The History of Superheroes

Nowadays everyone is familiar with the popular superheroes like Ironman and Spider-man. Furthermore, everyone has their own opinion of which superhero is best- even though we all know its Banshee from X-men. It’s hard to imagine a world without Gotham City or Metropolis, but it wasn’t that long ago that these legends were first being created.

The momentum for superhero picked up a few years after the unveiling of Superman during World War II. Common stories of good defeating evil and democracy toppling fascism were essential for domestic morale at the time and led to substantial increases in production as well as characters. Particularly, the introduction of patriotic characters such as Captain America and Wonder Woman was common at this time and perpetuated superheroes’ popularity. Even if a superhero wasn’t explicitly patriotic, they often fought villains associated with Germany and fascism, such as Captain Nazi and Baron Von Blitzschlag.

Furthermore, superheroes were often used in war time propaganda such as war bond ads. As the U.S. shifted from fighting in World War II to the Cold War, the popular superheroes reflected this, fighting communist villains instead of Nazis. Particularly, Captain America’s arch enemy Red Skull proceeded from being a Nazi in Hitler’s Germany to a communist in Soviet Russian.

I, Captain Dash, am fighting my own particular adversary to democracy, of sorts. I am a vocal proponent of the open data movement which is founded on the principal that data belongs to all people, much like freedom. Therefore, I have made it a goal of mine to promote this revolution as it progresses. I also wield the ability to give others, particularly marketers, superpowers to x-ray their company’s data. This means that they are able to break free from the burdens that excessive and confusing data create.

With the end of the cold war, superheroes have since turned to the plethora of mad scientists and shape-shifting brutes that seem to exist in the States, but it is clear that the initial goal of superheroes was to protect democracy from the Nazis and communists that sought to harm her. As such, I will continue to fight for open data and arm marketers with the ability to free themselves from the captivity of overwhelming statistics and time-consuming reporting.

Faithfully yours,
The Captain

Retail Analytics: The Captain is training new Big Data Heroes

Captain Dash wants to share with you his insights on how to effectively use retail analytics.
Nowadays, there are so many things that can be analyzed and so many names that get tossed around describing these different processes including the term Retail Analytics. So what exactly is Retail Analytics? This concept is rooted on the idea that logistically the process of getting a product from creation to the retailer is at its most efficient at all stages due to extensive data.

However, once the retailer receives this product, the amount of data they have is significantly less accurate and thus the process is much more ineffective. Therefore, Retail Analytics seeks to remedy this by allowing individual store or department managers to have the necessary information needed to efficiently run there store.

In essence, it is the process of gathering customer information that was previously undiscovered to initiate the best practices for an individual store.

These little tips will help you to be more efficient and increase your business. So let’s get started: blast off in 3…2…1…

Try it on a Small Scale

Before committing many resources to retail analytics, try it on a small scale to get a feel for it. But, just because you’re starting small, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t include all available data when testing out retail analytics. For example, if you have multiple shops, try it with only one of them, but make sure that you use all the data.


Include all possible data in your analysis starting from day one. Breaking the barriers that might exist within your data from the beginning is an indispensable asset for every company. This allows you to compare datasets across at least two dimensions from the onset of your implementation.

Think Big

Don’t ever believe that you have too much data- one never have too much data. Yes, data is increasing, but ways and technologies to process this information are also increasing. This means you still have the capability to analyze all the data. Think specifically of systems that cope with big data; NoSQL and Hadoop give you the chance to have an agile system.

Go Outside the Box

Variable data shouldn’t be kept within one company. Rather, put your business in to context; share it, exchange it, link it with suppliers and maybe even customers. Offering up your data to other individuals will lead to an open data revolution resulting in the creation of valuable new services.

Mix Datasets

Exogenous factors play a key role. Internal factors are not enough to explain customers’ behaviors. Purchasing decisions are also driven- sometimes up to 45%- by exogenous factors like weather conditions or traffic patterns. Mixing this data with internal information will reveal insights like never before that will benefit your company.

