What so good about "Marginal Gains" in the wrong direction?

 What so good about

Over the past few years there has been a regular advocacy of the principle of marginal gains, seeking lots of incremental improvements that optimise the outcome. After all, the principles have been credited with the success of the British Cycling team and all those Gold medals.



My customers have formed a flock, so what, it costs me nothing?

My customers have formed a flock, so what, it costs me nothing?

 What does it matter if my customers are behaving as a collective rather than individuals? Should I, as a marketer, care if they have formed a “flock”?

The answer is yes, because what happens within that network or flock can be counter-intuitive and may lead you to make bad communication choices

The game of automation:124 Reasons to Worry?

the game of automation

Just yesterday I came across an interesting announcement from Google, see http://bit.ly/DT_Waymo, released by the California Department of Vehicles, regarding their use of autonomous vehicles during 2016.



Would you hire an addict?

Would you hire an addict?

I think I need your help,

I get frustrated when I listen to all the current talk about recruitment of analysts, statisticians or data scientists, call them what you like.

Having been engrossed in this profession for over 20 years, I feel like they miss the point. Whilst I use software, develop programs, produce graphs and optimise models, none of this is my primary career motivation. I have come to the conclusion that I am addicted to the process of discovery, the unveiling of insights, the challenge and the endeavour.

 Until recently, I have kept this, sense, impulse, even manic compulsion to myself. Then, this year, I was given the leadership of DUG. DUG is a core group of commercial analysts, their managers and advocates (see www.demographicsusergroup.co.uk). There to my delight I have discovered fellow addicts and others who encourage their habit and supply them.

So how can you help me?

 I now want to uncover those that hide in the shadows, and keep their addiction to themselves. Their fascination with the task, probably means they are poor communicators, which is why I need you. I need you to pass this invitation on to the most obsessive analyst you know. Hopefully once connected, we analysts can begin to articulate, exchange and co-create an expression of our experience of analysis.

This isn’t about methods, techniques, source or results. Nothing confidential is required, only those secret lives that we live, hopefully bringing to life the dread and delight of the career we forge.

How might it help you?

In the long run, I hope we will be able to publish “an anthology of analysis”, see an example below. A book to inspire others to begin a similar quest, help those who recruit us and manage us, to enable us to flourish. Enable others to sense the humanity of the analyst.

What would I love you to do?

Unlike most of my project designs, I don’t want this sampling to be representative or proportionate. For this to deliver it needs to be opinionated, biased and heavily skewed. So no need to spend too long, just go with your first hunch, choose the most addicted analyst you know, pass this on and ask them to get in touch. Ask them to send me an email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with the Header “Analysts Anonymous” or tweet (@DrTimDrye) with #AnalystsAnonymous. Best to if they can reply before September 29, by which time, I will know if sufficient others share my obsession.

If you think someone else knows one of these addicted analysts, please pass this message on for them to forward, we analysts often stay in the shadows.

Alternatively just leave a comment with the contact details of a good therapist you recommend.

Are these Analyst Poem's?

Examples of where I was beginning from, hopefully other's have a completely different experience. We might put together a variety of materials, self-written, images, prose or even poetry.

In Broken Images:

He is quick, thinking in clear images; 
I am slow, thinking in broken images.

He becomes dull, trusting to his clear images; 
I become sharp, mistrusting my broken images,

Trusting his images, he assumes their relevance; 
Mistrusting my images, I question their relevance.

Assuming their relevance, he assumes the fact, 
Questioning their relevance, I question the fact.

When the fact fails him, he questions his senses; 
When the fact fails me, I approve my senses.

He continues quick and dull in his clear images; 
I continue slow and sharp in my broken images.

He in a new confusion of his understanding; 
I in a new understanding of my confusion.

Robert Graves  (1929)

Don’t skip to the last page.

It’s the first line that ensnares you, sucks you in and seeds a void.
Why? What for? Who cares? Why bother?
Too many doubts diffuse out and stir the soul.
Can we withhold the spread, span the arc and range?
Has the growth stemmed, the depths been constrained?
Are we ready to capture the emptyness?
What tools to prepare?
What tasks are ahead?
Will we explore, survive or extinguish?
Do we probe remotely, or tentatively creep in?
Shall we feel the texture?
Sniff the scent, or strain for harmony within the noise?
When will we wander or persist?
Shall we recover the gems that overcome?

If you skip to the last page,

You will never know, did the journey unfolded with its tragedies and triumphs?
Will you really care about the tinge of the amethyst’s glow?
All you will get is the current “best” guess, is that really time well spent?


Articles from the “Stat in the Hat” Tim Drye who works with Registry Trust as part of RTStreetwise.

After an initial career in academia, Tim founded DataTalk in 1996 and also joined RT Streetwise in 2007.  His intention was to apply the developing statistical techniques to commercially relevant data and challenges.  Since then he has been engaged in a wide variety of sectors and applications.  This has encompassed manufacturing, distribution, marketing, selling and service.  He has specialised in the insights that arise at every stage in the interactions, connections and motivations with people as employees, intermediaries and consumers.  In 2016 he was delighted to take over the leadership of the Demographics User Group and build on its legacy of commercial analysis.