Wisdom of Crowds + Web Analytics = The Future

April 22, 2006 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

The following is a copy of a posting by Jim Novo (jimnovo.com) in the Web Analytics Group at Yahoo.  His post highlights how Ford is combining the wisdom of crowds via web analytics to actually schedule production, order parts, etc…

"For me anyway…

Ford Motor Company has run a pilot where they are using the info from a
"Build Your Car" configurator on the web to predict demand for certain cars
and features.  When they matched the "predicted" data from the config to
"actual" sales data, the fit was simply amazing.  So amazing you would
immediately question if the data was "tortured" somehow.

But that's the nature of near frictionless environments like the web.  You
tend to get behavioral data that is simply more "true" then asking people
their opinions, which is the more common way to get affirmation for auto
design from the customer.

What is probably more important, from an analytical culture perspective, is
that this gigantic metal-bender with very long lead times is actually using
this web data to modify production plans because it has been such a
reliable predictor of demand.

This concept was so far outside the expected norm that in the Q & A, I made
a fool of myself by asking Stacey Coopes (from Ford) if I had heard her
correctly.  The conversation went roughly like this:

Jim:  Are you saying that Ford is actually using web demand data to drive
auto production?

"Yes", she said.

Jim: "You mean, to actually schedule production, order parts, configure

"Yes", she said

Bottom Line – I simply do not want to hear anyone ever again whining about
problems with getting management to pay attention to web data.  If Stacey
can make this kind of thing happen at Ford, you can do it where you are.

This is a monumental achievement.



Entry filed under: Best Practices, Web Analytics.

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