Friday, January 15, 2016

Try or Try Not… Master Yoda can do Analytics

Everyone has impressions of their favorite characters from big screen movies and certainly things that they always remember. For example, most Star Wars fans remember Darth Vader’s quote: “Luke, I am your father.” When people recall Yoda, they likely recall someone who is small, green and very, very wise and speaks with a different grammar. If you can communicate like Yoda well, I would assert this would make you wise too. Well, I recently challenged Watson Analytics to understand Yoda speak. As you may recall Yoda turns most sentences into quizzical speech, for example, “Do or Do not, there is no Try. ” Can the cognitive powers of Watson Analytics handle and understand the way Master Yoda speaks? Why is this important? As you know, not everyone communicates the same way. If Watson Analytics is able to understand the user despite the way the user may communicate, the user will have a better experience and be more proficient. If you can do this while making suggestions, this solution adds to the user’s productivity.

In testing this out with Watson Analytics I will use a Social Media Star Wars data set captured by Watson Analytics for Social Media. The dataset includes information around sentiment, geography and author followers among other data. The dataset also includes topics which contain values of “The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars” as shown below.

The dataset additionally includes themes which are a means to breakdown the topics. The Themes for this project are the characters within the movie: Yoda, R2-D2, Darth Vader etc. (Click on the image to enlarge)

Yoda, being as wise as he is, will want to use measures around authors, mentions, documents and followers. Yoda would also be interested in trending or breaking things down by topic, theme, sentiment and geography.

Now here comes the hard part for any software trying to understand the user. Yoda has tough
questions! Can Watson Analytics make sense of it based on what it knows of the data and of what Yoda asks?

If Yoda asks for a mention level breakdown of Topics and Themes, he may inquire with: “The breakdown of the number of mentions by theme by topic, what is”. Below you will see that Watson Analytics assesses Yoda style questions and provides suggestions as to what Yoda really means and perhaps what the data provides as alternate lines of inquiry. The top two suggestions circled nail down what Yoda really wanted. This is a great start for Yoda and for Watson Analytics. Yoda is also getting new ideas of what else to ask with these other suggestions presented.  (Click on the image to enlarge)

In this case, Watson Analytics is up to the task with Yoda's last inquiry. However, Master Yoda is yet not done with his inquisition. He would like to know who are the top authors. Naturally he asks, “Top 20 author names by document count, compare? “ And again Watson Analytics provides suggestions. In this case, the first suggestion is what Yoda really wanted. Kudos to Watson Analytics!  (Click on the image to enlarge)

The second suggestion from Watson Analytics above leads Yoda to think about mapping authors (spatially speaking). He also wants to learn more about social media influencers as the sixth suggestion hints around the number of followers for authors. The suggestions causes Yoda to ask “The authors by follower count from, where are?” Watson Analytics responds with the following:

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Note that the different suggestions provide an image of what the chart could look like. In the suggestion above, Yoda would expect to see a map heated by author followers. If Yoda clicks on the first suggestion panel, you will see the visualization below. As you can see below the suggestions provided you exactly what to expect. Further there are additional findings to the data around author followers to help Master Yoda ask more questions and get more insights. For example, Yoda sees the top cities with high follower counts on the top left. These highlights are stemming from Watson Analytics understanding of the inquiry as well as the data. (Click on the image to enlarge)

Now Yoda wants to know how people feel about movie The Force Awakens. Yoda asks the question, ”The authors feel sentiment for topic is the force awakens, do?” This may be a confusing question but Watson Analytics is up for the task as shown below. (Click on the image to enlarge)

In the panel above you see how the Topic: The Force Awakens is shown which identifies Watson Analytics is suggesting a filter on Topic for “The Force Awakens” which matches Yoda’s request. This suggestion will provide a bar chart as depicted in the graphic in the suggestion.

