You could be forgiven for thinking that the main advertising news to have come from the Budget was Tory Chairman Grant Shapps' tweeted advert referring to cheaper beer and bingo, which was criticised
for being patronising.
However, the big news not only allowed the Chancellor to truly rehabilitate a national wartime hero, but also to place the UK advertising and marketing scenes
at the forefront of innovation.
The Alan Turing Institute will push boundaries in Big Data, allowing companies to make sense and see patterns in data sets that are simply too huge for
anyone to currently make sense of. Crucially, its huge promise is that it will begin to allow companies to stop peering through the rear view mirror at past data and start to make live decisions and
even predictions for the future based on faster than ever data analysis. We have already become accustomed to behavioural and programmatic campaigns drawing lines between different interests and
purchasing habits to show that -- to make up an example -- twenty-year-old females who like cheese also show a lift for higher spec tablet purchases.
That is just the beginning. Now
we can expect the UK to be innovating in Big Data. Many of the examples given will be around safety, transport and health -- because the public can instantly see the benefit -- but being able to
interrogate vast data sets in real-time will be a huge boost to the marketing and advertising industry.
We owe all this to Alan Turing, and perhaps the coincidence that he lived in the
Chancellor's constituency and was so admired by George Osborne that he featured in his maiden speech to the house.
The hero who did more than any other to crack the Enigma code at Bletchley
Park received horrendous treatment for his "crime" of having a homosexual relationship with a nineteen-year-old in 1952, resulting in him being chemically castrated and his career ended. His method of
suicide, of taking a bite out an apple injected with poison, is often linked to Apple's logo, although there has never been any official confirmation that Turing was the inspiration.
received a pardon last December, there can be no more fitting a tribute and sign of admiration than the new Alan Turing Institute, which will put the UK once again at the very forefront of what Turing
did so well -- looking for meaning in seemingly endless streams of nonsensical data which only becomes clear once you have the know-how.