What Your Team Says About You

As an American male living in Los Angeles, I am legally obligated to feign enthusiasm when baseball is discussed.  Unfortunately, the limited extent of my knowledge on the matter can be easily summed up with my go-to baseball talking points:

  • Go Dodgers! (or another local team in the event that I move)
  • How about them Yankees? (I’m not sure exactly what this means but generally is received with thoughtful nods)
  • The Giants suck. (I have no idea if this is true, but they are the Dodgers’ rivals and so are subject to some level of local derision).

Based on the success of these points in faking my way through repeated baseball exchanges, rivalries seem to be core to understanding baseball and the motivations of its many devotees.  So let’s take a look at a couple of the biggest rivalries in the game: Red Sox versus Yankees, and Dodgers versus Giants.

For this study, interest in a specific baseball team was used to define a set of users across the Gravity personalization network. A total of 2.25 million Dodgers fans, 1.25 million Giants fans, 3.75 million Red Sox fans, and 3.5 million Yankees fans met our selection criteria. Their individual Interest Graphs had previously been created for the purposes of personalization of content; every click on content or advertising within the network is analyzed semantically and augments the nodes and edge weights for the engaged user.

When analyzing audiences, the individual graphs are coalesced into a single graph reflecting the aggregated interests and attachment levels for the entire set. This allows for a holistic view of the audience which can then be compared against another audience or the general population of hundreds of millions of users. In this way, we are able to establish what defines an audience and what makes them special.  For our baseball analysis, we’ve created Interest Graphs for each fan base, and have compared some of their more compelling attributes against each other and the global set.  Let’s check out some of the highlights.

  • Dodgers fans….
    • Tend to be the most focused on health and beauty of the four groups.
    • They are interested in technology generally, but less focused on specific websites or gadgets.
    • They are obsessed with the Giants, but also are more focused on the Yankees than the Red Sox are.
    • Dodgers fans are 80% more likely to love the sparkly Twilight vampires than an average Internet user.
  • Giants fans…
    • They love technology, and are quite specific about the brands and properties that are important to them.  There is a surprising level of interest in Yahoo comparable to that of Google, but Facebook reigns supreme.
    • Far outstrip the other teams and the general public in their love of ESPN.
    • Are primarily interested in hobbies that require participation rather than spectating.
    • Put the other teams to shame with their staggering love of Booze, Cannabis, and Cocaine.
    • They are 50% more likely to get all screamy about Justin Bieber than an average Internet user.
  • Red Sox fans…
    • Are the most socially minded of the four fan bases.
    • They have the greatest focus on local and cultural traditions (hurray for St. Paddy’s Day).
    • Edge out the competition in their love of beef and video gaming (a very different Saturday night than Giants fans apparently are having).
    • Are more than 5 times more likely to put on their Bronie gear and watch My Little Pony than an average Internet user.
  • Yankees fans…
    • Have an unusual Interest Graph composition.  While they have a relatively low number of topics in which they are highly interested, the volume of topics they cover is well above normal levels for a cohort of this size.  This is likely a function of the general appeal of the Yankees to fans that are more geographically and demographically diverse.
    • They lead the pack in their interest in exotic dancers and nude recreation.

Gooooooo, local sports franchise!

baseball_infographic

Delicious Interest Graphs: Taco Bell and Whole Foods

Pop quiz: You’re driving home from work and suddenly overcome by hunger. Where do you stop for food?

If Taco Bell was the first thing to pop into your head, let us tell you a bit about yourself:

  • Consuming content in its myriad forms is a huge part of your day. The NFL, Netflix, Spotify and Reddit are your standard fare.
  • Personal finance is actually top of mind if you crave Doritos shell tacos. E*Trade, unemployment and Dow Jones are important topics to you.
  • You’re actually 77 percent more likely to be interested in venture capital than people who would have picked Whole Foods for a snack.

Speaking of Whole Foods, if that was your first thought:

  • You care about healthy living. You are especially interested in vegetarianism and veganism compared to the general population, and you’re 2.8 times more likely to check ingredients than your Taco Bell-choosing peers.
  • You are nearly five times more likely to be interested in alcohol than Taco Bell fans.
  • Playing sports is more your bag than watching sports, but if you are going to watch a game, it would most likely be Major League Baseball or hockey.

These insights, as well as tens of thousands of others associated with each audience, are available through Interest Graph analysis. Unlike the social graph (who you know) or retargeting (sites you’ve been to), the Interest Graph quantifies motivations (what you care about and how that is trending).  It is the digital representation of what drives the behavior of a single human or audiences of millions, and it’s going to change everything.

Consider our Taco Bell and Whole Foods fans. In this case, a minimal level of interest in a specific food retailer was used to define a set of users across the Gravity personalization network. A total of 150,000 Whole Foods fans and 70,000 Taco Bell aficionados met our selection criteria. Their individual Interest Graphs had previously been created for the purposes of personalization of content; every click on content or advertising within the network is analyzed semantically and augments the nodes and edge weights for the engaged user.

When analyzing audiences, the individual graphs are coalesced into a single graph reflecting the aggregated interests and attachment levels for the entire set. This allows for a holistic view of the audience which can then be compared against another audience or the general population of hundreds of millions of users. In this way, we are able to establish what defines an audience and what makes them special. The results are often quite surprising. Take a look at the infographic to see how these two almost mutually exclusive groups compare.

