The business world is revolving around the idea of big data.
The most successful companies strive to collect everyone’s data in order to make optimal decisions and predict the outcome of future profits.
Trinity Business Schools choose to use gamification, the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts.
More information about gamification and how it can impact real case scenarios in this video:
Trinity Business School chose to use a Harvard Business Publishing case presented as a game: a Detergent Company trying to get the best possible profit in a period of 5 years.
In the game, we were put in the shoes of Blue’s Marketing directors, a fictional US detergent company with a slowly declining market share and a traditional Marketing and Manufacturing process.
The company had recently decided to use forecast and reports to improve its profits against the main player of the Market, Turbo, Flash and Retailer’s Stores.
A brief with the history of the industry was given to flesh out the business case
First Run of the game First Failure
We were given 10 minutes to figure out the data from the company and how to maximize the profit a lot of information was given at the same time:
a Market report,
an income statement
A sentiment analysis with changing live feedback,
An explorable database,
A decision dashboard,
We started with a market share of 11 %, our initial thought process was to differentiate ourselves and serve the market range where we were strong.
So we checked every market area and jotted down on paper
Region – Top player for the region – Household composition – Income-Age
We found out that in most of the markets we were popular with an age range from Under 35 to 44 years old, families with 3-4 components and income from under 20.000 $ to 40.000 $.
So we decided to market softness as an attribute since no one in the market was doing the same move, use liquid detergent as we thought that an innovation would be understood by the younger costumer base.
We used the innovation in the product to justify an increase in price by 1 dollar since competitors already could ask a higher price with newer formulations.We also wanted to differentiate from the cheaper powder private labels.
The real mistake that we did was using the forecast tool.
We thought that the number shown in the cell was the increase from base production. So we inputted 3 mln thinking that it was adding up that quantity to the current sales. We passed from producing 32 mln of units in 2018 to 3 mln total in 2019 !!!
The following turns to do decision lasted 10 minutes each. With so little time we were unable to detect the error we made until the last round of the game where we understood that the forecasting tool was also used to set up production.
Our other choices were influenced by the big loss in revenue on the first turn.
In 2020 we switched back our formula to powder seeing that the customer could not understand how to use the liquid formulation in the sentiment analysis and to reduce costs. In the sentiment analysis, we spotted that most of our customer did not like our old advertising so we optimized the media spending by reducing spending in Radio and Print to increase the one in Digital Advertising.
We also noticed that our product was selling more in Convenience and Club trade channels, therefore, we invested more there in 2020 and 2021.
In 2021 we saw that there was more demand than supply for pods and odor elimination features. We changed the attributes to sell more on the market and finally saw a rise in profit.
Finally, for 2022 we understood that we were producing fewer units than we were meant to. We upped the production and went back to a market share of 11%, the same condition as the start year.
(our decisions history)
( Despite the loss in the first year at the end we were able to have more profitability than Fresh and Retailer stores)
What we should have done instead
Other than the mistake in the production, we should have noticed sooner the trends in the Demand. We should have shifted to odor control andpods, give more attention to data analytics and weigh less the initial company brief.
What we have learned
We need to listen more to the market and follow its dynamics. Both Social Media and quantitative data on the market are fundamental to listen to the customer.
Social feedback from the customer is useful when analyzing the most positive and negative reviews and ratings. Checking them is a good indicator of what can be fixed and what can be improved.
Quantitative data is important to spot new opportunities to sell and monitoring the market every year allow to reduce risks associated with demand shifts and adapt the quantity of product sold.
In business, companies should strive to gain near-perfect information, to increase their profits and having a competitive edge against adversaries.
Have you ever wondered how to open your own website?
Worry not, here there is a guide.
In January Trinity Business School has invited an expert in Cloud Computing and Commerce, Doctor Grace Fox. She taught the students how to open and design a WordPress site or blog. No costs involved.
Start by respecting your audience.
A blog or a website is a form of communication. We communicate effectively by being clear and concise. If you open your blog and the font are not big enough no one is going to read your post! This is especially true for older people but also for you.
Which line do you like to read the most
1.) I am a microscopic line of content, I guess you will lose diopters in trying to read me.
2.) I am a well-written line and I can be read!
Exactly! the second one is the most compelling and readable. But what about little differences in fonts readability?
