Imagine an object floating in space that has an edge for every known scrap of information.htm?chan=gl (1 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM Math Will Rock Your World . Says James R. Quants turned finance upside down a generation ago.math. chat. And every article that Inform processes becomes a single line within it. yes. It reads them and groups COVER them with related pieces. turns up in the polytope near France. and they're enabling marketers to forge new oneon-one relationships with customers. wine. This has happened before. Inform's algorithm calculates the relevance of one article to the next by measuring the angle between the two lines." From fledglings like Inform to tech powerhouses such as IBM ().Math Will Rock Your World Close Window JANUARY 23. companies are hitching mathematics to business in ways that would have seemed fanciful even a few years ago. what's next? Our businesses -. almost impossible to conjure up in our earthbound minds. this very article will exist as a line in Goldman's polytope. many of them in the public domain. And that raises a fundamental question: If long articles full of twists and turns can be reduced to a mathematical essence. But he's focusing his analytic tools on a different realm altogether: the world of words. quants turned finance upside down. It then sends PODCAST customized news feeds to its users. http://www. they're changing the nature of research in newsrooms and in biology labs. and shopping online. where numbers rule.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001. Partnerships between mathematicians and computer scientists are bulling into whole new domains of business and imposing the efficiencies of math. Inform doesn't do this work alphabetically or by keywords. These slices of our lives now sit in databases.and. more of the economy falls into the realm of numbers. It contains every topic written about in the press. Each line has a series of relationships. A single article on Bordeaux wine. ourselves. By the time you're reading these words. How do you convert written words into math? Goldman says it takes a combination of algebra and geometry. is a robotic librarian. even alcoholism. a sizable chunk of humanity has moved its work.you guessed it -. It's called a polytope and it has near-infinite dimensions. He works on Wall Street. As this occurs. In past decades. In the past decade. for example. Every day it combs through thousands of press articles and blog posts in English. play. who also exist in Inform's system as -. chief of the mathematics research group at the National Security Agency: "There has never been a better time to be a mathematician. It STORY uses algorithms to analyze each article by its language and context. The world is moving into a new age of numbers. Inform Technologies LLC. Schatz.businessweek.or vanished as forgotten conversations. 2006 COVER STORY A generation ago. Now they're mapping out ad campaigns and building new businesses from mountains of personal data Neal Goldman is a math entrepreneur. the marriage of higher math and computer modeling transformed science and engineering. We feed networks gobs of digital data that once would have languished on scraps of paper -. agriculture. And data miners plucked useful nuggets from vast consumer and business databases. Goldman's startup. They're helping to map out advertising campaigns. But just look at where the mathematicians are now. In each case.

our identities will be shielded. and ramp up our productivity. As Jack Einhorn. they're just begging to be analyzed. Some models predict what music we'll buy. And last May two brothers.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001. The Dark Side This industrial metamorphosis also has a dark side. and often. what they buy. voters. The rise of mathematics is heating up the job market for luminary quants. There Google and other search companies built on math are turning an industry that grew on ideas. the rise of math can contribute to a sense that individuals are powerless. they know where their prospective customers are browsing. Amazon. chief technical officer of Inform.. Debates over these issues have flared up many times in the past decade. hunches. and many other companies are piecing together mathematical models of customers and employees." Top mathematicians are becoming a new global elite. others figure out which worker is best equipped for a particular job. Some 18 http://www. meanwhile. steer us clear of diseases. says: "All of my students have standing offers at Yahoo! () and Google (). but every bit as powerful as the armies of Harvard University MBAs who shook up corner suites a generation ago. from our credit rating to our genomic map. perhaps a few genetic details. a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies). an entrepreneur and applied math professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Some of the simulations will have our names and credit cards attached. We'll be modeled as workers. For now. they'll try to use them to keep us from hijacking airplanes or detonating bombs. Neal Goldman of Inform sold his previous math-based startup. for $225 million to Standard & Poor's () (like BusinessWeek. The power of mathematicians to make sense of personal data and to model the behavior of individuals will inevitably continue to erode privacy. from atmospheric sensors to the feeds from millions of security cameras. In others. What's more. each of us will give birth to far more fleshed out simulations of ourselves.a company that developed algorithms for genetic research -. vectors. But even with the most powerful computers and abundant. a financial analysis company called CapitalIQ. shoppers. It's a force of barely 5. quite simply. and we turn you into math. and patients. a laboratory for innovation and discovery composed of numbers. It will grow in scope to include much of the physical world as mathematicians get their hands on new flows of data. Fifteen months ago. much less build businesses on them. They can pull it off because.)