Sunday, May 08, 2016

Reading List... or Listening List as it may be

I just stumbled across something on line that purported to be a list of books that Bill Gates things I should read… okay. I’m actually looking for an interesting list so here goes (with relevant library links):

· Epic measures (OverdriveEBook, OverdriveAudioBook, HooplaEbook, HooplaAudioBook)
· Business Adventures (OverdriveEBook, OverdriveAudioBook, HooplaEbook, HooplaAudioBook)
· For the Love of Physics (OverdriveEBook, OverdriveAudioBook, HooplaEbook, HooplaAudioBook)
· SuperFreakonomics (OverdriveEBook, OverdriveAudioBook, HooplaEbook, HooplaAudioBook)
· The Magic of Reality (OverdriveEBook, OverdriveAudioBook, HooplaEbook, HooplaAudioBook)
· Mindset (OverdriveEBook, OverdriveAudioBook, HooplaEbook, HooplaAudioBook)
· Moonwalking with Einstein (OverdriveEBook, OverdriveAudioBook, HooplaEbook, HooplaAudioBook)
· What If? (OverdriveEBook, OverdriveAudioBook, HooplaEbook, HooplaAudioBook)
· Thing Explainer (OverdriveEBook, OverdriveAudioBook, HooplaEbook, HooplaAudioBook)

And a few others that I should probably listed to because everyone else has:

· The life-changing magic of tidying up (hoopla)
· How to lie with statistics (hoopla)
· Sway (hoopla)

And some more:

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War
The Great Bridge -- book.
Product Strategy for High Technology Companies by Michael McGrath,
Wolf Hall --
Cloud Atlas -- book.
High Output Management
The Phantom Tollbooth -- book.
Sapiens -- book.
Start With Why --
Dead Wake --
Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook by Dan Shapiro
The Night Circus --
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russel --
Creativity Inc. by Pixar Co-founder Ed Catmul --
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August --
Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute --
I Am Pilgrim
The Geography of Genius by Eric Weiner --
Sam Walton — Made in America
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior
The Better Angels of Our Nature -- book.
 Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry
 The Guns of August --; book.
Alexander Hamilton
The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness
Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World -- book.
You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself
What Technology Wants --
Good Strategy, Bad Strategy --
Of Dice and Men — The Story of Dungeons and Dragons and the People Who Play It
Turn the Ship Around: The True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders
Ogilvy on Advertising
The Whole-Brain Child -- book.
Your Brain at Work --
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future --
Thing Explainer -- book.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

What do Industry Analysts Actually do?

I know the answer but I've never actually written it down for clients, prospects, etc. What does the IIAR say?

"Analysts are frequently deemed to be important because they influence sales of ICT products, but very analysts do so directly. They offer a wide range of services, from advising end-user organizations to measuring market penetration and producing best practice guidance, all of which deliver benefit in what can be a complex and confusing space."

Analyst activities include:

  • Provide telephone-based advice to clients
  • Gather intelligence for future industry reports
  • Sift through vendor marketing and press reports
  • Call on peers to discuss issues and share views
  • Respond to briefing requests with vendors
  • Deal with vendors' internal inquiries and requests
  • Participate in sales support activities
  • Research and draft industry reports
  • Peer review of research prior to publication
  • Prepare conference and seminar presentations
  • Public speaking, webinars and podcasts
  • Attend vendor briefings by telephone or face-to-face (F2F)
  • Attend vendor, analyst and public conferences and events
  • Interact through blogs, forums, and social media

The analyst shared sense of purpose: "to increase the success rates of their clients, to help technology add value and make a difference in what is still a nascent and fast moving industry."

Analysts make a difference. Between and 40% and 60% of ICT buying decisions are influenced by analysts.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How much do consultants get paid?

Hmmm.... this is a tough one because the answer is "it depends".

Quora has a good thread on the topic with the following insights:

"I believe an average benchmark for good consultants are about US$300/hour. For a classic consulting team in MBB (one partner, an engagement leader and 3 associates), a 3 month engagement is about US$1M."

So, let's back this up and assume that a consultant is about the same position as Robert Half's Practice Manager$125,000 - $173,500 (median ~ $150K). This rate assumes 2000 hours per year or $75 per hour. So, to get to our hourly rate we're probably looking at a factor of 4x hourly rate to get to the consulting rate.

Let's test this out. Robert Half has the median salary of a DBA at $120K or $60 per hour. So, our consulting rate should be about $240/hour. This provider gives us $275... not bad. What does say? Hmmm... maybe not the data I'm looking for.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

What works in long form LinkedIn posts?

