More Stories
It is an incredibly happy day, my beloved blog Occam's Razor is ten years old! In dogital years, it...
It is an incredibly happy day, my beloved blog Occam's Razor is ten years old!

In dogital years, it seems to be an unbelievable amount of time to try and stay relevant and valuable. I've written a post with four stories: The story in numbers, the story of my decade, the story of three early choices and the story of benefits to me.

Four Stories: A Decade of Writing Occam's Razor: http://goo.gl/mg05gO

I've also requested readers to post a comment on the blog with their perspective. Where are they based, what have they found to be of value and why they think the blog's lasted so long.

Will you please head over to the blog,
http://goo.gl/mg05gO, and share your perspective?

Thank you for all the fish!
Great visuals make you go hmm... I know, that is a scary standard to think about. But consider it. You...
Great visuals make you go hmm... I know, that is a scary standard to think about. But consider it. You get the hmmm... you got something valuable from the business leader. :)

I've shared variations of the visualization below, this is a new/different one. I love it! The data is for US Population.

Isn't it amazing that Americans started moving west, and for some reason decided to all stop after they got halfway through. :)

Only the most adventurous ones (me!) made it to California.

The map has so much business use for planing expansion strategies, marketing focus, human research possibilities and so, so much more.

An, amazing visualization.

Source: https://goo.gl/0hNvTS (there are a couple more variations there)

#dataviz
No one looks at browser shares anymore, it's a good chance to share with you one of the many stories...
No one looks at browser shares anymore, it's a good chance to share with you one of the many stories of me being wrong. :)

Below is the trend of browser shares from W3Schools for every other year (all here: http://goo.gl/cLq6). There are many lessons. For example, never be cocky because you are only three years from being replaced!

Ok. The story....

When Chrome was first being dogfooded internally at Google I was excited (I always am about dogfooding new Google hardware and software). Installing the new browser was a disappointment. Other than loading really fast, it did everything worse than Firefox. And, as I wrote to my peers, why the hell did the world need another browser, Firefox is great!!

I dogfooded like a good employee, but I primarily spent time with Firefox.

When the first public version came out, I did a small yawn. "Ok Google, good job trying an alternative to IE. But NO EXTENSIONS! Give me a break Google."

I stayed with Firefox.

Chrome kept getting better. It was still faster a few months on. But, now the rendering was better, the security was insanely good, more things started to work

I switched to doing all internal Google work on Chrome, everything did work better there. I still did not know why the world needed a new browser.

I think it was the concept of extensions you could load yourself that did it for me. I started using it a lot more.

And, I started to see little things like "Page & Go" (I'm irritated the Microsoft Edge, still (!), does not have this). Other small customer-centric features, it started to fell like the browser was being built by people who used browsers.

Now, there was no going back.

I have to admit, at this point I was still not sure the world needed a new browser. At this point we are a year or so out in public.

It took me a lot longer to see why the world needed a new browser. In hindsight, it was the massive pace of innovation that the Chrome team has driven (there has been nothing even 50 miles close when you look at the other browsers). Chrome has gotten fat, but if you compare evolutions, it is still the thinnest and undeniably the best. It is important to point out I don't work in the Chrome team, but I see how the grand plan for Chrome being critical to Google driving new innovations (life exclusively on the web, faster videos, Chrome OS, and so many new things).

We often don't see the grand vision. And, that was my mistake.

The numbers below prove that you can take on an entrenched monopoly (IE in this case). The numbers below prove that innovation can drive adoption. The number below are both a feather in Google's cap, and the trend is also a warning to not be complacent.

I was wrong about Chrome. Massively so. I'm so proud of what Google's Chrome team has accomplished.

- - -

PS: I have a new newsletter with short stories from the intersection of marketing and data, you can sign up here:
http://zqi.me/akintersect
Look at this, an insanely insightful visualization about democracy. Or "democracy." I've spliced together...
Look at this, an insanely insightful visualization about democracy. Or "democracy."