-based Umbria Inc. Math entrepreneurs. Congress investigates the Bush Administration's mining of phone and Internet traffic in its effort to sniff out terrorists.htm?chan=gl (2 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM . But the merger of sophisticated data mining and higher math has tremendous power to conquer mankind's scourges as well. we ourselves become the math nerds' most prized specimens. Many of these models will be eerily accurate and others laughably off mark. Amit and Balraj Singh. But companies and governments will use them all the same to predict how to sell us things." says Howard Kaushansky. a company that uses math to analyze marketing trends online. and personal relationships into a series of calculations. cheap storage. spells out our destiny.S. In a world teeming with data. But over the coming decade. are raking in bonanzas. puts it: "The next Jonas Salk will be a mathematician. what they click on. And yes. "We turn the world of content into math.businessweek.com (). CEO of Boulder (Colo. and algorithms. Researchers at Aetna Health Care. And they are sure to rear up again as the U.to Juniper Networks () for $337 million.000. Tom Leighton." The clearest example of math's disruptive power is in advertising. Internet companies use this data not only to profile customers but also to pitch for more contracts. It's a parallel world that's taking shape. Merchants will be in a position to track many of our most intimate purchases. these models are crude. without enlisting skilled mathematicians and computer scientists. companies can't sort out their swelling oceans of data.Math Will Rock Your World From a business point of view. the digital equivalent of stick figures. This mathematical modeling of humanity promises to be one of the great undertakings of the 21st century. by some guesstimates. but by wasted minutes. especially at the Internet powerhouses where new math grads land with six-figure salaries and rich stock deals. a foreboding that mathematics. and employers will be able to rank us not only by productivity. not a doctor. sold Perabit Networks -.

that towering mountain of information that computer scientists call "unstructured data. that Ford Motor Co." But some companies are making inroads. an online lender. but traditional businesses are following suit. "It puts a question mark around the classic church-state divide in the media. Take media. looking for trends. data analysis will grow in importance. even emotions -.and turns them into math. In the last five years. As data mavens gather more information about customers. Such moves are sure to generate even more data. These studies crunched consumer data to measure the effectiveness of advertising in a host of media. names. Harrah's has averaged 22% annual growth. He spends $15 million a year -.htm?chan=gl (3 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM . The risk: It gives math-based analysts. () and a former Harvard B-school professor. These data enable Harrah's to study gambling through a host of variables and to target individuals with offers. () to Walt Disney Co. telling them which types of TV scenes or articles appeal most to certain demographic groups. Then it analyzes the content. Working with Efficient Frontier Inc. and Zip codes.businessweek. Sherlock Holmes sometimes looked for them in plumes of pipe smoke. half of it through online advertising. quants on the marketing side will be able to provide editors and program managers with increasingly sophisticated statistical models. phrases. and Khan's team pays the price bid for each click. Just ask Imran Khan. Colorado's Umbria has built a system to sift through millions of blogs in real time. an industry group. from getaway weekends to gourmet dining. Rising flows of data give companies the intelligence to home in on the individual customer.and he accumulates massive feedback from customers. The models include gamblers' ages. (). geographical coordinates. a growing role in editorial decisions. journalism. It can give cell-phone companies or fast-food restaurants the latest buzz on an ad campaign or a new sandwich. And why not? Even today. They indicated. the director of search advertising at E-Loan. looking for market intelligence. snippets of video -. no machine could sift through the photos. from Procter & Gamble Co. Internet marketers are the natural leaders. Khan crunches his stash of words. an analytics startup in Silicon Valley. Umbria breaks down English messages into the smallest components -. words. Gary W. Loveman. giving greater clout to the numbers people. underwent a series of tests promoted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.. calculated to maximize returns. gender. an E-Loan ad appears next to the results. calculating the return on investment for each one and tweaking thousands of bids hour by hour. Pi in the Sky Math is also positioned to shake up investigations. not to mention advertisers. But running search-based ads is hardly a static process. 30 blue-chip companies. he started three years ago by bidding on keywords on the major search engines. showed that large numbers of young men look to it as a cocktail mixer in hopes that the http://www. () could have sold an additional $625 million worth of trucks if it had lifted its online ad budget from 2." says Rex Briggs.5% to 6% of the total. Sometimes it uncovers trends researchers weren't even looking for.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001. With banks of consumer data continuing to swell. as well as the amount of time they spent gambling and how much they won or lost. has led the company to build individual profiles of millions of Harrah's customers. founder of Marketing Evolution. A recent search for Gatorade (). grammar. An accountant by training. Ford responded vigorously: Last August it announced plans to move up to 30% of its $1 billion ad budget into media targeted to individual customers.Math Will Rock Your World months ago. and its stock has nearly tripled. CEO of casino giant Harrah's Entertainment Inc. As publishers seek to optimize profits and performance. for example. Khan's team has amassed a portfolio of 250.000 key words and phrases. Like most others in the industry. Over time. The results came back in hard numbers. they gain muscle to demand changes inside companies. the San Francisco company that conducted the 30 advertising studies.words. Each time a Web surfer types one of those words in a search engine. for example.half of E-Loan's ad budget -. Khan has turned the advertising operation into an enormous statistical laboratory. Whether in law. sleuths have relied for centuries on the human brain to pick through strands of disparate evidence and to find patterns. or criminal detective work.

