I just completed an online course from Wharton on Gamification via Coursera. It was amazing. If you want to learn more about it in detail, I would highly recommend you check out this six week course (it should be offered again in the Fall).
Why does Gamification matter? Why would you want to take a course on it when spell check doesn’t even recognize it as a word?
It Can Help You
Let’s face it. There are certain things you simply don’t want to do. Gamification applies game elements to these non-game activities to make them fun. Going to the gym. Eating healthier. Walking. Running. Any personal goal. You get the idea. Gamification, if done properly, can utilize data to apply common game elements like points, badges, leaderboards, and –most importantly– fun to transform these activities.
It Can Help Your Company
Extending the concept of activities you don’t necessarily want to do, but your company does, Gamification can also be applied to internal organizations and their customers. Internally, activities such as blogging for your company, engaging in social media on behalf of the company, speaking at events, or simply sharing knowledge are good examples of Gamification candidates. Externally, encouraging customers to perform desired activities like engaging on your website, purchasing more products or services, and social sharing are examples of activities that could be Gamified. Game elements may be similar or different to those mentioned above depending on the overall design.
It Can Help Achieve Social Good
Most importantly, Gamification can help achieve social good, moving beyond what is good for you or your company to what can benefit society as a whole. Recycling. Saving energy. Tackling teenage obesity. These are all examples of areas where Gamification can help drive changes in behavior. Again, the particular set of game elements may vary in order to be most effective.
An important note is that Gamification is not easy. While understanding game elements is relatively straightforward, designing a Gamified system requires a thorough understanding of business objectives/target behaviors, players, activity loops, and (of course) fun! Sound challenging? Take the course!
The ad:tech San Francisco conference wrapped up today. Billed as “the leading digital marketing event for 10,000+ marketing and technology professionals from all over the world,” ad:tech included “Think Tank” sessions focused on the future of digital marketing.
What does that future look like from an ad:tech perspective? While I enjoyed each of today’s speakers, four key takeaways emerged among them. It’s great to see this focus on being customer-obsessed coming out of ad:tech SF.
- You are in control of the future.
- You participate and constantly redefine your terms of engagement.
- Your experiences are dynamic and are always shaped by #1.
- Agility will be rewarded, complacency will be punished.
Here are a few of my tweets from today’s session…
- What kind of future do you want to live in? First, ask yourself what is the history you want to be from? @IntelFuturist #adtechsf
- The participation age is here to stay. It’s time to adapt. @DainaMiddleton #adtechsf
- Become a #customerCMO. You must connect with your customers in new ways, engage, service everywhere, use communities. @lazerow #adtechsf
- Become a #customerCMO. Connected products + apps deliver predictable experiences, drive trust and loyalty. @lazerow #adtechsf
Summary of the Big Data landscape in 2012
Looking back on 2012, it’s sure been an amazing year for Big Data. Several high profile headlines have enabled Big Data to move from a niche to a mainstream (i.e., beyond IT) topic and have accordingly sparked interest in understanding its full potential. Following are a few of the most notable Big Data stories of the year.
London Summer Olympics
Managing an event on the scale of the Olympic Games is always a challenge. But London was the first Olympics in the era of Big Data that could tap into evolving technologies to improve the experience of athletes, spectators, and the global fan community. This includes everything from overall event security to logistics/transportation management, real-time information sharing, and social media optimization. Here’s a great infographic from Forbes highlighting the scale of Big Data from the 2012 Olympics:
Health care is a prime opportunity for Big Data to leverage predictive analytics, and we have only begun to scratch the surface. So much data is generated yet it is far too siloed to act upon given its varied structure. Pioneers began to take significant steps in 2012 to tackle these challenges and set the stage for future milestones to be reached. Imagine if Big Data could help find a cure for cancer. It’s a true possibility. In addition, fitness devices like the Fitbit are enabling individuals to capture and analyze their own data. The intersection of human and machine data presents incredible opportunities. Here’s more from Wired.
The US Presidential Election
The Obama and Romney US presidential campaigns each leveraged Big Data to reach their respective voter bases. Given some very close but critical precincts, a laser-focused approach was required to reach voters who could be the most influential, either from a financial contribution or voter turnout perspective. Does the name Nate Silver ring a bell? The New York Times blogger and statistician seemed to have more capabilities than either campaign as he ended up successfully predicting outcomes in key battleground states. This demonstrates the power of accessible Big Data.
Here’s more on Big Data and the election from The Guardian.
As more and more data is aggregated, analyzed, and reused, privacy has become a very hot topic. Aside from Twitter, which is widely understood to be a publicly exposed social media channel, companies housing less public user data such as Apple, Facebook, Google, and Instagram dominated headlines in 2012 as their dynamic privacy policies coupled with high-profile exploits caused confusion among their customers.
More from Rack59 on responsible use of Big Data.
Looking Forward to 2013
What will 2013 bring to the world of Big Data? Given the pace of change, it’s certainly difficult to predict.
Here are my top five predictions:
- We will continue to see advancements in technology and capabilities for managing and analyzing Big Data.
- This will lead to more use cases, more rapid value, and undoubtedly more controversy around privacy.
- Organizations will emerge to help manage your data preferences across multiple organizations – think the unbiased role and (ideal) transparency of a credit bureau. A recent article from The Economist shows that “Data Lockers” are already emerging.
- The Cloud will take center stage from a Big Data infrastructure perspective.
- Real-time access to Big Data will lead to a new level of personalization in popular channels like Facebook, particularly from a mobile app standpoint.
Forbes has great coverage of the Federal government’s Big Data Research and Development Initiative, including the role of public cloud infrastructure in Big Data based on the government’s ‘Cloud First’ policy.
Kudos to the Fed IT team for thinking forward!Read More
There’s an intriguing article in this week’s issue of BusinessWeek on Diaspora, which aims to create a new social network where users control their data.
I stumbled upon a golden nugget from Technorati in my Twitter feed earlier this week.
Berkeley has decided to partner with Twitter to offer a class in Big Data!
This is a great move on Berkeley’s part, showing its desire to be nimble and address a critical skill set gap. It also is evidence we are at the forefront of an emerging trend that has staying power.
Here’s the full article from Technorati. Enjoy!Read More