This year, I finally made the pilgrimage to South By Southwest (SXSW ever after) in Austin, TX.  I’ve thought about going in prior years but never actually made it happen.  Thanks to a blog post from SXSW a few days before stating that Big Data was going to be a big part of this year’s Interactive agenda (Music and Film are also in the mix), I decided to make it a priority and scramble to make it happen last minute (i.e. redeeming miles for the airfare, using airbnb.com for this first time, etc.)

So, what are my thoughts?  Was it worth it in the end?  You bet!  It was one of the best experiences I’ve had engaging with others and I didn’t want it to end!  There were so many great speakers and sessions.  I simply was overwhelmed by the scale of the event.  Without a doubt, I could write many posts on topics such as food trucks, Google Village, JayZ, Homeless Hotspots, BBQ, Highlight, or many others – but my focus of going was clearly on Big Data and you’re reading since you want to see the linkage to Customer Intelligence.  Here it is…

Big Data is Sexy!

Yes, you read that right.  The proliferation of data – and how to manage it all – was a huge theme at this year’s SXSW and the challenge it presents was clear, both from a consumer and an organizational perspective.

As a consumer, managing all the data being compiled about ourselves across many sites, apps, devices, etc. is a growing challenge.  So much is being captured every day – from check-ins on Foursquare and Facebook  to running routes, workouts and web searches.  How do we keep track of it all?  We see the recent items and think about pieces individually.  But what about the big picture of our digital lives, connecting the dots across time?  Sexy!

On a much larger scale, the same challenge is being presented to the organizations we do business with.  How do they become trusted stewards of big data and use the digital points in time we are creating to understand how to better engage with us over time, anticipating our needs at the right time, with the right solution, in the right location?  Super sexy!

Managing Big Data is no easy task but creative thinkers at SXSW Interactive tackled the challenge.  In a series of future posts, SWSW – Big Data is Sexy, I will explain how.  Stay tuned!

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