Analytics Strategist

December 31, 2008

Attribution Models

In marketing, particularly in search engine marketing, there has been a growing interest in attribution models.  It is perhaps no coincidence that the same period saw a tighten-up budget and increasing demand for accountability – afterall, attribution is the process of how success are credited to its source(s) – a highly contentious field in marketing. 

This is one of the many reasons I expect attribution modeling to atrract even more attention in 2009 – with SEM and multi-channel marketing at the center of it all. 

There are many uses of “attribution”: in arts and academia it refers to crediting the original authors; in performance attribution – a large area covering investment, marketing etc – it refers to crediting results (or partitioning the results) to its sources or its causes; still it has a place in psychology where the attribution processes of behaivor is the focus of study.

Attribution in marketing/advertising world is the process of attributing the success (usually sales or other metrics) to the marketing/advertising activities.  Since most of the time different activities result in different customer touch points, it reduce to crediting sucess to different touch points.  From this perspective, multi-protocol attribution, engagement mapping, marketing mix modeling, even customized 800 numbers are all attribution approach and techniques.

In the follow up post, I will discuss in details the other aspects of attribution modeling; why attribution modeling is important, what are the different type of attribution challenges, how to do it, and finally what are the limitations of the whole attribution modeling approach …

August 9, 2008

Privacy and Behavioral Targeting

Filed under: Advertising, Datarology, Technology, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Huayin Wang @ 3:49 pm

the two seem on a collision course lately – this is really unfortunate!
Boneheaded privacy advocates mistaken baby with bath water; whereas companies who use BT failed to see the golden opportunity with better analytics technologies..
time for “infocrypt behavioral profile” ?

August 8, 2008

behavior-based character index

Filed under: misc, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized — Tags: , — Huayin Wang @ 5:53 pm

Character refers to a person’s innate quality and reflected in his/her behavior. What’s the sample size needed to get a good estimate for the character index?

Assume there are several observations available:
a) interaction with superior
b) interaction with inferior (people of lower rank in an org)
c) interaction with equal

Q:
is one obs enough, two, or you need all three?
if you can pick only one, which one?
what other behavior you think are informative?

July 29, 2008

Google’s achilles’ heel

Filed under: Advertising, business strategy, Datarology, Technology, Uncategorized — Tags: — Huayin Wang @ 5:22 pm

just a thought 🙂
There have been three search engine ranking principles at works: 1) by content match with search query, 2) by user feedback (or social search) data to query or similar query, and 3) by bidding price. The logic that used by Google Adwords is a complex combination of all three (relevancy, CTR and bid price).

For example, Amazon and Netflex represent the pure form of 2).

All three principles have their own merit and, here’s why it is important, many times one pure logic may match users’ intent better than a complicated mix.

Google’s ranking logic for Adwords evolved overtime, keeping a careful balance so far. But how far can it goes? Will a dynamic logic that mixes the three in significantly different way be a disruptive technology one day?

Your thoughts?

July 28, 2008

The sad reality of today’s business

Filed under: Advertising, business strategy, Datarology, Uncategorized — Tags: , — Huayin Wang @ 4:16 pm

The sad reality of today’s business has something to do with analytics, and technology in general for that matter, in a bit of twisted way.

July 27, 2008

When data floods, analytics is Noah’s Ark.

Filed under: Business, Datarology, Uncategorized — Tags: , — Huayin Wang @ 3:48 am

get on it fast!

September 29, 2006

Human Computation

Filed under: Technology, Uncategorized — Tags: — Huayin Wang @ 9:09 pm
Google TechTalks
July 26, 2006

Luis von Ahn is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University, where he also received his Ph.D. in 2005. Previously, Luis obtained a B.S. in mathematics from Duke University in 2000. He is the recipient of a Microsoft Research Fellowship.

ABSTRACT
Tasks like image recognition are trivial for humans, but continue to challenge even the most sophisticated computer programs. This talk introduces a paradigm for utilizing human processing power to solve problems that computers cannot yet solve. Traditional approaches to solving such problems focus on improving software. I advocate a novel approach: constructively channel human brainpower using computer games. For example, the ESP Game, described in this talk, is an enjoyable online game — many people play over 40 hours a week — and when people play, they help label images on the Web with descriptive keywords. These keywords can be used to significantly improve the accuracy of image search. People play the game not because they want to help, but because they enjoy it.

I describe other examples of “games with a purpose”: Peekaboom, which helps determine the location of objects in images, and Verbosity, which collects common-sense knowledge. I also explain a general approach for constructing games with a purpose.

May 19, 2006

No free lunch theorem

Filed under: business strategy, Datarology, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized — Tags: , — Huayin Wang @ 2:06 pm

There are many forms of NFL theorem. I particularly like the one when applied to optimization/search algorithm. In one version, it can be stated as ” all algorithms that search for an extremum of a cost function perform exactly the same, when averaged over all possible cost functions. In particular, if algorithm A outperforms algorithm B on some cost functions, then loosely speaking there must exist exactly as many other functions where B outperforms A.” [Wolpert and Macready (1995)], see also No Free Lunch Theorem

It is a humbling experience when meditating on it, to be reminded of the importance of contextual knowledge of the problem.

February 14, 2006

bs

Filed under: Business, Uncategorized — Tags: — Huayin Wang @ 4:56 pm

On Bullshit
Jan 2005, by Harry Frankfurt

I marveled when I first read it at Borders in Oakbrook. It remained with me ever since — not so much becuase of its style and wit of the writing itself, but becuase I have been remind of the subject constantly in workplaces.

I went through some book reviews at amazon today. The point I think most people missed is that it does pointing out some reasons for why there is so much BS today, it just wasn’t focused on this. One of the reason people do BS that Frankfurt mentioned is when they are pressured and/or encouraged to say something when they actually have nothing to contribute. So why there is so much BS today?

?
?

Sound pretty clear to me.

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