“It's not about the data. It's about how we're able to use the data,” Bob McDonald, CEO of Proctor and Gamble said in an article in Information Week by Chris Murphy. This is also my key takeaway from the IDC Market Spotlight Unified Information Access: Bridging the Silos. Both messages resonate throughout various posts I’ve made in this domain – whether about applying the principles of economics to information or getting the Return on Information (ROI) from your most valuable asset. Still there’s something to be said about this concept being recognized by the CEO of a global enterprise that serves the needs of about 4.6 billion of the nearly 7 billion people on the planet.
Big Data analytics played a significant role in Barack Obama's presidential campaign as outlined in this featured story in the MIT Technology Review by Sasha Issenberg. In order to understand the underlying voter sentiment that drove their strategies in various voter segments, the campaign needed to informationalize their 180-million-person voter file, as well as the data about volunteers, donors and online constituents. And they needed to do this fast with two very simple objectives—get 2008 Obama voters to do it again; and register and mobilize new voters. To do this, they needed a robust analytics platform.
Sometimes, when someone doesn’t understand a story, we say, “I guess you had to be there.” That’s very true for HP Discover. It is only after coming to the conference and being physically present here that the sheer magnitude—both of the event and of the information available to attendees—hits me. Just think about it: 9000 attendees, 208 demos, and 21,367 attendees signed up to 397 sessions. Makes me wonder how large this blob of information could be? Is it a gigabyte? Or, a terabyte? A petabyte? An exabyte? A zettabyte? A yottabyte? Or, a brontobyte?