Gilbane Conferences & Advisor

Curated content for content, computing, and digital experience professionsals

Category: Computing & Data (page 2 of 5)

Customer experiences, communications, and analytics

three epicenters of innovation in modern marketing
I recently discovered Scott Brinker’s Chief Marketing Technologist blog and recommend it as a useful resource for marketers. The Venn diagram above is from a recent post, 3 epicenters of innovation in modern marketing. It was the Venn diagram that first grabbed my attention because I love Venn diagrams as a communication tool, it reminded me of another Venn diagram well-received at the recent Gilbane Conference, and most of the conference discussions map to someplace in the illustration.

As good as the graphic is on its own, you should read Scott’s post and see what he has to say about the customer experience “revolution”.

Lest you think Scott is a little too blithe in his acceptance of the role of big data, see his The big data bubble in marketing — but a bigger future, where the first half of the (fairly long) post talks about all the hype around big data. But you should read the full post because he is right on target in describing the role of big data in marketing innovation, and in his conclusion that data-driven organizations will need to make use of big data though these data-driven and data-savvy organizations will take some time to build.

So don’t let current real or perceived hype about the role of big data in marketing lead you to discount its importance – it’s a matter of when, not if. “When” is not easy to predict, but will certainly be different depending on an organizations’ resources and ability to deal with complexity, and organizational and infrastructure changes.

Why Big Data is important to Gilbane Conference attendees

If you think there is too much hype, and gratuitous use of the term, big data, you haven’t seen anything yet. But don’t make the mistake of confusing the hype with how fundamental and how transformational big data is and will certainly be. Just turn your hype filter to high and learn enough about it to make your own judgements about how it will affect your business and whether it is something you need to do something about now, or monitor for future planning.

As I said yesterday in a comment on a post by Sybase CTO Irfan Khan Gartner dead wrong about big data hype cycle (with a response from Gartner):

However Gartner’s Hype Cycle is interpreted I think it is safe to say that most, including many analysts, underestimate how fundamental and how far-reaching big data will be. How rapidly its use will evolve, and in which applications and industries first, is a more difficult and interesting discussion. The twin brakes of a shortage of qualified data scientist skills and the costs and complexities of IT infrastructure changes will surely slow things down and cause disillusionment. On the other hand we have all been surprised by how fast some other fundamental changes have ramped up, and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service) will certainly help accelerate things. There is also a lot more big data development and deployment activity going on than many realize – it is a competitive advantage after all.

There is also a third “brake” which is all the uncertainty around privacy issues. There is already a lot of consumer data that is not being fully used because of fear of customer backlash or new regulation and, one hopes, because of a degree of respect for consumer’s privacy.

Rob Rose expanded on some specific concerns of marketers in a recent post Big Data & Marketing – It’s A Trap!, including the lack of resources for interpreting even the current mostly website analytics data marketers already have. It’s true, and not just for smaller companies. In addition there are at least four requirements for making big data analytics accessible to marketers that are largely beyond the reach of most current organizations.

Partly to the rescue is Big Data as a Service BDaaS (one of the more fun-sounding acronyms). BDaaS is going to be a huge business. All the big technology infrastructure firms are getting involved and all the analytics vendors will all have cloud and big data services. There are also many new companies including some surprises. For example, after developing its own Hadoop-based big data analytics expertise Sears created subsidiary MetaScale to provide BDaaS to other enterprises. Ajay Agarwal from Bain Capital Ventures predicts that the confluence of big data and marketing will lead to several new multi-billion dollar companies and I think he is right.

But while big data is important for the marketers, content managers, and IT who attend our conference because of the potential for enhanced predictive analytics and content marketing. The reach and value of big data applications is far broader than marketing – executives need to understand the potential for new efficiencies, products and businesses. The well-known McKinsey report “Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition, and Productivity” (free) is a good place to start. If you are in the information business I focus on that in my report Big-Data: Big Deal or Just Big Buzz? (not free).

Big data presentations at Gilbane Boston

This year we have six presentations on big data, two devoted to big data and marketing and all chosen with an eye towards the needs of our audience of marketers, content strategists, and IT. You can find out more about these presentations, including their date and time on the conference program.

Keynote

Bill Simmons, CTO, DataXu
Why Marketing Needs Big Data

Main Conference Presentations

Tony Jewitt, VP Big Data Solutions at Avalon Consulting, LLC
“Big Data” 101 for Business

Bryan Bell, Vice President, Enterprise Solutions, Expert System
Semantics and the Big Data Opportunity

Brian Courtney, General Manager of Operations Data Management, GE Intelligent Platforms
Leveraging Big Data Analytics

Darren Guarnaccia, Senior VP, Product Marketing, Sitecore
Big Data: What’s the Promise and Reality for Marketers?

Stefan Andreasen, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Kapow Software
Big Data: Black Hole or Strategic Value?

Update: There is now a video of me being interviewed on big data by CMS-Connected.

