Big Data: Endless Possibilities

Big data promises a lot—”endless possibilities,” pundits say. It also opens many questions around privacy and security of data, especially in healthcare. Researchers, however, say that “57% of consumers are willing to share additional personal information in return for better service.” For me, I don’t want just the possibilities of big data, but ACTUAL change. I don’t want another app for my phone, another car sensor or any new fancy gadgets or smart meters; what I’d really like to see is big data making a tangible impact on real world challenges like the Ebola epidemic—big data for social good, not for profit.

Now that the Ebola virus is sitting in our backyard, the entire country is on high alert—and rightfully so, as it’s no longer a disease that’s plaguing people continents away, in little known countries. WHO indicates that there are 9216 Ebola cases with 4555 deaths. My first thought when I look at these statistics is: where is big data in the Ebola equation and how can we get help?

Each of us can find a way to get involved and The Big Data for Social Good Challenge, a global hackathon where developers create innovative solutions using Hadoop  is a great starting place.  Read the full blog here:

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Big Data Change Agents

Innovation and being at the cutting edge of technology excites me. Today we’re at the cusp of a myriad of business breakthroughs as more and more organizations fully embrace big data and explore the opportunities it presents to make a difference in business, in healthcare in retail and in our way of life. In a recent article with IBM Data Magazine I looked at IBM’s Big Data and Analytics Heroes. The men and women who are charting new courses with big data and analytics. They are in the trenches making big data work within their organizations. They are on the speaker circuits educating their peers and colleagues on big data. And they are sharing the promise and possibilities of big data and analytics initiatives.

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Are you a Frequent Returner?

Businesses are touting personalization, customer intimacy and improved customer experiences. Yet customer service today is still that elusive vapor, that thing we know exists but we can never actually grasp. Unfortunately, for many businesses, a dynamic customer experience is still very much theory minus the practicum.

This past week a customer complaint to a retailer with regards to flagging customers for “frequent returns”  piqued my interest.  Here’s an excerpt of that Facebook post which has since been removed by the retailer:

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