Facebook, GDPR, brand safety – suddenly it’s 2018 all over again

Happy New Year 2018

For understandable reasons, the last four, regular monthly episodes of the Small Data Forum podcast have been focused – almost to the point of obsession – on coronavirus. From the uncertain first fumblings of life under lockdown, through escalating mortality and morbidity, and on to a fundamental lack of trust in the competence of blustering, blond, male, right-wing leaders … the last four episodes have had it all.

Some have said that this podcast was made for events like the pandemic, scrutinising as we do the uses and abuses of data big and small in politics, business, and public life. There’s been plenty of that about of late.

So, with lockdown restrictions being lifted all around the world – and Government advice completely ignored on the beaches of Bournemouth in the mini-U.K. heatwave last week, leading Dorset police to declare the overcrowding “a major incident” – our focus in this episode was much more catholic.

Indeed, with Facebook, GDPR, and brand safety the dominant topics, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d fallen through a wormhole in the space-time continuum and teleported back to 2018.

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Inertia, ethics, and breaches of trust

Data, data everywhere, but ethics in short supply.

The latest episode of the Small Data Forum podcast follows the classic narrative arc of a three-act story. Beginning, middle, and end. The set-up, the confrontation, and the resolution. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.

And although our wide-ranging discussion did run the risk of leaving all three co-hosts in the depths of despair, Neville Hobson, Thomas Stoeckle, and I end up hoping that the asteroid NASA predicts is hurtling towards earth can be diverted from its nihilistic path.

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Reining in tech: responsibility, regulation and education

Our Christmas episode was recorded under the auspices of Janus, the god of all things related to time. Now into the month named after him, the SmallDataForum reviews its predictions and looks at the year ahead:

Will Europe ‘take back control’, or will commercial pressures curb big tech’s enthusiasm? Will 2018 be the breakthrough year for chatbots and DPAs (digital personal assistants), both in business and personal use? How will continuous technological and economic transformations affect connections between people?

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Make sense of Big Data with the #SmallDataForum podcast

Big Data

Welcome to www.smalldataforum.com, the new home of the Small Data Forum podcast.

What started off as a breakfast seminar in May 2016 about the business value of Big Data quickly became a regular monthly podcast.

16 months on, our purpose remains unchanged: Neville, Sam, and I strive to make sense of Big Data for business and communications.

In this time, we have produced 11 episodes, all in the same format of a sober German aiming – and occasionally failing – to reign in two unruly effervescent Brits. And not just in discussions of Brexit.

And I’m sure the outcome of the German elections will form a topic for our next gathering. As I’m writing this, Frau Dr. Merkel wins a fourth term in office, in all likelihood in a ‘Jamaica’ coalition with the Greens and the Liberals. And a far-right party is winning perhaps more than 13%.

How good were the polls? What role did fake news play? Was it a Big Data election? Answers in the next podcast!

So yes, the format will continue, and in future we will also have regular guests to widen our, and perhaps our audience’s, horizon.

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