Posts tagged ‘big data’

Big Data and Science: Focus on the Business and Team, Not the Data (Part 3 of 3)

By Mary Ludloff

Let me tell you a little secret: I always know when I am talking (and working) with a company that has successfully launched big data initiatives. There are three characteristics that these companies share:

  1. A C-level executive runs the “[big] data operations.”
  2. The Chief Data Officer (even if they are the CIO) has a heavy business/operations background.
  3. The data team is focused on the “business,” not the data.

Did you notice that technology and data science are not reflected in any of the characteristics? Some of you may consider this sacrilege—after all, we are operating in a world where technology (and I happily work for one of those companies) has changed the data collection, usage, and analysis game. Colleges and universities are now offering master degrees in analytics. The role of the data scientist has been pretty much deified (I refer you to Part 1 of this series). And we all need to be very worried about the “talent shortage” and our ability to recruit the “right analytical team” (I refer you to Part 2 of this series).

Yes—technology has had a tremendous impact on how much data we can collect and the ways in which we can analyze it but not everyone needs to be a senior computer programmer. Yes—we all should strive to be more mathematically inclined but not all of us need Master’s or PhD’s in statistics or analytics. Yes—some companies, based on their business models, may have a staff of data scientists but others may get along just fine without one (with the occasional analytics consultant lending a hand). (more…)

October 20, 2012 at 4:50 am 4 comments

Data Science: What the World Needs is Answers, Not Just Insights Part 2 (of 3)

By Marilyn Craig, Managing Director, Insight Voices

As you may or may not know, we are in the midst of a 3-part series on data science, covering roles, skills, etc.—generally what you should think about as well as what’s not as important (no matter what the latest articles say!). For Part 2, we have a guest poster—Marilyn Craig of Insight Voices. Marilyn is what I like to call a “classic quant.” She has been at the forefront of big data and data science before most people knew these terms (and spaces) existed and has been my go-to person whenever I had an analytics question (see title) that I needed an answer to. In this post, Marilyn looks at insights and makes the case for why we should all care far more about answers. Take it away Marilyn!

Here’s an interesting question for this new world order of Big Data Analytics: what’s an Insight and what’s an Answer? Sometimes they are the same, sometimes not. An insight is a piece of information or understanding. It may or may not be useful. It may or may not help your business improve, solve world hunger, or even make sense. An answer is always useful. It is the result of asking a question. And the best kinds of answers are those that solve the questions that you really care about. (more…)

October 8, 2012 at 10:57 am 5 comments

Speaking on Inman Connect Panel on Real Estate and Big Data

By Terence Craig

I apologize for falling behind on blogging, but between several new hires,  major partnerships, and the industry finally starting to understand the need for product-driven (instead of project-driven) big data, things have been very hectic. Good, but hectic.

I did want to pull my head off my keyboard for a minute to tell you about participating in the big data & real estate panel this Thursday at Connect San Francisco.  Our panel will be moderated by industry luminary Brad Inman @bradInman.

Real estate has always been a data-driven business and is relying more and more on the insights and operational nimbleness provided by big data.  For those of you who are scratching your heads and going, “Huh, Real Estate and big data?” – think about it for a minute.  The real estate industry is “using” big data to do all kinds of things and drive all kinds of business models, such as:

  • Commercial landlords using smart thermostats and smart windows adjusted in real-time to save energy.
  • Capturing real-time parking meter data to make real-time decisions about how long to leave a retail location open.
  • Using real-time video analysis to stop vandalism before it happens.
  • Offering sophisticated analytics – see consumer facing sites like Truila and Zillow.
  • Risk Modeling – check out RMS. Like most of the PatternBuilders team, they were “doing” Big Data before the term was invented.

If you are attending the show, stop by and say hi. If you are interested in Big Data & Real Estate, look for our post-Connect blog next week. In it, we will talk about some great insights about the New York real estate market derived from a ton of data we grabbed from the NYC public data market which was then spun up in the PatternBuilders framework on our brand spanking new Microsoft Azure cloud beta release.