I've spliced together the composite you see in this post, but it comes comes from the wonderful team at New York Times. They show how just 9% of America choose Mr. Trump or Ms. Clinton as a nominee.

That core point is interesting/heart-breaking all by itself. You should visit the page and scroll through the page to see the interactive version, it is awesome: http://goo.gl/NYRcUq

The reason for my splicing was to highlight the other interesting subtle point, how few people will help pick the self-described "leader of the free world." Close to less than half!

Each small square represents one million people. The first cluster is 103 million (kids, non-citizens, felons). The second cluster is 88 mil people. They do not vote at all, even in general elections!

How can we call ourselves a democracy when almost a hundred million people stay out?

This really broke my heart. I don't know what we can do to get them to add their voice, but we need their voice however they want to vote.

Re Mr. Trump trumpeting himself as the representative of the Republican party, as only half of those few who participated in the primaries voted for others. Same goes for Ms. Clinton. And yet, they are our choices.

American "democracy" is way more complicated than you imagine, and a lot less representative than you imagine. If you are still unconvinced by the two colored boxed on the bottom-edges, spend a few minutes learning about how the primary process is run for both parties.

And, it all seems so deeply entrenched. No change seems possible.

Call-to-arms though, if you like to complain about your nation/government... vote. At least vote.
Is Sushi healthy for you? How about Granola bars? What about the incredibly delicious Quinoa? It would...
Is Sushi healthy for you? How about Granola bars? What about the incredibly delicious Quinoa?

It would not surprise you that American citizens hold, often, very different views of food than qualified nutritionists. The bombardment of slick commercials by food companies has to have some ROI! :)

What is surprising though is where the big chunks of differences are (often contributing to big chunks to unhealthy bodies).

The number one culprit is Granola bars! They are not good. You always suspected there was nothing healthy about Frozen Yogurt, you are right! SlimFast? Slimnotsofast. American "cheese"? Same.

What is scary about the above list is that Americans believe these are good for you, or not bad, and they actually are bad!

Things we all agree are awful for us: Hamburgers, beef jerky, diet soda (yes, damn diet!), white bread (we eat Ancient Grain by Rudy's, really awesome, try it), and much to my sadness chocolate chip cookies.

Things you are not eating but you should... Quinoa (throw a bunch into the rice you cook, you won't even notice it is there!), tofu, sushi, hummus (yummy!) and in moderation shrimp.

Lovely graph below from the always resourceful New York Times: http://goo.gl/TNftuu

Net, net though. Even things that are not great for us to eat are ok in moderation. I'm typing this as I savor my morning granola and yogurt! :)
If you ask the government, or indeed even journalists, why is the experience at an airport so tortured...
If you ask the government, or indeed even journalists, why is the experience at an airport so tortured for most of us, and getting worse (!), they will give you a million reasons. Many of these will be connected to their personal experiences or biases.

Yet, if you are willing to look at the data it is not such a complicated thing to figure out. See below....

That of course then results in this insanity: http://goo.gl/0gGJxA

Will the fix be this simple as well? I'm not counting on it.

Graph source:
https://goo.gl/FkYPwY
Google Analytics has a cool new mobile app! Totally redesigned with some really cool visuals so that...
Google Analytics has a cool new mobile app! Totally redesigned with some really cool visuals so that you can be less of a Reporting Squirrel and more of an Analysis Ninja on the go.

For some of the reports, the mobile app, thanks to the limitations of your device, is so much better than the desktop version. :)

Here's Ajay's helpful video walkthru of hte app: https://goo.gl/23Zz2j

Downloads. iOS:
https://goo.gl/e1Y7o6 Android: https://goo.gl/yEuqm3

#analysisninjasrule
I'm publishing a newsletter and it was so very exciting to send out the second edition yesterday! It...
I'm publishing a newsletter and it was so very exciting to send out the second edition yesterday!