similar insights could uncover countless other patterns.Math Will Rock Your World electrolytes in the sports drink will ease hangovers. Better algorithms. it put it through a mathematical analysis called optimization. IBM consultants are implementing math-based blueprints to upgrade steel mills in China and revamp operations at the U. then cut into tiny pieces. Once the company had a working model. he believes.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001. There is a whole world of uninvented businesses. Postal Service. Raghavan describes Yahoo's immense pool of data. is to harvest all sorts of data from company records. "Productivity could rise by a factor of 10. At the Sunnyvale (Calif. and desires of this customer base. Calendar data could show which consultants have more free time. Years before the accounting mess brought the company down. these professionals are divided into 200 categories. Enron pioneered advanced math to create new financial markets. Big Blue named him senior manager of stochastic analysis. The results suggested specific improvements. If you look back at those old supply-chain programs. The current project is to refocus the supply-chain programs on 50. Takriti says. researchers at Big Blue constructed a mathematical model of the company's supply chain. could highlight communication links between employees and the informal social networks that they create. "are critical to survival. IBM turned optimization into a leg of its services business. The team combines data miners. the primitive computers of the time would have choked on it. And even if they had amassed a huge pile of it. The mathematicians' systems lacked the data to provide more detail. IBM hired Takriti for a second stint in 2000. Scribbling on a white board covered with equations. Decades later. as Yahoo's most precious resource. there's one important element nearly absent: the human being. CEO of Paris-based ILOG. The first step in modeling IBM's workforce. who came from the math shop at Enron Corp. says Takriti. chief researcher Prabhakar Raghavan heads a team of 100 mathematicians and computer scientists. foresees virtual assembly lines. a year before Enron's collapse. with each task going to the best-qualified person. Calculus Ahead http://www. A leader in this effort is Syrian-born Samer Takriti. furnaces.000 of the consultants in IBM's services division. Eventually.S. a company that turns customers' raw data into visual displays. say. A survey of company e-mail. the system will know exactly where the consultants are. To date.htm?chan=gl (4 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM . at an IBM research center a half-hour's drive north of New York City. Following World War II. featuring the online activity of 200 million registered customers. he says.businessweek. and manufacturing plants. People were represented by numbers and were largely interchangeable. IBM's optimization program will cull through its global database and put together the perfect team. a 40-member team of researchers is scrutinizing people. and experts in operations research. They could help bankers spot entrepreneurs careening toward bankruptcy or point police toward sociopaths planning terrorist acts. "We'll have systems that tap our knowledge by the minute. statisticians. including the meanderings of humans. curiosities. That's the science of incorporating random behavior.) campus of Yahoo. It featured raw materials. The hints of these future businesses float in the oceans of Yahoo's data. But the math team is hunting for richer personal details. into math models. and schedules. Workers who e-mail each other a lot are more likely to work well together. That means that instead of modeling machines." That may sound like more digital pi in the sky. they're building models of their colleagues." As companies continue to receive ever more data about their own processes and their workers. Vast globe-spanning projects can be modeled. And when a contract comes through for. Pierre Haren. though. by tracking mobile devices. e-marketers. and the rejiggering sped up IBM's operations and cut costs. a new call center in Manila. and advertisers. Now. Today. They'll come into being as Yahoo discovers new ways to satisfy the urges. many will use math to boost productivity and shake up the workplace. This doesn't have to be limited to one company. In the future. It's actually an extension of mathematical modeling that's been going on for half a century at companies like IBM." he says. Raghavan's mandate is to sift through that data and form new connections among consumers. trucking schedules.

