6 Fascinating Ideas From The Connected World Conference

Last Friday the MRS held its first Connected World conference – a social media research event with a difference. Though the attendees were social media researchers and clients, the speakers were almost entirely drawn from outside the research business. In fact, BrainJuicer were one of only two research agencies represented – the other were social specialists FACE – on a panel about how to “cut through the noise” in social media research.

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But for the most part, research took a welcome back seat, quit its yapping about disruption and transformation, and listened for once. Marketers, psychologists, fandom experts, designers and comedians took the stage for a conference centering on inspiration and shared knowledge, not just trotting out the latest case study.

With that in mind, here’s my pick for the six most interesting things I learned at Connected World. Continue reading

10 Things We Learned About Big Data At The Analytics With Purpose Conference

Over the last two days in San Diego, BrainJuicer has been proud to co-present the first Analytics With Purpose conference with the AMA. The subtitle – The Human Edge Of Data – was a pointer to the fact that we both wanted this to be more than “just another Big Data conference”, but instead present a panorama of the complex relationships between marketing, research, people and large-scale data. In this post conference Chair Tom Ewing looks back on the event and pulls out 10 talking points.

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A panorama of the conference by John Szabo

In her opening keynote at Analytics With Purpoise, IBM’s Elana Anderson outlined the essential problem – and opportunity – confronting marketers in an age of big data: the challenge of individual engagement at scale. With such vast and deep knowledge of people’s behaviour, interaction and interests, where are the ways to practically use it? Over the course of two days in San Diego, I can’t pretend we solved the problem but we explored a few pathways and had fun doing so.

The next ten paragraphs are a summary with a difference for a conference with a difference – a series of soundbites which sum up the event and spotlight some of its themes. If it makes you wish you were there – well, that’s the idea, and keep an eye open for sequel events! Continue reading

Research And Big Data: 7 Roads To Enlightenment

In a couple of weeks BrainJuicer’s Tom Ewing will be flying out to San Diego to chair the American Marketing Association’s newest conference. Analytics With Purpose: The Human Edge of Big Data will offer a practical tour of the issues arising as market research meets “big data”. In this post Tom outlines the themes of the conference.

Some people might tell you that research getting to grips with big data is like a shrew getting to grips with a sumo wrestler – as Phil Rance of Quadrangle once tweeted, “Research is a pimple on the arse of big data.”

What I’ve seen, though, both from working on this conference and looking at others, is that plenty of big data practitioners are more than happy to break bread with researchers and think through how we can work together. And from the client side, as ever it’s practicality and results that win out over method. True, research might not have a role to play in areas where companies are using large-scale data – but if the speakers at San Diego (which include IBM, Coke, Hyundai, Google, Getty and many more) are any guide, they’re not ruling it out either.

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An early big data pioneer, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

While I was helping work out the line-up for the conference I started making notes on the key themes coming out of the conversations I was having – outlining the questions and ideas I was most excited to see emerging. For the benefit of people who can’t attend, I’ve blogged them here – seven themes in big data, from a researcher’s point of view. Continue reading