The big data bandwagon is a popular one to jump on these days. Recently, big data's lure swallowed former editors Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read Write Web and Ben Parr of Mashable, who are attempting to visualize big data in various formats.
A Canadian company called Recoset creates sophisticated, predictive, and machine-learning applications. Techvibes editor Knowlton Thomas even proclaimed that Twitter has changed Canadian politics forever due to its real-time nature in predicting elections.
Then there's Adobe, coming off a costly two years of $2.5 billion in acquisitions including Efficient Frontier. This has allowed the company to announce upgrades to the Digital Marketing Suite which includes a predictive modeling engine that can intelligently identify trends and forecast those trends for up to three weeks into the future.
Companies can also use the suite to develop optimized media mix models for higher returns on cross-media advertising. "A predictive marketing dashboard allows marketers to change key metrics in various what-if scenarios to see how those changes will potentially impact business outcomes, such as orders and revenue," Adobe says.
One senior editor at Internet Retailer, Zak Stanbor, believes just that. He says that social commerce could be a $30 billion industry by 2015.
Adobe's Director of Product Marketing Matt Langie says that it is challenging for companies and marketers alike to get insights in enough time to act quickly enough in rapidly changing industries. There are also many different solutions to choose from and Adobe wants to narrow down those choices for social media marketers.
Predictive modeling can help companies stay relevant and change as fast as their customers needs and wants do. That way, social media marketers will be able to better deliver the appropriate message to the consumer and perhaps increase sales revenue.
But is Adobe's solution the best out there to tackle the challenges of big data? Or are they just a bully in an industry of algorithmic real-time data geniuses? Will they get pushed around by companies who deny they need big data like they did by Apple over whether or not they needed Flash?
Because I'm still not sold on whether or not we can trust big data from social media. Sure, you're measuring popular trends, but which demographic of Twitter are you consequently measuring? How educated are these people going to be about your company?
After all, you've first got to figure out which trends are relevant to your company.
It's no wonder why less than one third of Canadian businesses use social media, according to BMO. Even more distressing, IBM said that analytics penetration across businesses was around one-fifth back in November, supporting the claim.