07: How does Big Data convert into Business Value?

A topic that’s dominated our conversation in recent episodes of The Small Data Forum podcast is fake news and related issues.

In episode 7, hosted by Thomas Stoeckle in conversation with regulars Neville Hobson and Sam Knowles, we consider world wide web inventor Tim Berner-Lee’s call to action on what he sees as three big challenges for the web:

1. Loss of control of personal data;
2. Spread of misinformation; and
3. Questionable political advertising.

The second one in particular – spread of misinformation – offers another perspective on the fake news topic, part of the so-called post-Truth world, that speaks to a key aspect of this contemporary phenomenon: the dissemination of falsehoods and how can we address that. Thomas asks: Is it time for a new or updated Cluetrain manifesto? Cue lively discussion.

That discussion also addresses the definition of ‘AI,’ commonly regarded as meaning ‘artificial intelligence’ but perhaps more accurately should be described as ‘augmented intelligence’ where, as Neville argues, a key role of so-called AI is to augment our (we humans) intelligence.

A report in AdWeek on how big consultancies are eating up the marketing analytics space gives us a rich source of information to comment on concerning opportunities with big data. Or, as Sam notes in our conversation, far deeper opportunities in market disruption let alone data and analytics.

In the broad area of education and awareness of big data, small data, analytics and insights, Thomas reports on what he learned from the annual International Public Relations and Research Conference in Orlando, Florida – as we look at the big trends in data and analytics in the context of PR and organizational communication, how do we educate and train communicators? Should business schools play a key role in developing the agenda, perhaps with an MCM (‘Master of Communication Management’) alongside the MBA? What of the professional associations and their education programmes?

Our final topic in this episode is a look at PR Week UK’s 2017 Powerbook of the movers-and-shakers in the PR business commenting on the big opportunities for PR this year where the top result is “the era of uncertainty.” We weigh in with our views on what’s top for this year.

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