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6 Big Data trends, 5 ways companies of all size are adapting

Professionals of all types are diving into the wealth of information being collected every second online, and because it’s called Big Data, so many will be at a disadvantage by ignoring the concept. Here are 6 trends and 5 ways to adapt to the Big Data movement.

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Defining Big Data

Recently, AGBeat addressed “Big Data” which is defined as large data sets which cannot be managed with simple, common software that captures and processes the data, and is typically consisting of at least dozens of terabytes in a single data set. The challenges of Big Data are, well, big, and most attention is being paid to the massive amounts of data being generated by social media sites like Facebook and Foursquare.

In fact, Big Data was a popular theme at the recent South by Southwest Conference in Austin, with technologists and marketers bringing their unique backgrounds to the conversation, each addressing the collection of and processing of the unprecedented data being collected, for the first time outside of the government, and the concerns that go along with consumers blindly offering up the data.

6 Big Data trends

Bassel Ojjeh, CEO of nPario and former Senior VP of the Data Technology division at Yahoo gave AGBeat an exclusive look at what he is seeing as the top six trends in Big Data:

  1. Consolidation of Big Data players by either system integrators or hardware makers. Big Data has a big appetite for consulting as well as hardware and storage.
  2. Hadoop becoming the source of raw data and connectors from there to enterprise data warehouses like Netezza, etc.
  3. The slow death of RDBMS as we grew up to know them. Which makes for a good question of what will Oracle do.
  4. Evolution of startups from those who focused on infrastructure plays (Cloudera as an example) to industry specific and application specific plays.
  5. Integration of data from Natural user interfaces and smart devices with social and behavioral data.
  6. “Global Impact – Big Data empowering more Arab Springs around the world”. We already saw this in few occasions.

Operating at the intersection of technology and advertising, nPario delivers Big Data publisher and marketing solutions. nPario provides “Audience DNA” to reduce consumer data complexity and to deliver ROI and is the only player in the industry offering these solutions on an open and extensible architecture. nPario is able to extract consumer insights from all sources and transform them into a set of integrated marketing apps that product owners, account executives and clients can use to drive their campaigns. The company helps business users to drive more relevant experiences for their customers through data. They have a multi-patented Big Data platform that was built for and managed by one of the largest online portals in the world.

5 ways professionals are mastering Big Data

Kami Huyse, CEO of Zoetica (an agency that connects brands and nonprofits with their communities for social good) recently crafted a list of five essential skills to master Big Data that is geared toward public relations professionals but we believe is applicable to almost any professional:

  1. Become an analyst. Don’t be intimidated by data and analytics.
  2. Learn Excel. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is to take an advanced Excel course to learn how to manipulate data in spreadsheets.
  3. Collect Data. Consider collecting your own data to supplement what you get from any tools you use.
  4. Evaluate Tools. By all means keep an eye out for new tools.
  5. Ask questions. Lots of them. With all of these big data tools, understanding the methodology new tools use to analyze data will be critical.

More details can be found on SpinSucks.com, but Huyse mainly notes that it is important not to get intimidated – the very phrase Big Data can be intimidating, but it is within reach of companies to grasp the wealth of information available to them.

Tonia Ries, founder of Modern Media and The Realtime Report and conferences said, “Understanding how to query, read, map and manipulate data — not what the typical PR or marketing person signed up for, but so critical. I look at it the same way I look at programming: I don’t need to know exactly how to do it, but I need to understand enough about it so I can ask the right questions and use the tools that are built by the programmers.”

“There is a ton of data that people can get their heads around and gain valuable insights with a few simple tools,” said Matt Hixson, CEO of Tellagence. “Learning excel is a great example of DIY analytics. You can gain a ton of insights from doing that. Where it gets complex is when you get to relationships and groups of relationships around specific subjects that form communities. We have tons of data points today but most of us end up putting a mental model of how it all fits together in our head. I think over the coming months people will see new accessible applications that allow them to visualize and understand what they have only pieced together in the past.”

The takeaway

Big Data is here and it is not for the nerds, it is something many companies are already tackling, and all businesses will be thinking about in coming years – it is better to get a jump on it sooner than later to maximize its potential.

Public relations professionals, marketing and communications staff or even CEOs have DIY options, but have amazing tools like nPario within reach, but the commonality of what everyone above is saying is that it is not a trendy phrase, it is a relevant business concept, and we would add that it is a concept most will ignore because it sounds too sophisticated and data nerdy, so professionals in the know will have the advantage.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Matthew Hardy

    March 29, 2012 at 2:57 am

    > “Big Data” which is defined as large data sets which cannot be managed with simple, common software…

    Such as Excel?

    > The slow death of RDBMS as we grew up to know them. Which makes for a good question of what will Oracle do.

    Funny. And a marketing statement. Competitors have made this claim so many times it might even count as big data. 😉

    > Learn Excel.

    Certainly a “small data” tool for most.

    > Collect Data. Consider collecting your own data…

    Yes. By all means. Collect data. The relevant, pertinent data regarding your real estate business. This is the important data worth spending your time on. Even data sets managed by the inimitable Russell Shaw wouldn’t qualify as “big data”. Why? Because he *can* manage his atypically large data sets with simple software.

    The value of big data is largely in providing market analytics for large companies. If some company does get really good at locating and predicting the behavior of potential clients, we might actually see a Redfin put traditional agents out of business, but I don’t see these products being priced for individual agents.

    If your a small businessperson (read: real estate agent), “big data” is not that important to you. Your own data is.

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Not just for gaming: How virtual reality can save PTSD patients

(TECH NEWS) Thanks to its ability to simulate situations safely, virtual reality technologies are proving effective in therapy for PTSD patients.

