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—Thoughts and scribbles.

Big Data, Small World

There is no argument that with today’s technology the world is getting increasingly smaller. With the internet and social media, tablets and cellphones galore, it is almost impossible not to stay connected with people no matter where they are in the world. But one thing that is newly trending, and growing fast, is this idea of Big Data and the analytics that go with it.

I’ve attended a couple Big Data and Social Commerce Panels at the Newhouse school here at Syracuse, and I learned that Big Data plays a much bigger role than I might’ve imagined. Here are a couple of statistics (more use of data) for you:

-2.5 QUINTILLION bytes of data are created on the internet PER DAY. That’s a lot of zeros, and a lot of little bytes.
-90% of the data accumulated on the internet has been created in the past 2 years. That’s it.

These are some astounding statistics that only go to show the rapid rate in which this Big Data delirium is growing. So, why is this all important?

The thing is that the majority of companies, brands, and politicians these days recognize what it means to be able to understand, organize, and analyze this influx of data. This is the next technological revolution for the public relations and marketing fields, as well as many others. This data has enormous effects on marketing strategies in all branches, and requires an entirely new skill set to deal with, much of which have to be acquired while in the field and on the go.

Take for example the 2012 Obama campaign. At one of the panels, Obama’s state digital director for Ohio, Ashley Bryant, was one of the speakers. She emphasized the impact of micro targeting on the campaign. The idea was that they could use this Big Data that they had gathered on “persuadable voters” to select when, how, and what to put in front of them to show how President Obama was the better candidate.

Some people would question the validity of such messages. How much of it is real, and how much of it is tailored to the results in the data? She stressed that it was never the content or the message that changed, just how and when it was given to certain voters. It allowed them to expend their resources more efficiently. This had HUGE effects! And a lot of people claim that without it we might have a different president right now. This same idea applies to all different marketing strategies and research done on different publics.

Of course, this is a rather controversial topic simply because of what Big Data is. Big Data is information. Information about you, me, and everyone else who fills out a form or buys something on the internet. This tends to be a big privacy issue for many people. Even more so of an issue is what happens to the information when the political or marketing campaign is over. It’s  a big question for these Big Data experts; one that all three of the panelists had trouble answering.

So as I said, this Big Data is having enormous effects on the public relations and marketing fields, as well as any field related to those. Businesses want to take advantage of this Big Data just as much as the politicians do. David Edelman, a partner for McKinsey & Company leading the digital marketing strategy practice, posts a lot on this topic on his LinkedIn profile. Here is a video from one of his colleagues, David Court, on The Big Three of Big Data:

In one of Edelman’s posts, he states:  ”By 2015, the Big Data market will grow to $16.9b from $3.2b in 2010.” This is a growing phenomenon. Companies all over the world are trying to find ways to implement data analytics to increase their profits and publicity. Data analytics are a skill set that is becoming ever more desired.

To see more of what David Edelman has to say about Big Data and Marketing, you can visit his LinkedIn profile where he posts his findings on the topic:

Samantha LinnettComment