Trustworthy Online Controlled Experiments: A Practical Guide to A/B Testing


Book by Ron Kohavi, Diane Tang, and Ya Xu: “Getting numbers is easy; getting numbers you can trust is hard. This practical guide by experimentation leaders at Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft will teach you how to accelerate innovation using trustworthy online controlled experiments, or A/B tests. Based on practical experiences at companies that each run more than 20,000 controlled experiments a year, the authors share examples, pitfalls, and advice for students and industry professionals getting started with experiments, plus deeper dives into advanced topics for practitioners who want to improve the way they make data-driven decisions.

Learn how to use the scientific method to evaluate hypotheses using controlled experiments Define key metrics and ideally an Overall Evaluation Criterion Test for trustworthiness of the results and alert experimenters to violated assumptions. Build a scalable platform that lowers the marginal cost of experiments close to zero. Avoid pitfalls like carryover effects and Twyman’s law. Understand how statistical issues play out in practice….(More)”.

The Data Storytelling Workbook


Book by Anna Feigenbaum and Aria Alamalhodaei: “From tracking down information to symbolising human experiences, this book is your guide to telling more effective, empathetic and evidence-based data stories.

Drawing on cross-disciplinary research and first-hand accounts of projects ranging from public health to housing justice, The Data Storytelling Workbook introduces key concepts, challenges and problem-solving strategies in the emerging field of data storytelling. Filled with practical exercises and activities, the workbook offers interactive training materials that can be used for teaching and professional development. By approaching both ‘data’ and ‘storytelling’ in a broad sense, the book combines theory and practice around real-world data storytelling scenarios, offering critical reflection alongside practical and creative solutions to challenges in the data storytelling process, from tracking down hard to find information, to the ethics of visualising difficult subjects like death and human rights….(More)”.

Digital Transformation of Public Administration Through Blockchain Technology


Chapter by Artur Rot, Małgorzata Sobińska, Marcin Hernes, and Bogdan Franczyk: “Proper understanding of blockchain technology is one of key importance for decision-makers and staff in public administration sectors, as it helps them decide whether this approach can be of practical use in the realisation of their statutory mission. Blockchain technology is often perceived as a failsafe and unbreakable system with potential to transform many segments of the economy. Blockchain solutions have already been employed with success as basis for digital transactions in such areas as electricity market, trade, cryptocurrencies, stock trading, etc. Their application potential is also actively explored in other sectors of the economy, such as banking, insurance, and public administration.

Blockchain technology can be approached not only as an innovative solution, but also as a tool for effective creation of novel management practices and models of operation in various types of organizations and institutions. The contribution of the chapter is an evaluation of potential uses and conditions for the effective application of the blockchain technology in the public administration sector. The study is constructed on the fundament of literature studies, empirical observations, case study analyses and synthetic evaluations, with the aim of revealing the potential applications of the blockchain technology and highlighting the challenges and possible directions of blockchain research in the public sector….(More)”.

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen


Book by Dan Heath: “So often in life, we get stuck in a cycle of response. We put out fires. We deal with emergencies. We stay downstream, handling one problem after another, but we never make our way upstream to fix the systems that caused the problems. Cops chase robbers, doctors treat patients with chronic illnesses, and call-center reps address customer complaints. But many crimes, chronic illnesses, and customer complaints are preventable. So why do our efforts skew so heavily toward reaction rather than prevention?

Upstream probes the psychological forces that push us downstream—including “problem blindness,” which can leave us oblivious to serious problems in our midst. And Heath introduces us to the thinkers who have overcome these obstacles and scored massive victories by switching to an upstream mindset. One online travel website prevented twenty million customer service calls every year by making some simple tweaks to its booking system. A major urban school district cut its dropout rate in half after it figured out that it could predict which students would drop out—as early as the ninth grade. A European nation almost eliminated teenage alcohol and drug abuse by deliberately changing the nation’s culture. And one EMS system accelerated the emergency-response time of its ambulances by using data to predict where 911 calls would emerge—and forward-deploying its ambulances to stand by in those areas.

Upstream delivers practical solutions for preventing problems rather than reacting to them. How many problems in our lives and in society are we tolerating simply because we’ve forgotten that we can fix them?…(More)”.

Civic Engagement Frameworks and Strategic Leadership Practices for Organization Development


Book by Susheel Chhabra: “In recent years, the engagement of stakeholders has become imperative for the overall success of an organization. As the global business landscape continues to evolve, promoting modern leadership techniques and engagement with the community have become two key tactics for organizations to remain competitive in the current market. Understanding and implementing these methodologies is pivotal for professionals and researchers around the globe.