It contained a short story about a simple mistake we make that results in a lack of focus, loss of love of our senior leaders: Is the number you are obsessing about a Metric or a KPI?

In addition to helping you figure out how to answer that question, I'd also shared seven KPIs for ecommerce sites and six for non-ecommerce sites. So fun to know where to start.

You can sign up for my newsletter, The Marketing - Analytics Intersect, here: https://zqi.me/akintersect

My ESP has a feature where if you sign up today, I can still easily send you yesterday's letter so you can benefit from the above guidance. How cool is that?

Thanks.
https://zqi.me/akintersect 
I'm really excited about today's Marketing-Analytics Intersect newsletter - it is in your inbox now...
I'm really excited about today's Marketing-Analytics Intersect newsletter - it is in your inbox now.

The title is: Don't Peanut Butter! Say No More Often.

It shares five simple, honestly simple, strategies you can use to bring massive focus to the work you do as an Analyst, as a Marketer, in order to ensure that your worth is recognized by the company (by ensuring everything you do is worth doing).

Yes, it is easier to do the things we are asked to and then bitch about them. But, life is too short for that. Make a difference, or go home.

It is important to point out that simple does not mean easy, though some people conflate the two. Simple means easy to understand and know. Then, depending on your skillset, depending on where your company is, the solutions might be a little easy or a little hard.

Still. Worth doing.

Don't peanut butter.

If you are not a subscriber to the newsletter yet, you can sign up here: http://zqi.me/tmaisignup
When was the last time a company, big or small, decided engage with you and it was not about pimping...
When was the last time a company, big or small, decided engage with you and it was not about pimping you more things?

Especially, if you were already an existing, indeed loyal, customer of the company?

Think about how crazy that is.

Today's Marketing - Analytics Intersect is on the topic of Customer Lifetime Value/Love. It shares three examples of companies that buck the trend, and win because of it.

Check your inbox (or spam folder! #ouch). Or, if you are not already a subscriber: http://zqi.me/tmaisignup

Thanks.
The Best, and Worst, States to Avoid Income Taxes. You know at some level that state taxes change across...
The Best, and Worst, States to Avoid Income Taxes.

You know at some level that state taxes change across states, unlike federal which are same no matter what. But. I don't think we really internalize by just how much states differ.

Some have flat tax, others have percentage of income, others still have progressive tax systems (high earners pay way more), and so on and so forth.

The below handy chart gives you a sense for how massively different things are depending on where you are. The black dot is median income group (top 50%) and the pink dot is the highest income group (the top 0.1%!).

California and Hawaii have the highest taxes, with the steepest curves (so very high taxes on top 0.1%).

Illionis, Indiana and Pennsylvania have flat taxes. Does this have anything to do with the reality that these taxes are currently caught up some of the worst budget messes in the US at the moment?

The unbeatable star of the show is Alabama. Taxes actually go down for the middle class, rich and then super rich. Alabama has one of the highest rates of poverty in the US (it is ranked #4 in highest poverty rate).

: (

It is amazing that it's population allows this to happen (and RABIDLY votes for the politicians who deliver this poverty).

Bloomberg's analysis is interactive, you can play with single and married rates, you can look at more drill downs. Have fun with it here:

http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2016-state-taxes/
What business are you in as an Analyst, or anyone who deals with numbers? What's your value to the company...
What business are you in as an Analyst, or anyone who deals with numbers? What's your value to the company, your salary and how quickly can you be replaced?

My latest newsletter, The Marketing-Analytics Intersect, shares definitions of each of these categories and answers those three questions for you. It is a great way for you to figure out if you want to be in the data, information, knowledge, insight or wisdom business.

You can sign up for the newsletter here: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/marketing-analytics-intersect-newsletter

I'll resend the above mentioned one, TMAI #12, in 24 hours to new subscribers. Your understanding of your net worth will take a new dimension.
Our family usually gathers around the TV to watch baseball games (else TV is off!). But today, we are...
Our family usually gathers around the TV to watch baseball games (else TV is off!). But today, we are all gathered around the TV to watch the great Lee Sedol play Alphago.