Make your Interface and Data-visualizations sexy

Data is sexy when the interface is fancy. Ask for professional tools that are as easy to use as personal ones. Smart data-visualizations are the new way to offer a good experience to people in exploring, understanding, and showing their data. Machismo isn’t a part of computing- agile technology and systems are, and they exist. So use those!

Hire Data Superstars

Believe in scientists ability to improve your ROI in the short-term. They can do for your sales what commercials can’t! Data scientists are the next superstars employees. They are rare but essential and change the landscape of your shops in a few seconds through good insights.

Data for Every Company

Not a big company, not a problem. Retail analytics shouldn’t just be a concern for multinationals. New technologies and agile systems can also give small businesses the opportunity to increase their sales. Simple analytics are easy to get without any integrations while visualization can play a vital role in delivering data manipulation abilities to those without direct programming or statistical skills. There is no longer a need for large investment costs, nor are there skill barriers. Now, every business can benefit from analytics.

Data for everybody

Don’t reserve the opportunity to see solutions to only executives; instead, offer everyone in the company from top management to cashiers the possibility of visualizing information. Becoming a data-driven organization is about fostering a better feeling for data among all employees. Use the intelligence of everyone in your organization to improve your business. Soon it won’t be possible to begin one’s day without looking at their analytics.

Back to Commerce

Stop thinking that optimization processes are reserved to only logistics. Instead of doing inefficient and expensive special orders use these new tools to bring optimization into the marketing world. Become traders once again- make real time and accurate offers. The aim of your business is to have more business at the end of the day- so, optimize daily prices and offers via the new insights and succeed in this goal!

Make it mobile

Don’t buy hardware devices when every customer already has one in their pocket. Catch digital data from the real world with cell phones. By using it accurately, you will know the space and the attendance of your customers in a shop via sensors. Make sure that you use contactless devices embedded in phones from the beginning.

Connected Business is Born

E-commerce is dead  but connected commerce is just being born and long may it live! Business is now cross channelled- no purchase is exclusively online or offline. People are constantly getting feedback from friends on Facebook and reading review on specialized blogs. But, people also still go into shops so they can touch a product and see it with their own eyes. So, make sure that the activity on your company’s online services isn’t trapped between marketing and IT departments.

Privacy Policy

Don’t try and play with a customer’s data with ought giving them some transparency; give people access to data that you have about them. Take advantage of it to promote consumption but also show them your good will towards privacy policies and practices.

Share the benefits

Don’t look only at your ROI. Share the benefits from your data analysis with your customers. This will not only improve your ROI but also the customer experience. People tolerate the increase of information held by companies as long as it saves the time, earns them money, or gives them a beter service.

I hope that all of these tips have shown you the importance of retail analytics and how it can help your business succeed. I definitely encourage you to implement some, if not all, of these ideas into your business to improve your sales. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask!

As always,

The Captain

PS:My comics on this topic is here: Retail Analytics by CaptainDash

Superpowers galore!

Let’s be honest- all of you out there without extraordinary abilities wish that you had a superpower, let alone multiple ones. But have you noticed how your favorite superheroes all seem to have more than one awesome trait that allows them to fight evil? Well your favorite masked marketer is no different. And though it would seem that I have some unique abilities, my powers are actually not that different from a hero in a comic book. Let’s take a look at what abilities I possess and which of my crime-fighting allies also possess these traits!

X-ray Vision: This is without a doubt the most important superpower in my arsenal. I, Captain Dash, give your marketers the ability to see straight through complex data. Using Big Data capabilities I can take your internal data and develop results that will show various correlations between factors. This will allow your company to increase its business greatly, and who wouldn’t like that?

