IBM's Good Shares Data Strategies
Data allows companies to predict customers' desires, but explaining the complex methods has been challenging for the marketing industry. Since data is only as effective as the person using it, IBM built a Web site with Good, an integrated media and community action platform, to highlight personal experiences on how data and technology change the way businesses operate, says Jay Ku, head of corporate partnerships at Good.
IBM estimates that companies will increase marketing analytics budgets by 60% in the next three years.
"It's not just the data alone that informs a direction, but the application and the analysis that supports the information," Ku said, pointing to a project spearheaded by Rachel Sterne.
Sterne, New York City's chief digital officer, runs a program to improve public service and transportation. With GPS systems installed in every taxi cab, data on traffic patterns and congestion gets collected. The key variables that transform the data into information are individuals that can make it accessible or translate it into something useful.
Even more complicated is building marketing tools that allow brands to personalize and connect with consumers. Feeding the data into a mobile application can alert a consumer to the average wait time for a cab while it's raining, explains Ku.
IBM has sizable competition in the data realm.
Facebook filed papers to possibly build a supplementary data center in Prineville, Ore., adding to two much larger centers already in the area, according to a local news service. Apple will build a 10,000-square-foot data center nearby on 160 acres.
On Wednesday, Google said it took transit stop schedule data for more than 1 million locations in nearly 500 cities, such as New York, London, Los Angeles and Santa Monica, and pushed it through an app that travelers can use. Those who own an Android smartphone can access specific schedule information about the kind of transit, such as bus, train or subway.
Aside from the transit features, Google updates regions. My Places and Location History now display Google Maps for Android, so whenever searching for a city or postal code, the borders are highlighted. Under My Places, new tabs help you access from one place, such as saved maps, for use offline to your starred places and Custom Maps created on your desktop.