How Will Marketers Use Big Data in the Future?

How Will Marketers Use Big Data in the Future?

With the advance of the Internet of Things and AI, the big data landscape for marketers is going to change. The IoT will be generating far more data than businesses are used to seeing. With that, marketing agencies and departments will need to decide which data they’ll use and which data is too sensitive to incorporate in campaigns.

In other words, as every aspect of our lives is increasingly converted into data, will anything be outside the scope of the marketing eye? And to what extent will marketers deliver messages through new, connected tech?

Digital marketing agencies are riding a wave of business trends directly related to big data:


Businesses are spending less on internal operations because they’re spending more on marketing technology
83 percent of businesses expect to see the demand for marketing analytics grow alongside an increase in data collection      


In part, the increase in data collection stems from the number of connected devices contributing to the IoT. It also comes from the fact that businesses are seeing a ROI from data collection and analytics. In the past, it was fairly normal to doubt an increase in revenue and profits due to marketing personalization through data. Now, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind ...


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Do Self-driving Cars Hold the Key to a Widespread IoT?

Do Self-driving Cars Hold the Key to a Widespread IoT?

In 2014, Continental Tires developed tires that “talk to you�. The innovation, dubbed eTIS (electronic Tire Information System), consists of sensors embedded beneath the tire tread. The sensors relay information about when your tires are underinflated, when tread is too low, and when your car has too much weight in it from a heavy load. This new entry in the annals of IoT tech was relatively quiet and unglamorous. Yet, it forecasted what we’re seeing now. Car manufacturers and tire manufacturers are throwing millions of dollars into technology that will enable a widespread internet of things.

Call it necessity facilitating innovation; as I reported in an earlier post here, 1.2 million people die in auto-related accidents every year. That means safety is in high demand. One way to increase safety is to embed things like tires with sensors that can communicate data with a car’s onboard computer. Another way is to replace humans with AI to create self-driving cars, which will hopefully do a better job than we do at driving.

For self-driving cars to truly succeed by 2020, the IoT needs 4.5 million developers. That’s because a comprehensive IoT infrastructure—in which smart cities talk to smart cars—will help driverless vehicles navigate ...


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How Will Big Data Change the Future of Employee Retention

How Will Big Data Change the Future of Employee Retention

Attrition hurts businesses. When it comes to employee turnover, around 70% of organizations report that attrition “has a negative financial impact due to the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement employee and the overtime work of current employees that’s required until the organization can fill the vacant position.�

You spend a great deal of time and money training employees. You rely on them, you entrust them with all your internal secrets, you grow attached to them in both a practical and emotional sense. Then all of a sudden, they’re gone. You know some level of attrition is inevitable, but isn’t there a way to go beyond all the normal efforts to ensure they’ll stick around?

The commonsense advice is to improve your HR and pay attention to employee engagement. Worldwide, in 2016 Gallup found only 13% of workers are engaged, while the US numbers stand at 32%. Disengaged employees are more likely to leave, while engaged employees are likely to help a business succeed. According to a study from Harvard Business Review, 71% of respondents view employee engagement as “very important to achieving overall organizational success�.

Employee retention through the strategic use of big data is already happening. Bank of America ...


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Why IoT Viability Depends on Education

Why IoT Viability Depends on Education

Although there are now many connected devices, from Google Home to Amazon Echo, the Internet of Things still isn’t a big deal for the purchasing public. Look at Forbes’ 2017 predictions on the IoT and the other developments that go with it--AI, Big Data, etc--and there’s nothing necessarily positive. It’s a “buzzword”. Widespread adoption won’t happen because of complexity. The IoT will shut down the internet again like it did with the DDoS attack, only this time it will be worse. Cybersecurity for IoT devices will be a number one priority because, for one, ransomware will start hitting these devices, too.

But earlier in the same article, there are some predictions that bode well for the IoT. For one, chatbots will continue to take off, or as Narrative Science CEO Stuart Frankel puts it, “The movement towards conversational interfaces will accelerate.” When it comes to the consumer-facing side of the IoT, the conversational interface is access point for everything from asking Siri where the nearest gas station is to querying Home about artists similar to ABBA. Chatbots are indeed so relevant to the right-here-and-now of business that Aisle50 co-founder Christopher Steiner offers an investor’s guide to chatbots.

Steiner says, “The growing pool ...


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How Unlimited Mobile Data and 5G Will Make VR the New Normal

How Unlimited Mobile Data and 5G Will Make VR the New Normal

This is the companion piece to my last article on mobile data, The dark (and not-so-dark) side of mobile data.

The stage is set, we’re just not quite there yet. When 5G internet becomes a reality, when the mobile data source is unlimited, and when Virtual Reality and Augmented applications proliferate, it won’t be that odd to see someone walking down the street with a headset on.

