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First off, what is it?
Well don’t let anyone tell you it’s down to sample size, or about measuring everything. It’s about combining datasets (sometimes ‘dirty’ ones), contrasting them in different ways, and doing it as quick as possible.
Sometimes this necessitates great computing power, but not always. You can read more about such technology as Hadoop and GreenPlum in this nice little article).
Datasets are multiplying as we measure lots more than we used to. This means our thinking has to broaden – no longer is ‘what can we do with our database of email addresses?’ the question, rather ‘what data can we look at to give us the best idea possible of a customer’s stage in the buying cycle and what they’ll be receptive to next?’
The definition of big data isn’t really important and one can get hung up on it. Much better to look at ‘new’ uses of data.
So, here’s some examples of new and possibly ‘big’ data use both online and off-.
Which campaigns have you seen recently that are defining the digital marketing landscape?
Genius can recognise genius, right? So, we asked this question of some ingenious folk shortlisted for Econsultancy and NMA's The Digitals Awards (we'll be handing out the awards on June 27th at a swanky swank bash).
The year is 2031. Flying cars have just hit the open market, the New York Mets are on the verge of winning their first World Series in forty-five years, and television as we know it has ceased to exist.
Let’s first imagine that a super smart group of MIT engineers solved all the technical troubles we’d encounter in switching from a broadcast to a unicast model.
The public’s consumption habits now overwhelmingly favor an on-demand format, and each household is equipped with a SmarTV capable of streaming content instantaneously from anywhere on the web.
Traditional channels have fallen in the face of more agile competition from platforms like Netflix and Hulu, or they’ve adapted to HBO Go-esque versions of their former selves.
As homes and offices fill with more and more internet-connected devices, consumers are increasingly consuming content on multiple screens.
Content creators and distributors know this. Advertisers know this. Analysts know this. Entrepreneurs and startups know this.
In January, Sky announced that it would be launching a new online TV service later this year. Designed in large part to allow non-Sky customers to access Sky content, the service would allow its subscribers to access a variety of content, including movies and sports, on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Right on schedule, Sky today announced that the service, dubbed NOW TV, will be launching tomorrow.
The past year hasn't been the best for Netflix. After making several strategic blunders, including one of the most painful branding disasters in recent memory, the company lost subscribers and saw and investors dump its shares.
But mistakes behind it, Netflix is pushing forward and in June, the company achieved a significant milestone: its subscribers watched more than 1bn hours of video.
Google's acquisition of YouTube may prove to be one of the savviest in internet history. Although some believed it appeared rich at the time, ask any of the companies that could have purchased Facebook for $1bn-plus less than a decade ago, and they'd probably tell you that sometimes, eleven figures is cheap.
But a big part of the reason YouTube has been so successful following its acquisition by Google is that the search giant continues to invest heavily in its development. The company is working with Hollywood to produce original content, and has made great strides over the years in inking licensing pacts with content creators.
The Competition Commission has changed a ruling on BSkyB’s dominance of the pay-TV film market thanks to the growth of digital services such as LOVEFiLM and Netflix.
In an abrupt u-turn, the CC said that Sky Movies no longer provides Sky with an advantage over its pay-TV rivals.
It reversed a ruling from last year which found that the satellite broadcaster’s deals with major Hollywood studios effectively gave it a monopoly on the market and caused higher prices for consumers.
While Facebook's $1bn acquisition of Instagram may be the biggest red flag yet that we're in a bubble once again, one thing is certain: when the bubble deflates or bursts, countless companies and start-ups yet to be born will come away with more than they came to the party with.
That's because the latest internet boom has brought us a new generation of companies that open source many of the tools and technologies they build to solve their biggest challenges.
If you were asked to think of one company that is defined by its use of algorithms, you might name Google.
And for good reason: the search giant's algorithms are not only at the heart of its success, but for many, they're the source of constant hope and fear as changes to them can literally make or break businesses.
The non-profit organisation TED is responsible for some of the most inspiring talks relating to technology and innovation in circulation today.
Unsurprisingly, videos of these often become viral hits within relevant communities online. But many believe TED is ignoring an important audience: youngsters.
As TED curator Chris Anderson explains, "Over the past few years...we've seen these talks spread over the Web and a recurring theme from people in the community has been, 'These are great, but could you do something more for the kids?'"
If you ran a cable company facing the very real phenomenon of cord-cutting and you're approached about a partnership by one of the companies that has arguably done more to spur cord-cutting than any other, what would you say?
If you're Comcast, the answer is simple: 'take a hike.' And according to the New York Times, that's precisely what it has told Netflix.