How can data-poor companies survive?

Can personalisation and privacy unite? When did data get so big? Amazon to share Alexa data with third-party developers? Reverse engineering the Starbucks ordering API?

All included in this week’s curated data digest below. 👇

How can data-poor companies survive? Reporting for Wired, Tom Simonite questions whether competitive advantage (in tech) is now dependent on having access to huge stockpiles of data. As seen earlier this week, Google published another record-breaking AI research study — which was only possible by feeding an existing algorithm “much, much more data”.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Simonite refers to Jeremy Achin, CEO of startup DataRobot, who thinks that smaller companies need to “carefully pool data” in order to “make their predictions competitive” with the tech giants.

In May, AppNexus, LiveRamp and MediaMath launched “an open, technology industry consortium to make people-based marketing widely available within programmatic channels”. Travis May, President and General Manager of LiveRamp, commented:

“There’s huge demand for leveraging a deterministic, omnichannel identifier in the bidstream, as marketers want to improve their interactions with consumers by linking data from customer files and offline channels — such as in-store purchases — to media exposure in programmatic channels.”

Can personalisation and privacy unite? Intriguing article by Max Pepe, Marketing And Innovation Director of Mozoo, arguing how, although “personalisation has the potential to improve ad quality”, many consumers “don’t understand why their data is necessary”. Crucially:

“Solving this issue doesn’t require drastic action, all that’s needed is better communication. Brands must explicitly convey that used correctly — and this is key — holding data on an individual is highly beneficial to their online ad experiences, particularly on mobile.”

When did data get so big? Interesting blog post by Coutts discussing how data can be used to improve private banking. Most notably — the post points out that integrating “new sources of insight” with existing client information presents the opportunity to “identify and react to the current and future needs of clients, and further tailor their service model and product offering accordingly”:

“While a robust, single source of bank-created data remains a must, the insights delivered by overlaying large and unstructured data sets present a unique opportunity for private banks to provide a more tailored, frictionless service to clients.”

Who has your back? Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) published their seventh annual privacy report — which reviews and rates the privacy practices of the top tech companies. Interestingly, this years report saw the additional of the category “promises not to sell out users” — which both Amazon and WhatsApp failed to meet.

Amazon to share Alexa data with developers? According to The Information, Amazon is considering a “far-reaching policy change” that would give third-party developers “access to raw transcripts of what people say when using Alexa applications”. This is in order to stay competitive with Apple and Google. ⚖ Side note — apparently Amazon Echo broke up a domestic dispute by calling the police.


Scientists inserted a GIF of a horse into living bacteria. 🐴

The Facebook Algorithm Mom Problem. 😅

Reverse engineering the Starbucks ordering API. ☕

In need of an Emoji cheatsheet? 💚

EYEO Festival 🎨: The next art movement is “merging art, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and coding into active and fluid experiences” (image above).

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