At first glance, search data might seem like an interesting report of the ways people are looking for your products. It presents a good reflection of the average shopper’s mindset, and may even bring up a few surprises, such as search terms that you may not have considered.

Look a little deeper and search data is your key to unlocking a trove of insight into customer intent. …

In the digital era, the race to innovate, or be declared obsolete, is on. While brick-and-mortar retail still accounts for 85% of sales, the e-commerce world has led over 300 retail companies to shutter an estimated 6,800 physical doors in 2018 alone. These findings are particularly perplexing, as younger generations — including millennials, which do much of their pre-purchase browsing and actual shopping via a digital device — still claim they prefer to shop in person — a clear indication that customers expect highly personalized experience whether it’s online or in store.

Retailers are scrambling to survive this digital transformation…

Uncomfortable as it may be to admit, uncertainty lies at the heart of some of the most critical decisions we make in the workplace.

A job applicant may enjoy stellar qualifications and a track record of success, but it’s impossible to know with absolute certainty that her success will be replicated at your organization. There’s no guarantee that major investments — whether they’re in marketing, talent acquisition, new technologies or another company — will yield a high return on investment. …

These days, it’s rare to go an entire hour without hearing the word “data” thrown around. Some say data has become the most important commodity in the world. Indeed, the ripples of its effect on society can be found in almost any field from entertainment to transportation to sports to healthcare. It is also a tremendous driving force in online retail, enabling e-commerce sites to boost personalization, suggestions, ad targeting, and search quality.

And then there’s the “big,” as in: “big data.” The infinite abundance of data has become a cornerstone of cutting-edge technology. It is manipulated in many ways…

In Prediction Machines: the Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb argue that improvements in prediction — i.e., rather than intelligence — are at the core of the recent surge of excitement about AI. In view of the growing impact that technology is having on our lives, their approach is an interesting one to consider in thinking and preparing for the future of work.

Making decisions at work

Many decisions we take at work occur under conditions of uncertainty. The online marketing manager doesn’t know which campaign will yield the greatest return; the CIO isn’t…

Amid rapid advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, there’s mounting anxiety about what the rise of AI and automation will mean for millions of workers. As machines display ever-more sophisticated cognitive capabilities, generate new efficiencies and yield billions of dollars in cost savings, are we on the cusp of an AI-triggered jobs wipeout?

Given the AI-related fears voiced by eminent figures — from Stephen Hawking to Elon Musk — it’s not an unreasonable question. …

“Vision,” author Jonathan Swift allegedly said, “is the art of seeing things invisible.”

As tech entrepreneurs and investors, we do our best to become “visionaries” in our respective fields so that we can best predict our markets’ future. However, we often find ourselves so caught up with keeping pace with everyday changes that we don’t have the time or bandwidth to anticipate what will come next. Indeed, with today’s dizzying pace of progress, it seems easier than ever to miss the next wave, trend or tectonic shift. …

Can your customers find what they want to buy?

By Joshua Fox

If a customer walked into your showroom and asked for a refrigerator, would you show them a microwave? So why do you see microwaves when you search a top e-commerce giant for “refrigerator with more than 9 cubic feet”? (Go ahead, try it on your favorite sites. Hint: Start with the biggest.)

Your bricks-and-mortar store makes products easy to find with tasteful, well-designed displays. Would you label a smartphone “Samsung Galaxy S4 SCH-I545 16GB Verizon AT&T T-Mobile GSM UNLOCKED Cell Phone”? (Yes, that’s a real title from a top marketplace site.)

Twiggle

Bringing the power of natural language understanding to the e-commerce search and discovery experience.

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