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"The common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn't indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn't detect." — Mark Twain (Read Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , and Part 5 of this Death of Advertising series.) On an auspicious Friday night in Asheville, North Carolina on June 22, a group of artists, writers, filmmakers, playwrights, actors, and musicians gathered to kick off the start of an immersive museum titled ZED . What does the name ZED mean? Nothing and everything. It was the word that was in black graffiti on the 10,000 square foot warehouse that the ZED team is looking to use as its first home and it stuck. Because any other name would seem techno-babble. Although the first permanent immersive museum in North Carolina, this is not the first of its kind. There are soon to be three in the United States under the name Meow Wolf , with the first one being in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and soon to be opened in Denver, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada. Team Lab is opening one in Tokyo, Japan. In New York City, the American Museum of Natural History is opening an immersive experience called Our Senses . Note that immersive doesn't strictly mean virtual reality or augmented reality or even technology of any sort. It can simply be a place where you submerge into a physical piece of artwork. However, immersive is becoming more than a trend in the art world as it’s a total body experience – body, mind, and mostly importantly, soul – in contrast to a passive viewing and a loose philosophical interpretation. Remember, beauty is the eye of the beholder Maybe that's why digital immersive, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, hasn't taken off for films, series, and video games as it was expected to do. The beholder hasn't found the beauty in immersive yet. Further, there are several issues such as motion sickness associated with virtual reality viewing for extended periods of time. Secondly, there is the cost for the viewing technology. And finally, there has not been a killer piece of content that has created a groundswell of adoption. Also, it requires people to wean themselves from their mobile phone addiction of checking their Twitter or Facebook every 30 seconds. The opposite of Twitter or Facebook is virtual reality as it's a solo sport. Virtual reality storytelling has been more voyeurism than active involvement. The disconnect in one's brain to have all senses activated but merely watch or stand on the sidelines prevents the affinity between immersive content and the viewer. Previously, I have talked about the other issues that immersive storytelling poses . But why virtual reality is floundering has a more fundamental issue – how can you sell something in it? Open your wallets Adoption comes from the ability to sell products via advertising. If you can be advertised to, the technology proliferates and the storytelling matures. So the race has begun to use immersive as a product-selling mechanism. New York City ad agencies such as AdVRtze and Colorado-based Hypercube are looking to find ways to demarcate points of gazing to gauge interest. Companies such as Admix are using the immersive lingering as a way to do pop ups in the story to allow you to purchase or acquire coupons for future use. More importantly, it allows both in video games and organic filmmaking to use green-screened products to be used as real-time bidding objects. For example, in the content, perhaps the person in front of you is drinking a cup of coffee. However, during filming the coffee cup is green to be replaced digitally later by whoever bids highest for the object during the time of viewing – much how banner ads act now. Or if a filmmaker is creating a virtual reality film, it will make as many objects as possible blue- or green-colored to be replaced by the company who pays the most for the branding or the full production. Also note that the credits of immersive films will be the highest point of purchase following what Marvel did with its Avengers series – that people wait until after the credits to see a secret scene that tells more story or preludes to the next episode. Instead with immersive, the end credits, with the help of companies such as TheTake, all the products worn, used, and discussed will be shown as purchasable. However, a filter will drill down based on tracking your eyes such as the FOVE VR headset. So the key is to stay until the end of the content to get discounts on the things you want to buy. Close your eyes Eyes are not the only ways to engage your immersive senses. Sound will also be used to introduce product placements with the help of companies such as Sonic Union who specializes in Spatial Audio Mix . Speaker company Dutch & Dutch just patented a new machine learning algorithm to help its speakers to create an immersive experience, and its new Wavvy wand records sound experiences that mimic the real world with very little studio post production. Repeat The other issue is the massive amounts of infrastructure required to stream 1200+ media files that make up a common 8K immersive experience to represent every direction – up, down, left, right, and behind you. This is why Colorado company Hypercube teamed up with Nokia following the release of the OZO camera, to build a standard for all immersive infrastructure that allows 8K and even 16K experiences to not be forced to render within an app but can be brought by a single URL. It can even detect location to do the best load balancing and offers the algorithm in a pre-packaged virtual environment that be deployed in a public or private cloud. Finally, it allows the viewer to be returned to a website or another experience when the content completes. The content can be controlled by access controls, number of allowed views, and geographic location. The key to this infrastructure is repeatability with the same quality of service. In fact, the more you view, the clearer the experience gets. Very similar to when you begin viewing Netflix and in the beginning of watching content, the picture looks grainy but quickly becomes very crisp and distinct. But the most important repeat is the storytelling itself. In Quentin Tarantino's opening scene for the film "Reservoir