IBM Unveils Big Data Software

IBM unveiled new software for managing and analyzing big data to the workplace. The new offerings span a wide variety of big data and business analytics technologies across multiple platforms from mobile devices to the data center to IBM’s SmartCloud. Now employees from any department inside an organization can explore unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, log files, genomic data and video, and make sense of it as part of their everyday work experience. IBM is also placing the power of mobile analytics into the hands of iPad users with a free download in Apple’s iTunes Store. The new software is designed to help employees in industries such as financial services, healthcare, government, communications, retail, and travel and transportation use and benefit from business analytics on the go. IBM is delivering new analytics and information management offerings: New Hadoop-based analytics software on the cloud, which helps employees tap into massive amounts of unstructured data from a variety of sources including social networks, mobile devices and sensors; New mobile analytics software for iPad users; and new predictive analytics software with a mapping feature that can be used across industries for marketing campaigns, retail store allocation, crime prevention, and academic assessment. http://www.ibm.com/

Cloud-Based Marketing Analytics Suite Launched By IBM

IBM has announced a cloud-based Web analytics and digital marketing suite aimed at helping its business customers automate online marketing campaigns across digital channels, such as Websites, social media networks and mobile phones. The new IBM offering combines software from the acquisitions of Coremetrics and Unica and provides analytics that help companies fine-tune marketing campaigns and create personalised offers in real-time across online channels. For example, businesses would be able to evaluate Facebook or Twitter activity, and offer tailored promotions delivered to their mobile devices on the fly. IBM’s suite also enables businesses to deliver and fine-tune digital marketing programmes based on what customers are doing offline. For instance, a consumer who purchased a new tablet in a brick-and-mortar store would receive special offers via email to purchase tablet accessories. http://www.ibm.com

W3C Refining Metrics to Measure User Experience

The W3C’s Web Performance Working Group is working on a specification to define 20 “fine-grained” metrics to measure the duration of just about every aspect of a web user’s navigation behavior. The W3C’s working draft of the Navigation Timing Specification is in the “last call for comments” phase. After being finalized, it will specify 20 measurements for every page visited. http://test.w3.org/webperf/specs/NavigationTiming/

Rivet Software Launches Crossfire 3.0 for Financial Communications

Rivet Software, the premier provider of standards-based business reporting and analytics, announced the release of Crossfire 3.0, an enhanced software platform that simplifies the process of SEC financial filings by managing the complicated preparation and review processes. Crossfire uses eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) technology to control document progression and centralize reviewers’ comments. Crossfire 3.0 is a standards-based reporting platform that specializes in internal and external financial reporting and analytics. Based on an XBRL framework, Crossfire 3.0 simplifies the user experience by eliminating the file management issue. Rivet’s integrated solution allows its customers to control the financial reporting cycle and comply with all SEC filing needs. Crossfire 3.0 includes an integrated Reviewer’s Guide that allows preparers and reviewers to closely collaborate across multiple iterations as the filing progresses from inception to completion. With this guide, users no longer need to interact with standalone documents to review XBRL tag selections and comment information. This “single document” system streamlines the process for reviewing and approving filings in a way not previously available. Crossfire 3.0 now preserves existing tags and comments when rolling forward from one filing to the next. When new data matches an XBRL tag from the previous quarter, Crossfire recognizes the match and automatically applies the tag throughout the document. The latest release of Crossfire allows users to change XBRL-tagged data in one location and instantly apply that change to exact-matched data throughout the entire document. Crossfire 3.0 includes the ability to split the XBRL templates so a filing can be worked on by different people in parallel. Once the separate pieces are complete, a user can simply merge them back into the master file. Crossfire 3.0 is supported by Rivet’s global professional services team 24 hours a day, seven days a week. www.rivetsoftware.com

TransPerfect Introduces New iPhone Application

TransPerfect, the privately held provider of translation services, announced the release of a new iPhone application for translation, which is available free to users. The application is called TransPerfect TransImage and it provides real-time machine translation via the device’s camera for users who come across text they would like to instantly understand. Machine translation has not yet advanced to a point where it can replace a human translator for mission critical content, but it can be an informative tool for getting the gist of content in another language. TransPerfect’s iPhone application leverages OCR (optical character recognition) and MT (machine translation) technology to form an application that takes text within a picture and translates it automatically. The current version includes support for 49 languages. The free application is now available from the Apple iTunes Store. www.transperfect.com.

Paper on Open Government Data Initiatives Available

Updated March 3, 2010

Government agencies produce a lot of information. Making it accessible to the public, which essentially paid for it, can be quite challenging. The volume is high. The formats are varied. Much of it remains locked in information silos.

Support is growing to take steps to make as much government information available to the public as possible. President Obama issued a directive describing the official policy for Transparency and Open Government that mandates an unprecedented level of accessibility to government information. At the same time, technical advances have improved the feasibility of increasing access to the data.

I recently completed a Gilbane paper on this topic and how some agencies are improving access to public data. It is now available for free on our Web site at https://gilbane.com/beacons.html. The paper’s sponsor, Mark Logic, has provided interesting case studies that illustrate the challenges and approaches to overcoming them. I also explore some of the major hurdles that need to be crossed to achieve this goal, including:

  1. Extremely high volumes of content and data
  2. Highly diverse, heterogeneous data formats and data models
  3. Complex content integration and delivery requirements
  4. Time-sensitivity of content
  5. Changing information environments

The approaches described have enabled that users of this technology to implement high-volume, disparate-data applications that not only overcome old technical barriers but also deliver new value to their organizations. This is, after all, the essence of open data – be it for open government, open publishing, or open enterprise.

I encourage you to read this paper to get a better understanding of what works to make government data more open.

Update: the Beacon is also available from Mark Logic.

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