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(译)在大数据时代,什么在悄悄改变着?

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大数据

 

大数据可能是在过去五年中最知名的流行语。该技术还处于萌芽阶段,充满了潜力,每个人都热衷于它呈现的激动人心的前景。但是,在大数据时代,究竟什么是再慢慢在改变?答案是“很多”。

大数据从何而来?

大数据是用于描述数据或数据集的术语,包括结构化和非结构化,对于标准的工具或常规的方法来说过大而操作复杂的数据。

亚马逊,Netflix,eBay等公司产生的“数据尾气”,是一些数字化活动的副产品,比如购买、销售。这些数据提供了关于一个个体极其重要的洞察力,因此,对于市场营销和业务实体来说是非常重要的。

此外,通过智能手机和社交网络等活动产生的数据,比如个人喜好和评论告诉了很多关于我们的偏好,位置,甚至是至关重要的健康状况。然后,就有这种可穿戴技术,以快速发展的步伐,填补了数据与个人的连通空白。

有如此多的数据处理,可能性是巨大的。一些人预测,大数据将对企业和个人来说犹如当初互联网的到来一样重要。通过使用一个巨大的样本集来评估人的行为,预测未来的发展趋势将变得更容易,企业会事先知道客户真正想要的是什么。这是经常被引用的例子,大数据作为一个完美的销售和业务的驱动程序:大众市场零售商了解到一个客户的妊娠,所以开始发送婴儿家具和生育方面的销售传单,这也让她的家人知道了这个怀孕的消息。这只是冰山一角。(注:曾经有一位男性顾客到一家塔吉特店中投诉,商店竟然给他还在读书的女儿寄婴儿用品的优惠券。这家全美第二大零售商,会搞出如此大的乌龙?但经过这位父亲与女儿进一步沟通,才发现自己女儿真的已经怀孕了。)

从世界经济论坛的白皮书节选标题为“大数据,大影响:国际发展的新的可能性”

在海地灾难性的2010地震后,在卡罗林斯卡医学院和哥伦比亚大学的研究员发现,移动数据模式可以用来了解难民运动和随之而来的健康风险。研究员在地震研究中从两个组织得到从太子港流出的数据按照全国将近二百万的SIM卡的运动跟踪。他们能够准确地分析目标超过60万人从太子港流离失所,他们制作这样的信息提供给政府和人道主义应对危机。

还有其他的应用诸如健康,教育,金融服务业和农业,当然也适用于企业决策甚至人才招聘。

出版业:一个不太可能的受益者

出版业是一个不大与大数据有直接或者间接关系的行业。在数字化阅读被发明以前,出版商没有办法做地域销售分析和人口特点统计,也没法获取人们想看的内容。当数字化阅读到来之后,现在可以知道客户对一本书的兴趣点,是读了它还是只翻了几页,花了多少时间读完这本书,怎么找到这本书的。通过知道哪些书是读者有兴趣的,出版商可以明智的决策应该投资那些作者或者特许经销商。具有高的完成率但低的销售的书,能够通过不同的策略和扩大读者来提升销量。

同样,这些指标也能显示一个作者是不是值得投资或者应该投资多大。看数据不仅可以显示有多少人读完特定作者的书,而且他们多块的读完了它。孤立的完成率的指标数据在公式中会带来非常大的风险。

人才越来越有意义

Beth Alexrod,eBay公司人力资源高级副总裁,电子商务巨头说,“通过数据分析有很多的价值创造和增加”, “吸引外面的人才到公司是否能做一个更好的工作,或做预测分析谁可能会离开并且原因是什么,这样你就可以在这个点到达之前提前介入尝试改变,有大量的这样的机会。”

就像金融家和营销人员使用的数据来预测未来的收益和阅读的消费习惯,招聘人员现在可以使用人的行为分析作为企业决策的重要驱动。在使用大数据寻找人才实施的方式中,最大的挑战是缺乏必要的数据技能的人力资源从业者。劳动力分析技能的需求大幅增加,对只有少数的专家能够分析数据的企业帮助不大。

在理解人类行为的一大飞跃

毫无疑问,计算机可以捕捉到我们通过一系列的始终连接的设备产生的一切细节。想想看,大数据应用在商业中的巨大力量被激发,他们能够预测到谁在什么时候在哪里会购买他们的产品。

-社会媒体成瘾导致我们暴露了非常精细的自己。市场研究公司使用该爬取网站的数据找到人类情感与品牌、产品、服务的关系。

-数据密集型领域如医疗,金融和电子商务是一个人类个体行为和结果的数据仓库。

-语音分析应用的一大用处就是呼叫中心记录的谈话。改进的语音识别技术,语音为基础的数据和它的意义在于,可以在一个智能格式捕获的范围内生长。

然而,仍有疑问,所有这些数据是否能在实际中产生意义。是否有足够的技术和方法,以获得所有这些数据的意义和在商业中预测未来?让我们知道您的意见。

英语原文:

What exactly is going to change in this era of Big Data?