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Woman wearing a VR headset in warm sunny lighting, PTSD patients treatment

Over the last year, a great many people have developed a new and sometimes dangerous relationship with a new emotional state, anxiety. I know that personally I’d never had a panic attack in my life until the middle of the pandemic. For many these emotions have taken the form of actual disorders. Actual mental influences which affect everyday life on a large scale. One of the most common forms of which is PTSD.

This disorder has many different aspects and can affect people in a number of different and debilitating ways. Finding treatments for PTSD patients and other anxiety disorders – especially treatments that don’t involve drugging people into oblivion has been difficult.

A lot of these disorders require exposure therapy. Putting people back into similar situations which caused the original trauma so that their brains can adjust to the situation and not get stuck in pain or panic loops. But how do you do that for things like battlefield trauma. You can’t just create situations with gunfire and dead bodies! Or can you?

This is where VR starts coming in. Thanks to the falling cost of VR headsets, noted by The Economist, psychologists are more capable of creating these real world situations that can actually help people adjust to their individual trauma.

One therapist went so far as to compare it to easy access opioids for therapy. This tool is so powerful that of the 20 veterans that they started with, 16 of them no longer qualify for the categories of PTSD. That’s a 75% success rate with an over-the-counter medicine. I can think of antihistamines and painkillers that aren’t that good.

I’ve grown up around PTSD patients. The majority of my family have been in the military. I was even looking at a career before I was denied service. I have enough friends that deal with PTSD issues that I have a list of things I remember not to invite certain people to so as not to trigger it. Any and every tool available that could help people adapt to their trauma is worthwhile.

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Tired of email spam? This silly, petty solution might provide vindication

(TECH NEWS) If you struggle to keep your inbox clean thanks to a multitude of emails, the widget “You’ve Got Spam” could provide some petty catharsis.

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Email icon with 20 possible spam emails on phone screen.

We’re all spending a lot of time behind our computers and inside of our inboxes these days, so it makes sense that some people—not naming names—might be sick of seeing several unsolicited emails a day from marketers and other unsavory businesses.

While we can’t recommend a mature, adult solution that hasn’t already been beaten to death (looking at you, “inbox zero” crowd), we can recommend a childish one: Signing solicitors up for spam.

If you do decide to go the petty route, “You’ve Got Spam”—a free email widget from MSCHF—has you covered. Upon installing the widget, you can configure it to respond automatically to incoming cold-marketing emails with tons of subscriptions to spam sources, thus resulting in overwhelming the sender with a crowded inbox and cultivating a potentially misplaced sense of catharsis for yourself.

The widget itself is fairly simple: You only need to install it to Gmail from the MSCHF website. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. When you receive an email from a person from whom you can safely assume you’ll never be receiving favors ever again, you can open it and click the “You’ve Got Spam” icon to sign the sender up for spam lists galore.

See? Petty, but effective.

The developer page does fail to make the distinction between the promised “100” subscriptions and the “hundreds of spam subscriptions” discussed on Product Hunt. But one can assume that anyone who dares trespass on the sacred grounds of your squeaky-clean inbox will rue the day they did so regardless of the exact number of cat litter magazine subscriptions they receive.

Of course, actually using something like “You’ve Got Spam” is, realistically, a poor choice. It takes exactly as much effort to type, “We’ll pass – thanks!” as a response to anyone cold-emailing you, and you’re substantially less likely to piss off the actual human being on the other side by doing so. Services like this are heavy on the comedic shock value, but the empathy side tends to lack a discernible presence.

That said, if you absolutely must wreck someone’s day—and inbox—MSCHF’s “You’ve Got Spam” is a pretty ingenious way to do it.

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Clubhouse finally made it to Android, but has its time passed?

(TECH NEWS) Social media felt the impact of Clubhouse, but the internet moves fast, and even though it is finally on Android, it’s time may be waning.

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Woman holding book and a phone, with headphones, participating in Clubhouse.

Clubhouse finally got an Android release, and while many people clamored for such a thing months ago, others argue that it’s too little, too late.

If you aren’t familiar with Clubhouse, it’s an audio-only “social platform” that encourages discussions through live chat rooms. Users can drop into various rooms and listen to people talk, request the option to chime in, and follow a variety of rooms (or “topics”) to stay engaged over time. Users can even create their own rooms that feature them as speakers.

Clubhouse also has a certain allure to it in that the app requires new users to put their names on a waitlist that creates an “invite-only” culture of exclusivity.

But while iPhone users have had access to Clubhouse since its inception, Android users have been not-so-patiently waiting for their own release—and, now that Clubhouse for Android is available, it may have outstayed its welcome.

Part of the problem is the launch itself. The Android Clubhouse app launched with limited functionality; Android users weren’t able to follow the topics they like, change their account information, and so on. This made the release feel underwhelming, further highlighting Clubhouse’s affinity for Apple users.

A more complicated problem is the prevalence of audio options in other social media services. Slack, for example, recently released their audio-only rooms, and services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have placed a spotlight on voice-only mediums of expression.

Initially, Clubhouse was the only app to incorporate audio as a strong central focus, but the ubiquitous fascination with voice-posting has expanded to comprise most major communication platforms. As such, Clubhouse’s sought-after exclusivity is no more—something that was also arguably damaged by expanding to Android.

It should be noted that interest in the app itself is decreasing, and not just on Android. Social Media Today reported that, in March of 2021, Clubhouse downloads were down 72 percent from February’s 9.6 million downloads. The publication also pointed out that difficulty finding rooms was a substantial issue that is unlikely to do anything but worsen with a surge of Android users, necessitating some back-end fixes from the owners.

As it sits, Clubhouse is still very much in use, and Android users are poised to reignite interest as iOS users stagnate. Whether or not that interest will persevere in the current social media ecosystem remains to be seen.

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