Dogs", several guns for hire eat at a diner and discuss tipping the waitress as the camera rotates on a Lazy Susan camera rig. If this scene could be recreated using immersive filmmaking – this would be a perfect scene. It allows for cross talking – multiple angles, multiple conversations, and multi-engagement for the viewer who's point of view could easily be a) the waitress b) or one of the guns for hire. The best aspect is the ability to draw viewers back into the scene over and over to get a new experience or learn something new. That's why the key to immersive storytelling will be theater productions or theater in the round actors – to allow multiple scenes layer with a focus being put on the main action but allowing the viewer to tip their ear into a direction to get other sounds and conversations. From a selling point, you can watch the scene over and over and a new product could be injected from the coffee, the cigarettes, to the suit and ties which are available to be bid on as purchasable. The production team could then make a choice on how to allow advertising – either in story purchases where pop ups would show such as Admix but pause the narrative, or end credit purchases such as TheTake which allows the entire story to be told first. So as Asheville begins the process to launch its first immersive museum, ZED, it will begin to let artists of all types experiment with immersive worlds of touch, sound, and visual. In essence, immersive requires all of your imagination. Limiting ZED to only one sensory experience will easily end Asheville's ZED before it begins. Or to quote Bruce Willis in the film "Pulp Fiction" by Quentin Tarantino, "ZED's dead." "You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." — Mark Twain Article written by Gary Jackson Image credit by Getty Images,  Photodisc, Paper Boat Creative Want more? For Job Seekers | For Employers | For Influencers
A conversation with Stephen M. Schneider, PhD, PMP, core doctoral faculty at Capella University (Content sponsored by Capella University) We recently sat down with Dr. Schneider , coauthor of "The Laminated Glass Ceiling", to understand what he thinks is holding women back as leaders in information technology. Below are excerpts from that conversation. Q: What was the motivation behind the paper, "The Laminated Glass Ceiling"? A: I worked at the Kennedy Space Center for 30 years. I encouraged my boss to get a PhD, and she told me she wanted to write about women in business for her dissertation. She asked me to help her come up with a good idea. At the same time, my male coworker, a talented African-American who came from modest circumstances, told me, “In my neighborhood, I am looked down upon for being a software developer. That’s seen as women’s work; real men don’t do that.” I was astounded. Hearing a person say “People like me aren’t supposed to do that,” triggered the idea that this kind of cognitive dissonance relates to women in business as well. I talked with my boss about how there might be more than a glass ceiling inhibiting women from above. It may also be personal, perceived restrictions from below. That was where we got the idea, two panes of glass holding women back. Q: When you went into the research, what were your expectations? A: As my boss wrote her PhD dissertation in 2009, we both expected her survey to reveal some differences between how women and men perceive barriers that prevent women from becoming executives. However, she got five sets of highly significant different responses between women and men. I wasn’t expecting such a big disparity. Q: Why do you call it the laminated glass ceiling? How does it differ from a glass ceiling? A: A regular glass ceiling exists because of discrimination, something imposed upon someone by someone else. The Fortune 500 has a small percentage of CEOs who are women – but about half of the population (and the work force) are women. On the other hand, too many women might be tempted to say, “I can’t be a CEO, I’m a female.” Well, that’s people limiting themselves. So you have a network that discriminates against women, and women who discriminate against themselves. That’s a double whammy that combines external discrimination with internal cognitive dissonance. Q: Is the laminated glass ceiling more difficult to break through? Why? A: Absolutely, you have discrimination from above, cognitive dissonance from below, and what binds the two panes together is a similarity attraction theory. The idea is if you think someone is like you, you tend to think more highly of and converse with that person more frequently. So, say you have a male CEO and a female considering working toward that position. If the woman is going to be promoted, the two have to view each other as being somewhat similar if they are going to work together comfortably. When these factors work against each other, it’s really tough to break through that ceiling. Q: Why is it important for women to break through this ceiling? A: Because women make up about half of the population. Although there are many people who call themselves feminists, I believe we should all be humanists. Everybody should be treated fairly. We’ve got economic competition with China and India, who have much larger populations than we do. We can’t afford to ignore the talent of 50 percent of our population. Q: How can women break through this laminated ceiling? A: It will come from two directions. First, women will need to change many of the concepts of themselves. Many men in positions of power will need to change their views of women. For instance, men’s leadership tends to be more authoritative, and women’s leadership tends to be more participative. A lot of studies have shown this. Those same studies indicate that participative leadership tends to be more effective. If you’d like to learn about Dr. Schneider’s work, read the full paper – " The Laminated Glass Ceiling ". Find out more about Capella IT programs to gain the tools to move forward in your career. Earn a degree in Information Technology > Content sponsored by Capella University Image credit by Capella University Want more? For Job Seekers | For Employers | For Influencers
