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Computerworld Recognizes Organizations Achieving Business Benefits through Big Data with Data+ Editors’ Choice Awards

 Computerworld Recognizes Organizations Achieving Business Benefits through Big Data with Data+ Editors’ Choice Awards

IDG Enterprise—the leading enterprise technology media company composed of Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld—announces the 2014 Computerworld Data+ Editors’ Choice Award honorees. Recognizing 20 innovative big data initiatives that have delivered significant business value, the awards ceremony will take place at the Data+ conference being held September 7-9, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix, Arizona.

“We are pleased to announce the 2014 Data+ Editors’ Choice Awards honorees,” said Scot Finnie, editor in chief, Computerworld. “This year’s honorees have clearly demonstrated how their innovative strategies use data and analytics to make better business decisions, streamline processes and, in some cases, generate new revenue by tapping into new markets and/or creating ancillary data-based services.”

In addition to recognizing the Data+ Editors’ Choice Awards honorees, the Data+ conference will cover key technology topics involved in a data strategy, from making data available quickly, efficiently and affordably to cleansing and connecting it to selected analytics and visualization tools, then driving new business insights and products from those efforts. The Data+ Editors’ Choice honorees will join business leaders and IT decision-maker peers at the Data+ conference. The full conference agenda can be viewed here: Data+ conference agenda.

“The Data+ Editors’ Choice Awards honorees are not only innovative in their use of big data analytics, but also show real-world results and help establish best practices for other IT practitioners in a rapidly expanding technology area,” said Adam Dennison, SVP, publisher, IDG Enterprise. “It’s exciting to honor organizations that are effectively using data to predict business trends and monetize this information. We look forward to hearing more from these organizations as they lead discussions and share case studies with attendees.”

2014 Data+ Editors’ Choice Award Honorees:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee
  • Center for Tropical Agriculture
  • Cisco
  • Colorado Department of Public Safety (Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management)
  • Emory University
  • Google
  • HealthTrust Technology Innovation (Division of HCA Information Technology & Services)
  • Idaho National Laboratory
  • Intel Corporation
  • Keller Williams Realty
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Kisters
  • Los Angeles Clearinghouse
  • Merck & Co.
  • Persistent Systems
  • Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
  • Shine Technologies
  • Texas Children’s Hospital
  • ThomsonReuters

The Data+ Editors’ Choice Awards honorees and their achievements will also be highlighted in a special September feature on Computerworld.com.

Sponsors
Current Data+ sponsors include: Information Builders, Neudesic, Saxon Global Inc.,ThoughtSpot Inc., and TIBCO Software Inc.For more information regarding sponsorship opportunities, please contact Adam Dennison, SVP, publisher, IDG Enterprise atadennison@idgenterprise.com.

Registration Information
To learn more about the conference, view the agenda, or to register visit:www.dataplusconference.com, call 800.355.0246 or email seminars@nww.com.

About Computerworld’s Data+ Editor’s Choice Awards
The Computerworld Data+ Editors’ Choice awards program was launched in 2013 by IDG’s Computerworld editorial team to recognize organizations that are mining big data to analyze and predict business trends and monetize this information. Organizations were asked to complete questionnaires detailing their big data projects, which were then reviewed by the Computerworld editorial team. From those questionnaires, honorees were selected for their ability to achieve business benefits through big data, and demonstrate real-world results and best practices. View the 2013 winners on Computerworld.com.

About IDG Enterprise
IDG Enterprise, an International Data Group (IDG) company, brings together the leading editorial brands (Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, CSO, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld) to serve the information needs of our technology and security-focused audiences.  As the premier hi-tech B2B media company, we leverage the strengths of our premium owned and operated brands, while simultaneously harnessing their collective reach and audience affinity. We provide market leadership and converged marketing solutions for our customers to engage IT and security decision-makers across our portfolio of award-winning websites, events, magazines, products and services. IDG’s DEMO conferences provide a platform for today’s most innovative and eye-opening technologies to publically launch their solutions.