Finally, Yoda wants to feel hip and trendy. He wants to understand the trends in the data around the different data sources. Naturally or not, he asks, “The trend over days of the number of mentions by data surce, what is”? Below you will see that the suggestion uses “by Source” rather than data source. Watson Analytics uses the best matching category to match what Yoda meant since there is no data source category in the data but rather “Source”. This can accommodate at points for misspelling, which by the way it did as you can see Yoda made a “typo” in “surce” and still Watson Analytics accommodated for this mishap. Yoda smiles as he again is well understood by Watson Analytics. (Click on the image to enlarge)

Being so old, Yoda’s search for knowledge and truth will take a rest for the day, which concludes this article. With these cognitive results, Yoda points out “The Force is strong with Watson Analytics”. But the key point of this article was to challenge Watson Analytics with some different styles of inquiry to see if it can handle a diverse user base including those from a different planet. Watson Analytics met the challenge. As shown above, Watson Analytics cognitive capabilities can be robust enough to handle Yoda speak. Furthermore the suggestions provide additional lines of inquiry conducive to increased insights. Users will ask more questions and find actionable insights! Try it yourself and May the Force be with you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Keep the CDN Content in the NHL Playoffs!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Voice on Social Media speaks Volumes in London 2012

Anyone following London 2012 Olympics???

I am doing a Social Media analysis on the 2012 Olympics with the IBM Cognos Consumer Insights solution and thought I would share some of the things people are talking about. My analysis only included internet conversations from Blogs, Microblogs, Videos and Boards from June 17th. There was a lot of discussion about what we can expect for the Open Ceremonies in London. When looking at the weeks before the Opening Ceremonies, the conversatoin was dominated by refernces to Danny Boyle as to a theatrical experience that is to occur. Surprisingly, Ralph Lauren was a close second to Danny in conversation around the Olympic garb his company was providing. While Jacques Rogge was in the top 5, I would have thought Jacques Rogge cracked the top three being the IOC president.

I thought it would be an interesting thing to do a post-mortem on Opening Ceremonies as to who had staying power in conversation and who jumped up. It ws Danny Boyle who kept his name in the top three. The theatrical experience was delivered. But not surprisingly, James Bond jumped up from nowhere and he became the “Most Referenced” spot in this analysis with respect to Opening Ceremonies. The Queen's rendez-vous with 007 and the parachute jump resonated well with people world wide. As a Canadian, I had to compare these ceremonies to Vancouver 2010. These ceremonies are comparable, in fact the song “I Believe” is still being used which is good to hear. In retrospect, Canadians should have had an episode on Austin Powers. Perhaps Austin could have joined forces with Governer General David Johnston in a secret mission of some sort to build more theatrics. But I digress. :)

There was a comment on the internet prior to the Olympics that Soccer and Gynanistics dominated conversation for the US. When I was looking at the numbers I saw something different, so perhaps the analysis included different timeframes or sources (or lack thereof). I found that the US conversation was dominated by Swimming, Tennis and Athletics in that order as shown below.

With respect to the Swimming, the internet chatter is primarly referencing the healthy rivalry between Micheael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Phelps is edging Ryan Lochte out for the “Most Referenced” in swimming. Does this mean he is a favorite? That would require an affinity analysis which I will leave until another time.

Not suprising, that the breakdown for Canadian conversation actually includes “Hockey” in the top five sports. Strange but true. Perhaps some Canadians, don't know Ice Hockey is not a “Summer” sport. Any fellow Canadians out there? Get talking about Canada in the Olympics, we need more cheers. Go Canada Go!

As I created this analytics model on the Olympics, I thought it was worth while to note that this model included German and French in the analysis and I would expect a few of my colleagues to provide unique content from their languages.

Check in a little later as London 2012 plays out.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Here is to short a "Honey Do list" this weekend.

Just getting off a great Victoria day Weekend in Waterloo.  The weather was better than any Victoria day weekend that I can remember.  I do find it somewhat strange to call this particular day a holiday.  If the weather is bad, which is usually the case then it is most of my time is indoor and  we do spring clean-up in the closets. But when the weather is nice or close to being nice, the “Honey Do lists” are longer as most of outdoor work has yet to be started.  So it is not really a holiday.