Big Data is possibly the biggest buzzword for the past five years. The technology, still in its nascent stages, is rife with potential and everybody is enthusiastic about the exciting prospects that it presents. But what’s exactly going to change in this era of big data? The answer is “a lot”.

Where does big data come from?

Big data is a common term used to describe data or data sets, both structured and unstructured, that are too large and complicated to manipulate with the standard tools or methods available.

Companies like Amazon, Netflix, and eBay generate “data exhaust”, the by-product of all digital activities such as buying, selling and this data provides great insights about an individual and hence is of immense importance to marketers and business entities. Besides, there is the truckload of data, being generated by smartphones and our social networking activities such likes and comments that tell a lot about our preferences, location, and even vital health stats. Then, there is this onset of the wearable technology, happening at a rapid pace, which fills the last gap in constant connectivity.

With so much of data at disposal, the possibilities are huge. Some predict that Big Data will be as vital to businesses and people as Internet has become. By assessing human behaviour across a huge sample set, it will become easier to predict future trends and businesses would know beforehand as to what customers really want. There is this often cited example of Big Data being used as a perfect sales and business driver, where Target, the mass market retailer came to know of a customer’s pregnancy and so started sending sales flyers offering deals on baby furniture and maternity items, that too before she broke this news to her family. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

An excerpt from World Economic Forum’s whitepaper titled Big Data, Big Impact: New Possibilities for International Development, “

“In the wake of Haiti‟s devastating 2010 earthquake, researchers at the Karolinska Institute and Columbia University demonstrated that mobile data patterns could be used to understand the movement of refugees and the consequent health risks posed by these movements. Researchers from the two organisations obtained data on the outflow of people from Port-au-Prince following the earthquake by tracking the movement of nearly two million SIM cards in the country. They were able to accurately analyse the destination of over 600,000 people displaced from Port-au-Prince, and they made this information available to government and humanitarian organisations dealing with the crisis.”

There are other implications as well in areas like health, education, financial services and agriculture, not to forget corporate decision making and even talent recruitment.

Publishing: An unlikely beneficiary

Publishing is an unlikely industry to have any direct or indirect relation to big data. Before digital reading was invented, publishers couldn’t do much other than analyzing sales by region and demographics, and hear what people or reviewers thought of the content. With digital reading arriving on the scene, it is now possible to know how a customer engages with a book, did he even read it or just sifted through page, how much time did he took to finish the book and last but not the least, how did he find it. By knowing what books readers find engaging, publishers can take informed decisions on which authors and franchises to invest in. Books that had a higher completion rate yet low sales could be promoted with a different strategy and can be presented to a wider audience.

Similarly, engagement metrics can also reveal if an author is worth investing in or not and what size the investment should be. Reading data could not only reveal how many people were finishing the books of that particular author, but also how fast they were finishing it. Engagement data in the form of completion rates alone can take a lot of risk out of the equation.

Talent hunting becoming more meaningful

Beth Alexrod, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for eBay Inc, the e-commerce giant says, “There’s a lot of value to be created and added through data analytics,” “whether it’s doing a better job spotting talent outside to attract to the company, or doing predictive analysis of who is likely to leave and what are the factors, so you can intervene before that point is reached to try to change the trajectory. There’s a ton of opportunity there.”

Just like financiers and marketers use data to fore_cast future earnings and read consumer habits, recruiters can now use people analytics as an important driver of corporate decision-making. The biggest challenge here that stands in way of implementation of Big Data in the search for talent are HR practitioners who lack the necessary data skill sets. The demand for analytical skills in the workforce has increased substantially and it doesn’t help anymore to have just few experts who are able to analyze data.

A big leap in understanding Human Behaviour

There is no doubt about the fact that computers are capturing every single detail of what we are doing through a range of always-connected devices that we use. Just think about the immense power that big data has inspired in businesses, they can finally predict who, where and when customers will buy their products.

– Social media addiction has led us to reveal very fine detail about ourselves. Market research companies use this data by scraping the web to find relations between human sentiments and brands, products & services.

– Data intensive domains like healthcare, finance and e-commerce are a repository of data on individual human behaviour and outcomes.

– Speech analytics has caught on in a big way as call centers record conversations. With improving speech recognition technology, the range of voice-based data and its meaning that can be captured in an intelligent format grows.

However, there is still doubt whether all this data can actually make any sense. Are there enough technologies and methods to derive meaning from all this data and predict the future in business? Let us know your comments.

End.

 

 

 



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