Company information is available at www.idgenterprise.com
Follow IDG Enterprise on Twitter: @IDGEnterprise #DataPlus
Join IDG Enterprise on LinkedIn
Like IDG Enterprise on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IDG.Enterprise

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Contact
Whitney Cwirka
Marketing Specialist
IDG Enterprise
wcwirka@idgenterprise.com
Office: 508.935.4414

Why Facebook’s user experiment is bad news for businesses

CITEworld

The big data problem isn’t just about handling petabytes of information, or asking the right question, or avoiding false correlations (like understanding that just because more people drown at the same time as more ice cream is eaten, banning ice cream won’t reduce drownings).

It’s also about handling data responsibly. And so far, we’re not doing as well with that as we could be.

First Target worked out how to tell if you’re pregnant before your family does and decided to disguise its creepy marketing by mixing in irrelevant coupons with the baby offers. Then Facebook did research to find out if good news makes you depressed by showing some people more bad news and discovered that no, we’re generous enough to respond to positive posts with more positivity.

But if companies keep using the information about us in creepy ways instead of responsible ones, maybe we’ll stop being generous enough to share it. And that could mean we lose out on more efficient transport, cleaner cities and cheaper power, detecting dangerous drug interactions and the onset of depression — and hundreds of other advances we can get by applying machine learning to big data.

It’s time for a big data code of conduct.

Facebook’s dubious research is problematic for lots of reasons. For one thing, Facebook’s policy on what it would do with your data didn’t mention research until four months after it conducted the experiment. Facebook’s response was essentially to say that “everyone does it” and “we don’t have to call it research if it’s about making the service better” and other weasel-worded corporate comments. And the researcher’s apology was more about having caused anxiety by explaining the research badly than about having manipulated what appeared in timelines, because Facebook is manipulating what you see in your timeline all the time. Of course, that’s usually to make things better, not to see what your Pavlovian reaction to positive or negative updates is. The fact that Facebook can’t see that one is optimizing information and the other is treating users as lab rats — and that the difference is important — says that Facebook needs a far better ethics policy on how it mines user data for research.

Plus, Facebook has enough data that it shouldn’t have needed to manipulate the timelines in the first place; if its sentiment analysis was good enough to tell the difference between positive and negative posts (which is doubtful given how basic it was and how poor sentiment analysis tools are at detecting sarcasm), it should have been able to find users who were already seeing more positive or more negative updates than most users and simply track how positive or negative their posts were afterwards. When you have a hypothesis, you experiment on your data, not your users.

That’s how Eric Horvitz at Microsoft Research has run experiments to detect whether you’re likely to get depression, whether two drugs are interacting badly, whether a cholera epidemic is about to happen, and whether people are getting used to cartel violence in Mexico.

Using public Twitter feeds and looking at language, how often people tweet and at what time of day and how that changes, Horvitz’s team was able to predict with 70% accuracy who was going to suffer depression (which might help people get treatment and reduce the suicide rate from depression). Not only did they use information people were already sharing, they asked permission to look at them.

Click to read more…

Is Big Data a ‘Big Deal’ to your Company?

Network World

There’s no doubt that big data is a big deal to companies today.

The benefits of big data include greater insight into customer sentiment, improved employee productivity, smoother operations and processes, and better decision making. And it’s not just talk; a growing number of companies are taking action to implement big data projects. According to a recent survey by IDG, 49 percent of the 751 respondents say they are implementing or are likely to implement big data projects in the future, with 12 percent reporting that they have already implemented such projects.

As big data projects move from the planning to implementation stage, however, many companies are learning that they aren’t prepared for all of the changes that these projects bring. Big data by definition involves very large quantities of unstructured data in various formats that often changes in real time. Because big data encompasses so much information in so many formats that must be pulled together for analysis, it has significant impact on enterprise networks and IT infrastructures.  

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Who legally owns your Big Data?

CITEworld

People may disagree about the meaning of the term “big data,” but they agree that businesses can gain advantages by analyzing large data sets in the cloud. The trick is getting the right data.

While a given company may have a significant amount of data on hand, often that data is fragmented and incomplete, which can hamper the company’s ability to realize the promise of big data. Fortunately, there is a solution to the problem of insufficient data: Buy more.