(Content sponsored by CVS Health) Every day at CVS Health, five million customers visit their retail pharmacies. And from each of these interactions, they gather just some of the data that they use every day to drive decisions. Team members use data, for example, to optimize ExtraCare, one of the industry’s largest and most advanced retail rewards program. They use it to build bridges across data sets to help with medication adherence. They use it to build tools and models to help create brand new services. And teams across their organization will utilize these tools to make data-driven decisions that will influence product development and help operations partners give patients easier access to CVS Health services and help them on their path to better health. Data helped lower patient costs One specific example of data making a difference is in Specialty Medical Benefit Management. These patients have rare diseases and high cost medications. By looking deep into the data, CVS Health saw that it could streamline processes, connect different areas of the company, and ultimately deliver a solution that makes tough, expensive treatments easier and more affordable. Analytics disciplines Curious what it’s like to work at the nation’s largest pharmacy health care provider? “You’ll be impacting the business and driving strategy in a very direct and apparent way that inevitably affects people’s lives and health,” said Merouan Bouzhar, Analytics Development, Strategic Analytics. Check out these five analytics disciplines: 1. Analytics Consulting Services (ANCS). In Analytics Consulting Service (ANCS), CVS Health works closely with their Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) clients to help them develop a comprehensive understanding of their pharmacy costs and utilization and what factors drive them. Using advanced analytics tools, CVS Health also helps them lower costs or grow their business while creating the best benefit for their patients. Working in this dynamic, multi-disciplined group, you’ll need strong technical, financial, and business skills, as well as the ability to distill complex information into actionable insights. 2. Analytics Development. One of the most exciting and interesting areas of analytics, Analytics Development is where you’ll work with business partners across CVS Health to derive deep insights on customers and business process, and then develop automated tools, metrics, and advanced models to integrate those insights into business processes. Teams across their organization will utilize these tools to make data-driven decisions, and your work will influence product development and help operations partners give patients easier access to services and help them on their path to better health. You must be a problem solver and creative thinker who can understand customer needs as well as translate those into actionable, repeatable business insights. 3. Customer Analytics. As the primary analytics tool for all of CVS Health Marketing, Customer Analytics works with stakeholders and data sources from all units of the retail business to help them understand how marketing and other initiatives drive changes in consumer behavior. This helps each business unit make strategic decisions within and beyond Marketing and gain a deeper understanding of patient and consumer behavior. You’ll use analytics tools ranging from propensity and time-series modeling, to a/b testing and data visualization. Strong technical skills in SQL/SAS are a must as is an ability to communicate complex analyses to non-technical audiences. 4. Enterprise Evaluation and Population Health Analytics (EEHPA). Working with many areas of CVS Health, Enterprise Evaluation and Population Health Analytics (EEHPA) has two branches. The first use epidemiology, biostatistics, and health services research approaches to design and evaluate clinical programs and Enterprise initiatives. The Population Health branch develops analytics models to predict patient behaviors and models for population surveillance and intervention. Employees typically have an advanced background in epidemiology, mathematics, economics, medicine, engineering, or health services research, as well as a passion about data and improving health. 5. ExtraCare Analytics. In ExtraCare Analytics, the team strives to understand their customers and create marketing programs that deliver 1:1 personalized messages and offers to each customer. The retail rewards program ExtraCare is driven by the insights and innovations of colleagues like you. You’ll work in a rapid-test and rapid-learn environment and focus on improving customer loyalty by using attributes and behavioral data to deliver the right offer to the right customer at the right time. They have a variety of analytics disciplines on their team, and they are open to any industry backgrounds. The culture CVS Health core values of Innovation, Collaboration, Caring, Integrity, and Accountability support their purpose of helping people on their path to better health for customers and patients, and also they apply to how the company supports its more than 250,000 colleagues. What does CVS Health look for in their colleagues? They seek fresh ideas, new perspectives, a diversity of experiences, and a dedication to service that will help them better meet the needs of the many people and businesses that rely on them each day. Chief Analytics Officer Bob Darin said, “One of the things that's unique about CVS is our mission to transform how health is delivered, and actually solve some of the biggest problems in this country about how do we make medication and healthcare more affordable, how do we make sure more people have access to the care that they need, and how do we improve quality and demonstrate it? Analytics is critical to each of those problems.” Featured jobs Join the team and help find new ways to interpret, test, model, and analyze information and ultimately help people on their path to better health. Advisor, Retail Data Strategy Analytics Located in Woonsocket, Rhode Island Senior Analytics Advisor - Machine Learning Data Scientist Located in Scottsdale, Arizona Senior Advisor, Trend Analytics - Senior Solution Strategist - Finance Located in Scottsdale, Arizona Application Developer, Rebates Forecasting Located in Scottsdale, Arizona Search all analytics jobs at CVS Health > Content sponsored by CVS Health Image credit by CVS Health Want more? For Job Seekers | For Employers | For Influencers
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