Not questions as titles apparently. It's a good question and there are a lot of ideas out there on the intarwebs.

This author suggests concrete advice for people entering the field, future projection, industry problems, necessary skills, changes to an industry,  and advice for career advancement.

Here we have some advice on how to "crush it as a LinkedIn writer." The tips are basic: write what you know, write often (800-2000 words), remember your audience, pay attention to the headline, use the news for ideas, attribute, and share.

And here we get a SlideShare presentation on this stuff. Same stuff.

Here's a decent guide. I particularly like its insights on titles: how-to posts ("How to Establish your Brand Message"), listicles ("8 Ways Social Marketing Benefits your Brand"), add specific numbers. What doens't work? Question posts ("How do you...").

More images are better than none. Thursdays and Sundays get the best bump.

Some more good insights: titles between 40 and 49 characters; 8 images is best (at least one at the top); don't add videos or other assets; how-tos and lists are best; question posts aren't great; five headings lead to best usage; long form content is good 1900-2000 words... that's a lot of words; use neutral sentiment (via AlchemyAPI); Fleisch-Kincaid 80-89; promote via other networks, particularly Twitter;  likes are important; add a call to action ("let me know if you like the post"); publish on Thursday.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sport management

I am -- despite my best intentions -- developing an increased interest in the operations of the kids' diving club. I should probably know something about this whole world of sports and recreation management. Some references:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What correlates with NHL salaries? Particularly Kadri's...

I have an ongoing research question in mind: "How much should the Leafs pay Nazem Kadri?" There's a few parts to this question:

1 -- How good is Nazem Kadri?
2 -- How do we determine if a player is good?
3 -- How does goodness impact player salary?
4 -- How do GMs set player salary?

I'm really dealing with the fourth question here. How do GMs set player salary?


I recently stumbled across Robert Vollman's bit 'ole spreadsheet of every stat you can imagine for NHL players. I ran some regressions to determine what actually predicts player salary. This approach would be considered fishing by data purists but I'm okay with it. I'm focusing on data from 2014/2015. Ideally, I'd replicate findings with a split sample or across multiple years... but I'm not.


A few considerations:

  • Rank. I'm not actually concerned about the actual metrics. I'm working with their ranks. For example, does the player with the 17th best GAR and 17th best TOI get the 17th best salary? This approach addresses some of the underlying issues with data linearity and normalcy.
  • Full-time NHL centremen. I've reduced the set to centres who have played at least 15 games in 2015/2015.
  • Limited ELCs. I've eliminated players who were drafted in 2012, 2013, or 2014 to minimize the impact of ELCs on overall cap hit.
  • Cap cost. I'm not actually looking at salary. Specifically, I'm just exploring "Cost of player against salary cap (over 82 games)."

Raw correlations indicate that a whole lot of stuff correlates with cap cost. The best indicators seem to be related to actual TOI and overall useage. This finding isn't surprising. Better players will be both better paid and play more. The best scoring predictor actually seems to be assists. Let's crunch all this data into a regression model to see which factors survive.

The following measures contribute uniquely and significantly to cap cost:

  • Rank.IPP -- Percentage of all team goals scored on the ice on which the player got a point
  • Rank.PS/G -- Point Shares per Game
  • Rank.OGIT -- Offensive ice time
  • Rank.GVT/60 -- GVT per 60 minutes played
  • Rank.FO GAR -- Face Off Gar
  • Rank.Days -- Number of days player counted towards the salary cap
Whoa. I probably couldn't have predicted that these are the metrics that would really count. The model accounts for about 63% of the variance in Rank.Cap cost... which actually isn't too bad.

Here's the regression formula:

Rank.Cap Cost = -24.44 + 0.116 Rank.IPP + 0.416 Rank.PS/G + 0.291 Rank.OGIT - 0.292 Rank.GVT/60 + 0.149 Rank.FO GAR + 0.547 Rank.Days

Notice that GVT/60 is actually negative while Point Shares is positive! This analysis seems to indicate that GMs actually way undervalue GVT. It's also interest that face offs entered only as a component of GAR. It's interesting that drawn penalties doesn't seem to factor directly into any part of this analysis.

So, how did this model work out for our friend Kadri last year? His Rank.Cap Cost was 83 and the model predicts that is should be 81. Not bad considering that there is very little actual monetary difference between the 81st best paid player NHL centremen and the 83rd best.

Now I just have to figure out what Naz's current metrics are for the 2015/2016 season!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

DPLA's guide to digitization

Wish you had a curriculum for digitization? DPLA has it.