Book Club

Welcome to the Datalytics Book Club – Nudge

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Welcome to the Datalytics Book Club

Welcome to the first review of the Datalytics’ Book Club!  We will be reading and reviewing a range of books covering data, marketing, customer engagement and a few other interesting topics along the way!  We hope the reviews will either encourage you to read up on a topic or save you some time prioritising those 10,000 hours!

Why a Book Club at work?

If two ideas come together and look like they fit, its ok to assume you’re onto something, right?  I really liked Gladwell’s book, Outliers and the notion that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be successful in any discipline.  This was my first idea: 10,000 of practice.

My second idea was how to improve my lousy track record at Book Club.  With the very best of intentions I just can’t keep up with the reading.  Enter, idea two: what if I’d a book club at work which helped me clock up some of my 10,000 hours …

As with my original book club, we know there will be times when you just can’t get the reading done and so we have a little cheat.  We’ve a collection of pocket books and articles that can be read with a cup of coffee to save your bacon on those tough months.

 Review of ‘Nudge’

Nudge by Thaler & Sunstein

NUDGE, by Thaler and Sunstein.

Why I Read This Book

This month I read Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein [Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness, by Thaler and Sunstein, Penguin UK, 2012].  I was inspired by Rand Fishkin at the DMX last year and have had it on my list for some time now, but it was well worth the read.

Quick Summary

In it, the guys take us on an interesting tour of how we as humans actually make decisions.  Not always following the most sensible path, economists among you will be surprised and disappointed in parts!  The context in which we make choices plays a huge part in the outcome.  The book covers a range of situations from a simple choice about food in a school canteen to the more complex decisions about retirement and pensions.  It is very well written and ideal for a stop-start reader like me, though I did almost miss my dart station on the way home one evening.

Exploring concepts such as choice architecture, heuristics (short cuts in our decision making based on experience) to the role of Government in nudging society along a plan this book will hold your interest no matter what side of the marketing fence you sit – marketers and consumers have a lot to learn.

What I Learned

Back to my 10,000 hours – while I did not clock up how long it took me to read the book, I have definitely learned more about my approach to customer engagement and how we present choices, particularly in the digital context where we have their attention for such a short span.  I will also pay more attention to the default values set and how it plays out in the customer journey we are designing.  Finally, the role of collaborative filtering.  It is helpful to read my next book based on the preferences of those with whom I share a common taste in book, but I need to veer off the beaten track from time to time too to widen my learning and experience.

So my apologies to my pals, but I’m sticking with the Book Club at work this year – two birds with the one stone and all of that!

We’d love more people to get involved so if you’d like to see what’s on our reading list drop Anca a line and she’ll send it on ancacomsa@datalytics.ie.

Book reviewed by Tara Grehan, 14 February 2014.

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