First, the mobile web and data. If a mobile web provider limits the amount of data you can use, it’s undoubtedly a money-making scheme. The data itself is not a commodity. This is evidenced by a provider like T-Mobile offering 2 smartphone lines of unlimited data and including video streaming and mobile hotspots for no extra charge. To offer streaming data and hotspot data as add-ons is to imply that these data are fundamentally different than cellular data, they’re bonus data, a special kind of data the provider could potentially charge extra for.

But data is data. There’s no limit to it, and increasingly, providers are making unlimited data plans the standard. The difference between streaming video data and audio data, say, is that a packet of video data is much larger, because it includes both ...


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The Dark (and not-so-dark) Side of Mobile Data

The Dark (and not-so-dark) Side of Mobile Data

For information consumers, constant communicators and internet junkies everywhere, unlimited mobile data is a pass to unlimited playtime. It’s like unlimited crack for the addict. For data scientists, analysts and marketers, the words ‘unlimited mobile data’ spark raised eyebrows. Unlimited data, by its very nature, makes for limitless possibilities. How its use will pan out is, of course, a different story.

One way companies such as Target and Macy’s use smartphone data is movement tracking. When a customer arrives, a camera gets a shot of their face or license plate, then the retailer tracks where they go in the store through WiFi. Although these stores aren’t malicious, and are ostensibly doing this to build user profiles and personalize marketing, it seems ominous: 80% of shoppers feel in-store tracking is unacceptable; 68.5% are concerned their data will not be kept safe, and 67% say “tracking feels like spying.”

This is the grey area of mobile data usage, because many people might not be okay with tracking, but they might be happy to take advantage of a special discount the store offers as a result of tracking. Customers with Wal-Mart’s app, which uses geolocation tracking, spend nearly 40% more per month. This benefits Wal-Mart, ...


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Career Path: How Big Data Insights Can Steer Decisions

Career Path: How Big Data Insights Can Steer Decisions

Not long ago, before the time of the internet, Big Data, and apps for everything, it was more common for parents to pass down their careers to their children. Now, autonomy, passion and drive are the keywords for choosing a career. It’s not that family businesses don’t exist. It’s that the new normal is for parents to (hopefully) empower their kids to make a choice based on what they want to do. If this coincides with the family line of work, so much the better.

This new level of individualism opens up a mind-boggling number of choices. It can be overwhelming. But what if you were to use the power of big data to help inform your career path? All of a sudden the guesswork of which way to go is gone. What’s in front of you is a clear picture. With this picture in hand, you’re empowered to make a smart decision.

Where data can take you 

Earnest is a startup dedicated to combining tech and data to help people with their career paths. The data section of Earnest’s blog illuminates some fascinating findings:

Title can determine pay

People with the term “lead” in their title earn an average of $23,000 more than people ...


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Big data on wheels: Google vs. Uber in the Driverless Revolution

Big data on wheels: Google vs. Uber in the Driverless Revolution

The excitement is palpable and the rumors are flying. Google looks set to challenge Uber for the position of top tech company to do two things: advance the use of driverless car technology, and offer a ride-sharing service. If the rumors are true, it’s not unreasonable to ask: is it even possible for a company to overtake Uber in this respect? If anyone could, it’s Google.

First, the buzz. Back in early 2016, Google partnered with Fiat Chrysler and began exploring ways to incorporate driverless tech with FC’s vehicles. Now, word on the street is that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, will collaborate with Chrysler to offer a ride-sharing service in 2017. The service will use Chrysler minivans outfitted with Google technology to render them semi-autonomous. Google’s fully autonomous rides are going to be released under a new Alphabet brand, Waymo. Google and Chrysler are two titans of their respective industries coming together to aim at toppling the number one ride-sharing service in the world: Uber.

But in terms of ride-sharing with driverless cars, Uber is already beating Google and Chrysler off the starting-line. In Pittsburgh, you might see self driving Uber cars picking up volunteers and dropping them off. In 2015, Uber ...


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Is the DDoS Attack Just a Hint of What to Expect with the Internet of Things?

Is the DDoS Attack Just a Hint of What to Expect with the Internet of Things?

On Friday, October 21, the internet suddenly plummeted into nightmare territory. All over the East Coast, then the rest of the country, then Europe, users were incapable of accessing thousands of websites and web apps. This included major sites like The New York Times, Spotify, Netflix, and Reddit. DNS provider Dyn had been hit with a DDoS attack.  

Hackers flooded Dyn with coordinated, malicious traffic from millions of internet-connected devices. Many of these devices were webcams and digital recorders made by Chinese electronics firm Xiongmai. From the looks of it, this was a test. Whoever engineered the attacks wanted to see what type of havoc they could wreak through these devices. It’s actually a very basic idea: take control of the IoT to create a traffic jam, then sit back and see how people deal with it. If this wasn’t a test, the attacks would have been much more pointed—or even more widespread, targeting multiple DNS providers.

