I had the pleasure of attending the recent 2013 BRITE Conference, hosted by the Columbia Business School Center on Brand Leadership. BRITE stands for Brands Innovation Technology and the conference definitely lived up to its namesake. The speakers were a unique blend of academics, journalists, marketers and brand specialists, which provided for both diverse topics and an interesting and dynamic crowd.
BRITE 2013’s topics covered a wide breadth, from branded content and online video to harnessing the power of mobile advertising, but the conference’s theme was consistent throughout: How do organizations master data analysis to survive in a digital world? To this end, I found David Rogers’, Executive Director of BRITE and author of The Network is Your Customer, discussion on The Power of (Big) Data in a Networked World particularly compelling.
Rogers believes that in order to survive, much less thrive in today’s increasingly digital environment, organizations and their strategic leaders must master Big Data. Big Data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using traditional data processing applications. He encouraged the crowd to think about how we interact with the world around us; we access, engage, customize, connect and collaborate and how all of this behavior has changed the way companies can employ data to work for them.
Data tracking and analysis has obviously increased exponentially in the past five years and we now have new data sources such as social media, mobile locational data and of course – a more advanced internet. Additionally, we have new tools to analyze this data such as cloud computing and sophisticated algorithmic analytical tools. These new tools and sources provide valuable insight into brand perceptions and their changes through time.
Rogers noted that not only can data be used to provide insight into data driven decision making, it can also drive innovation and should be viewed as a strategic asset. For example, Nike’s hugely successful Fuel Band was inspired by Big Data. Just like organizations, individuals love to measure and track themselves and obtain instant feedback. Nike provides this through their Fuel Band, an electronic bracelet that tracks an individual’s activity level throughout the day. When a person is wearing a Fuel Band they receive instant gaming feedback and earn Nike Fuel points (a metric measuring activity) in real time.
The ability to transfer business analytics to the quantifiable self is just one way organizations are putting data to work for them. Nike is a great example of tying data to creativity and innovation to thrive in the digital age.
BRITE 2013 emphasized that as we move forward and our world becomes increasingly digital the question becomes – how do we tie data to creativity and innovation to thrive in the digital age?
Kristen Selinger is a Business Development Manager for BrandWizard.