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Metaverse

Metaverse

metaverse

It wasn’t all that long ago that the idea of using gaming aspects to shop, learn, and work more effectively would have sounded ludicrous; now gamification is recognized as one of the most powerful tools in attracting, engaging, and retaining consumers in virtually every arena. More recently, the word metaverse is increasingly being bandied about, the buzz fueled by our shifting habits due to the pandemic and enormous investments made by Facebook and other companies.

For those in the tech world, the metaverse is the natural progression in our collective digital experience, allowing us to harness the power of AI and avatars to interact in environments we wouldn’t be able to access in real life;  the rest of us, however, are left wondering what, exactly, it is and what it means for our future.  Is the metaverse the next step in our evolution, or the stuff of a scary science fiction novel?

Virtual and Mixed Reality Worlds 

Virtual Objects

Nike: The Gamification Pioneers

Future of the Metaverse

Escapism or Exploration 

Virtual and Mixed Reality Worlds

Kristi Woolsey, tech guru and Associate Direction of BCG Platinion, has one of the clearer definitions, which was quoted in Forbes as “the combination of the virtual reality and mixed reality worlds accessed through a browser or headset, which allows people to have real-time interactions and experiences across distance.”  Woosley goes on to explain that similar to the internet, which linked once separate networks, the growing number of individual metaverses will eventually come together in one other-worldly place we can all pop in and out of to enhance our lives, or perhaps live several at once.  For example, instead of staring at your family members on a Zoom screen, you could gather together in a tropical environment and enjoy activities just as you would in a physical space.

Virtual Objects

Intimately connected with the metaverse – and, many say, even more puzzling – is the market for virtual objects, ranging from artwork and clothes to real estate for one’s avatar, creating potentially limitless sources of revenue. For evidence of this we need look no further than recent NFT auctions, including artwork like Beeple’s Everydays: The first 5000 Days, which sold for $69 million in March 2021.  NFTs or, non-fungible tokens, are also redefining the music industry, creating new income streams for artists and unique experiences for fans.    

Nike: The Gamification Pioneers

Nike is perhaps the best example of a gamification pioneer that is now leading the charge into the metaverse.  In 2006, long before gamification was a household word, the sneaker giant launched its Nike+iPod Sports Kit, in which a device in the sneaker communicated with a wristband, iPhone or iPod to record the speed and length of a workout. Later iterations included celebrity shout-outs when the user hit a new milestone.

This was followed in 2010 by the Nike Runners Club, which was leaps and bounds ahead of the Sports Kit, as well as any other gamification fitness product on the scene. Designed to help runners overcome the waning motivation that keeps them from reaching their fitness goals, the NRC includes guided workouts and coaching to keep things fresh and interesting. Perhaps its most important feature, however, is the ability of runners to create their own tribe, with members serving as both competitors and cheerleaders for each other.

Given this trajectory, it seemed inevitable that the company would create an entire virtual world, which it did, in collaboration with gaming platform Roblox, in November 2021. As per usual, Nike has pulled out all the stops with Nikeland, providing a space where avatars can shop, work out, and socialize with others. They have even contracted Lebron James, one of the NBA’s biggest stars and currently with the Los Angeles Lakers, to interact with fans and give them a basketball lesson. James has even trademarked a line of virtual merchandise, from sneakers and trading cards to jewelry and furnishings for the home. As of spring 2022, Nikeland has had seven million visitors.

Future of the Metaverse

Though the future of the metaverse is yet unclear, it is already creating real and tangible change in the world of work. Not surprisingly, Nike has been actively building their team for their Technology Innovation Office, with roles including 3D game designers and other alternate reality visionaries to take things from concept to prototype and eventually, market.  They are not alone, however; other employers are exploring how they can create virtual doubles of their workplace environment in which workers’ avatars can work out real-life problems without the risk or the cost. As mentioned above, it is essentially taking the benefits of gamification to a whole new level.

Escapism or Exploration?

On the flip side is the argument that people will use the metaverse as a form of escapism, preferring to disappear into alternate realities rather than dealing with this one.  That is certainly a legitimate concern, and one we have been facing since the appearance of the first video game. Indeed, navigating the metaverse may prove to be our greatest challenge.  Right now, however, we are in the exciting position of exploring how alternate worlds can improve the way we work, play, and impact each other’s lives.   

