Quirky quantification

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 16, 2012 23:01 hrs

Is it possible to put a number to the reputation of an online business? Experts are unanimous on how reputation has evolved as a form of value, and various mechanisms exist to score people and institutions on it. Imagine if a business could arrive at a number to determine how much to discount a product for a particular customer or, better yet, increase the price for those unlikely to enhance its appeal to others? While this seems achievable, the process is full of hurdles.

According to Josh Klein, hacker, consultant, and host of the National Geographic series The Link, reputation is deeply context-dependent and subjective. For example, if one gets a facial tattoo, that might add to his reputation with bikers but detract from it with another (like a potential boss at Morgan Stanley).

The same applies online. Just because a user gives someone a great rating as a seller of airplane models on eBay doesn’t mean he would trust him or her to tutor in algebra. Bottomline: unifying reputation is as complicated as it gets. The US-based scoring companies such as Klout and Kred might hope to measure reputation but their algorithms, at best, track influence. Influence is the ability to get others to take action. But how that influence can be wielded is critical. Influence is different in different contexts, and measuring only “influence” means you are judging someone’s capabilities without any of the necessary context.

The digi effect
Businesses are benefitting from digital transformation, revealing significant digital advantage’ and superior financial performance as a result, says research from Capgemini Consulting and the MIT Center for Digital Business.

The survey examined how companies are managing and benefitting from digital transformation’ — the use of digital technologies such as social media, mobile, analytics, and embedded devices to improve business performance or reach. The study, The Digital Advantage: How Digital Leaders Outperform their Peers in Every Industry, reveals that those companies that have succeeded in delivering a fundamental transformation of their business through technology benefit from a considerable digital advantage’ and demonstrate significantly better financial performance than their peers.

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