From theory to business. From Medicine to Consumer goods.From abstruse models to Teanler.
Medicine as a starting point.
Test & Learn is based on Experimental Design (see detailed approach), also known as Design of Experiments (DOE). This technique has improved drastically over the last 80 years, but the first experiments of this kind can be found in the medical field, with a surgeon called James Lind which carried out a controlled experiment to develop a cure for scurvy in 1747.
Charles S. Peirce, an American philosopher, mathematician and scientist, highlighted the importance of randomization-based inference in statistics in 2 publications between 1877 and 1883: “Illustrations of the Logic of Science” (1877–1878) and “A Theory of Probable Inference” (1883).
In 1926 and 1935, Ronald A. Fisher (an English statistician, evolutionary biologist, eugenicist, and geneticist), published the first 2 books dedicated to Experimental Designs: “The Arrangement of Field Experiments” and “The Design of Experiments”.
A few years later, Experimental Design became a hot topic for many mathematicians and statisticians all around the world:
Robin L. Plackett and J. P. Burman presented the Plackett–Burman designs in 1946 while working in the British Ministry of Supply.
C. R. Rao, an Indian American statistician and mathematician, introduced the concepts of orthogonal arrays as experimental designs.
A Japanese statistican and engineer called Genichi Taguchi, also contributed to the improvement of Experimental Design by the use of an outer array for factors that are uncontrollable in real life, but are systematically varied in the experiment.
In 1950, Gertrude Mary Cox and William Gemmell Cochran published the book “Experimental Designs” which became the major reference work on the design of experiments for statisticians for years afterwards.
Consumer Finance as a natural follow-up.
But we have to wait until 1988 to find the first business applications of Test & Learn and Experimental Design. At this time, Capital One, an American firm operating in the consumer finance industry, was just founded and started to use intensively the Test & Learn approach to test everything from product design to marketing to customer selection to collection policies.
Capital One has now one of the most widely recognized brands in America, is ranked #145 on the Fortune 500 and is one of the 10 largest banks in the US based on deposits. In a single year, the company performs tens of thousands of tests, allowing it to offer thousands of different types of credit cards to customers, based on the knowledge gained from their tests.
Richard Fairbank, CEO of Capital One, called Test & Learn "a marketing revolution that can be applied to many businesses".
A quick expansion to many other businesses.
Richard Fairbank’s conviction was extremely smart: 25 years later, the Test & Learn approach had been implemented and leveraged successfully in many different industries, from retail to telecommunications. Here are some selected examples of well-known firms which use Test & Learn on a day-to-day basis:
Teanler: a new big step in Test & Learn history.
Test & Learn often requires to analyze customer data at very granular levels, is based on sophisticated statistical models that cannot be (re)invented from scratch and, even more important, cannot be conducted without a very well structured process and methodology. This may be considered as a massive and expensive undertaking… but Teanler is setting up a new deal.
With Teanler, Test & Learn is now accessible to every single corporate, from the family-run small business to the large multinational company.
A new big step in Test & Learn history has been made.