Tag Archives: Big Data

Weekly interesting news round up

Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.

Sport & hospitality

Formula 1 Ferrari
Formula 1 sponsorship is still growing due to the value of live sports
Source: Wikipedia

Q: How much do you think Marlboro sponsor Ferrari?

A: Around $100m per year.

As we watch more and more on-demand television, the value of live sports television just keeps rising. http://www.sportspromedia.com/news/ferrari-spark-marlboro-renewal Continue reading Weekly interesting news round up

Weekly interesting news round up

Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.


NFL notebook
The NFL is a good indicator of where the English Premier League is commercially heading

I’ve always said the Premier League is commercially 5 years behind the NFL. To anyone who thinks Premier League TV revenues or player salaries are too high, do not read this article on the latest NFL commercial numbers. Some examples:

  • The Raiders are building a new stadium in Las Vegas at a cost of $1.7bn. Tottenham Hotspur is building a stadium in London for £800m.
  • Roger Goodell is the commissioner of the NFL. He earns $30m per year, compared to Richard Scudamore, the head of the Premier League, who earns £2.5m including bonuses.
  • The Premier League does win on salaries though. The NFL has a team salary cap of $167m per team. Compare this to Manchester City’s wage bill (last year) of £225m. Put another way, the top 5 teams in the Premier League has a wage bill higher than the NFL’s cap.

Continue reading Weekly interesting news round up

How Insurance will use Internet of Things technologies

In October I’m giving a keynote speech at an insurance event and I’ve been asked to speak about new technologies and trends. Separately, one of the readers of this site, Doug, recently emailed me asking whether I had “any insight into the insurance sector, and company’s use of Internet of Things technologies?

Here are some thoughts which I’ve been thinking about for a while.

In its truest form, Internet of Things, or IoT for short, applies to an electronic device which has Internet connectivity capability – i.e. it can send data to, or receive data from services on the Internet. Continue reading How Insurance will use Internet of Things technologies

Weekly reading list

Internet of Useless Things - well worth a quick read, even on the throne
The Internet of Useless Things – well worth a quick read, even on the throne

Here are the best articles that I’ve read during the last week:

Warc – Measurement issues hit TV– regular readers will know my frustration with measuring TV audiences. Their time has come, just as they are reporting a sharp decline in audiences. But in an industry based on advertising revenue, the measurement companies are being urged to create ways of showing increasing audience sizes. Bizarre but inevitable.
25 years of Photoshop | Adobe Photoshop 25th anniversary – This one made me feel old. Some beautiful imagery here.
Apple Pay is now the number one mobile payment solution at Staples – When reading any headlines about Apple Pay, remember that Apple Pay has paved the way for contactless technology in the US, which is still growing at a good rate here in the UK.
The Internet of Useless Things – I loved this (thank you Matt) from Rehab, who we’ve done some great work with at Endava.

Continue reading Weekly reading list

Monetising customer data

This is the last post in the monetisation series. We’ve explored ten ways to monetise large digital audiences, from simple advertising to selling products. This post discusses ways of making money from data.

Data monetisation is one of the newest of all the models we’ve discussed in the series. And it’s probably the most misunderstood. When Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, it proved how valuable user data has become.

But customer data isn’t that new. The market for sales-leads data has been around for ages. The difference now is how that data is collected and ‘mined’. Data used to be scraped from public sources such as Companies House and Yellow Pages. Now companies are setup with the sole purpose of collecting information from users.

Continue reading Monetising customer data

The anatomy of a fan: using big data to personalise the event experience, Tim Abraham from Xaxis

These notes are from the adtech London exhibition in September 2013. Apologies for any brevity, grammar or spelling mistakes, I did the best I could! Here is a full list of all my presentation notes from adTech London 2013.

Does Big Data still rely on human consumption?
Does Big Data still rely on human consumption?

The first presentation I went to at adtech London today was Tim Abraham from Xaxis, a company specialising in Big Data.

The earliest example, the Doomsday book in 1086 with 13,418 records facilitating taxation! (My note: Did it take 1,000 years to forgive Big Data for this?!!@!)

