2018 – The Most Popular Posts from AnthonySmoak.com

Two thousand eighteen was the third year in which I’ve been actively blogging here on AnthonySmoak.com. It’s interesting to look back on my first full year of activity in 2016 and compare the blog’s growth in views and visitors.  For my first year of posting back in 2016, I had a little under a 1,000 visitors for the whole year, as compared to 2018 where I had about 28.5 thousand visitors. The past year was also momentous for my Youtube channel as I hit the milestone 1,000 subscribers mark.

I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I learn with people and that’s what keeps me coming back to share more. The positive feedback and the comments I receive from readers and followers make this pastime of mine worth carrying on.

Since I finally have a good sample size of views to draw from, I wanted to share a year in review of the most popular articles here on AnthonySmoak.com for 2018. Although I have a number of Tableau video posts, my most popular posts are related to companies and/or strategy. To my surprise, there seems to be a sizable audience for technology related strategy at Wal-Mart.

I want business intelligence practitioners to come here for their Tableau fix, but I also want business school, management information systems students and anyone else occupying the dual spaces of business and technology (like I’ve done throughout my industry and consulting career) to read my posts on various companies and their uses of technology.

Without further ado, here are my 10 most popular blog posts over the past year.

1. More Than You Want to Know About Wal-Mart’s Technology Strategy Part 1

Popularity Index Score = 100

By far this was my most read blog article of the year and the most popular of all time. It is the first part of a three part series that I wrote that takes a look at a few different areas related to Wal-Mart’s use of technology. This post specifically relates to technology infrastructure and IT staffing.

2. Michael Porter’s Generic Cost Leadership Strategy Explained

Popularity Index Score = 90

This is the first of two posts where I cover the famous business professor’s generic strategies. In this specific post I describe the cost leadership strategy and its advantages and disadvantages. The cost leadership strategy is employed when a company aims to be the lowest cost producer in the market. It enables a business to reap higher than average profitability.

3. Michael Porter’s Generic Differentiation Strategy Explained

Popularity Index Score = 84

At the opposite side of the generic cost leadership strategy is the differentiation strategy. A differentiation strategy advocates that a business must offer products or services that are valuable and unique to buyers above and beyond a low price.

4. How to Conditionally Format Text Cell Color in Tableau

Popularity Index Score = 82

Of all of my Tableau related videos, this is my personal favorite. I spent many hours researching how to perform this trick for a thoroughly ungrateful party I should add (but I won’t get into that). Tableau is not Excel and table data should be used sparingly in Tableau, but if you have to display table data then do it with style. The upside of my struggle to solve this problem is that I was left with a great video to share with my followers. This video is the 2nd most viewed video on my Youtube channel.

5. How to Fix an Import Specification Error in Microsoft Access

Popularity Index Score = 75

This post hearkens back to my days as a data analyst for General Motors where I heavily used Microsoft Access. I have a love/hate relationship with Access in that it can be an effective tool for light data work but it has the ability to frustrate you with seemingly nonsensical errors. In this post I share my findings regarding how to overcome an Import Specification Error (Run-Time error ‘3625’).  One would think that “import steps” and an import specification can be referenced and used the same way in code, but that is not the case.

Articles 6 -10

6. Strategic Analysis of ADP (Popularity Index: 69)
7. Costco’s Underinvestment in Technology Leaves it Vulnerable to Disruption (Popularity Index: 68)
8. More Than You Want to Know About Wal-Mart’s Technology Strategy Part 2 (Popularity Index: 63)
9. The Definitive Walmart E-Commerce and Digital Strategy Post (Popularity Index: 45)
10. More Than You Want to Know About State Street Bank’s Technology Strategy Part 3
 (Popularity Index: 40)

I want to thank everyone who follows AnthonySmoak.com and who also subscribes to me on youtube for their visualization fix. May you have a prosperous year in the making!

Since I’m writing this post on the Martin Luther King holiday I’ll have to close with a quote from Dr. King.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” – Dr. MLK 

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