

Too often data is chosen for analysis because a vendor or boss tells you it is important rather than a decision originating with the original research question to be solved. Arguably, nowhere is this currently more true than the pre-occupation with twitter analytics. Chosen because it’s free and easy to get to, yet representative of less than 8% of the population and severely lacking in signal quality.

3. Talent and Experience Counts

“We prefer the discipline of knowledge to the anarchy of ignorance. We pursue knowledge the way a pig pursues truffles.”

Make sure you know who is giving you advice. Look at their background carefully, how have they actually helped businesses? They should be able to give very specific examples while considering your unique situation. All their advice no matter what new technique is proposed should be based in the most sound and tested methodological considerations from the social sciences.

I encourage you to read the entire article on the AMA website here.

Importantly, before you pay much attention to that next blog post, market research conference talk, or advisory telephone call, look for the explicit evidence that you are talking to a real researcher. One who like Ogilvy would understand that a new technique is only as good as it is in helping us affect real human behavior!


[Full Disclosure: Tom H. C. Anderson is Managing Partner of Anderson Analytics, developers of a new patented approach to text analytics. The text analytics software platform is called OdinText]

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AMA Analytics With a Purpose

February 25th, 2014 · No Comments

[Re-posted from Blog]

Text Analytics, Big Data, Mid Data, Small Data, Marketers, Researchers, Practitioners, and Academics!

text analytics-with-purpose-AMA 2014

Just a friendly reminder to NGMR members that next week in San Diego is the American Marketing Associations second Analytics with a Purpose conference.

More info on the event is available here

Full disclosure, I am a member of the AMA’s Insights Council and will also be speaking at the conference together with my client from Disney oh how they benefit from OdinText analytics software (sneak peak podcast of talk here

However, last year before joining the council I also attended the Analytics With a Purpose event which was the first market research event ever focused on Big Data. For this reason and the fact that the AMA does a better job than any other organization in mixing marketers with researchers, and practitioners with academics (This is a continuous work in progress), I really feel they deserve our support.

If you’re interested and can’t make it, feel free to reach out and I’ll try to fill you in. We’ll be tweeting under #AMAanalytics



[Full Disclosure: Tom H. C. Anderson is Managing Partner of Anderson Analytics, developers of a new patented approach to text analytics. The text analytics software platform is called OdinText]

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Congratulations Team Canada, Sweden and Finland!

February 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

[Re-posted from Blog]

Skill, Agility and Persistence – Winning combination in sports, business and text analytics

As you can tell we here at Anderson AnalyticsOdinText are nearly as serious about our Hockey as we are about Text Analytics. That’s why we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate this year’s Olympic Hockey winners.

All three teams proved that what is true in business is also true in sports. The larger they are the harder they fall. Today, skill agility and persistence is far more important than size.

Canada, Sweden and Finland played an incredible game. Congratulations, and thank you!

- Team Anderson Analytics – OdinText Vikings

[Full Disclosure: Tom H. C. Anderson is Managing Partner of Anderson Analytics, developers of a new patented approach to text analytics. The text analytics software platform is called OdinText]

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