Gamification: The Latest Weapon in the War on Cybercrime

Gamification: The Latest Weapon in the War on Cybercrime

Gamification Platform Not Working as Planned

Hackers have been around since the first computer came on the scene; however, what began as reverse-engineering hardware and software to design a better product soon gave birth to one of the biggest problems in modern life: cybercrime.

In 1980, John Draper (aka “Captain Crunch”) earned notoriety as the first criminal hacker when he used a whistle he found at the bottom of a cereal box to trick the phone company’s computer system and make free long-distance calls. However, the world got its first wake-up call about the threat eight years later when  Robert Morris used a worm he created while a Cornell student to drain resources from computers on the internet’s precursor, the Arpanet.

Morris was given a ten-thousand-dollar fine and community service since it was determined that his intent was to conduct an “experiment” to uncover vulnerabilities in the system – a goal he most certainly accomplished as the computers were rendered temporarily unusable. Since then, far more serious cybercrimes have emerged, increasing apace with technological development. Indeed, as we have seen in the past several years it has its tentacles in everything from U.S. politics  and international conflicts to our daily online transactions.

 

  1. Mystery of Cybercrime
  2. Cybersecurity
  3. Protect Your Platform Through Gamification

Mystery of Cybercrime

For many of us cybercrime is still shrouded in mystery, conjuring up images of villains in dank basements twisting their mustaches as they create viruses that can steal individuals’ identities and infiltrate seemingly impenetrable banks.  The speed at which hackers are able to develop new ways of interrupting our lives is mind-boggling, yet there are still steps everyone can take to mitigate risk. Basically, these steps come down to education and good online habits, which is why the white hats are now turning to gamification to help companies take their cybersecurity training to the next level.

Cybersecurity

The creation of immersive environments has long been recognized as one of the most effective ways in which gamification facilitates learning – for example, when employees are able to tackle challenges in simulated environment.  An exciting development in the cybersecurity space is  CSI: Phishing released last month by Global Learning Systems.  The name cleverly echoes that of the popular TV franchise; the world is a company at which a security breach has occurred. The player steps into the role of “investigator” racing to find the origin of the breach by examining employees’ emails and social media posts. Gone are the days when phishing was obvious, and this platform drastically improves the ability to spot red flags that have become increasingly subtler as hackers have become more sophisticated.

Such a platform also goes a long way to get employees to take the training seriously. Yes, they understand the consequences of a breach, however, they might not necessarily feel like it impacts them personally. The right immersive environment drives this possibility home, thereby increasing their investment in the mission. Additionally, even the best-intentioned employees can easily become bored with the traditional cybersecurity trainings – that is, asking them to read through data and then take a quiz. When not engaged, they tend to rush through the material or not finish it – especially when they have more pressing work tasks. However, when they are required to apply the knowledge to a “real-life” situation, they are more likely to retain the information, and enjoy the process enough to take it to the next level.

Protect Your Platform Through Gamification

To this end, it would be wise to have a gaming platform with multiple cybercrime scenarios. As damaging as it can be, phishing is pretty low-hanging fruit in the cybercrime space; it is actually more of an “invitation” to be scammed that is rendered harmless if the recipient of the email is savvy enough to delete it without clicking on any links. Unfortunately, there are other forms of hacking that are far more difficult to stop, so it stands to reason that Global Learning Systems and other companies will be coming out with trainings that address them as well.

Like other gamification programs, you can really get creative with animated characters and fun sound effects, as well as points each time phishing is spotted and leaderboards celebrating high performers.  Also, you don’t necessarily have to create an entirely new platform to be effective, but instead can incorporate these components into your existing trainings.

As is the case in other arenas (i.e., recruiting, onboarding, sales training, and so on), gamification is not a panacea when it comes to keeping your business and its consumers safe. Hacking is a complex and insidious problem orchestrated by some truly nefarious – and super-intelligent – people; otherwise, it wouldn’t be such a serious threat to governments, financial institutions, and shopping sites. That said, gamification is an essential weapon in our arsenal against cybercrime, both in terms of increasing our awareness of the ways in which it shows up and honing our skills on how to stop it before it destroys our companies and our peace of mind.

