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Data tips and Toolbox for Strategic Planners
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Introducing TV ad targeting on Twitter

TV ad targeting lets brands extend and enhance their TV commercials with Promoted Tweets. By understanding not only where TV ads run, but which users tweeted...
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Let's Call an End to the 'Big Data' Hype Cycle

Let's Call an End to the 'Big Data' Hype Cycle | Data & Tools | Scoop.it
What's missing around the discussion of big data is clarity, writes Laura Madsen. To take advantage of big data you have to invest in people and processes.
Samuel Grinfeder's insight:

The reality is that big data has always existed; we just didn’t have a term for it.  It was all the data we had that we didn’t know what to do with. 

 

What’s different now?  These are the questions that I ask myself when a client says to me, “How do we use big data?”

 

Big data has big problems associated with it. 

 

Examples of case studies of organizations that truly used big data in the way that it was intended clearly demonstrate that in each case, the organization had invested in the people and process required to take true advantage of dataand had a very specific use case associated with the data.

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HolyCow: Big Data - the comedic empty vessel and Animal Spirits

Samuel Grinfeder's insight:

There is a rather disturbing meme doing the rounds, which concerns the value (or not) of "big data".

 

What they're really selling is the use of historic data to sell more stuff, more cheaply, while not falling foul of data privacy rules masquerading as actionable future facing 'insight'

 

What's the problem?

Some of the world's finest mathematical minds – including those at NASA – are swimming in big data and yet something as seemingly simple as predicting catastrophic weather events is still way beyond our reach.


Those analysing raw data within the marketing sphere can't possibly believe that they have an advantage over scientists and statisticians struggling with future predictability across frontiers such as global finance, medicine and government.


Lending increasing credibility to big data as a silver bullet for personalising and targeting products and services is dangerous. Those with data services to sell (Google for example) and those in a position to buy them are vowing to deliver insight that can predict future behaviour when all they really have is information about what people did previously.


But if we've learned anything about human behaviour as marketers, it is that people want to be entertained, surprised and delighted – which means we want the opposite of predictability.

 

This is seemingly how big data works, though – it focuses on historic behaviour (with some future propensity to purchase thrown in) – and as a consequence can only deliver ever-diminishing returns because it cannot factor in human serendipity and frailty.



In many ways, the social networking explosion neatly demonstrates my argument: people-driven networks invariably work better than data-driven formulae, which can't replicate or predict in the same way.


You think we have more insight into patterns of behaviour?


If you want to use data to understand why people do what they do, then you need to accept that predicting human nature can never be solely a left-brained, rational exercise.

Know any Nate Silvers in your data department? I rest my case.


Let's be honest


Agency folk and brand folks - be brave and accept it's just an outsourced facsimile of 'customer service' and stop thinking its a valuable agency resource with a future.


Agency folk and brand folks - be brave and accept it's just an outsourced facsimile of 'customer service' and stop thinking its a valuable agency resource with a future

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Analyzing Data and Consumer Behavior - Blast Radius SXSW 2013

Analyzing Data and Consumer Behavior - Blast Radius SXSW 2013 | Data & Tools | Scoop.it

Nature vs Data

Samuel Grinfeder's insight:

The case describes data-mining work carried out by retail brand Target in which they tracked customers who were pregnant.  Unborn children are being tracked and given an identity before they leave the womb.

It’s a significant shift in perspective from big data being a life record we give, to it being a force that defines who we are.


There are many opportunities to use this for positive change – health, crime, environment – but it also raises uneasy questions about self-awareness and diversity.

If we are all in a constant feedback loop and living lives dictated by broad data trends then does is start to flatten out the differences that make us unique? If everything is carefully crafted and based on rational statistics then do we lose the fun of surprises?

 

House of Cards, the Netflix drama that was designed and commissioned based on trends in user data. The interests that broadly unite us are not the ones about which we are most passionate.


For brands the key will be identifying commonalities amongst user interests and then unearthing the things about which the target is truly passionate. Alternatively it might just be a case of embracing surprise. In a landscape of increasingly tailored experiences maybe serendipity will be what truly stands out.


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In Defense Of Small Data - Forbes

In Defense Of Small Data - Forbes | Data & Tools | Scoop.it
This is a guest post written by Caribou Honig, a cofounder and partner of venture firm QED Investors. It all began in 1947 with the invention of the transistor, and it all ends in 40 years when Skynet gains sentience and destroys mankind.
Samuel Grinfeder's insight:

The buzzword of 2012 is Big Data. Every tech conference must have a Big Data panel. Usually those panels consist of infrastructure experts agreeing amongst themselves that “Oracle is a dinosaur” and “Open source doesn’t mean free.”  As a practitioner and investor in this space, I believe these discussions completely miss the point.