Many software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers have started to make supplemental data available to their clients. Salesforce.com, Oracle and other vendors, for example, will help a company cleanse its data and add new data to its existing data sets.

So what’s the problem? Well, in many cases you are not really buying the data itself, you’re merely buying a license to use the data for a period of time. The company providing the third-party data owns the information–not you.

Often, once your license to the data ends, your right to possess the data also ends. This means that all the reports, dashboards and metrics you built on the third-party data may need to be revised or replaced once the contract ends.

Another problem that often arises in these contracts is that the provider can analyze your data and create aggregate data that is based, in part, on your data. Many contracts include a provision that gives the SaaS provider the right to analyze your data and create derivative aggregate data based on your data and your usage of their systems. These contracts also say that the provider owns that aggregate data and can exploit it in any manner the provider deems appropriate.

The best means of protecting yourself is to carefully read and understand the terms of the contracts with your data vendors. Often these provisions can be negotiated–for example, you can require that your data to be anonymized when it’s used by the vendor.

The key is to carefully think through what rights you have (and need) in regards to your data so you can avoid problems down the road.

Click to read more

White House Big Data Report Raises Questions About Kind Of World We Want To Live In

MediaPost

Big data is amazing.

There are big data projects in cancer research, energy use, traffic patterns, fertility treatments. The Durkheim Project, currently underway, is analyzing opt-in data, including that scraped from social media profiles, from more than 100,000 veterans to help understand predictors of suicide risk. The project builds on an earlier phase of the research, completed last year, showing that “the text-mining methods employed were statistically significant (correlations of 65% or more) in predicting suicidality on an initial data set.”

But with big data comes big responsibility, and big data’s image has been hit hard by the Snowden Effect. In January (some would say way too late), President Obama commissioned a working group to look at areas in which the use of big data might overstep its limits, to the detriment of the citizens he is elected to represent.

The report was issued yesterday by the White House. One aspect of it, the potential for big data to lead to discrimination, was immediately written about by my MediaPost colleague Wendy Davis. From the report: “[O]ne study found web searches involving black-identifying names (e.g., ‘Jermaine’) were more likely to display ads with the word ‘arrest’ in them than searches with white-identifying names (e.g., ‘Geoffrey’).”

The report identifies other significant potential risks as well. Specific policy recommendations include:

  • Advancing the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights to be appropriate in a world of big data.
  • Modernizing the privacy regulatory framework for children to ensure data protection while promoting innovation in learning.
  • Upskilling the federal government’s civil rights and consumer protection agencies to be able to recognize the use of big data in a discriminatory fashion and respond appropriately.
  • Making law enforcement’s standard for protection the same for digital content as it is for analog.

Continue reading…

Big data is the killer app for the public cloud

David Linthicum, Cloud Computing

Big data analytics are driving rapid growth of public cloud computing. Why? It solves real problems, delivers real value, and is pretty easy to implement on public clouds.

Don’t take my word for it. Revenues for the top 50 public cloud providers shot up 47 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, to $6.2 billion, according to Technology Business Research.

TBR’s latest figures reveal the extent to which public cloud providers are using big data to drive their own operations, get new customers, and expand features and functions. Although public cloud customers want storage and compute services, many implementing big data systems these days find that the public cloud is also the best and most cost-effective platform for big data.

Public clouds providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft, offer their own brands of big data systems in their clouds, whether NoSQL or SQL, that can be had by the drink. This contrasts to DIY big data, which means allocating huge portions of your data centers to the task and, in some cases, spending millions of dollars for database software.

Big data is driving public cloud adoption for fairly obvious reasons:

  • The cloud cost is a fraction of that to purchase big data resources on demand.
  • Cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-enterprise data integration got much better in the last few years, so it’s easy to set up massive databases in the clouds and sync them with any number of operational databases, cloud-based or on-premise.
  • In most cases, public clouds can provide better performance and scalability for most big data systems because they can provide autoscaling and auto provisioning.

So, big data + cloud = match made in heaven? There are always issues with new technologies, but in this case the bumps in the road have been slight. I suspect that big data will continue to drive more public cloud usage in the future.

