The Data-Driven World: A European Perspective

Martha Bennett

Notes from the TechAmerica Europe seminar in Brussels, March 27, 2013

This may not be the most timely event write-up ever produced, but in light of all the discussions I’ve had on the same themes during the past few weeks, I thought I’d share my notes anyway.

The purpose of the event was to peel away some of the hype layers around the “big data” discussion, and — from a European perspective — take a look at the opportunities as well as challenges brought by the increasing amounts of data that is available, and the technologies that enable its exploitation. As was to be expected, an ever-present subtext was the potential of having laws and regulations put in place which — while well-intentioned — can ultimately stifle innovation and even act against consumer interests. And speaking of innovation: Another theme running through several of the discussions was the seeming lack of technology-driven innovation in Europe, in particular when considered in the context of an economic environment in dire need of every stimulus it can get.

The scene was set by John Boswell, senior VP, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary at SAS, who provided a neat summary of the technology developments (cheap storage, unprecedented access to compute power, pervasive connectivity) giving rise to countless opportunities related to the availability, sharing and exploitation of ever-increasing amounts of data. He also outlined the threats posed to companies, governments, and individuals by those who with more sinister intent when it comes to data exploitation, be it for ideological, financial, or political reasons. Clearly, those threats require mitigation, but John also made the point that “regulatory overlays” can also hinder progress, through limiting or even preventing altogether the free flow of data.

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What Is Hadoop?

Mike Gualtieri

You probably already know that Hadoop is an open source project that offers a powerful distributed platform to store and manage big data. Watch this 5-minute episode of Forrester TechnoPolitics to understand how Hadoop works and why it’s hot! You may also be interested in What Is A Data Scientist.

Check out the Forrester Wave: Big Data Hadoop Solutions, Q1 2014.

Yesterday's approaches to customer data management won't cut it in the age of the empowered consumer. To stay competitive, firms must provide more personal experiences — and that requires faster, agile analytics and prediction. Find out how to navigate the process of developing a future-proof CDM strategy in this complimentary Forrester report, The Future Of Customer Data Management.

About Forrester Instant Insight

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What Is A Data Scientist?

Mike Gualtieri

Why all the fervor about big data? The answer is that it provides deep insights and predictive models that can dramatically improve business outcomes. But you need a data scientist to get there. There’s a lot of mythology about what a data scientist is and isn’t. In this episode of TechnoPolitics, Mike Gualtieri explains what a data scientist is, what skills they need, and how to hire one. You may also be interested in What Is Hadoop.

About Forrester Instant Insight

Navigating the fast changing world of business technology is a constant challenge. Forrester Instant Insight aims to provide simple, complete answers to some popular questions. Our goal: You will watch the video and be enlightened in 5-minutes or less.

This Forrester Instant Insight was produced by Mike Gualtieri and edited by Lindsay Gualtieri

Q&A With Greg Swimer, VP IT, Business Intelligence, Unilever

Kyle McNabb

In advance of next week’s Forrester’s European Business Technology Forums in London on June 10 and 11, we had an opportunity to speak with Greg Swimer about information management and how Unilever delivers real-time data to its employeesGreg Swimer is a global IT leader at Unilever, responsible for delivering new information management, business intelligence, reporting, consolidation, analytics, and master data solutions to more than 20,000 users across all of Unilever’s businesses globally.
 

1) What are the two forces you and the Unilever team are balancing with your “Data At Your Fingertips” vision?

Putting the data at Unilever’s fingertips means working on two complementary aspects of information management. One aspect is to build an analytics powerhouse with the capacity to handle big data, providing users with the technological power to analyse that data in order to gain greater insight and drive better decision-making. The other aspect is the importance of simplifying and standardizing that data so that it’s accessible enough to understand and act upon. We want to create a simplified landscape, one that allows better decisions, in real time, where there is a common language and a great experience for users.

 

2) What keys to success have you uncovered in your efforts?

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Google Apps Versus Office 365: How To Decide

Mike Gualtieri

Deciding between Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps is not easy, because it’s not an apples-to-apples comparision of apps and features. It’s more like a fruit basket containing some apples, some pears, and a few exotic fruits. Not to worry — Forrester’s expert on collaboration software, TJ Keitt, is here to help you understand how to decide.