We had to sit and wait for the attacks to clear up. It’s yet to be seen how this affected enterprises that rely on SaaS. How much money did they lose due to lack of productivity? And who’s liable for those losses? The culprits are ...


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How Emerging Industries are Using Big Data to their Advantage

How Emerging Industries are Using Big Data to their Advantage

It’s exciting to watch a new industry figure out ways to use big data. There are so many ways different industries put data to work for them and for their audience. For example, Google is using RankBrain to determine search results.

This is exciting because it’s a very real example of Artificial Intelligence employing data to affect what you see in front of you every day. Go ahead, try typing an unusual query into Google. RankBrain will help determine the result based on similar and unconnected searches, your own searches, and the data generated by clicks in those searches, and it will do this in real-time.

In other words, machine learning will use big data to personalize the result of each search for you. And in the world of Google updates and SEO, the mysterious, exciting thing is that there was an “Unnamed Major Update” in May. Was that change a full-scale takeover by AI? We won’t know until there’s an announcement.

So Google is something of a juggernaut and a pioneer in the big data world. Internet giants like Google were at the forefront of Big Data’s emergence to the public eye in 2010, which has ushered in Analytics 3.0. This is ...


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Will Analytics and Technology Put an End to Credit Card Fraud?

Will Analytics and Technology Put an End to Credit Card Fraud?

If you haven’t noticed the change, you’re living in a cave. Now, businesses are charged with helping banks and credit card processors fight credit card fraud. The stakes are high and the battle against thieves is on a field that includes big data, machine learning, and hardware.

Around half of the world’s credit card fraud happens in the United States. Because of that stunning statistic, in October of 2015 the Federal Reserve Bank ordered US merchants to adopt EMV (Europay Mastercard Visa) readers by the end of 2016. If merchants don’t get an EMV chip card reader (and many places I frequent still have not), they face the liability shift.

The banks are saying, "chip cards are safer than magnetic strip cards because they’re harder to counterfeit. We’ll issue the cards and it’s not our fault if you don’t get the technology necessary to run them." The shift means merchants will be liable for fraudulent transactions if the customer has a chip card but the merchant doesn’t have the reader.

For whatever reason, the US has been behind Europe and the rest of the world on this. By 2013, nearly 97% of transactions were EMV in Europe alone. Since half of the world’s ...


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GPS Data is Huge for Business, the IoT – and Surveillance

GPS Data is Huge for Business, the IoT – and Surveillance

Try typing Internet of Things (IoT) into any search engine. With Google, I get 721 million results. With Bing, over 62 million. The internet is buzzing about a term some people think is just a buzzword.

The US now has around 24.9 internet-connected devices per every 100 inhabitants. We’re moving ever-closer to an internet-dependent approach to our everyday lives.

Around the world, the IoT is the end-all-be-all of data tech for one primary reason: synthesis. This new internet combines multiple forms of technology and manipulates data to revolutionize the way you interact with the things around you—and how things interact with you.

It’s a massively complex system of sensors exchanging massive amounts of data. The data inform decisions, such as when a thermostat should alter the temperature. Or, in the future your autonomous car will be able to take an alternate route when there’s a traffic jam ahead. And that’s where an integral form of technology, one we sometimes take for granted, comes in: GPS tracking.     

The US government started the GPS project in 1973. It has enabled a variety of innovations that are precursors to the IoT. In turn, the IoT may enable a whole new level of government surveillance.

What the IoT promises ...


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A Human Perspective on the Power of Big Data

A Human Perspective on the Power of Big Data

By the time 2020 hits, the international business community will be holding a gigantic hoard of data. According to research from Druva on the growth of corporate data, by the end of this decade the volume of corporate data worldwide will hit 10.5 ZB, up from 2.73 ZB in 2015. One zettabyte equals a trillion gigabytes.

We know the saying “Knowledge is power” from countless repetitions of the phrase (Wikipedia and other sources say it originated from Sir Francis Bacon). As substantiation of our belief in the truth of this maxim, we’ve seen the rise of big data and we’ve seen governments collect data on citizens in the attempt to turn the numbers into knowledge, or intelligence. Then, if we believe the maxim, the knowledge generated by data equals power. It’s not hard to see why the amount of worldwide corporate data will skyrocket 8 zettabytes in 5 years.

Sociologist Robert Staughton Lynd said, “Knowledge is power only if man knows what facts not to bother with.” So, in order to make big data smart data, we’ve got to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. We’ve got to understand how to manage the data.  

What we Analyze

MIT’s Technology Review reports 99.5% ...


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