Facebook now process over 500Tb of data daily

Organisations think more about optimising campaigns rather than just the media buying process

Big data provides granular information to enable estimation

Simple dashboards = big impact

Simple dashboards=big impact
Simple dashboards=big impact

Often, the insight from big data is difficult to action which creates a value vacuum and a question over Big Data projectas

In the future, Big Data will get bigger (more important), however scale alone won’t drive results. It’s all about enough data at the right time.

Here is a full list of my presentation notes.

Mark Read, CEO WPP Digital on WPP’s digital future

WPP expect digital revenues to increase at the expense of print
WPP expect digital revenues to increase at the expense of print

This was the first keynote speech of ad:tech London. Here are my brief notes:

A key focus for WPP at the moment is China and the Internet

WPP has more staff in China than in the UK

Digital ad spend will grow from 95bn today to 180bn in 2018, at which point digital will exceed traditional ad spending

Digital will take revenue from print and other channels, not from TV. In fact, TV ad revenue may still grow very slightly to 2018

WPP will be concentrating on this [shopping] list for the next 5 years
WPP will be concentrating on this [shopping] list for the next 5 years
Key trends from Mark:

      1. Mobile. Its beyond advertising. Mobile is a CRM tool rather than another channel for banner ads. E.g. the British Airways app provides branding on a phone, alerts and transactions
      2. E-commerce will become ever more important. The uk is already the second biggest market for ecommerce to South Korea. The question is how to handle Amazon
      3. Data driven. Every website you visit will leave a digital footprint. The question is how to join these footprints and cookies together into one story, or a single customer view.
      4. Social. Many WPP clients see Facebook equals mobile. Mobile usage = Facebook usage. The top mobile apps are Facebook and YouTube (each with over 1 billion installs), followed by WeChat (in China), Google Plus, Twitter and LinkedIn.
      5. YouTube. 1 billion users consumer over 6 billion hours of content per month. That’s 6 hours per month per person. Video equipment on the high street at affordable prices, not just for professionals. Brands are joining in by supporting user generated content with product placement (e.g. Ford supplying vehicles for travellers).
      6. The Gatekeepers of the internet. Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft each have hundreds of millions, and some have billions of users. Working with them, or having a strategy of working alongside them, is key.
WPP feel technology is central to their clients' digital strategy
WPP said that technology is central to their clients’ digital strategy

In the next 5 years digital will account for around 45% of WPP revenue, it’s currently in the mid-30s.

WPP have bought ecommerce provider Salmon who produce the sites for Argos and DFS.

WPP doesn’t want to be a an ad agency. It wants to become a full marketing implementation agency in the next 5 years, competing with the likes of Accenture and Deloitte Digital.

The summary was this:

Ideas + Technology = great digital marketing

You need strength in both areas.

And I couldn’t agree more.

See the other presentation notes from ad:tech.

Five Key Internet Megatrends: 3. Knowing customers

Credit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAG39jKi0lI
Knowing customers well
Credit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAG39jKi0lI

Key points:

  • Big Data could be the digital equivalent of the friendly shopkeeper who has a good idea of what you want, as soon as you enter the shop
  • But probably isn’t.

My family is quite traditional. We shop at a greengrocer for vegetables, a local butcher for meat, a local baker for bread and a local wine merchant. We use supermarkets mainly just for tinned products.

The greengrocer, butcher and wine merchant know the products that my family want to buy as well as my wife or I do.

A few years ago, Big Data was the IT industry’s silver bullet to provide online stores with the same knowledge as my local greengrocer, butcher and wine merchant.  Surely, Tesco thinks, if I buy nappies, I want to buy some baby food as well.

So Tesco began promoting baby food on all my receipts and offers in the post. However the only food we buy from Tesco is vegetarian. They can see that from all our shopping history. So there really isn’t any point promoting the latest chicken or beef baby food varieties.

And I think everyone who has bought Christmas presents for a young child through Amazon has been through the process of wondering why they receive endless children’s toys promotions afterwards.

