06 February 2007

About the Author

This blog is written by Nicholas J. Radcliffe.

My day job is to run Stochastic Solutions, a company specializing in helping companies with customer targeting, including analytics, and mathematical optimization problems. As it says in the disclaimer on the front page, the opinions in this blog are my own, and are not necessarily shared by anyone else.

This blog is really about customer management and how models and measurement can help companies to treat customers more appropriately. Some of this is about trying to do the right thing for the customer, at least when that's an economically reasonable thing to do, and some of it is just about trying to ensure that the money spent on marketing (and other forms of customer management) actually achieves something like its goal.

This blog really grew out of the extraordinary experience of developing and trying to market a radically different approach to customer modelling, something I call "Uplift Modelling" (PDF). While we found some very sophisticated companies who were already attempting to take this approach, we found it remarkably difficult to communicate some of the core ideas that underpin it. The cartoons started trying to make very simple points about marketing, mostly illustrated with embellishments of hundreds of situations we've encountered over the years. Now, however, they're taking on a life of their own, and seem to be evolving into a more general commentary on good and not-so-good practices in customer management, in general, and so-called "customer relationship management" in particular.

My background is a mixture of maths and physics, with quite a lot of computing thrown in. As well as targeting marketing, the subject of this blog, I also have a long history of research and publications in the area of stochastic optimization, and more particularly genetic algorithms, a branch of evolutionary computation. I was one of four founders of Quadstone Limited, an Edinburgh-based software house, in 1995. Quadstone was acquired by Portrait in late 2005, and served as Quadstone's CTO until August 2007. Since we set up Quadstone, I've also been a Visiting professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Edinburgh University.

I am also an advisor to a venture capitalist, Scottish Equity Partners, which invests mainly in information technology, healthcare & life sciences and energy related technology businesses.

Needless to say, my opinions are not necessarily shared by either Edinburgh University or SEP either!

I can be emailed at Stochatic Solutions as Forename.Lastname@stochasticsolutions.com (replacing Forename with my forename (Nicholas) and Lastname with my surname (Radcliffe)).

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