Ted tells me it's not shameless self-promotion if it's also interesting, so here goes nothing. After working on the EQII data set for the past 4 years and generating a lot of research, a few of us on the effort decided to think about commericalizing what we'd learned and thought about along the way. Our effort, Ninja Metrics, debuted at GDC last week and is now working with several companies.
We've developed a series of tools, dashboards and analysis engines to automate the study of large volumes of data. Our coolest tool by far is one that measures social influence and places a dollar value on it. I think it's a big deal. Links, descriptions, gizmos and more below the fold.
Ninja Metrics is the product of my own fevered brain and the expertise of my co-founder, Jaideep Srivastava, a professor at the University of Minnesota. It's also a little bit of a labor of love as long-time TN readers may connect me with a deep love of games, studying players, and playing with data. Together with some of our amazing PhD students, we've invented a tool called the Katana Analytics Engine (Ninjas use katanas. I checked, ok?). What does it do?
Check it out in demo form.
The system is designed to work in both subscription and free-to-play environments, and can also be adapted to pure retail or even ad impressions. Really, anywhere where there are social ties and then monetary outcomes. It can predict who will quit, who will spend, who will play more, who’s a gold farmer, and where and how all of these things originated.
The crown jewel of the system, though, is something called the social network influence model. To see it, navigate these tabs on the demo: know your player->churn->network analysis. Zoom in by holding the right mouse button and scrolling up and down.
This dashboard gives the predicted future total value of the entire current network based on deep modeling, i.e. it’s what the whole player base is worth. Then, it attributes a value to every person in the network based on how much they are going to spend plus how much they influence others.
This last part is the real magic: As we know, some people are more influential than others. Knowing who these people are allows a firm to target products or offers to that person so that the influencer will then spread that idea to others. It's like word of mouth, but more powerful and totally known and measurable. It is an entirely different way to think about advertising. We deliver it, and then enable companies to use it to test promotions and interventions, and then see whether they were effective. The system also shows the bottom line increase in sales/network value after the intervention, allowing a marketer to estimate the impact of a campaign for a very large population. Press button here, see increase in value there.
A whole list of features in guided tour form can be found here.