How to Avoid Data Drown – The Complete Guide

How to Avoid Data Drown – The Complete Guide

How to Avoid Data Drown
  1. What is data drown?
  2. Determine Where You’re Going
  3. Map It Out
  4. Learn to Swim
  5. Let ZIZO Throw You a Line

Drowning in Data? 

You’re not alone! Cisco estimated in 2019 that the Internet of Things would produce over 500 zettabytes per year in data. Years later, the world is producing data at an even more rapid rate, and will only to continue to grow from here. 

Every day, businesses are flooded with endless amounts of information. From employee performance information to customer habits post-transaction, it can be overwhelming to differentiate the important information from the white noise. 

The endless amount of reports is overwhelming – and is it really worth it?   

Of courseStudies show that companies who experience a 10% increase in the usability of their data enjoy an average revenue increase of $2 billion. 

What is Data Drown?

You know that feeling when you’re trying to use data to help you make a decision, but instead of making things easier, you start to feel more and more overwhelmed by the second?  

That’s data drown. 

Globally, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced every day. This amount of information provides both a wealth of possible insights, and an overwhelming place to start when making business decisions. So overwhelming that only 26% of business execs report using big data in their decision making. 

Chances are, the remaining 74% are drowning in data rather than using it to drive their business!  

If this is sounding all too familiar, there is still hope for you to swim, rather than sink, in your company’s data lake. 

Determine Where You’re Going 

Data is too important in today’s business operations for you to get out of the pool. Instead, you need to make the conscious effort to swim.  

We know that there are endless amounts of data available to us, but do we even know where to find the data that we actually need? 

If you needed to increase productivity using the data you have, would you know where to start? Would you even know what data you have access to and where to find it? 

If your answer wasn’t a resounding yes, you’re in the majority. In fact, up to 60% of time spent on data dives is just looking for the relevant data. When you take 60% of all the time you spend pulling reports in a day, it really adds up! Imagine what you could do with all that free time! 

As idealistic as it sounds, easy and time-efficient access to your data is closer than you think. In order to start the process, you’ll need to know what decisions you can make with data. The most common decisions revolve around: 

  • Finance 
  • Growth 
  • Marketing & Sales 
  • Customer Service 

From here, you can start to determine what decisions need to be made in each department. Think of planning your data-based decisions like a funnel, you start broad and gradually drill into precise information you need. 

Map it Out 

Now that you have a broad idea of what you want to accomplish, you’re ready to become a data-based decision maker. According to Super Office’s blog, you can use data to make decisions in 5 steps.   

  1. Determine and Prioritize Objectives 
  2. Find and Present Relevant Data 
  3. Draw Conclusions from the Data 
  4. Plan Your Strategy 
  5. Measure Success and Repeat 

Determine and Prioritize Objectives: 

Take a hint from ZIZO, and start by Zooming Out, what is the biggest piece of information that will provide you with the most insight towards your goals? Outline your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and determine what information you need to track those KPIs and where that information comes from. 

Staying at a view above the trees, consider all the pieces of data that you need to gain insights about each KPI.  Determine which KPIs are the most important to you and start mapping out what sources have the information you need to monitor them.  

Find and Present Relevant Data: 

When we’re considering massive amounts of information, there is typically way more available than necessary for business decisions and planning.  

So how do you decide what you need?  

This answer is deceptively simple; start big and reevaluate regularly, adding small additions until you have the big picture that you want to see.  

As you map out the large pieces of information that you need, the smaller data will become less and less overwhelming.

Learn to Swim 

Draw Conclusions from Data: 

Once you have the relevant information, you’re ready to finally turn your drown into something useful!  

Take the hard data that you’ve found and use it to draw insights about your KPIs. What is going the way you wanted it to? What isn’t? 

Plan Your Strategy: 

Evaluate the data and determine how the information would need to change to be better. Next, decide what factors will move that data in the right direction ad start mindfully making adjustments.