It may be different for folks in the US with Memorial day due to the weather differences of North and South.  I see people are really gearing up for this Memorial Day.  I was reading a WSJ blog on some work I did recently about how there is an uptick in sentiment on this upcoming holiday weekend in the US.  It is almost like people are finding ways around the gas prices.  I find difference in year on year growth between flying and driving. “The index also shows a 65% rise in people mentioning traveling by air while discussion of driving increased 13%.”  is an excerpt from the Driver's Seat   More people talking about flying likely indicates a better outlook on economics in the states I would expect.

The article summary is also interesting as it identifies how we can learn about why people do what they do from an analysis on Social Media conversation on a given topic.  This observation really makes sense as many people speak to why they make many of their decisions or disclose their opinions which also identifies what is going on in their minds' eye and what they really want.  Pretty powerful stuff!

Back to holidays....Being Canadian, I also enjoy Memorial Day.  When most of my colleagues and bosses are off on a holiday makes my day a little easier too.  :)  Hopefully those enjoying Memorial Day have short “Honey Do lists and get at least one day to do what they really want!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Learning about Powering your Map Mashup

As you may already know, many people resonate with mapping features within a Mashup. This pattern is just part of the enterprise mashup value proposition as there are many ways to visualize data and its value. With that being said, the key part of enterprise mashups using a map is the critical data powering the map. For example, what are you mapping? How do you figure out what to map for your users or customers? How can this be done efficiently with the data you have? Mapping context needs to be driven by YOUR information and not just what Google or other vendors provides. I just came across a couple of posting that may trigger your interest if you are doing any mapping mashups and are looking for more intelligent means to power the map. Follow the links below to find out more about the value of location based data and how you can leverage your database to power your Enterprise Mashups.

Location, Location, Location!
Chat with the Lab



Thursday, May 28, 2009

When have Hands on Labs been REALLY fun? Check out IOD EMEA.

Recall your college/university days when you lived on coffee, lacked sleep and were wondering why you are in a lab room at 11:59 pm. Then you awake for have a colleague tap you on the shoulder. You are greeted with a chuckle and later you find out “QWERTY” is imprinted on your forehead from your keyboard pillow. Ah the good ole days – or were they?

Despite these type of memories, the hands on labs are very popular at Information on Demand so you want to sign up early. In particular, I have been involved with the Hands on Lab at IOD 2008 which premiered the lab currently titled “Enterprise Mashups - Revolutionize How User Access Information and Maximize your SOA Re-Use”. On several occasions while proctoring the lab, I was pulled aside by students / practitioners and specifically told – “This lab is really fun. Thanks for putting it together”. In the lab you will find how you can accelerate the ROI on your Information on Demand and SOA investments.

If you are attending IOD EMEA, take some time to have fun and learn about Enterprise Mashups.

If you want to see the type of thing you will be doing check out the Customer Insight mashup demo. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Day 3 at IOD

Good Day from IOD

IOD is picking up the pace with a great beach party. The fireworks at the show were bigger than most Canadian “Canada Day” fireworks. I was surprised to be so close to the actual fireworks launch area which added interesting dimension to the show.

Yesterday, I was in the “Trusted Business Information and Web2.0 Initiatives” session. I thought I would share a term used in this session: “Situation Awareness”. In this talk Tom Deutsch explained this notion.

“Organizations want to sense changes in the business environment better and respond more quickly. Situation awareness means knowing what is going on so that you can decide what to do.”

The concept is describing the willingness to address individual business challenges with situational applications. The business domain expertise is owned by these individuals who know how they need to consume the information. This challenge can be daunting as the natural thing to do for IT is to “broad brush” the problem which really does not address the real goal. Tom proceeds to suggest the need to provide trusted information in a secure, governable manner with Enterprise Mashups to address these types of applications. This approach leverage resources in line of business while reduce application backlogs. For more information on Enterprise Mashup check out IBM Mashup Center.

I have to now head off to my session on “Maximizing Data Web Services” now. Hope to see you there.