Even in the post-September 11 world. Math's other problem? Sometimes it's just not as smart as advertised. A similar pattern holds for many other math-based professions. In Microsoft Corp. "As cryptographers. but even Dwork admits that mathematically gifted hackers can continue to pry open doors that she and her team slam shut." Think of looking at a picture of a crowd. This will require revamping education. "If you have a system. director of technology at Google.'s () laboratories near San Francisco. from lowballing sales targets to "accidentally" deleting a rival's snazzy report. including the social sciences. This way. As mathematicians expand their domain into the humanities. and neighborhood without zeroing in on one person. like Internet marketers. head of the mathematics department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology." says Craig Silverstein. are foreign-born. "It's critical to the future of our technological society." says Michael Sipser. The U. The antidote at Google and elsewhere is to put mathematicians on teams with specialists from other disciplines. Machines never do. the gateway for math-based disciplines. And it doesn't take much imagination to see where that can lead. Private Lives One significant challenge to the math revolution is to build new businesses from data without sacrificing privacy.000 math grad students now in the U. they're working with new data. Managers will operate tools not only to monitor employees' performance but also to follow their movements and drive up productivity. Cynthia Dwork. On one hand. income. if IBM's operation yields fruit.S. Still. much of it untested. school districts must cultivate greater math savvy among the broader population to prepare it for a business world in which numbers will pop up continuously. "People are complicated. from predictive models of real estate markets to patient mortality charts for comparing different oncologists. has long leaned on foreigners to provide math talent in universities and corporate research labs. patients. The goal now is to create systems that share group information while shielding the individual. If customers. they'll even have the tools to link these initiatives to revenue or return on investment. Dwork and her team are encasing each person's records in a camouflage of numbers that she calls "noise.businessweek. from computer science to engineering. At the same time. Eventually IBM-like programs will reach us. As soon as you zoom in on an individual face. now is twofold. This is especially true in America. researchers working with a database of HIV or breast cancer patients. it becomes pixelated. and boosting the number of students who make it through calculus. especially as foreigners find greater opportunities abroad. This could disrupt efforts to use math and data mining to fight disease and to battle terrorism. race." says Takriti. Perhaps. where it is harder for foreigners to get student visas. The challenge facing the U.Math Will Rock Your World The program will take years to implement. It adds up to an era chock-full of numbers. you can bet that Big Blue will be offering similar workforce modeling services to its customers. an estimated half of the 20. This threatens to make the models fuzzier." This means the researchers will have to factor in a certain amount of human behavior. consumers will be armed with ever more data. education. we know the power of the adversary. "It's very possible for people to misplace faith in numbers. could study them by age.S.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001. Midcareer managers can delegate much of this work to http://www. for example. a cryptographer. and workers have reason to fear that the intimate details of their lives are floating around in databases.htm?chan=gl (5 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM . engaging more girls and ethnic minorities in math. On the other side. This may well involve extending the math curriculum to include more applied subjects such as statistics. Mathematicians are at the heart of the privacy battle -. managers and entrepreneurs must bone up on mathematics. medication.S. Just as mathematicians need to grapple with human quirks and mysteries." she says. is working on a system to shield individuals while making use of the data. the country must breed more top-notch mathematicians at home.on both sides. It's a promising approach. Outfitting students with the right quantitative skills is a crucial test facing school boards and education ministries worldwide. they figure out how to game it. they'll likely work to lock up their information or move it off network.

Math Will Rock Your World their staffers." And to spot opportunities.htm?chan=gl (6 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM . By Stephen Baker." says Paul C.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001. with Bremen Leak in New York Advertising | Special Sections | MarketPlace | Knowledge Centers Terms of Use | Privacy Notice | Ethics Code | Contact Us Copyright 2000. http://www. But they still must understand enough about math to question the assumptions behind the numbers. the realm of numbers becomes an ever larger meeting ground. Pfleiderer. All rights reserved. "We have to train people in business to spot a bogus argument.2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Yes. "Now it's easier for people to bamboozle someone by having analysis based on lots of data and graphs. a finance professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. and a birthplace for new industries. It's a percolating laboratory full of surprising connections. As more of the world's information is pooled into mathematics.businessweek. it's a magnificent time to know math.

