Ahan Analytics, LLC Thought Blog - Thoughts on making practical use of analytics
Jan
30

Still Not Worth the Cost: A Follow-Up Case Study of Congestion Pricing in the SF Bay Area

written by Dr. Duru

Over three years ago, I wrote “Not Worth the Cost: A 17-Month Case Study of Congestion Pricing in the SF Bay Area” as an analysis of congestion pricing on the Express Lane for Highway 237 in Milpitas, CA. I concluded then that the opportunity for saving time was not worth the price of the toll […]

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Sep
20

Uber Uses Economics 101 And A Natural Experiment to Justify Surge Pricing

written by Dr. Duru

I have several beefs with Uber and its ilk. One beef I do NOT share with some is the controversy over Uber’s surge pricing. Surge pricing sounds exotic, but the pricing process is relatively basic in operation and in principle. It comes from the economics of bringing supply and demand into balance when demand surges […]

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Dec
7

Using Machine Learning To Tease Out A Dynamic Pricing Algorithm

written by Dr. Duru

On November 29, 2013, I wrote a piece titled “Not Worth the Cost: A 17-Month Case Study of Congestion Pricing in the SF Bay Area.” In that piece, I presented data I manually collected on toll costs for the westbound Express Lane on Highway 237 (running from Milpitas to Sunnyvale, CA) versus the drive time […]

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Nov
29

Not Worth the Cost: A 17-Month Case Study of Congestion Pricing in the SF Bay Area

written by Dr. Duru

On March 20, 2012, the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) implemented congestion (or dynamic) pricing on a critical San Francisco Bay Area thoroughfare called Highway 237 that primarily connects commuters from the East Bay to the South Bay. This change converted an existing car pool lane into an “Express Lane” which now allows solo drivers access […]

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Aug
28

Does the TouchPad Firesale Teach Some Lessons In Pricing?

written by Dr. Duru

On August 18, Hewlett Packard (HPQ) announced its earnings and dropped the following bombshell: “HP will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. The devices have not met internal milestones and financial targets. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward. “ My first […]

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May
10

Why Is the Middle Seat So Valuable On AirTran?

written by Dr. Duru

AirTran Airways provides multi-tiered pricing for advance reservation of seating in its coach class. AirTran differentiates its pricing by positioning vertically in the plane, but not horizontally. That is, for some reason, AirTran charges the same price for a middle seat in the same row as an aisle and middle seat. AirTran does not charge […]

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Feb
1

Amazon’s e-Book Pricing Problem

written by Dr. Duru

I intended to write a detailed examination of Amazon’s pricing problem with e-books. However after doing just a little research, I found there are plenty of people who have already provided excellent opinions and recommendations. So, instead of providing my classic unsolicited advice, I am posting links to the two most insightful pieces I found […]

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Jan
31

Pricing Program at the UC Berkeley Center for Executive Education

written by Dr. Duru

The UC Berkeley Center for Executive Education is offering a 4-day pricing program called “Pricing for Profitability in the Information Age“, April 27-30, 2010 and November 15-18, 2010. Here is the intro and program description provided by the program’s website: “Companies leave millions, sometimes billions, of dollars on the table every year through sub-optimal pricing […]

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Dec
10

Why Can’t I Have the Brownie Instead of the Muffin with My Box Lunch Special?

written by Dr. Duru

I maintain a relatively regular lunch rotation that features essentially the same main item at each eating establishment. Today, I was delivered a shock to my comfortable culinary routine: I was told that I could not substitute a brownie for the muffin that comes with the chicken salad sandwich box meal at, what I will […]

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Nov
16

Burger King Broiling: Struggling with Global Vs. Local Profit Optimization

written by Dr. Duru

On the same day that BusinessWeek lauded Subway for the success of its discount $5 footlong sandwiches, the National Franchise Association (NFA) sued Burger King Corporation over the legality of requiring franchisees to charge no more than $1 for the Double Cheeseburger. The Subway success story features a pricing strategy built from the bottom where […]

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