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The Totality of Computer Use

Of course, the number of visits to a given website such as Wikipedia.org is well-known. But what do homogenous groups of people actually do — what apps do they use — on their computers, throughout the day and night, on- and off-web? And with what relative bouncing around among tasks? About that — little is known.

According to comScore, in the U.S. alone there are 210 million Internet-connected computers at places of work and in homes. Some 90% of these use the Windows operating system.

Think about it— if you work eight hours per day and spend half this time at your computer, and then spend another 10 hours per week on your home computer, that’s 30 hours per week or about 1,500 hours per year. It’s a significant percentage of your waking hours.

According to a report by Houston-based The Media Audit (themediaaudit.com), the Internet now represents 32.5% of the typical "media day" for all U.S. adults when compared to daily exposure to newspaper, radio, TV and outdoor advertising.

Remember, this is time spent just on the web, and doesn’t speak to the totality of computer usage, which is what TickStream® tracks.

Intensity Analytics is focused on making computer usage more transparent and more efficient:

  • Transparency means that marketers aiming at the home computer user, as an example, know what target customers do when and how on their PCs or laptops.
    Remember, TickStream® measures the totality of computer usage, not just web use. While the Intensity SaaS platform will be used to create a large, monolithic panel (the “Big Panel”), it can also be used to rapidly create narrowcast or Micro-Panels of as few as a hundred (100) users. So, a company that yearns to understand its target market better can enable a panel with a few mouseclicks, then sit back and watch the data roll in.
  • Efficiency means getting more work done with the same computer-enabled users, or getting the same amount of work done with fewer users. It’s worth noting, too, that Intensity tracks what happens on a computer whether it’s manned, or not. These days, there are many millions of computers that crunch silently away at tasks sans a direct user.

Consider a company or division with 100 employees earning average salaries of $50K per year each, and assume the relevant “factory” is the aggregate computer usage of these employees. A 3% improvement in processing computer tasks would save $150K per year, or three FTEs, or allow the production of 3% more widgets at the prevailing price and gross margin.

At its core, TickStream® is an information (data) gathering engine. The accumulated data makes up a record of activities, processes, clicks and pauses, both on-and off-the-web, as they happen in time (the “Tick’”). The interval from one tick to the next, and the next, is, literally, the TickStream®. This data is gathered with no human “data-entry” effort.

Analysis of the TickStream® refines data into actionable intelligence, or knowledge. It’s fundamentally a broader way to look at what a user does on his PC or laptop (competitors tend to just look at web use, known as the “clickstream”) and a deeper way to look at what a user does on his PC or laptop, all through the lens of what we call Cohorts.

More on Cohorts in our next post here.


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