There are many ways to check how your website is readable. One of the options is to use a readability checker site such as https://www.webpagefx.com/tools/read-able/ in which you copy paste your website link or to download a plugin once you have already set up your WordPress account.
Another optimization that you can add to your blog article is to put an average time reading indicator on the top of the page. The addition of this feature is debatable because a potential reader could put off a relevant and useful article just because of a time constraint. On the other hand, it could help the audience to come back because you are not wasting their time.
Choose the site hosting and Content management system.
If you want to create a website you need to host it on a server and choose which platform you prefer to operate publish your content.
One of the most popular site hoster is SiteGround. It is good because of 2 main features: It has 24/7 technical support and your site will have a high speed that is necessary to reach your audience and avoid the abandonment of the page even before they can read your content!
As a plus SiteGround has 1-year free membership for students that is available with most of the universities.
Through the admin panel you can choose which kind of content management site you want to install in your domain.
In the content management system market, WordPress is the most used. The popularity is given by the flexibility of the platform (you can use it for a blog, a commercial site or an e-commerce site), Greater number of free plugins provided (Plugins are programs that add functionalities to your site) and ease of use ( you do not need any HTML and CSS knowledge to start.)
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
Wordpress.org and .com have completely different philosophies.
The main questions are if you want to rent or own your website.
.org is dedicated to people that want to own their website. It is free and opensource, you can monetize your content and install any plugin you want but you have to build it from the ground up and you are responsible for backing up your website and update it. It is recommended if you are serious about your blogging or you want to host a commercial site.
.com is more of a blogging platform. It is free up to 3 Gigabytes of space, it has more hand-holding to modify your website, you can not choose the ads that are displayed in your website, there are limited plugins (you have to pay to unlock more), it has more services such as back up, client support. It is recommended if you do not care about money and want to test if a website is the right tool for you.
Plan your content strategy.
You need to plan the content strategy for your website.
The website name is important for being discoverable on Google in its organic search. It should be something meaningful and in line with the scope of the site and the content that you want to share (You can check name availability for your website here https://www.namechk.com/).
Define an audience and buyers personas. It is needed to understand for which person you are building your website on. You need to imagine and write down the characteristics of the ideal person you want to attract, what problem you solve for them and how they interact with your website. You can build multiple profiles if you have different types of buyers that attend to your website.
Plan the design of the website to please your audience. All your effort should be spent on a design that pleases and it is easy to understand for your public.
Lastly set deadlines and metrics to measure your efforts. You need to set clear goals ahead to reach your objectives and have fun with your website!
Cheddar Man is the oldest discovered Skeleton in Great Britain.
It was discovered in Gough’s Cave near in Bristol in 1903, 115 years ago.
Cheddar Skeleton is about 10.000 years old but the team of the London National History Museum, lead by Ian Barnes, managed to recover the full genome from its skull’s temporal bone.
This analysis is the first to be done on a Briton of the Mesolithic age.
The genome has been analyzed with the researchers of University College London to recreate the probable physical aspect of the Cheddar man.
He had dark hair skin and blue eyes.
Dutch artist Alfons and Adrie Kennis were hired to recreate the appearance of the Cheddar Man using both genome information and scans from the skulls
(Facial Reconstruction of the Cheddar Man, source National Geographic)
Much more information is retrievable through out genome analysis, for example it can be supposed that the man lived in the Mesolithic era, about 5000-10000 years before Christ and has similar genome to the Hunter-Gatherers found in Spain, Luxembourg and Hungary and he was unable to drink milk as an adult.
The bones of the Cheddar man are another source of useful information. The cracks on the skull suggest that he could have died by an incident or in a violent manner. Cut marks on the bones could mean that these people cannibalized their dead. The length of the bones suggest that the man was tall about 1,52 meters and died in his twenties.
White skin trait is much more recent. It is theorized that about 6.000 year ago pale skin populations migrated from the Middle East to Britain after the ice age. The trait was probably developed to address a lack of Vitamin D in the pale skin population. A lighter Skin allows less protection to solar radiation but more capability to synthetize Vitamin D in their Skin.
Cheddar man population was probably absorbed by the paler skin populations. In fact living resident of Cheddar village where found to have similar DNA to the Cheddar man in their mitochondria.