My bank is another example. By definition my bank can see where I shop, how much my wife and I earn and how much we spend. My online banking website lists our current accounts, savings account and credit card all in one place.

I know through my work at Endava how much the bank spends on Big Data annually. So why does my bank promote the same savings account every time I log on? There are probably a gazillion more appropriate products they could be selling me than the same savings product every time. In the end I did take up the (poor) savings account just to stop the splash screen promotion.

I should note, one of my colleagues pointed out the first time I told this story “So the bank won. They promoted a product and you applied after a few placements.” He’s right of course, and I’d made it worse for all the other customers!

Big Data will help Internet websites get to a point where they mimic the traditional shopkeeper. However it’s in danger of becoming too scientific and will need to become much more customer focussed.

How IT reinvents technologies


Continuing my theme about naming conventions in the IT world, I think our industry is better at branding and marketing than branding and marketing professionals!

I mentioned that I took part on a Big Data/ BI (Business Intelligence) workshop recently. My first job after university – in 1994 (no gasps at the back please – I know I don’t look old enough) was as a developer providing an EIS (Enterprise Information System) for NHS clients.

We took large amount of data from Patient Administration Systems (PAS – again, no sniggering at the back if you work for Endava please (private joke)) and provided graphical dashboards which often exposed ‘intelligence’ in the data which would have taken much longer to process in standard databases. And the data was too large to import into Excel.

There are many off the shelf products, many of which are open source, which makes implementations far quicker to implement today than fifteen years ago.

Another great piece of re-branding is thin-clients. In the late 1990s, moving to a thin-client model (i.e. most of the processing was done by a server) was fashionable. We then moved back to thick-clients – where the processing is mainly done by the desktop. Then the Internet age was born, and we never heard about thin or thick clients, because they were rebranded as ‘browser-based’ and apps. Exactly the same model, just rebranded.

Infrastructure has gone through some great rebranding. The term ‘hosting’ was left untouched for 10 years, before virtualisation – which wasn’t really a new concept. Citrix have been doing it for ages in the desktop industry. But suddenly every CIO felt compelled to virtualise virtually everything (pun intended).

And then… “Cloud”. I remember speaking to clients early on about Amazon Web Services, and within three years every hosting company rebranded their virtual environments as Cloud. Nothing more than rebranding. My personal website is stored “in the Cloud”. When I first took out the contract it was a Shared server, then a virtual server… now a Cloud server. It’s just the IP address has never changed!

My final example of brilliant branding is Enterprise social media. Lotus were doing Enterprise Collaboration in the 1990s – boasting shared documents with workflow and permissions.


I’m looking forward to future rebranding – green screens becoming “eco-screens”, dot matrix printers becoming “banner printers”, email becoming “enterprise messaging”, word processors becoming “information asset collation”… the list goes on.

Photo from Blake Paterson on Flickr

Rebranding Business Intelligence

I’ve spent the last couple of days at work in some Big Data and BI (Business Intelligence) workshops. One of my colleagues from Romania came over to run the workshops and we went through some case studies including technologies, architecture and internal organisation. Big Data/ BI is a natural progression from Digital Media and other parts of the Endava organisation, and I’m pleased to be a part of the proposition.

In my mind, the phrase ‘Business Intelligence’ conjures up a similar reaction to ‘Creative’. I have always disliked the term Creative for a given department or function, because any part of an organisation can be classed as ‘Creative’.

Just because someone deals with user interfaces or Photoshop on a daily basis, doesn’t make them more creative than the sales team next door who are coming up with new customer propositions. Or the guy working on the factory floor who realises that it’s more efficient to build a widget using a new method, could save an organisation more cash than the ‘Creative’ guy can generate upstairs.

Business Intelligence is similar… many organisations already have tools which provide some ‘business intelligence’. BI is such a poor name for a toolset, and one of the reasons I think we’re seeing so many vendors jump on the bandwagon recently, is because BI can mean virtually anything that exposes some data about an organisation.

If Microsoft had only produced their spreadsheet application in 2013, it would probably be called Business Intelligence Centre rather than Excel, although at least it will have been designed by their User Experience team.