MobileWe live in a “now” world.  We need access to information faster, anywhere, anytime, and that access needs to work every time.  We’ve lost patience with waiting and we’ve traded the phrase “wait a minute” for “just a second.”  It’s a mobile world and our mobile phone is our connection to it.

Over the past year at ACTIVE.com, we’ve found that access to the site via mobile devices, tablets or smartphones, now exceeds laptop and desktop traffic by nearly 20 percent.  People are searching for activities while they’re on the go, and they are making purchase decisions.  Across the Internet, the rise in mobile traffic rivals traditional online traffic, and website owners are forced to consider new technologies to make their websites more responsive to smaller screens.

Digital analytics firm ComScore has done significant research on the impact of mobile devices on Internet traffic and time spent on various screens.  According to their US Digital Future in Focus 2014 report, between 2010 and 2013, the amount of time spent on a digital platform increased by 83%.  The bulk of the growth was represented by nearly a 300% increase in mobile usage. The time spent on a desktop increased only 7% over the same period.
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PoliticsYou may recall that in the 2012 election, polls dominated the discussion, such as who people said they would vote for or what particular issues where important to them. Often these polls were contradictory and several of them focused on issues unimportant to the election.

But one person, Nate Silver, used a statistical model that filtered out the noise and focused on the signals. By doing so, he successfully picked the election results for President in all fifty states.

So how did he do it?
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RunnersIn sales, it’s been said, “if you wait for your customer to find you, you may already be too late.” But what if you knew when your customer was likely to start their search? How would that affect your marketing efforts? Would you change when you opened registration?

In the endurance event space, tradition often governs when registrations open and the marketing activities that support the event begin, as in: “For 10 years, we’ve opened registrations the week following New Year’s Day.”  What if I told you that even though tradition may seem to work as a strategy, consumer data could indicate a better time to open registration or make a marketing push that could convert more registrations faster?

Consider Cyber Monday.

Since the mid-20th century, people have gone out searching for “door buster deals” on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Brick and mortar retailers across the nation stock the shelves with the hottest gadgets and the latest fashions.  People come and people spend, every year. It’s a national tradition. But, in 2005, a retail trade association noticed data indicating that a wave of online purchases occurred on the Monday after Black Friday around lunchtime. The phenomenon became known as Cyber Monday and continues to be a boon for retailers.

So, what does that have to do with your race?
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Big-Data-3

If you saw our last blog explaining what data is, then you’re probably starting to see the amazing possibilities of what it can do and how it’s becoming more valuable. But just how valuable is data? Just how far can it take the endurance and event management industries?

In the past few years, data has begun to come at our industry at a much faster rate than in the past. What ACTIVE Network’s focus has been is to wrap our arms around it all.

That’s easier than it sounds though. When data is ready, it takes a trained statistical analyst to truly understand it. Analysts identify relationships among data attributes and evaluate them. When they find a connection, they create statistical models. Based on those models, they can generate analytics on a massive scale to derive insights and start predicting customer behavior. That’s the foundation of “Big Data.”

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ac-blog-bigdata

Data. It’s a technical word that programmers throw around a lot. But is it really anything besides ones and zeroes? Pieces of random information? Bits and bytes?

If you answered anything besides a resounding and earth-shattering “YES,” please go back and check your answer. Data, in itself is the next level up in the information chain. It’s the information you actually use to calculate, analyze, or plan. But you have to know how to evaluate, sift through and make sense of it to gain access to its secrets. When you do, you’ll learn the keys to success in any business.

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We have some exciting news to share with our ACTIVE Network community. We’ve been listening to your challenges and successes around best practices for managing events, attracting participants and growing your organization. We know that having better insight into your customers, market and competition is valuable. It helps you make better decisions and, at the end of the day, increases revenue.

This is why we are pleased to tell you that ACTIVE Network will be introducing new, cloud-based data analytic tools, aptly named Activity Cloud, for its ACTIVE Works customers. The initial ACTIVE Network Activity Cloud™ modules will be available in late Spring 2015. We can’t wait to show you all the functionality when it’s ready for launch.

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