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How Are Organizations Supporting Digital Customer Experience Delivery?

Anjali Yakkundi

This post originally appeared on destinationCRM.

Forrester recently surveyed 233 digital customer experience professionals with decision-making roles in digital experience (DX) technologies, asking them about priorities, sourcing decisions, and strategic direction. In this survey, we debunked a few widely held exaggerations: that IT is declining, marketing is the new king, and mobile applications have completely replaced the Web. Instead, we found a much more muddled picture, where many different stakeholders are balancing many different priorities. Here’s what we uncovered:

  • Organizations prioritize the Web. Mobile applications are still very important (44% of respondents said they were prioritizing tablet apps and 42% said they were prioritizing mobile apps for phones and other mobile devices), but this doesn’t mean that Web concerns are disappearing — quite the opposite. When we asked respondents to cite the top three prioritized channels for digital experience delivery, Web initiatives remain a top priority. 80% of respondents said that traditional (e.g., desktop) Web initiatives were a top priority, while 59% said mobile Web for tablet and 56% said mobile Web (excluding tablets) were a priority.
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The Who, What, Where, And Why Of Marketing Technology Groups

Anjali Yakkundi

This post originally appeared on destinationCRM.

We’ve heard a lot in the past year about the future role of marketing technologists as solvers of the “IT/marketing clash of the titans” (as one Forrester client put it to me recently). These technologists are more than just your basic webmasters. Instead, they are professionals with deep knowledge of how technology can deliver on marketing strategies in order to bring about better digital customer experiences. At Forrester, we’ve started to see an emerging trend of shared services groups whose goal is to bridge the marketing technology divide. Our latest research found that organizations have turned to this model — which we call the marketing technology group — to foster tighter integration between IT and marketing and between strategy/design professionals and technologists. Defining characteristics include:

  • Who? These groups tend to be made up of a diverse lot of professionals, but in general are staffed by a combination of marketing strategists, creative design professionals, and technologists with design and business savvy. We found some of the most sought-after technologists were mobile- and data-literate developers and higher-ranking IT leaders, like enterprise architects, who can coordinate an ever-growing number of digital experience technologies (e.g. CRM, Web content management, commerce platforms, analytics, etc.). The key is to give these groups direct tie-in to C-level executives. As a vice president of strategy at a digital agency told us, “The problem with shared services is that too often it’s staffed by only powerless workers.”
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TechnoPolitics Podcast: Consensual Impersonation - Frisky Or Risky?

Mike Gualtieri

Forrester TechnoPolitics, Eve MalerShame on you if you share your password. The consequences can ruin your sterling reputation, violate legal terms of service, promote fraud and identity theft, and give ex-lovers weapons of mass digital destruction. We all do it, despite the risks. Share your Netflix password with your BFF so she can watch House Of Cards and season 4 of Arrested Development. Reveal your Amazon password to your teenage son so he can rent college textbooks using your account. The list of examples goes on.

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TechnoPolitics Podcast: Smart Body, Smart World

Mike Gualtieri

Sarah Rotman EppsCustomers are becoming hyper-connected. Sensor-laden devices on our bodies, in our homes, in our cars, and virtually everywhere else are creating new opportunities firms large and small. Products such as Google Glass, the Nest home thermostat, and the Nike+ FuelBand are the latest cool kids on the block. Not many people have these yet, but remember that every smartphone and tablet is full of sensors such as accelerometer, GPS, microphone, cameras, temperature, and more. 

Smart Body, Smart World

Forrester Senior Analyst Sarah Rotman Epps says that sensors will power the next wave of innovation and disrupt many industries. We could not agree more. That's why we are thrilled to interview her on this episode of TechnoPolitics. Listen to hear Sarah discuss her Smart Body, Smart World research about how sensors, big data predictive analytics, and psychology will power the next wave of innovation.

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Google I/O 2013 Developer's Conference: A Great Time To Be A Developer

Mike Gualtieri

Google sets amazing new standards when it comes to web, mobile, and cloud technologies. That's why we are here at Google I/O 2013 in San Fransciso to find out what new technologies and tools developers can expect on all technology fronts. See this special edition of Forrester TechnoPolitics to experience the energy of Google I/O.

About Forrester TechnoPolitics

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