Click to see more

 

Cloud Infographic: Big Data Investments

CloudTweaks

We have covered the evolution of Big Data several times over the years and have more recently discussed new areas of interest such as big data in filmsadvertising and even sports. With the growing interest in this area there is certain to be considerable interest and investments being made. Included as an excellent infographic provided by the team at BigData-Startups which jumps right into the topic of investments.

View infographic

Report: Digital Transformation and the New Customer Experience

Brian Solis

We’re under attack! Social, mobile, real-time, cloud, big data…it’s coming at us all at once! Rather than miss out, many brands are jumping from trend to trend as a way of staying relevant in an increasingly digital market.

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Foursquare, Instagram, Pinterest…we’re covered. We have and had a strategy for a while now.

Mobile. Yep, we’ve got an app for that…plus we’ve got adaptive and responsive web design that makes old sites new again!

Snapchat…our brilliant strategy vanishes in 5,4,3,2,1.

Jelly? We’ve got the answer.

Whisper, Secret…shhh, don’t tell anyone, but we’re already marketing there.

There’s a difference though between marketing AT people in new channels and learning about their behavior, values, and expectations to optimize their digital experiences and introduce mutually-beneficial outcomes.

Social, mobile, and real-time strategies are not enough. These disruptive technologies are merely just the beginning of a still shaping era of connected consumerism.

Each in its own right is significant affecting how business is done. But customer behavior and expectations, and that of employees for that matter, continue to evolve. And, the list of disruptive technologies that’s pushing business leaders and processes out of their respective comfort zones is far more exhaustive and constant.

Continue reading…

5 challenges of big data

Marketing Interactive

In a recent study by the World Federation of Advertisers on the contentious subject of big data, top marketers have highlighted some of their biggest challenges. Whilst 88% of the respondents said it was vital for current and future business decision-making, 54% struggle to cope with the huge volume of data being generated.  (See the infographic below)The other 4 challenges include:

  • To deploy insights practically across the business (49%)
  • To find business analysts and data scientists with the right skills (49%)
  • Unprepared to take advantage of the opportunities of big data (74%)
  • Improved understanding of ROI as their primary reason for investing in this area (70%)

The study is based on on responses from 47 different multinational brands, collectively responsible for USD35 billion in marketing spend each year. Conducted in conjunction with The Customer Framework, the survey revealed that big data efforts work best when three key conditions are met:

  • The company has a clarity of purpose around its big data efforts

The most successful respondents were those who identified a clear purpose to their exploration of big data. Nearly 61% claimed to have a clear definition of the purpose of big data. Because every company has access to a multitude of different data sources of varying quality and ownership, the absence of a ‘purpose’ or hypothesis can lead to wasted investment, the WFA said.

  • The company ignores the hype around big data and starts small 

Starting work with small data sets can enable marketers to more easily meet with success in identify insights that can be applied across the business. This helps to demonstrate that it’s worth investing more in the right people and tools. It also allows marketers to boost their expertise and enable them to ensure that work on larger and more disparate data sets truly generates better commercial insights.

Click to continue reading and view infographic 

5 things that will remake big data in the next 5 years

Gigaom

Big data has evolved a lot of the past few years; from a happy buzzword to a hated buzzword, and from a focus on volume to a focus on variety and velocity. The term “big data” and the technologies that encompass it have been pored over, picked over and bastardized sometimes beyond recognition. Yet we’re at a point now where it’s finally becoming clear what all of this talk has been leading up to.

It’s a world of automation and intelligence, where it’s easier than ever to mine data, but also to build intelligence into everything from mobile apps to transportation systems. Big was never really the end goal, but the models driving this change generally feed on data to get smarter. Variety was never really a goal, it’s just that the more we can quantify, the more we can learn about the world around us.

It’s a world we’ll delve into in great detail at our Structure Data, which kicks off just a week from today (March 19) in New York. We have speakers from nearly every tech company that matters, as well from some of the biggest companies in the world and some of the smartest startups around. They’ll be talking about everything from fighting human trafficking to the future of Hadoop and the cutting edge in artificial intelligence.

Continue reading