What is Dark Data? Highlights from BusinessConnect 2016

The day was predominately led by panel discussions; an interactive experience for our audiences, fueled by an excitable blue speaker box and those seemingly more shy submitting questions via the app.

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With a theme of Dark Data, naturally this was at the forefront of every conversation and presentation we had on stage. It was interesting to hear from IBM and media & telco industry speakers, their perspectives on its vast amounts and how different industry verticals are using it in different ways.

One thing was clear for the media industry is that it’s fragmented – a great question which came from the audience commented on linking cinema choices to personalised TV recommendations, highlighting just how much data could be pulled together to really make a difference for audiences.

Data privacy and value exchange was commented upon a number of times – what are the value added services we are delivering to audiences?

And, what actually is Dark Data? It’s all the “back office” data; transcriptions, metadata tagging, tone analysis, research, content graphs / links, translations. The things you don’t even see as an end user but if used properly can provide fantastic insight for the media industry.

Social Media Tile

Ok, so we’re trying to make sense of all this data, how can we do that?

This is where cognitive technologies can really help. With increasingly high expectation levels from audiences everywhere, media organisations need to be on the ball when it comes to delivering fantastic content.

There’s so much of it out there already in archives, and being continuously created (400 shows are produced every week) it’s less about capturing market share now and more about captivating market share.

We want to be able to give our audiences exactly what they want and when – that’s how cognitive technologies can help. Tech like Watson can help make sense of data. Data that is increasing at a speed we cannot keep up with. Even with data increases out of our control, as businesses we need to be finding new sets of data to feed AI to help create personalised experiences in advertising or deliver personalised recommendations via media sites.

In fact, weather and location data are two key data sets organisations should be tapping into – context should feed into the experience we deliver to customers and audiences.

Let’s see it in action

Bringing cognitive to life; that’s what the partnership with the Drum has been aiming to achieve and in fact has, with a whole edition, edited by Watson himself. What this story showcases is that cognitive can be used to both deliver a personalised experience and bring the technology itself to life – enabling people to experience it for themselves.

David Ingham with Stephen from the Drum

And finally…

With a reach of 10m monthly, renowned YouTuber Jim Chapman finished the day with his complementary perspective on content – giving the audience what they want to see.

Which, really is the moral of the story – great content makes for a great experience and the technology is out there to make this happen – let’s do it!