Do you know Instagram?

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Now I am sure you’ve heard this before, but let me just reinforce the point. If you still have not jumped on the social media bandwagon you are well behind the times.

Never more evident is the strength of social media than with Instagram aka IG. Now if you aren’t familiar with this specific platform, don’t feel bad. Just two months ago I had to explain this app to my father and his coworkers who are part of a computer forensics firm. I know my friends’ as well as myself probably check IG just as much if not more frequently than Facebook.

Here’s a little background about the quickly growing IG:

1) The other week it hit 200 million users.

2) Acquired by Facebook just less than 2 years about for $1 billion (No this isn’t a typo)

3) Instagram is primarily used for posting of pictures, with minimal text.

 I am not 100% sure that this is correct, but a friend told me IG began to gain popularity as an alternative for young children whose parents’ wouldn’t allow them to get Facebook and didn’t know what Instagram was. It’s kind of funny how things work, as parents figure out certain social media platforms it seems to drive their children away because it is no longer “cool”. Realistically there isn’t much difference between the two platforms.

Anyway to get back on track, it is clear to see that different social media platforms will continue to arise and gain popularity. Other than Twitter the main trend I see is that they revolve around pictures not textual content. As big data and analytics continue to see their capabilities evolve it will be interesting to see the insights that are able to be gained from pictures.

Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding Instagram or other social media platforms!

Giving Thanks!!!

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What are you thankful for on this November 28th, 2013?

I highly suggest you take sometime out of your day and really think about this question. It is easy to give the generic answer of family and health, which don’t get me wrong is extremely important, but I’m sure you have much more to be grateful for. I could give you my list, but we all might be here for a while and I absolutely don’t want to keep you starring at this screen longer than necessary on this holiday. Go spend this special day with family, friends, and those who are important to you.

Also we must remember that though Thanksgiving is just one day a year it is important to show your gratitude towards others throughout the year. A simple, yet genuine thank you or telling someone how impressed with them you are can really go a long way.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone, make sure to stay safe if you’re are traveling, eat plenty of food, & GO CANES BEAT PITT!!!

SAP & the San Francisco 49ers Tag-team to Take the NFL: Is Data Positively Impacting Your Professional Sports Team?

When it comes to watching athletics there is a lot more that takes place behind the scenes that leads to an on-field product. Many of us understand there are practices, strategy sessions, and scouting that take place but to be honest the general population underestimates the difficulty of these tasks.

Over the years professional sports drafts such as the NBA and NFL have become increasingly important in the eyes of the fans as well as the organizations. Consumers want to be involved and up to date on every aspect of “their team” leading them to watch combines, drafts, as well as obtain other insider content. In 2012 the first round of the NFL draft averaged 6.7 million viewers on a Thursday evening, which was an increase of 11% over previous year. (broadcastingcable.com)

One organization that is really intertwining technology and scouting is the San Francisco 49ers, which have partnered with SAP to create Scouting Solutions. It seems only fitting that a Bay Area team would be at the forefront of this tech wave. This product merges both the cloud and in-memory technologies to help teams’ in their scouting process. Think of all of the information that one compiles on an individual whether it qualitative or quantitative. SAP allows for scouts, execs, coaches, and other organizational personnel to input data into a “Modern, easy-to-use application.”(sap.com) This application also allows the ability to benchmark, compare different players, and develop strategies for when the draft takes place. This seems to be quite the major advantage along with that fact that the application becomes more valuable as you input more data.

As organizations are able to scout and acquire better players their results in terms of wins should improve. Improvement in records will lead to an increased fan base and as a result more revenue. It may seem strange, but at the end of the day data results even in athletics can be improved when data is structured and translated the right way.

By the way for those of you who are not American Football fans, the San Francisco 49ers have been one of the best teams in the NFL over the past few years. I can’t guarantee that SAP was the only reason for their success, but I would be willing to bet that it certainly didn’t hurt.

Thanks for reading my article and have a great week. Go Canes!!!

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Protecting your investment: How to bend, but not break athletes

Today technological expenses in athletics are no longer just being spent on athletic equipment such as pads, sneakers, clothing, etc… Behind the scenes big data and analytics are being used to protect high valued assets otherwise known as athletes. Organizations in today’s environment must and do think of their athletes as an investment.

Imagine the Miami Heat losing LeBron James for the season due to a torn Anterior Crucial Ligament (ACL) and how much of a financial impact that has on an organization. Though an ACL is no longer a “career ending” injury it is certainly a season ending and potentially career altering one. Not only must you consider the potential loss of stadium attendance, but also the probability that the Miami Heat winning the NBA Championship drops drastically.  Not making the Finals would cost the organization a minimum of revenues from four games and if they were to miss the playoffs altogether it could be up to 28 games. LeBron’s other sponsors such as Gatorade, Sprite, Samsung, and Nike will also be negatively impacted as the will be collectively paying millions of dollars to an individual who is sitting on the bench.  

