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Koan Metrics

Tell me about Koan metrics?

Koan metrics is a Business Intelligence firm based in Bangalore, India, whose vision is to bring to the field of Business Intelligence, especially in the region, a methodology that goes beyond traditional research and yet is not limited to technology tools. Koan collates and analyses business information from disparate data sources to get at the take outs that guide decision making. Koan provides actionable business intelligence, based on analytics drawn from structured and unstructured data, month on month, and year on year.

Specifically, Koan provides:

  • Indices for performance measurement and tracking
  • Analytics based on multiple data sources
  • Insights based on social media research

What’s your role in Koan metrics?

I am a co-founder of the firm and head of the Research Practice.

What interests you about this field?

Essentially, my love for mysteries and puzzles, I guess. Once a researcher, always a researcher! Even in normal, everyday, social situations, I will be observing and monitoring trends and having a “take”. Sociological trends are a great interest area for me, and how social media is changing the way the world communicates fascinates me.

What do advertisers do that you wish they wouldn’t?

In general, I dislike all ads that are irrelevant, boring and intrusive. Online, what I find most irritating are the ads that come up in the middle of the page and block me from reading the content that I am interested in. What compounds the annoyance is if such an ad does not provide a ‘close’ button, so the only recourse to get rid of it is to click it. I do wonder from a marketing perspective, what this sort of forced-click helps the advertiser achieve, other than customer alienation and irritation.

What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t?

Some bloggers just don’t say anything original. They either comment on what other people say or merely aggregate links to other sites. All this can also be helpful at times, especially if the material collated is interesting and the format friendly. But, essentially, I wish they would use blogs to “speak their own voice”.

Where do you see growth in the social media field? 

Let me answer this question from the perspective of the Indian market and what little is known of it. The social networking sites that dominate the Indian social media scene include the global brands like Orkut, Facebook, hi5, LinkedIn and MySpace but also include brands with a local flavor like Bigadda, ibibo and Fropper. Blogging and micro-blogging are also catching up in a big way. What’s yet to mature in this market, however, is a recognized and intelligent way of monitoring the “Voice of the customer” viz. products and brands.

With 80 million users in India and growing, India will be a key contributor to the social media market, both in terms of user base as well as advertising opportunity.

What also personally interests me is how social media in India has become a force to reckon with in terms of expression of political thought, which was noticeable in the last National elections earlier this year. This is a trend that I predict will only increase in the times to come and therefore needs to be carefully assessed, understood and handled by political parties and thought leaders.

Why should brands be interested in monitoring social media?

From a research point of view, social media is a goldmine. This is the space in which consumers freely seek and share opinions, experiences and advice. More importantly, this is usually spontaneous, which removes most of the usual worries of questioner and research bias. Typically, I think is not soaps and colas so much that need to monitor buzz but industries like travel and hospitality, high value durable goods like automobiles and Electronic, entertainment and of course, the usual ones like software, gaming, finance, etc.

What do you do to improve the world?

I am still working on myself. Each day – to listen more and be more compassionate! 

I am also committed to provide technology support to an Indian NGO initiative called AAGE (Action Group for Education and Employability) which is a not-for-profit action group, seeking to provide basic IT education to the underprivileged but talented students to enhance their employability quotient.

What is one thing about you that not many people know?

That I write poetry!

What’s your favorite book?

I can’t say just one because I love so many of them. But some of them are:

1>   Illusions by Richard Bach – Thoroughly enjoyed reading it when it came out and still enjoy re-reading it now. Like a friend and companion.

2>   Notes to Myself by Hugh Prather because it’s a self-dialogue, original and honest that touches a chord within me. I do believe this sort of writing is a pre-cursor to the “Blogging” era of today.

3>   The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini because it portrays a hero with a character flaw very beautifully

What are your contact details (email, company, blog, facebook, myspace, forums, etc)?

You can visit www.koanmetrics.com  or write to me at ishviene@(nospam)koanmetrics.com (take out the nospam)

What is one thing people can do for you?

Partner with us, collaborate with us, or outsource analytics work to us. More importantly, if you are facing an interesting challenge in social media monitoring or analytics, I would be happy to be a sounding board.

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