StampedeCon kicked off in St.Louis this morning with David Strom speaking on how big data can help your business. Strom is a seasoned technology journalist who’s currently writing for Read Write Web. He was able to engage the audience at StampedeCon with a brief overview of what Big Data is and how it’s applied in real life.
Big Data may be a new term to some, especially on the consumer side of things, but Big Data is very real and we see more and more Big Data startups popping up everywhere else.
The setting at StampedeCon is of course people in the Big Data field but also CEO’s, and CTO’s who are just now getting into Big Data. As “the cloud” makes it’s way into every day language, Big Data is sitting on deck. Strom brought up real life use cases for Big Data like managing airlines and reservations, but also analyzing airline reviews. He also brought up a great example of FedEx using Big Data not just to manage their packages but also their fleet of trucks.
Another company that uses massive amounts of Big Data is Cincinnati’s Proctor & Gamble (P&G). According to Strom P&G has over 4 billion transactions per day. Their massive data is managed in a “data sphere” in their Cincinnati headquarters. Key data points are extracted on gigantic screens for their data analysts and their executives to have access too.
P&G is using Big Data to track just about everything including, sales, trends, margin, customer flow, what ads are working, which countries are seeing upticks and downturns. The company is also working on automating notifications so their top level managers can be alerted when things are outside of the norm.
Strom also spoke about one of his favorite “Big Data Rockstars”, Jeff Jonas, who works for IBM. He has developed a system called Infosphere Identity Insight. This is the piece of software that analyzes facial expressions of casino goers and can track and prevent fraud including card counting.
Strom offered three key points for CEO’s about Big Data
Strategic data planning- data is the new raw materials for any business
Analytical Skills- CEOs should be incredibly smart about asking the right questions
Technology skills- Embrace the technology and make it a key part of your CEO skill set
Is Big Data boring?
Certainly not. Strom pointed out a study using Big Data on cupid.com that studied the population of North America (including Canada) and their tendency to be gay curious. The map above shows the most gay curious population in red and the least gay curious population in blue. The data revealed that Canadians are very gay curious. They also found that areas that served soy milk had more gay curious folks. (no this was a real study).
They also asked straight and gay people “Which is bigger the earth or the sun” not surprising, more women got the answer correct regardless of sexual orientation.
Big Data is definitely everywhere and conferences like StampedeCon will highlight that.