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by Becky Wang
Today, we have data – lots of it. We can process information – in many ways. We have models to understand our process. With these tools and a dash of creativity, we are discovering surprising patterns of human behavior and by extension, a way to accurately predict our desires and our future. In fact, we can quantify movements, behaviors, desires, and moods on a scale that wasn’t possible before a series of advances in processing power, developments in psychology, the science of social networks and collaboration, and most importantly, access to data. As we have evolved from Web 1.0 to 4.0 – in this anticipatory era – what will we dream up next? Beyond addressability and ad relevance, marketing initiatives and product development, how else can businesses utilize these advances? In advertising, industry, & humanity, can we make the leap from inductive logic to intuition? Can we supplement our brain mechanics with these new tools to finally predict what makes us happy?
Each year, thousands of technophiles descend upon Austin, bringing Internet-connected laptops, phones and tablets with them, and most of them think very little about keeping their personal communications secure. Open wireless networks in the convention center – and in hotels, bars and coffee shops – offer a convenient way to keep in touch with home, but also leave any data that is transmitted over those networks open to snooping by malicious individuals. In this session, host of Revision3 podcast Hak.5 and regular contributor on the TWiT network, Darren Kitchen, will walk attendees through live demonstrations of many ways in which their personal data are vulnerable while connected to the Internet at SXSW, and the steps they can take to keep that data private and safe. The tips and information from this session will benefit those who attend not only while they are at SXSW, but any time they sit down at their own local coffee shop and open up their laptop to fire off some email.
by Josh Reich
Real-time data can enslave or set you free. It can also make you dumber. The combination of feedback loops and real-time data can cause great shifts in behavior very quickly. The challenge is to align your interests with those of your users. But real-time data is only useful to customers when it's delivered in the right modality and at the right time and place. Josh Reich of Simple discusses the limits of real-time data and the curation necessary to empower people to make better decisions.
How can the Foursquare-ification of our world change the way we get access to our favorite products to explore and discover new ones? What can brands learn about highly engaged users in niche markets, like beer enthusiasts, who use social networks and check-in services? This panel will focus on: Conversion/ROI: How can businesses in beer and other niche markets tap into the passion of consumers to find successful paths to conversion. Data: The importance of meaningful (semantic) data vs unstructured (not meaningful) data and how this information plays an important yet unique role for consumers, brands and vendors in a niche market like the beer industry. Decisions: How key data points can drive critical business decisions in niche markets like the beer industry. User Behavior: What we (marketers, product developers, businesses) can learn from highly engaged users in a niche market with these specific interests.
Despite the advent of new media, campaigns for President still measure the electorate in pretty much the same way they did 40 years ago, through traditional polls to landline phones. That could all change this year. The hottest job in today’s Presidential campaigns is the Data Mining Scientist -- whose job it is to sort through terabytes of data and billions of behaviors tracked in voter files, consumer databases, and site logs. They’ll use the numbers to uncover hidden patterns that predict how you’ll vote, if you’ll pony up with a donation, and if you’ll influence your friends to support a candidate. This panel will delve deep into the world of real-time data on Presidential campaigns, showing how it’ll be used to make decisions on everything from the layout of a signup form to where to spend millions of advertising dollars in the closing days of a campaign. Forget about which candidate has the most likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter -- and learn why 2012 will be the year of Big Data in American politics.
Big. Complicated. Often dirty. Sexy? Interactive data visualizations (charts and graphs) have helped make data consumable, accessible, and yes, sexy. It’s that sex appeal that has us clamoring to see our twitter, AdWords, conversion, and other data in a sleek, interactive, “I want the answers now” views. Data has snuck its way into our lives – from our offices, to our bedrooms. It’s everywhere. And as it continues to penetrate all areas of our lives it also continues to be delivered in a variety of different formats – some better than others. From the corny quick-stat charts in USA today to smart interactive graphs embedded in blogs, posted in online publications, and now frequently dominating the screens of our work computers. We’re starting to become obsessed, and more importantly, held accountable for much of the data consuming our lives. So, we admit it. Data is sexy. Especially when it’s easy to understand, interactive, and is in a format that easily facilitates smart business decision making. Luckily it doesn’t have to be as scary, or intimidating, or (potentially) as uncomfortable as that first time…
Building great online and mobile products is hard enough with a small team and limited resources, so why add to the difficulty by embracing “privacy by design” principles? With so many free, easy web tools available and an “everyone else is doing it” mentality, why take time to create extra user controls and transparency? The reality is your users are starting to understand the issues and will soon demand it. You should demand it too. But most online tools compromise user privacy at some level, and almost none provide the new benefits that result when privacy is baked in from the start. So, what to do? You can build your own tools, requiring time, skill, patience, and functionality trade-offs; pay a third party for their tools; or adapt open source solutions. Or you can shrug your shoulders and roll the dice... In this session, learn how the CTO of Personal, a private personal network and data vault service, has built privacy into the company’s DNA and how you can too.
Oil has an unnerving ability to blow up the economy, cause wars and disrupt ecosystems. It’s a paramount resource and industry creator, spurring trillion dollar economies mining, refining and managing the asset. In the 21st century, we’re experiencing the dawn of a new fuel, also poised to create opportunity and turmoil: data. Multibillion-dollar industries, from search engines to social networking to online advertising, have been built on the aggregation of personal data, information the World Economic Forum likens to a “new type of raw material … on par with capital and labor.” We’re fighting a war on oil now. Will an entirely different war on data soon break out? We believe so.