– Steve

wholefood-TacoBell_BLOG

What Your Electric Car Says About You

As an American, I take a certain amount of pride in the high standard of living made possible via an economy built on liquified dinosaurs (sweet sweet fossil fuels).  There are some subversive elements in our society, however, that would like their grandchildren to have breathable air and non-poisonous water.  They have elected to drive electric cars.  While this post is not sponsored by the kind, almost Colonel Sanders-esque, big oil companies, I am sure they would appreciate our attempt to shine a light on these alternative energy deviants.  So let us consider the Prius, the Tesla Model S, and their devotees.

In this case, a minimal level of interest in a specific automobile model was used to define a set of users across the Gravity personalization network. A total of 900,000 Prius fans and 183,000 Tesla Model S aficionados met our selection criteria. Their individual Interest Graphs had previously been created for the purposes of personalization of content; every click on content or advertising within the network is analyzed semantically and augments the nodes and edge weights for the engaged user.

When analyzing audiences, the individual graphs are coalesced into a single graph reflecting the aggregated interests and attachment levels for the entire set. This allows for a holistic view of the audience which can then be compared against another audience or the general population of hundreds of millions of users. In this way, we are able to establish what defines an audience and what makes them special. The results are often quite surprising.

Let’s take a look at the Prius cohort highlights.

Prius-Info-Graphic_2400w

The first data set is the overall Interest Graph on the left of the infographic.  It describes what folks interested in the Prius care most about.

  • They really like technology, with a strong emphasis on Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Bioengineering.
  • Among their favorite media are The Atlantic and the New York Times.  They are closely following matters related to international security and right-wing politics (not necessarily because they agree with them).
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, they are keenly interested in Eco-friendly subject matters and Social Change.

The second data pivot highlights some of the areas of interest where Prius fans differ substantially from the global set of users.  Basically, it’s what makes Prius fans special compared to everyone else in the world.  The results are expressed as an over/under index compared to global set.  Some of the results are surprising (this is why we like data mining).  Compared with the global set, Prius fans are:

  • 1.2 times more likely to enjoy physical exercise
  • 2.5 times more likely to like Yoga
  • 1.3 times more likely to be interested in McDonald’s
  • 9.1 times more likely to dig Tyler Perry
  • 13.6 times more likely to love Apple
  • Slightly less likely to be interested NASCAR, Football, and Waffles (their Sundays must be so empty)
  • 6.3 times more likely to be concerned about Sustainability
  • Just as likely to enjoy Ninjas as everybody else

By the time we got the Prius data together we were in a full data mining extravaganza.  There was no way we could let the fun stop with just one infographic.  How about people who are interested in the Tesla Model S?  It’s another electric car.  How different could that audience be from the Prius  folks?

Tesla-Info-Graphic_2400w

Turns out that people interested in the Tesla Model S are materially different in their interests than the Prius crowd.  Let’s look at some of the highlights of  the Model S fans’ aggregated Interest Graph.

  • Environmentalism is not a substantial area of interest in the Tesla Model S Interest Graph.  This may indicate that Tesla interest is driven by the technological or aspirational aspects of the brand rather than it’s environmental benefits.  This is supported by the fact that, while the Tesla audience is 8.5 times more likely to be interested in fuel efficiency than the general population, Prius fans are 4x more likely to be interested than the Tesla folks (34x general population).
  • Business and finance were dominant categories of interest.  Interest rates, economics, the economy of Saudi Arabia, and bubbles, both real estate and economic, were high on the list.
  • They are thirsty.  Maker’s Mark, breweries, and Jim Beam are Tesla aficionado favorites.
  • They like things that go.  private transportation, Ferraris, and motorcycles were of high interest.
  • Their lifestyle interests are a mixed bag.  While family topped the category, Tesla fans do exhibit abnormally high levels of interest in cannabis, erotic dance, strip clubs, and Lululemon.  It is unclear from the data available whether the Model S/”big night out” relationship is causal or simply correlated.

On the left, you’ll see some of the traits that differentiate Tesla fans from the global set of users.  As with the Prius set, the results are expressed as an over/under index compared to global set.   Compared with the global set, Tesla fans are:

  • 2.5 times more likely to be wired on coffee
  • 90% more likely to be interested in social issues
  • 5.2 times more likely to be interested in cannabis
  • 4.1 times more likely to like magazines
  • 41.8 times more likely to be interested in SpaceX
  • 3.8 times more likely to like Evernote
  • 10.7 times more likely to dig Marissa Mayer
  • 96 times more likely to be concerned about traffic congestion

Let’s take it home with some Tesla versus Prius comparisons.

  • Prius fans are 28.1 times more likely to be interested in wearable computers than Tesla fans.
  • Prius fans are 3.3 times more likely to be interested in cannabis than the general population, but Tesla fans are 44% more likely than Prius folks to enjoy.
  • Prius fans are 1.62 times more likely to be interested in sustainable transportations than Tesla fans.
  • Tesla and Prius fans are both more than twice as likely to be into music than the general population.

I hope you enjoyed these audience analyses as much as we enjoyed doing them.  Let us know if you have ideas on data you’d like to see in the future.