) But the officials admit that it's no easy job to lure a mathematician from a gold-plated job at a West Coast campus. For decades." Indeed. For now. the information that's flying around the Internet. Through online elimination rounds. The agents. The NSA's pitch? First the agency appeals to the recruits' patriotism. Like Yahoo.S. In general.htm?chan=gl (1 of 2)1/17/2006 2:50:41 AM .com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968007. In the last decade. the nation's top techno-spy center." he says. PATRIOT PITCH. The mathematicians don't plow through the data alone. as are the bountiful math brains in India. 19. Half of all hires in the math division are PhDs. NSA mathematicians are at the heart of the controversy percolating in Washington over wire taps President Bush authorized. Through the cold war.Online Extra: The NSA: Security in Numbers Close Window JANUARY 23. UNWARRANTED DATA. engineers. the world's growing rivers of data contain terrorist secrets. citizens. About half of the estimated 20. without warrants. Its participation in the TopCoder contests is part of this drive. the NSA has assembled multidisciplinary teams. NSA officials insist they're meeting recruiting targets. as the math problems have grown more complicated. NSA math whizzes matched wits with the Soviets: Each side protected its own secret codes while trying to break the other's. The agency is cosponsoring a 10-week competition. the NSA doesn't give numbers of the mathematicians and computer scientists working there." says Schatz. the NSA can hire only U. The study of these "massive data sets." says James Schatz. but far less so at the NSA. the NSA is working to squeeze intelligence out of the data flooding through global networks.S. This is especially true of women. they're underrepresented in mathematics. but recruiting in the age of Google is a lot tougher The job offers arrived in plain envelopes. Much of the work at the NSA boils down to the same challenges the Internet giants are grappling with. There's a second hitch: Unlike the tech companies it must compete with. chief of the mathematics research group at the agency.000 math graduate students at U. and computer scientists.businessweek. BRAND BUILDING. This is leading the agency to open up its recruiting process. Eastern Europe. following the terrorist attacks of 2001. focus the technical teams on the problems to solve. Chances are. "We have to look at new and innovative ways to find talent. which is expected to attract thousands of computer scientists and math whizzes around the world. Math is more important than ever at the NSA. the field http://www. But to land the best brains. the NSA must compete with free-spending Web giants such as Google () and Yahoo! ().giving NSA mathematicians more to work with. "Look at the whole telecommunications industry. and Microsoft (). the mathematicians who accepted them stole off to Washington and the hush-hush National Security Agency. many of whom have backgrounds in liberal arts. They include mathematicians. and it's up to the agency's math teams to find them. is "one area where mathematicians are having an enormous impact here. The agency is even co-sponsoring math and programming contests run by TopCoder. starting Jan. 2006 COVER STORY Online Extra: The NSA: Security in Numbers The techno-spy agency has a greater need than ever for American math talent. universities are foreigners. (For security reasons. China. But there's also a lifestyle lure. and elsewhere. chief of the NSA's recruitment office. This is a severe constraint. Google. "Many of our new hires are women. They're off bounds." says Cynthia Miller-Wentt. they report. A big part of the recruiting challenge at the NSA is to attract young people who haven't heard of the agency. a Connecticut company whose matches attract geeks from all over the world. NSA officials say a good number of mathematicians prefer a suburban Maryland life and a government job with predictable hours to the more frantic pace and market gyrations of an Internet company. all working with intelligence agents. especially at the PhD level. The President's policy casts a wider net for data -from phone and Internet traffic -.

htm?chan=gl (2 of 2)1/17/2006 2:50:41 AM . the success of the NSA -." By Stephen Baker in New York Advertising | Special Sections | MarketPlace | Knowledge Centers Terms of Use | Privacy Notice | Ethics Code | Contact Us Copyright 2000. But the contest helps the agency build its brand as a cutting-edge lab for math and computer science. "the NSA isn't healthy. -. the national security of the U. surrounded by large-display computer screens and cheering crowds. http://www.businessweek.S. will compete together for $150.2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. mathematics community isn't healthy. TopCoder winners are often foreign." Schatz says.Online Extra: The NSA: Security in Numbers will be narrowed to 64. "If the U. All rights reserved. though.hinges on the health of American math education. In the end.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968007.and by extension.S.000 in prizes. And this group. and therefore unavailable to the NSA.