It is such an historic day. AI might possibly conquer a frontier that was thought not to be possible for at least another decade.

The spectacular thing about Alphago is that it has mastered something close to human intuition. It has huge implications on our future (hence I want my kids to see this moment live!).

Two links for you.

Please join us and watch Match 3 live here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUAmTYHEyM8

Here's an insightful article about the now famous Move 37 by Alphago:
http://goo.gl/hj5ufs

#goalphago #deepmind #Google #go
How much do you drink compared to the average American? The answer to all questions like that is always...
How much do you drink compared to the average American?

The answer to all questions like that is always... it depends. :)

But. We do have data to fall back on, thanks to the US government. The question asked is: "During the past 30 days, on the days when you drank, about how many drinks did you drink on the average?

A 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, and a shot of liquor are each considered a drink.

Below are the slices for Females and Males (huge differences) and Hispanics and Asians.

If they drink, it turns out Asians, Male or Female, drink a lot less than Hispanics (or other categories). For Hispanic Males, the bottom of the distribution is heavier than Asians (or any other categories).

Averages also suck usually (http://goo.gl/u5Gbv), it is a tiny bit worrying to think what the top end of the distribution is if people are reporting they have eight or ten drinks on average.

You can look at other races, White, Blank and Native American here:
http://goo.gl/KARSQu

Are you above or below average?

PS: There is one bit of contextual information that would be of value that is not here: How many people said they drink, and how often.
My latest post covers a topic we all have to deal with more urgently as Marketers: Should we continue...
My latest post covers a topic we all have to deal with more urgently as Marketers: Should we continue to only rely on rented platforms for our audiences?

Given the fact that these platforms have over a billion users, like Facebook, like YouTube, the default answer might be yes. The reality is more nuanced.

Check out the post, http://goo.gl/Bi4fPw , to see what my new strategy is and what you need to re-think for your own existence to ensure you are not caught with your pants down.

Oh, and it is not about the size of audiences. It is the depth of engagement, the consistence and predictability.

Here's the post: The Marketing < > Analytics Intersect:
http://goo.gl/Bi4fPw
Truthiness and lies in the US Presidential Election. We will all learn the most if we keep politics...
Truthiness and lies in the US Presidential Election.

We will all learn the most if we keep politics out of this. Digest this purely as a lesson in data visualization.

Someone shared the graphs you see at the very top below with me. We all want to know who is lying more! But, I felt using a line graph was a sub-optimal choice as the data represented is not really a trend.

The graph would look a lot better as a bar chart, the problem is there are too many points of data. We'll end up with something unreadable quickly.

I thought a table will do just fine, combined with conditional formatting. Still, there were two ways to do this (a challenge we all deal with on a day to day basis).

The first table visualizes who is the "winner" of each category. For example, Mr. Trump is the "winner" of Pants on Fire (big surprise! :)). I was surprised Ms. Clinton is the winner of the True category (I would have expected Mr. Sanders).

Another lens to bring to this is to look at how each candidate is doing. I experimented with various kinds of conditional formatting. I ended up with the third one you see. I worry that the green implies good, but in this case it simply implies where the candidate is most at. The table is not implying the Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz are doing great, it is simply saying Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz tend to be in the False section in a majority of their statements (Mr. Trump "beating" Mr. Cruz in that category by nine points).

The best insight will come from both the tables, sadly that is hard for most people to do (they want simple answers to complex things). Hence, I'm not totally delighted with both but I would humbly suggest that either is better than the original.

What do you think?

Raw data source: http://www.politifact.com/personalities/hillary-clinton , http://www.politifact.com/personalities/bernie-s , http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump , http://www.politifact.com/personalities/marco-rubio , http://www.politifact.com/personalities/ted-cruz
More posts are loading...