Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: March 2012 (Page 1 of 2)

Making big data analytics accessible to marketers

The recent announcement of SAS Visual Analytics highlights four important characteristics of big data that are key to the ability of marketing organizations to use big analytic data effectively:

  • Visualization is a challenge for big data analysis and we’ll continue to see new approaches to presenting and interacting with it. Better visualization tools are necessary not just because those who aren’t data scientists need to understand and work with the data, but because the increased efficiency and time-to-reaction to the data is critical in many cases – especially for marketers who need to react with lightening speed to current user experiences.
  • In case it isn’t obvious, visualization tools need to work where marketers can access them on web and mobile platforms.
  • In-memory data processing is necessary to support the required speed of analysis. This is still rare.
  • Big data is not only about unstructured data. Relational data and database tools are still important for incorporating structured data.

SAS is far from the only company driving new big data analytic technology, but they are the biggest and seem determined to stay on the front edge.

Marketing, big data, and content

“Content” in this context means unstructured data. The need to manage unstructured data is one of the main reasons big data technologies exist – the other being the need for dealing with scale and speed. This is why it is important for us to cover at our conferences. Not every company needs to build new infrastructures around Hadoop-like technologies… yet. But marketers need to manage the mostly unstructured content that is part of their world, and also process and manage the more structured analytic data that will rapidly become “big” for even small organizations, so big data technologies need to be on marketing organizations’ radar as they continue to increase their expertise and spending on technology. See yesterday’s post on Why marketing is the next big money sector in technology.

Why marketing is the next big money sector in technology

Ajay Agarwal from Bain Capital Ventures predicts that because of the confluence of big data and marketing Marketing is the next big money sector in technology and will lead to several new multi-billion dollar companies. His post is succinct and convincing, but there are additional reasons to believe he is correct.

Marketing spending more on IT than IT

Ajay opens his post with a quote from Gartner Group: “By 2017, a CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO”. It is difficult to judge this prediction without evaluating the supporting research, but it doesn’t sound unreasonable and the trend is unmistakable. Our own experience as conference organizers and consultants offers strong support for the trend. We cover the use of web, mobile, and content technologies for enterprise applications, and our audience has historically been 50% IT and 50% line of business or departmental. Since at least 2008 there has been a pronounced and steady increase in the percentage of marketers in our audience, so that 40% or more of attendees are now either in marketing, or in IT but assigned to marketing projects – this is about double what it was in earlier years. While web content management vendors have moved aggressively to incorporate marketing-focused capabilities and are now broadly positioned as hubs for customer engagement, the real driver is the success of the web. Corporate web sites have become the organizations’ new front door; companies have recognized this; and marketers are demanding tools to manage the visitor experience. Even during the peak of the recession spending on web content management, especially for marketing applications, was strong.

“Cloud” computing and workforce demographics have also beefed up marketers’ mojo. The increased ability to experiment and deploy applications without the administrative overhead and cost of IT or of software licenses has encouraged marketers to learn more about the technology tools they need to perform and helped instill the confidence necessary to take more control over technology purchases. A younger more tech-savvy workforce adds additional assertiveness to marketing (and all) departments. Now if only marketers had more data scientists and statisticians to work with…

Big data and big analytics

Big data has not caused, or contributed very much, to the increase in marketing spending to-date. Certainly there are very large companies spending lots of money on analyzing vast amounts of customer data from multiple sources, but most companies still don’t have enough data to warrant the effort of implementing big data technologies and most technology vendors don’t yet support big data technologies at all, or sufficiently. I agree with Ajay though that the “several multi-billion dollar” marketing technology companies that may emerge will have to have core big data processing and analytic strengths.

And not just because of the volume. One of the main reasons for the enterprise software bias for back office applications was that front office applications beyond simple process automation and contact data collection were just too difficult because they required processing unstructured, or semi-structured, data. Big data technologies don’t address all the challenges of processing unstructured data, but they take us a long way as tools to manage it.