The “Data is Oil” project is the brainchild of two personal data experts, Michael Fertik, CEO of Reputation.com and World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, and John Clippinger, Research Scientist at MIT Media Lab. The project’s mission is to encourage mainstream awareness and create a profitable, user-centric ecosystem around the new asset of personal data. This is not just a question of privacy and harm, but an inversion of the web as we know it. Past fortunes were claimed brokering our keystrokes and clicks, but a paradigm shift is eminent. It’s time individuals assert control over their own data. Join Michael Fertik and John Clippinger as they explore the new resource of personal data and the trillion dollar implications for today’s data-dependent world.
by Ross Perez
Data has been freely available on the web since its inception, but it has always been difficult to access and even harder to digest. Recently, a small but growing group of intrepid data geeks have been scrounging the web for data and turning it into something useful and comprehensible: an interactive visualization! This presentation will show you some of the most intriguing visualizations that have been published in the past year and even how to create your own. Perhaps most importantly, you will leave understanding why these visualizations and their creators are so important to the future of the web.
by Stew Langille and Raymond Mooney
Yes data is beautiful–but SEXY?! That’s right. It’s powerful, self-sufficient; it can write its own ticket. Data doesn’t need you anymore...or does it?We’re all looking for ways to pull useful information from the overwhelming amount of data flooding the Internet. Two solutions have surfaced–dataviz and semantic web. Both are taking on a life of their own but they’re tackling the problem in very different ways.Data visualizations give us the means to understand the multitude of data out there. But what’s next? Ever heard of XBRL? RDF? These and other semantic web technologies are changing the way we understand data. They give data context. Without context, data is meaningless, and data can’t organize itself.Back end semantic web & front end visualizations both make data more usable but require a human catalyst. Are we entering a time that data will make itself more usable by organizing itself contextually and representing itself visually?Moderator: Greg Ebert, Rivet Software
The rising amount of data exhaust of the past years has created the need for more and better tools to analyze what lies within this massive amount of raw material. Visualization leveraging the human cognition proves to be an invaluable tool to explore, digest, analyze and communicate the information. We reveal patterns, trends, relations or dependencies that were buried before. But, what happens after we have created such an elaborate and powerful visualization and released it to the world? How does the it affect the beholder? How does it help shaping his opinions or even changing his behavior? Because, at the end of the day, visualization is simply a means to an end — a tool to achieve a bigger goal. We have agreed that visualization as an instrument for analysis and communication works. Now, let's answer the question how visualization can make an actual impact on education, economics, politics, society and the digital revolution.
Self-hacking is about self-awareness, pattern spotting and behaviour change. It focuses on the end result of data collection: understanding and action. As important is "data literacy" i.e. data expertise at individual level, not just for businesses and institutions. Uncovering hidden cause and effect in one's behaviour increases individual's autonomy. To self-hack, we need to have access to analytical tools and raw data. Current 'info-graphics' are a far cry from the power a sophisticated data analysis could give to an individual user. What if I want to analyse my data differently to the analysis, let's say, Withings scales app provides, cross-analyse it with my travel data from Tripit to see if my weight is related to change in my diet during travel. Or any other activity I care to track. The possibilities are endless, if only individual users had access to their data and to far more sophisticated tools for data analysis and visualisation.
Utah.gov's recent redesign delivers a fully immersive, search-centric, data-driven, and user sourced experience. Find out how the team in Utah has redefined online government using emerging technology, a cutting-edge layout and over four years of analytics.
The Utah.gov’s team revolutionized what a government search can be; displaying more enriched information based on location and time relevance and integrating social media at every level. User searches on Utah.Gov display immediately and include services, forms, jobs, and related agencies.
The team also leveraged technology to address browser variance, as Utah.gov saw a 400% increase in non-desktop use in the past two years. The new site delivers optimal experience to users regardless of device or browser.
This panel will discuss the team's process, along with the research and analytics that supported the design choices which led to the creation of the new "gold standard for government."
by Susann Keohane and Brian Cragun
Our world is becoming increasingly intelligent, interconnected, and instrumented, resulting in massive amounts of data being collected. This data is a treasure trove of information that can be mined to improve service, increase sales, or make operations more efficient. Analysis of such large amounts of data, often called analytics, is increasingly desired by governments and businesses alike. Yet getting useful information from such large amounts of data is a daunting task. Analytics often relies on real-time visual renderings that allow users to quickly spot trends and gain insights. These visual renderings tend to be complex charts (bar, line, scatter, or bubble charts, timelines, node diagrams, etc.) or editable node diagrams. Visual charts can be challenging to understand, especially for persons with disabilities. This presentation describes some of the accessibility challenges of charts, large datasets, and node diagrams and some techniques to make them more accessible and usable by people with disabilities.
In 2005, I started learning about the so-called Semantic Web. It wasn’t till 2008, the same year I started my PhD that I finally understood what the Semantic Web was really about. At the time, I made a $1000 bet with 3 college buddies that the Semantic Web would be mainstream by the time I finished my PhD. I know I’m going to win! In this presentation, I will explain what the Semantic Web is and show you why it is already mainstream. The Semantic Web is enabling better web search, saving IT companies millions of dollars a year, helping researchers share data, discover new drugs... and this is just the beginning. If you have heard about the Semantic Web but never cared to spend time understanding what it is or if you are a skeptic and want to challenge me… this presentation is for you.
9th–13th March 2012