The Future of IW....

In Microsoft-speak, "IW" means "Information Worker" and Bill Gates outlined a vision for what that might look like two years ago.

Last night, after a bit of hassle installing SQL Server 2005 on my Toshiba M7 laptop, I got a glimpse of the next quantum leap....namely empowering end-users to make much smarter business decisions through access to better data.

I installed the data-mining add ins for Office 2007 and all I can say is, in my humble opinion, the future of marketing is WAY different than the past.

(Take a look at the tutorials...though the webcast link seems to be broken)

It's taking the concepts in Moneyball and Competing on Analytics (reviewed by my friend, Auren Hoffman) and applying it to business.

I minored in Economics and took Statistics...and I am glad that I did, because now, I can take a spreadsheet (and combined with the great inherent visualization capabilities of Excel 2007) start figuring out the answers to questions such as:

  1. which customers are likely to be most profitable and where should I go to meet them
  2. what are the key influencers in making a purchase decision
  3. is there a way to segment/categorize my customer base other than how I am looking at it.

I have a guy in Redmond who is a Mathematics Ph.D who works solely on these questions, but he uses a $25k software package (and a lot of SQL Server 2005 as well) to make it work.

Now, I can do some of that myself.

This is just awesome.