January 3, 2011
For iTunes advisor, AWAL founder & MIDEMBlog regular Denzyl, advanced statistical analysis like Hans Rosling's (photo) can work wonders for the music business
We are swimming in information and are seeing more and more tools and methods on how to analyse, understand and report data. We see this leading to improved business performance. Sophisticated and innovative technologies are providing a platform to make sense of huge amounts of data, and our common objective as an entertainment industry, should be to leverage this power, especially in the understanding of our customers. The output of these complex algorithms, and the filtering and interpreting of the data, is key in driving critical business decisions and insights. Patterns and connections that might have been invisible in the past, can now be analysed providing the ability to make informed decisions. The next trend of business reengineering is being powered by data, statistics, metrics and analytics. Of course the interpretation and implementation of this knowledge is vital.
Recently, the BBC featured a fascinating program “The Joy of Stats“. Presented by Professor Hans Rosling (photo, captured from video embedded below), who revels in the glorious neediness of statistics, he explores their history, how they work mathematically and how they can be used in today’s internet computer age to see the world as it really is. The film also explores cutting-edge examples of statistics in action today; In San Francisco, a new app mashes up police department data with the city’s street map to show what crime is being reported street by street, house by house, in near real-time. Every citizen can use it and the hidden patterns of their city are starkly revealed. At Google HQ the machine translation project tries to translate between 57 languages, using lots of statistics and no linguists.
The film has a serious message — without statistics we are cast adrift on an ocean of confusion, but armed with stats we can take control of our lives, hold our rulers to account and see the world as it really is. What’s more, Hans concludes, we can now collect and analyse such huge quantities of data and at such speeds that scientific method itself seems to be changing.
As more and better information and analysis tools have emerged, organisations are evolving to “manage by fact” more consistently. These techniques need to be focused where the company has a distinctive capability. The payoff is greatest where you are playing to your strength, not where you are playing catch-up. In the past an analytical approach to complex business issues used to take a long time, money and effort. That is no longer the case. Today’s information management techniques allow dissimilar databases to communicate with one another, establish statistical regression and computer learning processes that automate patterns and prediction. This is a bet on a new way of doing business.
Looking at the landscape of companies doing business in music and entertainment we find:
- BuzzDeck, an online buzz tracking and analytics platform
- MusicMetric, which allows bands to see how popular they are online
- NextBigSound, which provides a centralised place to monitor activity for artists
- RockDex, which tracks buzz, finds fans and spots trends; and
- Sprout Social, which turns social connections into loyal customers.
An exciting space for sure.