Big data debate: It is important to step back and question the data in front of you

On April 2, our Co-founder and CEO Carl Holmquist took part of the Big Data Debate: Media and Big Data Analytics, where data geeks gathered to discuss how data could be manipulated to produce innovation. Carl opened up the event with a flash presentation which was then followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Charles Arthur, Head of Technology, The Guardian, including Marie-Alicia Chang, Co-Founder & Head of Data Partnerships,Musicmetric, Rob Symes, CEO, The Outside View, Duncan Ross, Director of Data Science, Teradata and Alistair Jones, Software Engineer, Neo4j.

Carl opened the way illustrating inattentional blindness – a term, coined by Arien Mack and Irvin Rock in MIT, unfolding the two ways our brains resolve problems: using our long term memory, or relying on logic when it comes to more complex problems.

“Obvious things happen around us, but when the logical side of our brain is focused on solving a specific problem, we are blind to them”
Carl continued by reminding that blind spots do exist when marketers are consuming big data: “Being busy understanding what you have in front of you, most of you are missing out on fundamental data points that the data tools you use are not collecting”. Challenging the audience, Carl gave an intriguing example of how in the banking industry, marketers were struggling with low conversion rates in their online business. In these occasions, Freespee’s software showed the contrary – more than 50% of online visitors chose to complete the transaction in the contact centre. While this data was lacking in their tools, marketers could not eliminate the blind spot when analyzing patterns.

Are you as geeky about big data as we are? We’d love you to join the conversation – simply comment below.