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:
- 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.
- Hadoop becoming the source of raw data and connectors from there to enterprise data warehouses like Netezza, etc.
- The slow death of RDBMS as we grew up to know them. Which makes for a good question of what will Oracle do.
- Evolution of startups from those who focused on infrastructure plays (Cloudera as an example) to industry specific and application specific plays.
- Integration of data from Natural user interfaces and smart devices with social and behavioral data.
- “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:
- Become an analyst. Don’t be intimidated by data and analytics.
- 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.
- Collect Data. Consider collecting your own data to supplement what you get from any tools you use.
- Evaluate Tools. By all means keep an eye out for new tools.
- 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.”
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.