August 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

Big Data Makes Its Broadway Debut (Sort of) and Other News

By Mary Ludloff

What a week for big data in the news! Less than two to three years ago, it seemed like big data was the sole purview of “pioneer” companies and industries (like retail and financial services). Today, everyone is writing about it (follow us on @bigdatapbi for the news we come across) and we’ve gone from industry- or research-related “stories” to mainstream press reporting from outlets like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Forbes. But you really know you’ve made it when you’ve taken your metaphorical bow on Broadway.

Full disclosure: I am a theater maven. Love Broadway, love the theater, love going to New York City to see shows. So imagine my early morning pre-coffee surprise when I saw this headline in the Wall Street Journal: Big Data Hits Broadway. Somebody wrote and produced a play about big data? How could I not know about this? Who’s in the cast? Well… not quite! However, the slogan “Conquer Big Data” is on a sign gracing Times Square. As editor Michael Hickins points out in the article:

“As you can see from these roadside signs – one above Broadway in New York’s Times Square district, the other on Highway 101 between San Jose and Redwood City – Big Data has gone from bleeding edge to the edge of the highway.” (more…)

June 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

Big Data Hype, Supernovas, McKinsey’s Latest Survey, and AIIM’s Digital Landfill Dive

By Mary Ludloff

A few years ago, Terence and I were trying to get our arms around the world of big data and how to effectively communicate its size and challenges as we were talking to analysts, media, prospects, partners, and, of course, the venture community. Hopefully, most of our readers would acknowledge that we have a fine grasp of language (we like to engage in a Scrabble battle of wits upon occasion) but I must admit that we have been eclipsed by many in the race to illustrate just how “big” big really is. My favorite is this:

“We are engulfed by a supernova of data.”

Now, Webster’s defines supernova in two ways:

“1: the explosion of a star in which the star may reach a maximum intrinsic luminosity one billion times that of the sun or 2: one that explodes into prominence or popularity.”

(more…)

June 6, 2012 at 9:15 am 2 comments

Privacy Identity Innovation (pii2012) Wrap Up—It’s All About Trust and Transparency

By Mary Ludloff

I have purposely given myself a week to reflect on pii2012 before blogging about it because there was a lot of information to absorb. As I look back on the conference, two themes come to mind: trust and transparency. Where to begin? Well, as Jim Adler (@Jim_Adler) tweeted:

“#pii2012 is the best collection of geeks, wonks, and suits.”

This was a conference chock full of interesting ideas, opposing views, and, at times, heated debate. One of the most interesting panels featured four people from very different backgrounds and points in their lives discussing the effect social media and the digital world has on how they conduct themselves online. There is a great post by Marina Ziegler (@Marina_Z) that covers it in depth, but like Marina, I felt that this was the key takeaway:

“The panel, while made up of experts, provided some very direct and honest understanding of how the average person is unaware, and how there is still work to be done in helping average folks understand how to navigate their social online lives, even down to the applications they use online.”

(more…)

May 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm 5 comments

Getting Into a Privacy Identity Innovation (pii2012) Frame of Mind: Will We See You There?

By Mary Ludloff

As you all know, privacy is one of my favorite topics. And when you’re talking or blogging about privacy, it almost always comes back to personally identifiable information (pii) which just happens to be the focus of the Privacy Identify Innovation Conference that will be held in downtown Seattle, May 14-16 (otherwise known as pii2012). Natalie Fonseca (@TechPolicy) is the co-founder and executive producer of the conference (now on its “third edition”), and she has assembled a group of speakers and sessions that make privacy-geeks (like myself) giddy with anticipation:

pii2012 Seattle will explore how to protect sensitive information while enabling new technologies and business models. The focus isn’t just on ensuring regulatory compliance. It’s about developing a forward-looking, strategic approach to avoiding risk while advancing innovation.”

(more…)

May 11, 2012 at 11:30 am 4 comments

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