Today’s Throwback Thursday article “Big Data And The Madness Of Crowds” was written for Forbes.com on 6/17/2014. The context deals with the madness of crowds, which was the topic of a book written by Charles Mackay in 1841. Mackay wrote of the crowd psychology that drives numerous “national delusions.” Among the various manias were the tulip bubble of the 17th century, witch mania of the 16th and 17th centuries, and alchemists who sought to turn base metals to gold.
The problem with crowd psychology is that it created an emotional feedback loop, whereby dissent is often stifled by the crowd. This article counseled about not becoming victim of big data mania and its magic wand solutions. The reader was advised that “the value of big data is in analytics that are specifically designed for your business.” Isn’t that where we are today?
March 30, 2017: Today’s Throwback Thursday article is “David Vs. Goliath: Why Little Data Will Win Over Big Data” from my Forbes.com column on May 29, 2014. The issues discussed concerning big data are now apparent today. In the Internet data scraping world, numerous marketers are now disillusioned by the hype about the quintillions of unstructured big data bits filled with bot fraud, unverifiable assumptions, unknowable demographic representations, and privacy issues. Forget the size of the data and focus first on the business issues/challenges cautions the article. Second, seek out the relevant data to better understand the business issues/challenges. Finally, apply advanced analytic processes to the relevant data to empower executives to make better evidence-based decisions to manage challenges.
March 24, 2017: Today’s Throwback Thursday article I wrote for my Forbes.com blog on May 15, 2014. The title of the article was “I’ve Got A Secret: The Real Big Data Opportunity”.
The article references an old TV Show, I’ve Got a Secret, and advises senior management to look beyond programmatic ad platform applications for big data and to seek more valuable strategic applications. Such applications have less to do with the “bigness” of the data, but rather should focus on the accuracy and relevance of data to provide answers for better decision making.
March 16, 2017: “Is Mass Hysteria Driving The Big Data Market?” is the title of today’s Throwback Thursday article which was published on May 5, 2015 on Forbes.com.
In the rush towards anything to do with big data, many suffered temporary symptoms of hysteria, characterized by excitement, anxiety or irrational behavior, or beliefs in which many cases led to big data disillusionment.
The article advises a focus on identifying meaningful findings from relevant data for better informed business decisions by senior management. Are many experiencing similar hysteria to when it comes to big data driven analytics?
Today’s Throwback Thursday article is entitled, “Three Legs Of Big Data Stool Needed For Success.” First published on Forbes.com on April 23, 2014, it details three key areas for getting started in big data.
1. Data Sourcing and the potential pitfalls of big data streams from social networks full of fraud and incomplete data requiring numerous unverifiable assumptions.
2. Human resources capable of developing a strategy to exploit big data for a competitive strategy. (Hint: most fail here.)
3. Analyzing right types of data for meaningful outcomes.
Finally, the article advises about the use or integration of outside data sources which are much more specific, detailed, and accurate, in order to better inform digital data.
This week’s Throwback Thursday article comes from a Forbes.com post I authored in March of 2014 titled, “Is Big Data Today’s Sock Puppet?” To set the context of the article, recall all the hype centered on big data in 2014, as if it were capable of solving about every problem known to man. The issue of methbots, bot fraud, and unverifiable data accuracy was largely overlooked. Today those issues are undermining many initiatives. Enjoy this replay of “Is Big Data Today’s Sock Puppet?”
Earlier this week, I read an article in a technology publication about several University of Washington professors who are launching a new course designed to overcome what they call “bulls**t in the age of big data.” The 160 seat seminar starts in late March and filled up in the first minute of online registration. The course covers the rush to apply machine learning algorithms to big data that is oftentimes corrupt and yielding less than accurate results. Beware of the overhyped big data and its potential for revolution, warned one of the professors.
Yesterday I posted a recent interview I did with a business development consultant, John Sydnor, who warned about the emerging challenge of ‘fake data.’
The throwback article for today I wrote on March 11, 2014 and in it I warn about questionable data (i.e. fake) and the failure by many Fortune 500 companies to exploit big data for competitive advantage (i.e. hype). I also give some advice for how to upgrade your big data inputs to get more strategic outputs and go from big data to knowledge.
CLICK HERE to read “Going Beyond Big Data To Knowledge.”
————————————————— Gary Drenik is CEO of Prosper Insights & Analytics, a company that prides itself on turning data into evidence-based solutions for the C-Suite. www.ProsperDiscovery.com
This Unique Subscription-Based Strategic Data And Analytics Platform is Designed to Provide Business Executives with Consumer Insights to Help Them Make Evidence-Based Decisions
NEW YORK, November 17, 2014 – Forbes Insights has partnered with Prosper Insights & Analytics to launch the Forbes Executive InsightCenter™– a one-of-its-kind subscription-based integrated data platform (www.ForbesExecutiveInsightCenter.com) loaded with advanced analytics that integrate hundreds of consumer insights from thousands of various data sets. These data sets are expected to help business executives find meaningful insights to make better, evidence-based decisions, as well as highlight previously unknown insights about companies’ customers, competitors, the marketplace, economy, and future consumer spending plans, giving executives a competitive edge in an ever-changing marketplace. Continue reading →
I read an article two weeks ago reporting on the challenges faced by a CEO of a big box retailer. At the annual analyst meeting, the CEO identified some challenges that contributed to flat same store sales for the last six quarters. Issues contributing to lackluster growth were:
Changes in shopper behavior resulting from online research and shopping
Shoppers’ desire to shop at smaller stores.
The solution he offered to analysts was to speed up checkout lines. While this is a worthy tactic, continue reading…
Key performance building blocks for any business are good financial management, logistics, efficient manufacturing, a healthy corporate culture, marketing and inventory management. The fundamentals for each of these disciplines are fairly consistent over time and change little. However, when it comes to marketing and identifying customers, positioning against competitors, dealing with economic issues, etc., continue reading…