Measure Success and Repeat: 

Of course no business process is complete without evaluation. After implementing your strategy, pull the same data for the same KPIs, have they improved? 

If they haven’t, what other changes can improve the KPIs? What other insights would help you to create a better solution in the future? 

Repeat the process and continue to do so on a regular basis. Before you know it, you’ll go from drowning in data to driving business objectives with data! 

Let ZIZO Throw You a Line 

Still feel like you’re treading water? The process can be overwhelming, trust us – we know! ZIZO was developed to eliminate the entire headache causing process. 

By now, we know that aggregating and using your data is an incredibly powerful tool and performing data dives is a necessary and worthwhile way to use your resources in order to see your business grow. 

However, it is still time consuming to perform repetitive tasks every day to pull the reports you need on KPIs and business performance. Instead, automate the process with ZIZO 

We connect all of your operating software into our common data warehouse, to eliminate the need for data dives. Using a centralized warehouse allows you to access all of your company’s relevant information without the hassle of jumping from system to system. 

In addition to the ease of access, one integrated data warehouse provides you with peace of mind knowing that the information is coming directly from it’s source, leaving little room for clerical and human errors.  

Once all of your information is housed in one place, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of your companies information in one place. Now, instead of spending 60% of your data dive trying to figure out what data you need and from where, you can quickly and efficiently pull reports from one easy dashboard. 

ZIZO utilizes company-specific needs to determine what type of reports we map for easy access. Then, we provide all stakeholders with a completely customized dashboard that provides quick views of the most important data to them. 

If swimming seems a little to exhausting for you, you don’t have to drown! Just float and let ZIZO do the work. 

The Top 5 Reasons WHY KPI’s Matter to Your Business.

The Top 5 Reasons WHY KPI’s Matter to Your Business.

The Top 5 Reasons WHY KPI's Matter to Your Business.
  1. KPI’s keep objectives at the forefront of decision making.
  2. KPI’s are vital when it comes to performance management.
  3. KPI’s encourage a culture of accountability.
  4. KPI’s can create an atmosphere of learning and growth.
  5. KPI’s can help you measure your success at a glance.

 

I’ve been seeing a lot of blog topics lately that share information on the trending of business intelligence (BI) in 2020. Inevitably, the blog will focus on data acquisition and how extracting meaningful information from it can provide a way to provide analytics on our current business health with the ability to forecast for the future. While this is part of BI, it’s not quite business intelligence. What they are describing can be more accurately referred to as reporting and projections.

So, I’d like to talk a bit on what true BI actually is, how we use it, why it’s trending in 2020, and how KPIs are significant to the process of BI.

To start, BI is much more than a trend. It’s an evolving path that helps us to continually and comprehensively analyze key elements and patterns in our business data to predictively enhance our growth. BI allows us to view and operate our business not only from a retail vantage point but also by helping to enhance the overall productivity of our workforce. Great BI tools can offer technologies such as real-time reporting, business performance analytics, retail analytics, seasonality of market trends, data mining, as well as predictive and prescriptive analytics.

 

 

The Top 5 Reasons WHY KPI's Matter to Your Business.

1. KPIs keep objectives at the forefront of decision making.

 “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

When I first read the above quote from Wayne Dyer, it came at a time when I was absolutely stuck in a rut in both my personal and professional lives. It was like trying to push a car out of a snowbank. I did what I knew at the time and pushed in the direction that seemed to make the most sense, but as soon as I stopped pushing, I would rock right back into the rut. Needless to say, it wasn’t a great place to be. It also became apparent to me that Einstein was right when he said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. While I never expected to be sharing any of this story in a business context, the poignant point of it materialized when I recognized there are times when I just need to get out of my own way and look at things differently. It was equally important when I truly comprehended that there are times when I need to do things differently to produce the results I’m looking for.

Looking at our businesses through a different set of lenses or trying different approaches isn’t always enough though. It’s understanding our views and implementations with the ability to track our results and make course corrections along the way has the most long-lasting impact on our success.

2. KPIs are vital when it comes to performance management.

Let me ask you, “what is important in your business”? What is your mission? What changes in performance can affect your mission and vise-versa? While this can be an ongoing conversation between us, there are certain types of performance that contribute to your overall business health. We’ll refer to them as PI or performance indicators. Of those PIs, some of them are much more important to you than others. We’ll refer to these as KPIs or Key Performance Indicators.

