Big Data and the Academy Awards
Important questions I am pondering…
Is it midnight for the big Enterprise IT vendors (either Midnight in Paris or anywhere else) and will Big Data be a new Tree of Life for big on-premise software vendors in the era of the cloud and consumer-centric systems?
Are Big Data scientists The Artists of the future?
Whew. Let's see what that does for my SEO this weekend.
On a more serious note, I have to admit that I am fascinated by the explosion of interest in Big Data and its red-headed stepson, what I'm calling Big Content. (As a sidebar, see my colleague Cheryl McKinnon's excellent post on this in CMSWire - What You Need to Know About Big Data Hype)
“Big data” is a top issue for CIOs that really reflects a far more fundamental challenge for the business – “How do I help my organization become analytics-driven in order to reduce costs, increase revenues and improve competitiveness? Or more simply, how do I redefine customer experiences by extracting value from all this information I am accumulating?” Per IBM, "Information overload shows no signs of stopping, and the tsunami of big data coming from sensors, mobile devices, and social media alone is astounding. Consider this – every day, we create over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data -- so much that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone."
The “big content” subset of “big data” includes semantic technologies, the application of analytics to high volume print streams, content and text analytics (both inside the firewall and in social streams), and ultimately managing and personalizing the web experience in which all of this comes together for the customer.
The real opportunity for Big Data comes from taking one core lesson from the story of the migration between Systems to Record and Systems of Engagement -- "How do I move Big Data from the exclusive domain of IT to something that can actually be used by regular people in a business context?"
The USC Annenberg School of Journalism has done some interesting projects over the past year doing sentiment analysis of massive Twitter streams around major events like the World Series and the SuperBowl. This week, they have turned their attention to the Oscars.
The part that I find most fascinating about this current project is the marriage of Big Data analysis with visualization. The LA Times "Oscar Senti-Meter" provides real time analysis of the Twitter data associated with the Oscars and presents this in a way that even real life people like association presidents can understand. Drag the slider across the timeline, and see how the sentiment toward the leading actors, actresses, and films has changed over the past few months. [Click on the image for the actual Senti-Meter.]
I think this is very cool stuff. And even though it doesn't feel like traditional transactionally centered ECM, clearly there is something "content-y" going on here.
But wait! A couple of more examples I came upon this afternoon.
The first, Treato.com. What this site does is take all of the various social commentary around medications (something you would like to look at in an organized fashion when considering a medication, but usually find it scattered and totally undigestible because of its volume and lack of aggregation) and adds value and information to the data stream. Take a look. Very cool stuff.
And my favorite example today. Big Data and Food!
As if I need any more ways of finding good food -- Dishtip.com.
The cool thing about this site if you peek beneath the covers is that it is doing something very different from the Yelps and Trip Advisors of the world. It is not just a community of people who have registered for a specific community and are posting their opinions within that community. What is going on here is the deep analysis of a massive social stream in a wide variety of places, applying intelligence and sentiment analysis to that stream, and presenting the conclusions of that analysis -- along with links to the original data if you want it -- in a visually compelling manner. A manner that is so visually compelling, in fact, that it totally masks the amazing data crunching and visualization that is going on beneath the surface.
Very cool stuff from which I take some lessons.
1--There's value in all that data out there (both structured and unstructured, both inside and outside the firewall).
2--We on the content management side of the house have tended to focus on the risk and cost side of the information explosion equation. But there is another emerging side -- value and insight.
3--The key to all this making a difference is blasting it out of the realm of technical people and making it accessible to business people. Rich visualization is the key to giving all this value.
There are some interesting times ahead.
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