If content is King and data is Queen, then Spotify is the current President.

We’ve all seen the massive OOH campaign Spotify did at the end of 2016. It won a bunch of stuff, including industry-wide (and beyond) praise. See here.  This wasn’t just a campaign gimmick. Spotify are determined to make data the centre of their business. Although Tidal and Amazon aren’t too much of a threat right now, that could change very quickly, so this is a … Continue reading If content is King and data is Queen, then Spotify is the current President.

Bringing ‘big data’ to the masses

I’ve been putting off writing a post on Big Data. Firstly because it’s kind of like yeah, and..? Everyones bloody talking about it so what value do I have to add? And secondly, beyond the surface, I don’t know a huge deal about the ins and outs, and I like to know a fair bit about something before writing about it.

But Google did a pretty cool thing and twitter did a cool thing earlier and I just thought’ it’s about time.

So for anyone who doesn’t know (and come on, you really should by now), Big Data is a broad term for data sets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. I touched on it on my blog post about the internet of things. There must be about 40 TedTalks on the topic. Here’s a good one, and the rest are here.

Up to this point, we have heard about big data, a LOT, but many of us have not really seen it. You’ve almost definitely been affected by Big Data, but unless you work in the right job in the right industry then you probably won’t have seen it.

However, something popped up on my twitter newsfeed the other day that got me thinking – are consumers, day to day people, going to be seeing more of it?

This thing was twitter analytics.

2015-10-30 12_49_07-Jessica McCready (@JessMcCready) _ Twitter

This add on means that you can view the reach and engagements on your posts. For the most part, it’s basically useless to the average person. Although interesting, it’s not going to influence your tweeting behaviour, probably.

However it is interesting to see that Twitter are making this information available to everyone, as opposed to just businesses who pay for it.

Google have been leading up to this for a while I think. With the launch of this (I assume) temporary website ‘Freightgeist’ Google have introduced everyone to the wonders of big data, and how it can be useful and fun.

2015-10-30 13_07_16-Google

Now I am unsure whether this was made available in the UK, so I can’t compare and contrast, but here is what we have in the US.

The site has basically collected all the Halloween information from google searches and collated them into intelligible information about trends around costumes.

2015-10-30 12_47_05-Google Frightgeist

You can see what is the most popular costume by area on a map.

2015-10-30 12_47_53-Google Frightgeist2015-10-30 12_48_10-Google Frightgeist And also what’s trending overall.

Moral of the story, don’t go as Harley Quinn – it’s going to be cliche this year.

2015-10-30 12_47_20-Google Frightgeist

I just thought this is a really fun example of how big data is creeping into our everyday lives, and it makes me wonder where we are going to physically see it next. Clearly Google are keen to make it understandable and accessible, so I’m guessing they’ve got some plans.

Happy Halloween!

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The Internet of Things

In 2015, 9.4 billion ‘things’ are going to be connected to the internet (Gartner, 2015). This is up 30% from last year, but no where near the 20-50 billion expected by 2020.

2015-10-09 16_02_25-Gartner Says 4.9 Billion Connected _Things_ Will Be in Use in 2015

This new and extremely extensive network of connection has been dubbed ‘the internet of things’. The internet of things is essentially ‘smart objects’ – anything that can send and receive information. This can be people-people, people-things and thing-things connections. This can include smartphones, wristband fitness trackers, key-rings that act as contact-less pay (bPay), baths that you can start filling remotely from your phone, weighing scales that track your progress and send it to your fitness tracker….

So what does this mean for the future?

The reality is that the IoT allows for virtually endless opportunities and connections to take place, many of which we can’t even think of or fully understand the impact of today – Forbes, 2015

We are already seeing huge developments in how IoT can change our lives. Or have you noticed? As Mark Weiser said, ‘the most profound technologies are those that disappear…they weave themselves into everyday life’. Thinking beyond tracking your daily calories, IoT is going to move us into driverless cars, connected roads (& road signs), even better health care and beyond. Essentially it is going to touch every industry and every area of our lives. For example, a man having a heart attack but wearing a health tracker band, could be diagnosed through data sent automatically to the hospital and have an ambulance at his door before even realising what was happening to him.


What this means for business is opportunities. Endless opportunities. It also means a lot of data. Companies are going to have more data than they know what to do with….which is kind of the problem. More, better and extremely accurate data could mean better customer service, better connections with brands and better consumer experiences, but the likelihood is that this is going to take a while to come to fruition. It’s businesses’ responsibility to find a way to utilize this big data (another buzz word – mum are you proud?) otherwise it’s going to go to waste.


“As technology becomes increasingly advanced, vulnerabilities in technology become increasingly apparent and exploited by criminals who are upping their efforts to hack anything and everything. Connected cars, biometrics and built-in came on laptops are the top targets for criminals today” – FraudTech Wire, 2015

Another issue that has a lot of people talking is security. Already people feel uneasy with putting some aspects of their personal lives into a place that could be ‘hacked’. This is a very real fear. If your thermostat at home knows that you’re not in (and so turn’s off the heating), could this mean a burglar could hack it for information and know you’re not home too? Most likely. Could someone hack your driverless car and send you off-route? Maybe.

Moore’s law of acceleration suggests that the more advanced we become, the faster we become at advancing. It’s actually quite scary. If you watch the below TedTalk you see the first computer ever to beat humans at general knowledge using artificial intelligence – is this a sign that robots are actually going to be over taking us soon? And if this happens, what use are we as humans?

Facebook’s ‘project internet’ that aims to connect the whole world by providing the internet (to rural Africa etc) looks to only continue this trend and push the IoT further than we may have imagined.

My housemate at University – Holly – used to always say that the robots were going to catch up and make us their slaves. To be fair to her, it doesn’t look far off.

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