Civic Engagement Frameworks and Strategic Leadership Practices for Organization Development is a critical reference source that provides vital research on the implementation of strategic leadership techniques for promoting civic engagement and sustaining organizational success. While highlighting topics such as social media strategies, analytical tools, and ethical interventions, this book is ideally designed for managers, executives, politicians, researchers, business specialists, government professionals, consultants, academicians, and students seeking current research on the use of civic engagement and strategic leadership initiatives for the overall development of organizations….(More)”.

Reimagining Democracy: Lessons in Deliberative Democracy from the Irish Front Line


Open Access Book: “The Lawrence and Lynne Brown Democracy Medal, presented by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State, recognizes outstanding individuals, groups, and organizations that produce innovations to further democracy in the United States or around the world.

2019 Brown Democracy Medal winners David M. Farrell and Jane Suiter are co-leads on the Irish Citizens’ Assembly Project, which has transformed Irish politics over the past decade. The project started in 2011 and led to a series of significant policy decisions, including successful referenda on abortion and marriage equality….(More)”.

The Power of Experiments: Decision Making in a Data-Driven World


Book by By Michael Luca and Max H. Bazerman: “Have you logged into Facebook recently? Searched for something on Google? Chosen a movie on Netflix? If so, you’ve probably been an unwitting participant in a variety of experiments—also known as randomized controlled trials—designed to test the impact of different online experiences. Once an esoteric tool for academic research, the randomized controlled trial has gone mainstream. No tech company worth its salt (or its share price) would dare make major changes to its platform without first running experiments to understand how they would influence user behavior. In this book, Michael Luca and Max Bazerman explain the importance of experiments for decision making in a data-driven world.

Luca and Bazerman describe the central role experiments play in the tech sector, drawing lessons and best practices from the experiences of such companies as StubHub, Alibaba, and Uber. Successful experiments can save companies money—eBay, for example, discovered how to cut $50 million from its yearly advertising budget—or bring to light something previously ignored, as when Airbnb was forced to confront rampant discrimination by its hosts. Moving beyond tech, Luca and Bazerman consider experimenting for the social good—different ways that governments are using experiments to influence or “nudge” behavior ranging from voter apathy to school absenteeism. Experiments, they argue, are part of any leader’s toolkit. With this book, readers can become part of “the experimental revolution.”…(More)”.

Corporate Capitalism's Use of Openness: Profit for Free?


Book by Arwid Lund and Mariano Zukerfeld: “This book tackles the concept of openness (as in open source software, open access and free culture), from a critical political economy perspective to consider its encroachment by capitalist corporations, but also how it advances radical alternatives to cognitive capitalism.

Drawing on four case studies, Corporate Capitalism’s Use of Openness will add to discussion on open source software, open access content platforms, open access publishing, and open university courses. These otherwise disparate cases share two fundamental features: informational capitalist corporations base their successful business models on unpaid productive activities, play, attention, knowledge and labour, and do so crucially by resorting to ideological uses of concepts such as “openness”, “communities” and “sharing”.

The authors present potential solutions and alternative regulations to counter these exploitative and alienating business models, and to foster digital knowledge commons, ranging from co-ops and commons-based peer production to state agencies’ platforms. Their research and findings will appeal to students, academics and activists around the world in fields such as sociology, economy, media and communication, library and information science, political sciences and technology studies….(More)”.

Imagining Regulation Differently: Co-creating for Engagement


Book edited by Morag McDermont, Tim Cole, Janet Newman and Angela Piccini: “There is an urgent need to rethink relationships between systems of government and those who are ‘governed’. This book explores ways of rethinking those relationships by bringing communities normally excluded from decision-making to centre stage to experiment with new methods of regulating for engagement.

Using original, co-produced research, it innovatively shows how we can better use a ‘bottom-up’ approach to design regulatory regimes that recognise the capabilities of communities at the margins and powerfully support the knowledge, passions and creativity of citizens. The authors provide essential guidance for all those working on co-produced research to make impactful change…(More)”.

Nudge Theory and Decision Making: Enabling People to Make Better Choices


Chapter by Vikramsinh Amarsinh Patil: “This chapter examines the theoretical underpinnings of nudge theory and makes a case for incorporating nudging into the decision-making process in corporate contexts. Nudging and more broadly behavioural economics have become buzzwords on account of the seminal work that has been done by economists and highly publicized interventions employed by governments to support national priorities. Firms are not to be left behind, however. What follows is extensive documentation of such firms that have successfully employed nudging techniques. The examples are segmented by the nudge recipient, namely – managers, employees, and consumers. Firms can guide managers to become better leaders, employees to become more productive, and consumers to stay loyal. However, nudging is not without its pitfalls. It can be used towards nefarious ends and be notoriously difficult to implement and execute. Therefore, nudges should be rigorously tested via experimentation and should be ethically sound….(More)”.