As an example, let’s say you have sales teams that work in a call center. What’s important to you in an employee’s performance? Well, the total amount of sales revenue comes to mind. While this may be a KPI in evaluating their performance, there are other PIs that may or may not have contributed to their total. 

For Example:

  • How many inbound calls did that employee answer?
  • How many outbound calls did they make?
  • What is the average item value they sold?
  • Do they specialize in selling one type of item over others?
  • If they had switched sales teams, in what team did they generate the highest number of PIs? 

You can acquire data to the nth degree, and even decipher what seat/desk they are most productive in.

Yet of all of these PIs, which of them are key to you?

3. KPI’s encourage a culture of accountability.

KPIs help in demonstrating accountability in the workplace, and to view vital statistics about performance, allowing you to make accurate decisions about employees during reviews.  Without this data, you may not have the whole picture of why an employee.  You may assume that an employee is performing poorly because he/she has punctuality issues or a perceived lack of company engagement, but you have no quantifiable proof. A KPI may reveal that your assessment is incorrect and the perceived “poor performer” may have some favourable stats and delivers good results.

On the contrary, poorly performing employees can’t argue their case when the data-driven and objectively based KPI stats demonstrate unfavourable readings.

Likewise, if the majority of your employees are having difficulty achieving the KPI’s that have been set, it may be time to reevaluate your business’ goals so you can understand why exactly those targets are not being hit. 

Essentially, KPI’s encourage accountability for everyone– employees (if they’re not performing) and employers (if KPI’s are deemed unreachable).

4. KPI’s can foster an atmosphere of learning and growth.

Being able to measure targets using KPI’s can create an educative atmosphere within your company. According to Root Cause, the data that is generated by measuring KPI’s leads to important conversations within the workplace.

When you notice an unfavourable reading on a KPI, you have the chance to talk to the individual or team involved with that specific KPI. This a great opportunity for you to teach the employees how to do things differently and perform better in order to reach set targets.

Additionally, you can analyse whether the set KPI’s are an effective measurement, and conversely, make necessary modifications if the employee feels that the targets are unrealistic to meet.

5. KPIs can help you measure your success at a glance.

While it seems like a great deal of work to mine all of this data, why would you want to zoom in so deeply on this information in the first place? It’s because success leaves us with clues. If there is a way to mine enough data, we then gain the advantage of improved business clarity. Along with that, we gain a roadmap to evaluate our results, reproduce the ones that carry the most meaning in our business and eliminate those that have little or no value. In essence, by collecting enough data we are able to change business perspectives while monitoring the results of our decisions and predicting better models. It’s a great way to know your business even more and some of the greatest benefits in using BI.

Here’s how ZiZo can help you identify and measure your KPI’s.

As we’ve developed the ZiZo app, our goal was to create the most extensive business metrics available while keeping the interface friendlier than ordering a cup of coffee from Starbucks. We figured if it’s too difficult of a learning curve or hard to operate, that we wouldn’t even use it. We didn’t think you wouldn’t either. We all know the value of our time and there’s no reason to spend it unnecessarily.

With that said, ZiZo literally stands for Zoom in and Zoom and we’ve set out to give you the ability out to examine the business data that is most important to you in that moment.

It’s also a mindset that has the ability to continuously change our lens and view our businesses from a myriad of viewpoints as we look into the future.

While gamification is our method of engagement and geared toward training and empowering performance in the workforce, beneath the hood of this app is one heck of a complex core. Inside you’ll find a simulation program that allows you to “play” with KPIs to select ones that carry the most weight and meaning to your business. Making adjustments in KPI values while having the ability to incorporate new ones, the simulator can help to predict areas that maximize the value and growth of your business. Seasonal market trends can be incorporated into predictive scenarios, which can be stored and reused at later dates. As these scenarios are applied, KPIs are shared with employees in a fun and competitive way to help them reach your goals as well as their own. It’s a win/win scenario for you and your team.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you want to find out what ZiZo can do for you, set up a demo today!