The level of investment in this space is much greater than most realize. Ajay is right to invest in it, but he is not alone.

W3C launches Multilingual Web Language Technology Working Group

W3C announced new work to make it easier for people to create Web content in the world’s languages. The lack of standards for exchanging information about translations is estimated to cost the industry as much as 20% more in translation costs, amounting to billions of dollars. In addition, barriers to distributing content in more than one language mean lost business. Multinational companies often need to translate Web content into dozens of languages simultaneously, and public bodies from Europe and India typically must communicate with citizens in many languages. As the Web becomes more diverse linguistically, translation demands will continue to grow.

The MultilingualWeb–LT (Language Technology) Working Group will develop standard ways to support the (automatic and manual) translation and adaptation of Web content to local needs, from its creation to its delivery to end users. The MultilingualWeb-LT Working Group receives funding from the European Commission (project name LT-Web) through the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Call for Papers for Gilbane Boston 2012 now open

Proposal deadline is May 14th!

This year’s conference takes place November 27-29, 2012, at The InterContinental Boston Waterfront in Fort Point Channel & Boston’s Innovation and Seaport District.

The Gilbane conference is all about helping organizations apply content, web, and mobile technologies to increase communication and engagement with their ecosystem of customers, employees, suppliers, and partners in the most effective and efficient way possible.

This means understanding what technologies can and can’t do, what practices in applying them succeed or fail, how to effectively analyze data and apply results, and how to plan for rapid changes in market and technology evolution. Companies need to be agile and able to incorporate multiple mobile platforms with different form factors and capabilities, and also need to combine engaging content and interfaces with small devices and big data. Our program will be designed to help.

To submit a proposal for a presentation or panel please see the topics below listed for the four tracks, then read the guidelines and submit your proposal using our proposal submission form. Please feel free to suggest additional topics on the proposal form.

You can also learn more by visiting the conference website at http://gilbaneboston.comwhere you can see information from our 2011 conference.

 

Customers & Engagement track

Designed for anyone responsible for content, marketing, business, or technical aspects of public facing websites, including, sales & marketing, digital marketing, brand managers, business units with P&L, Web strategists, IT, Web managers, business managers, digital media, e-commerce managers, content managers & strategists. Topics:

  • Web content management
  • Digital marketing
  • Web and mobile analytics
  • User experience
  • Responsive design
  • Localization
  • Social marketing
  • Content strategies
  • Cross-channel marketing
  • e-commerce integration
  • Search engine strategies

 

Colleagues & Collaboration track

Designed for anyone responsible for internal websites, portals, collaboration & knowledge sharing, including, knowledge managers, product managers, project managers, IT, departments (R&D, support, mfg, financial, legal, authoring, etc.). Topics:

  • Collaboration tools
  • Social software platforms
  • Adoption strategies
  • Social media metrics
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Federated search

 

Content Technologies track

Designed for those who are either responsible for technology decisions, or those who need to keep up-to-speed with the latest technology for enterprise content applications of all types, including, central IT, departmental IT, strategists, and managers who need to know what’s possible and what’s coming. Topics:

  • Multilingual technologies
  • Big data
  • Big analytics
  • HTML5
  • Search
  • Semantic technologies
  • Visualization
  • Touch interfaces
  • Content migration
  • Digital asset management
  • Choosing the right technologies
  • Choosing a system integrator

 

Web & Mobile Publishing track

Designed for those responsible for content creation, management, and multi-channel/multi-lingual publishing, product managers, IT and others that need to learn about new mobile and multi-channel demands, including corporate or commercial publishers, content managers, developement managers. Topics:

  • Mobile development frameworks
  • App development strategies
  • HTML5
  • Multi-channel publishing
  • Ebook readers vs tablets
  • Tablets vs smartphones
  • Mobile publishing workflows
  • Matching content to platform

Speaker guidelines • Speaker submission form • Questions? speaking@gilbane.com

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