Heroes with same ability: Superman, Ariella Kent

Super-intelligence: Yes, I have the ability to x-ray vision through your data and show you results, but I also possess extreme intelligence that gives your marketers incredible new insights. Not only do I look at your internal data when drawing my conclusions, but I also look at extensive amounts of external factors that affect the results as well.These exogenous factors include weather, gas prices, stock markets, and the time of year. These factors can potentially affect a consumer’s decision by up to 45% so my intelligence with these factors is incredibly important to your business.

Heroes with the same ability: Batman, Professor X

Flight: By taking advantage of my other abilities you’re company will also gain the ability to fly. The results that I give you will cause your business to rocket up to the next level. Furthermore, by having the Captain Dash advantage, you will be able to soar above the competition increasing sales greatly!

Heroes with the same ability: Banshee, Wasp

Now that you have a further understanding of my superpowers, now it’s your turn to gain extraordinary abilities. By getting the Captain Dash application, your marketers will also have superpowers allowing your business a better chance of success. Make sure you check out my website to learn more and to get a preview of our application set to debut with Microsoft 8 on October 26th!

The Masked Marketer,
Captain Dash

The Dark Knight and Big Data

The highly anticipated conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises”, hits the big screens in the United States this weekend. Christian Bale returns to play the Caped Crusader, starring alongside other favorites such as Michael Kaine and Gary Oldman. Tom Hardy joins the cast to play the hulking villain Bane, while Anne Hathaway portrays Selina Kyle/Catwoman- Batman’s femme fatale. Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Marion Cottilard round out the finale’s all-star cast.

Batman is widely recognized as one of the most famous superheroes ever created. His character has a much darker story than other famous superheroes, such as Superman and Spiderman. The Dark Knight first flew onto pages in 1939 when DC Comics first introduced him. Just a year later, in 1940, Batman was given his first solo title, a sidekick- Robin the Boy Wonder- and two infamous villains- the Joker and Catwoman (we’ll have to see how villainous Hathaway’s Catwoman is soon). At different points in Batman’s history, including in the movies in the 90’s, DC has tried to shift the character away from his dark origins towards a lighter, more humorous concept. However, this has never been nearly as successful as the portrayal of the Caped Crusader as a superhero with tragic undertones.

I see some similarities between myself and the Bat, especially when it comes to superpowers. Unlike many other superheroes, Batman does not have any of supernatural powers; he is just a man. Instead, his abilities derive from his wealth and the gadgets he builds with it. The same could be said for yours truly. It’s true that I give superpowers to marketers, but it’s also true that they are derived directly from the data I collect. Without big data and other systems, I would not have any superpowers to share with the marketing world.

Interestingly, in the second movie in Nolan’s trilogy, The Dark Knight, Batman creates a giant information system that taps into all of the mobile phones in Gotham City in order to track his nemesis, the Joker. Although his intentions are good, this system is an extreme violation of privacy. Once the system has fulfilled its purpose, namely, helping Batman catch the Joker, Batman makes sure it is destroyed. Obviously, there is great power in big data, but we have to remember to use it responsibly.

Still, it is not solely this access to wealth, in the form of money and data alike, that sets Batman and I apart. Batman’s super-human abilities include incredible athleticism and strength. He also has unparalleled intelligence and, in the movies, he has trained as a ninja with the League of Shadows. Similarly, I, Captain Dash, don’t just use the data from your company to give your marketers helpful superpowers. Rather, I also consider outside factors, such as weather, political and environmental activities, and demographics, when producing results for your company.

With this being the final installment of the trilogy, it’ll be interesting to see how Nolan ends the series. It is worth noting that in the comic books, Bruce Wayne’s reign as Batman comes to a halt at the hands of Bane who breaks the hero’s back. Furthermore, if you’ve seen the trailer for the movie, you’ve also heard Batman tell Catwoman that so far he hasn’t give the people of Gotham everything just yet.  So how do you think the series will end? Will Batman finally meet his match? Or will the Dark Knight prove even greater than he was in the past. To find out, make sure you head to the cinema to see Christopher Nolan’s stunning conclusion!

The Captain!