- First, data strategy must begin with the business strategy.  Enabling technology, whether SQL or Hadoop or HAL 9000, should be considered only after the core use case is clear. I don’t claim this is profound; I do claim that working backwards from the business objective is the exception in the Big Data discussions I’ve witnessed.


- Second, the information within a Big Data-Set is subject to the law of diminishing returns.  The very term Big Data implies that quantity is paramount, and some people speak as if they expect accelerating returns.  If my database grows 100X bigger then I can mine insights that are 100X or even 300X bigger, right?  Wrong! 


- My third and final point is that one should focus on the diversity of data available. 


Technology is very much enabling a data revolution. The benefit lies less in the volume of data and more in the novel types of data becoming available. 

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The Brutal Truth About 'Big Data'

The Brutal Truth About 'Big Data' | Data & Tools | Scoop.it
marketers keep constructing bigger data haystacks without necessarily getting better at figuring out how to find the needle.
Samuel Grinfeder's insight:

Marketers and media people fantasize endlessly about optimizing their relationships with customers by collecting and mining data, but the reality is that truly useful information about consumer desires and behavior is still often hopelessly siloed.


Like everyone, I tell myself that I don't really notice display ads on the web, but I always realize I'm fooling myself when I notice I'm being stalked by ads.


What I might actually do with my money, what I've done with it in the past (e.g., my personal point-of-sale, credit-card and loyalty-program records), what other artists I'm interested in, what other cultural activities I engage in, what I've tweeted about, what I've liked on Facebook, how much disposable income I have at any given time, what sort of offers I'm most likely to react to -- all of that information, I know, is floating around in the big-data cloud. But it only rarely meshes together in any sort of meaningful way that improves my life (and/or improves anybody's bottom line).

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Curalate introduces analytics for visual social media on Pinterest and Instagram

Curalate introduces analytics for visual social media on Pinterest and Instagram | Data & Tools | Scoop.it
A picture might indeed be worth a thousand words as visual social networks Pinterest and Instagram continue to grow. But how do analytics change when photos say more than text?
Samuel Grinfeder's insight:

Curalate’s solution will allow companies to see which images are most popular, merge customer conversations about their images on both visual social networks together, and create promotions for Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook simultaneously. In addition, Curalate will help brands distinguish between engagement with content that fans have posted and content that the brands themselves have posted.


Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/19/curalate-introduces-analytics-for-visual-social-media-on-pinterest-and-instagram/#d4FKFD52DCbqD5fa.99

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Big Data at your fingertips : Google Consumer Barometer

Big Data at your fingertips : Google Consumer Barometer | Data & Tools | Scoop.it

The Consumer Barometer is a global effort by IAB Europe in partnership with TNS Infratest and Google to quantify the role of online in the consumer journey from research to purchase. To better understand this journey, the Consumer Barometer provides insight into past purchase behaviors and brings a perspective on how consumers interact with the internet as a source of information for informing purchase decisions.

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Data : Don’t forget about “small data” - TechRepublic

Data : Don’t forget about “small data” - TechRepublic | Data & Tools | Scoop.it
Many IT organizations do an incredibly poor job of managing and presenting “small data,” which should give pause before launching a more c
Samuel Grinfeder's insight:

Takeaway: Many IT organizations do an incredibly poor job of managing and presenting “small data,” which should give pause before launching a more complex Big Data project.


While Big Data involves massive data sets and near real-time analysis, it’s also generally a one-off activity.


More traditional “small data” is generally operational reporting.

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Data : 3 Tips to Stay Relevant

Data : 3 Tips to Stay Relevant | Data & Tools | Scoop.it
NEIL BLUMENTHAL: The willingness to pivot is  more important for most startups than actually pivoting (since few will pivot.) If you build a culture based on flexibility, data use and sharing, you'll be able to easily shift strategy as the market...
Samuel Grinfeder's insight:

Use data (not just big data). “Big Data” was one of those buzz phrases that cropped up in every other article in 2012. The challenge for startups is three-fold: one, mostdon’t have access to big data; two, most haven’t built relational databases from which data can be easily pulled; and three, most haven’t yet hired a data scientist and a team of analysts. Unfortunately, these obstacles are no excuse not to use data. If anything, limited resources force small businesses to prioritize what data is most important. It’s critical to analyze what limited data is at your fingertips and to quickly create your organization’s first dashboards and scorecards.

 

 Being data-driven is an incremental process. Baby steps with data begin a chain reaction that will ultimately lead to a data-driven culture — a requirement for scale.

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