Retail section: Returns plague fashion e-commerce. Can technology fix the problem?

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PhiSix, a recent eBay acquisition, seeks to apply the digital effects you see in blockbuster films to e-commerce. The same technology that helps a computer-generated character in a film look realistic can help the average shopper find clothes that fit better.

While shoppers can’t yet benefit from the technology — eBay is still determining how to integrate PhiSix into its retail innovations efforts — it appears possible that it will eventually make the online shopping process better for consumers.

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Auto Section: Nissan’s new vision for dealerships – no desks, no offices!

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Nissan hopes to create a modern retail environment and improve the way customers are moved through the buying and service process.

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Banking Section: Omni-Channel Personalization in the Banking Industry

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The motive for the personalization often dictates the types of data available and the way it is implemented. Marketing-based personalization does not have the luxury of access to deep information about prospects and is typically focused on behaviors such as product views. Support-based personalization typically has a large amount of data about customers, such as products owned, and is able to leverage that data for very fine-tuned communications.

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Analytics Section: Tackling the analytic lifecycle

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Models generally have to be recoded before deployment (e.g., data scientists may favor Python, but production environments may require Java). PMML, an XML standard for representing analytic models, has made things easier. Companies who have access to in-database analytics1, may opt to use their database engines to encode and deploy models.

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Marketing Section: How technology is taking over marketing.

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We can debate functions and org charts. But in a hyper-connected digital world, everything that a business does — the entire customer experience that it delivers, from the very first touchpoint onward — is now the scope of marketing.

Marketing has more software entwined in its mission today than any other profession in the history of computing. Leveraging these capabilities requires new approaches to marketing strategy and management — as well as new kinds of talents within the marketing team, such as marketing technologists. Download here

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Trends Section: IBM Invests $100 Million To Expand Design Business thro’ Nishad

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“The world is sort of waking up to design thinking, new ways of thinking about problems and solutions to problems,” John Armstrong, North American Leader, IBM Interactive Experience, tells Co.Design. “We’ve seen in all of our research, CEOs are very focused around the customer experience. This is very much an investment on IBM’s part in terms of where we’re seeing the demand.”

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HR Section: Why Great Managers Are So Rare

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Companies fail to hire the right people to be managers 82% of the time, a mistake that costs businesses billions of dollars a year, according to Gallup data. Only about one in 10 people have the basic leadership skills needed to run a company, and companies seldom appoint those people to senior management positions, researchers found. “Sure, every manager can learn to engage a team somewhat. But without the raw natural talent … the day-to-day experience will burn out both the manager and his or her team,” warn Randall Beck and Jim Harter

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