This pain point is one that companies such as Catapult Sports attempt to alleviate. They are tracking data produced by athletes through wearable devices that is uploaded into their analytics software. Metrics such as force, speed, power, acceleration, etc.. are tracked in attempts to better manage the careers of these expensive investments. Teams such as the Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia Eagles, AC Milan, University of Oregon, and many other organizations have enlisted the services of Catapult Sports, taking the extra step to gain a competitive advantage.

At the end of the day whether you are a sports fanatic or not it is clear that these leagues are huge moneymakers and the most important pieces are the players. With top notch players being injured financial opportunities are being missed. Why would you risk the potential of giving away free money?

 

Have a great week & make sure to catch my #10 ranked Miami Hurricanes vs. unc Thursday night!!!Image

Special Ops: Social Media Tactics

Though many are becoming much more comfortable with social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others I would still consider it to be the Wild West. In an attempt to get some social media insights as it pertains to business and building your brand I went to a presentation by James Andrews otherwise known as @keyinfluencer on Twitter, hosted by The Launch Pad recently.

Mr. Andrews has an extremely interesting past including but not limited to working for Columbia Records, Ketchum, and being an entrepreneur. He has worked with clients such as The Grammy’s, Beats by Dre, Nike, and many other Fortune 500 companies.

During his presentation he spoke a lot about what he called the “meat of the lobster” otherwise known as the conservations that take place on social media. Tracking the conservations that are taking place on these platforms allows for brands to truly understand how their consumers sentiment. Social media also serves as a customer service platform for companies as they can attempt to solve the pain points of their customers.

Another point Mr. Andrews made sure to drive home was that brands must understand they can’t control what is being said on social media and this is the inherent beauty of it. This makes building a positive relationship with your customer that much more important. As we all know you are much more likely to tell a friend about a negative experience than a good one; in today’s world many of us expect things to go off without a hitch.

Finally, but possibly the most important topic that was covered is the strategy that is taken when launching a social media campaign. Mr. Andrews says, “he believes about 80% of marketers incorrectly begin with tactics as opposed to goals.” Just like any other aspect of life or business, how do you know if you are successful if you don’t truly know what you’re attempting to accomplish. Here are some steps that should be followed:

Business communication needs à Governance à Stakeholder participation à Objectives à Audience analysis à Social research à Content planning à Social capacity à Createà Monitor à Participate à Filter

Overall I found this event to be extremely insightful and worthwhile. I highly suggest everyone go follow @keyinfluencer (James Andrews) or at least go Google him. As well my Twitter handle is @SeanLGoldstein.

 

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to be yourself when it comes to social media, no one wants to interact with a robot!

 

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Who’s Big Brother & What Are They Watching?

As I sat in my CIS class the other day we began to speak about big data and how retailers will using this to analyze customer preferences & behaviors. Now I’ve heard of the convenience store story where their analytics predicted that a young woman was pregnant and though at first I thought this was a little too invasive, I now think these capabilities are pretty intriguing.

This whole “Big Brother is Watching” concept gets taken to a whole new level with retailers such as Nordstrom that will track you with their cameras as well as by your phone’s wifi to see the path you take in the store. We have accepted that we are being track while purchasing products and services online, but is this something new we must force ourselves to get used to? On one hand I can understand why a retailer would want to do this, but this is truly toeing the line of too much surveillance. At the end of the day I believe that this is something we as consumers will just need to live with and make sure to do our best to keep our private life private even though our attempts’ still might not be enough.

Have a great week and go Canes beat UF!!!

Here is the NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/business/attention-shopper-stores-are-tracking-your-cell.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0</p&gt;Image

East Coast Travels

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So it has been a while since I’ve have blogged, but a lot has happened personally over the last few weeks. I’ve road tripped from White Plains, Ny to Casco, Maine back to Philadelphia. Only 3 days later I left for another road trip to Nashville, Tn and then flew to Miami.

As I went on those multiple different trips my cell phone became my link to the world. I used it for GPS, an alarm clock, news updates, social media, general entertainment, and various other uses. This trip allowed for me to really grasp all of the capabilities that our mobile devices have today. It wasn’t that long ago that there was no iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, think back to the days of black and white screens while you played the game Snake. You must look no farther than Moore’s Law to see that technology will continue to make monumental strides and it is your job to stay with if not ahead of the curve. Laggards will be left behind and this is just the unfortunate truth.

Our mobile accessibility can also be a negative though as quite often we see individuals disengaged with what’s happening right in front of their face. I can’t count the number of times I seen groups of people at restaurants all on their phones texting and not speaking with each other. Admittedly I have been guilty of this before as well, but I am working to remedy it.

Just remember that though it is important to move with the times don’t forget to disengage from your device every once in a while and “smell the roses”.

Have a great Labor Day weekend & go Canes!