that's revenue. an analytics startup in Mountain View. "I get gigabytes of click data. Working with Efficient Frontier. He heads search marketing at E-Loan (). Imran Khan is one of them. but he doesn't want to turn away business from bad spellers. "It's the same math you use in managing a portfolio. 10/21/05.000 variations of the brand name. Khan's automated system generates a return on investment for each keyword. Instead Khan's department operates as a number-crunching lab. "Making the Most of Web Ad Budgets"). fluctuating much like a financial market. But there are plenty of other numbers to throw into the mix. The crucial calculation for a search marketer is to bid on keywords at the big search engines. but the concept is simple. That may sound exotic to mathophobes. People like Khan are grabbing ever more of the budgets. Khan bids for the keyword "E-Loan. CEO of Efficient Frontier. Search advertising's biggest advantage comes from the numbers it generates. Since the search ad boom began. 2006 COVER STORY Online Extra: Search Advertising by the Numbers At online lender E-Loan. It enables marketers to track customer behavior. For decades. Khan's team takes the flow of numbers coming in from the search engines and marries them with internal data. the online lender. marketing is more about analysis than creativity. and how much money do they spend? With those numbers. In total he has bids on 3. and that number helps to determines Khan's bidding strategy." He certainly doesn't want potential customers who start out with his company in mind to click on a competitor's ad. creative people. Not much of it buys fancy lunches. But how about "Eloan?" It's not spelled quite right.Online Extra: Search Advertising by the Numbers Close Window JANUARY 23. But this world of relationships and high concepts has been under siege for three years by people up to their elbows in numbers. The process goes on and on.. it has been an industry of expansive ideas. cost per click. Khan's share has risen from 20% to 50% of E-Loan's total marketing budget. STAYING ON TARGET." he says." WORDS' WORTH. And then the marketer pays the amount bid when the ad is clicked (see BW Online. especially when it comes to buying keywords Advertising. Khan bids on about 250." says Ellen Siminoff. I want to make sure they find us. In Khan's case. "Google and Yahoo!: Rolling In It").htm?chan=gl (1 of 2)1/17/2006 2:51:28 AM . Calif. While the search advertising boom has focused attention on Google () and the Overture division of Yahoo! (). He now spends $15 million a year. "We've spent a lot of money on building this brand. such as cost per http://www. He sets a goal that he aims to maximize. an accountant by training. and it replaces hunches with science.000 key words and phrases at the major search engines. Naturally. Each one generates its own return on investment. He bids on that too. BUYING YOUR BRAND. The highest bidder for a word gets its ad placed next to the search results when a Web surfer types that word in a query. it has also shaken up marketing departments in companies around the world (see BW Online.businessweek. How many visitors from each keyword visit the Web site? How many of them spend money. we've been able to show through scientific testing and measurement that we can optimize this channel. and chummy deals hatched in fine restaurants. Khan." Khan says. 3/7/05. In total. and we can scale it. "The reason that we've been able to grow it. and keyword rank. Those help determine the bidding strategy. "If they're looking for us. "Cost. Then he factors in the constraints." he says.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968008. he runs the numbers on them. "Elone?" Ditto. looks at the process like a linear programming problem." The ranking of each of his quarter-million keywords fluctuates during the day as bidding continues.

" he says. He measures the online response to E-Loan's TV ads. He experiments with different types of ads and compares the results.2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. This can get complicated. which means the results are much more complex than a far cheaper targeted keyword phrase such as "Tuscaloosa mortgage. What's more. "SHIFT IN FOCUS.htm?chan=gl (2 of 2)1/17/2006 2:51:28 AM .Online Extra: Search Advertising by the Numbers keyword. "But there's a shift in focus from creative to analysis in marketing. "A keyword like 'loan' can deliver either of the two products. "A new kind of marketer has emerged. 10/24/05. "I call them analyst marketers." he says. I look for computer science and economics backgrounds. And that's what Khan looks for when he recruits. http://www. He can send them to various versions of the site. So should we buy the keyword based on potential of auto loan or mortgage loan?" He has his team do the math (see BW. That drives up the price. It's all based on numbers.businessweek." Khan is continually testing and tweaking the system." Khan says. By Stephen Baker in New York EDITED BY Edited by Phil Mintz Advertising | Special Sections | MarketPlace | Knowledge Centers Terms of Use | Privacy Notice | Ethics Code | Contact Us Copyright 2000." In Imran Khan's fast-growing realm of marketing. He also tests the effectiveness of the Web site in turning visitors into customers. it's a big. broad word. "Hard Questions From Google"). he competes with much of the lending industry. and make adjustments. When I go out and look for search marketers. math is the crucial skill. If he bids for the word "loan.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968008." for example. Investment bankers are good. "Marketing is still considered a soft skill. All rights reserved. we can get $20 if we do a mortgage loan. compare the results." "If we can get one dollar out of an auto loan.