In the midst of all the data-driven innovation we are seeing, this will be also the year of separating the non-trivial from the trivial.
It’s one thing to acquire terabytes of data, and it’s quite another to cleanse, disambiguate and mobilize that data in service of real-time insights into markets young and old.
The intellectual and experiential barrier to entry in social media, I think it’s fair to argue, is relatively low. It’s therefore harder to distinguish oneself, but certainly easy to get started. That’s been the beauty of the experiment all along.
Until now, data science and data marketing have been relegated to the realm of a self-selecting and highly motivated few, but as new tools democratize access, we’ll start to see a different dynamic.
But with great power comes… well, the Mark Twain quote I used last time still applies: “There are three kinds of lies — lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
Data can create new insights and open new opportunities, but it can also be twisted to serve an agenda or simply tell us what we want to hear.
It’s all in there, though — there in the data somewhere, if you know what you’re doing and how to do it well. Data knows everything we know, everything we don’t know, and, as it turns out, even a few things we don’t know we don’t know.