It is esteemed that Present-Day Europeans owe on average 10% of their ancestry to Mesolithic hunters like the Cheddar Man.
These findings will be published in a Journal and be featured on a United Kingdom Documentary of Channel 4 called “ The First Brit, Secret of the 10.000 years old Man”
The Chemistry Department of Trinity college have published research showing that magnetic plasmonic nanomaterials could enhance future diagnostic techniques and cancer treatment therapies.
The nanomaterials are of interest in the field of biomedicine because of the vast amount of potential applications they have, such as molecular imaging, photothermal therapy, magnetic hyperthermia and as drug delivery vehicles. Thus applications exist for both therapy and diagnosis.
Magnetic plasmonic nanoparticles compose these nanomaterials – these particles are small molecules formed by a core of magnets linked with an outer layer of metal, the plasmonic layer. The magnetic core allows the molecules to attach to specific tissues throughout the interaction with magnetic fields. The plasmonic component is used as a receiver and transmitter of energy, depending on the metal which forms the component. This plasmonic component can be further functionalized very easily by adding molecules to give new properties to the particles. This includes drug molecules for treatment and fluorescent compounds for labelling. These extra molecules can also form a shell of a different functional metal, semiconductor, or dielectric.
The nanocomposites can be combined with different other molecules to serve multiple purposes. In cancer treatment the molecule can be directed on tumors throughout an external magnet and the plasmons, stimulated with infrared light, can release heat and cut the tumors cells.In treatment of other diseases, the plasmonic particles can be constructed to transport drugs to various points of interest.
In diagnosis, the particles can be directed to a tumor-suspected area with magnetic fields. Antibodies attached to the nanoparticles can then link themselves to specific tumor sites, if present. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners can detect these nanoparticles – recognizing fluorescent or radioactive compounds that have been engineered onto the magnetic-plasmonic particles.They can be bioengineered to detect a wide range of other diseases and viruses.
What is of particular interest to researchers studying these particles is the possible use of new materials to not only quantify, but also cure diseases, concurrently. The nanoparticles are also fortunately versatile, as they can be built in laboratory with a wide range of materials and apparatus.
Right now the effects of the particles have only been studied in vitro on animal and human tissues. Toxicity of the materials to living cells is yet to be fully understood before progressing to animal or clinic tests; however the wide range of components that can be used to assemble the nanoparticles show promise in enhancing their biocompatibility.
(study and images by Shelley Stafford, Raquel Serrano Garcia and Yurii K. Gun’ko ,pdf available at http://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/8/1/97)
(This blog article is also avalible on the Trinity News issue released the 23/01/2018)
Elon Musk is a visionary CEO in the field of transportation and a startupper in Cognitive Enhancement.
He covers the Ground with The Boring Company, a tunneling company, Tesla Motors, an electric car company and Hyperloop, an over 1000 Km/h speed train, dreams to connects majors cities with rockets and colonize Mars with Space X.
Will he succeed in some of this feats? Will he survive the hype? we hope so! In the meantime let’s dream with the descriptions of his plans and a cool video renderings.
The Boring Company
The Boring Company objective is to build tunnels in order to transport cars, trains and passengers cabins below and inter-cities.
(Skate render for transport people from The Boring Company)
The plan is to use electrics skates to transport the vehicles below the street and into the Tunnels at 200 Km/h.
(Source: The Boring Company Youtube Channel,2017)
To create an economically viable under a network of streets, even the machines to dig the tunnels are mindblowing.
A “Boring” machine excavator
To reduce costs and aims t build a network of Tunnels that will go deeper and faster than traditional metro lines those excavators are powered only by electricity and at the same time excavate and compact the galleries.
The Boring Company is already proposing to work under Los Angeles for a tract that would start from West Los Angeles to Inglewood.
The Boring Company plan for L.A.
But what about security in case of Earthquakes?
Deep underground galleries are the safest places to be during tremors, tunnels tend to move uniformly with the terrain limiting damages to people.
If successful this technology will help to alleviate surface transportation traffic
Do people dream of electric cars? Tesla Motors
Tesla Motors is one of the most known and controversial projects of Elon Musk.
