Buzzword bingo: Four phrases you’ll be sick of by 2014

18th Jan 2013

Does 'Big Data' drive you bananas? Then meet 2013's contenders for buzzword of the year.

2012 was all about Big Data. And not necessarily in a good way. Voted the most annoying buzzword of last year by some experts, the misuse and misunderstanding of the term rapidly overshadowed the genuinely important issue of data management and integration that it should have supported.
Of course, Big Data isn’t the first buzzword to be used ad nauseum…
…and of course it also won’t be the last. And this year there are a number of contenders for ‘phrase you’ll be most sick of by 2014’. So before their overuse clouds their real meaning, let’s examine this year’s burgeoning buzzwords and their definitions.
IDC describes archetypal omnichannel consumers as “digitally connected and instrumented, lifestyle driven, and inspired by unique experiences with their preferred brands simultaneously across all of the available sales channels and customer touch points… they require companies to transform their businesses from product-centric and services-centric to new customer experience objectives and performance management strategies.”
“'Omnichannel' is fast replacing multichannel as a requirement for customer service,” says Richard McCrossan, strategic business director at Genesys. “In 2013, we'll see an increased shift to an omnichannel approach, with companies tracking customers across all channels and retaining the customer interaction history at the same time. With this increased knowledge, companies will certainly provide superior, customer-centric service, regardless of the channel used.”
The ‘internet of things’
“Commonly referred to as an ‘internet of things’, IPv6 adoption promises a world where every physical object is linked up to the Internet and able to communicate with every other object,” says Reuven Harrison, CTO at Tufin Technologies. “Running out of daily necessities, such as a pint of milk, will be confined to the history books as the fridge will be capable of ordering supplies online. However, getting to that point will not be an easy task.
“Over the next 12 months, we will witness the formation of ‘IPv6 islands’ within larger IPv4 networks. These pure IPv6 subnets will help the industry to mature. Vendors will introduce support for IPv6, and network engineers will gain knowledge about its architecture, routing, and security.  In addition, human and financial resources will be dedicated to moving IPv6 forward.
“To date the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 has been slower than expected, but it is suddenly accelerating. The reason it is being fuelled now is the depletion of IPv4 internet addresses, with just four billion left in existence! For that reason, I predict 2013 will be a year of significant experimentation and learning and, while it’s unlikely that the complete “Internet of things” will manifest itself in a dramatic way over night, the infrastructure upgrades required to make that happen will evolve significantly. Hold on to your hat!”
“Leading brands are already leveraging social to engage their most valuable customers, gather insights, deliver relevant offers, and nurture customer satisfaction. However, as customers become bombarded with feedback surveys, there is an increasing need to make them more interesting for the end user,” says Oliver Tarbert of QuestBack.
“Organisations must ensure that they differentiate from a competitive market and become winners of the ‘experience economy.’ One area that has grown in standing is ‘survey-tainment.’ This is a revision of the traditional online survey approach and offers enhancements in both layout and methodological approach. It gives customers a more engaging and interactive brand experience and is a clever tactic in encouraging increased response rates. ‘Survey-tainment’ is by no means a revolution of the online research, but an evolution in the way that important feedback is collected.”
Smart data
If 2012 was about Big Data, then 2013 could be about Smart Data - data that is more accurate and relevant than Big Data, and can therefore help marketers make smarter, more informed decisions. As such, Smart Data could revolutionise the way we do marketing, make business decisions and interact with customers.
“If Big Data is the technological foundation for data driven business decision making, Smart Data is the analytics we use to extract relevant information and insight from big data, and the visualisation we use to present the results,” explains Dr Michael Wu, principal scientist, analytics at Lithium Technologies.
“Smart Data technology must be designed so that we can make our data both useful and digestible. Big Data is often captured without a specific purpose in mind, so most of it will be irrelevant to the problem you want to solve. Efficient search and filtering technology is necessary in Smart Data to make identifying the relevant data easy, because data that is not relevant can’t possibly be useful. More importantly, the analytics we use must find insight that is actionable - if you can’t take action against it, it’s not useful.
“Big Data is not only big in volume; it’s also very diverse and complex. Advanced visualisation designed specifically for particular data structures is necessary to make big data intuitive to non-analysts. Interactive tools for data exploration are very important in smart data because they will help more people understand the data better. Capturing Big Data only gets us part way there. Smart Data bridges the gap by facilitating information extraction and insight discovery. Although Big Data technology won’t help you make bigger decisions, Smart Data can certainly help you make smarter decisions.”

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