It promises to free ourselves from the dependence from gasoline and increase security on the street with autopilot but seems to be one of the most difficult technologies to market. Bottlenecks in production of the electric batteries that power the car have blocked the mass production of the “cheap” model 3 (base model price $35000) for at least 6 months in 2017.
Recently Tesla Motors announced the Tesla Semi-Truck and the new Tesla Roadster 2020.Both vehicles are electric and have impressive performances and features, Semi can run up from 0-100 km/h in 5 seconds, has an autonomy of 650 km, can be recharged in 30 minutes, and compared to actual gasoline trucks cost 25% less; the Roadster is a 4 seater and will go from 1-100 km/h in 1.9 seconds, reach a top speed of 400 km/h and has an autonomy of 1000 km. It is yet to be seen if this gamble is a desperate swansong to bring more cash to the firm or ash rising Phoenix.
Semi and Roadster announcement, courtesy of The Verge
The stimulus that Tesla has given to car automakers market is incredible: now every worldwide automaker has announced the intention to enter in the electric car market as fast as possible to not fall behind.
On the side note, who would have guessed that an invention from my hometown could potentially save the world? I guess that Alessandro Volta is triple piking in his tomb right now.
To finish the reel on ground transportation there is the Hyperloop train.
While Elon Musk is not directly involved in the realization of project he sparked the idea open sourcing the project technology to companies and universities around the world to create an efficient transportation.
Hyperloop is a technology based on vacuum technology and linear electric motors or magnetic levitation. Capsules containing people and goods will be launched in tubes were the pressure will be maintained as low as possible to avoid attrition and enhance speed.
Hyperloop technology will be able to reach 1080 km/h and various parties are working on it.
Hyperloop one, a private company that is developing the technology and now partnered by Virgin, is planning to realize the first routes by 2021.
The possible routes considered by Hyperloop one throughout a worldwide competition are:
Toronto – Montreal: 640 km, 39 min
Toronto – Ottawa: 450 km, 27 min
Ottawa – Montreal: 190 km, 12 min
Cheyenne- Denver – Pueblo (USA)
Denver – Greeley: 64km, 6 min
Denver – Fort Collins: 129km, 9 min
Denver – Vail: 121 km, 9 min
Denver – Colorado Springs: 118 km, 9 min
Colorado Springs – Pueblo: 65 km, 6 min
Total Route Length: 580 km
Miami – Orlando: 414 km, 25 min
Dallas – Laredo -Houston (USA)
Dallas – Houston: 789 km, 46 min
Dallas – Austin: 322 km, 19 min
Austin – San Antonio: 121 km, 8 min
San Antonio – Houston: 346 km, 21 min
Laredo – San Antonio: 242km, 16 min
Total Route Length: 1030 km
Chicago -Columbus – Pittisburgh (USA)
Chicago – Pittsburgh: 785 km, 47 min
Chicago – Columbus: 493 km, 29 min
Columbus – Pittsburgh: 292 km, 18 min
Mexico City -Guadalajara (Mexico)
Mexico City – Guadalajara: 532 km, 38 min
Mexico City – Querétaro: 190 km, 13 min
Querétaro – León: 184 km, 12 min
León – Guadalajara: 205 km, 13 min
Edinburgh – London (UK)
Edinburgh – London: 666 km, 50 min
Edinburgh – Manchester: 330 km, 24 min
Manchester – Birmingham: 143 km, 12 min
Birmingham – London: 193 km, 14 min
Glasgow – Liverpool (UK)
Glasgow – Liverpool: 545 km, 47 min
Glasgow – Edinburgh: 68 km, 7 min
Edinburgh – Newcastle: 193 km, 14 min
Newcastle – Leeds: 158 km, 13 min
Leeds – Manchester: 71 km, 7 min
Manchester – Liverpool: 55 km, 6 min
Bengaluru – Chennai (India)
Bengaluru – Chennai: 334 km, 23 min
Bengaluru – Chittoor: 178 km, 12 min
Chittoor – Chennai: 156 km, 11 min
Mumbai – Chennai (India)
Mumbai – Chennai: 1102 km, 63 min
Mumbai – Bengaluru: 817 km, 47 min
Bengaluru – Chennai: 285 km, 18 min
(Images and information from Hyperloop one corporate website)
In part 2 of this post, I will cover fly and space transportation by Elon Musk.