Import•io attended the 13th Big Data MeetUp and there was a lot of excitement around infographics (making data information visual), like Stamen designs. Chris Osborne’s presentation of AlertMe.com discussed how they monetize datavisualisation. AlertMe.com is an energy monitoring system that uses visual data to help consumers save on energy bills. Osborne also explained that – quite surprisingly – the single most valuable infographic he had helped generate was a simple top ten list they sold to The Daily Mail. Rather than choose a colour-coded map of London to offer an indication of the high-crime areas, The Daily Mail preferred a list of the top ten most dangerous streets.
There was also much discussion around automation of white-collar jobs. Ben Hammersley mentioned this phenomenon during WSJ’s TechCafe talks naming lawyers and doctors’ jobs as glorified flowcharts. Indeed, Chris Howard spoke about the potential of IBM’s Watson in healthcare and the finance industry. By using a similar framework as seen on the game show Jeopardy!, Watson can be a sidekick for doctors, telling them how likely it is that the patient has a disease based on family medical history and the patients known habits. Similarly for the finance industry, Watson recommends financial products to customers based on market conditions, the client’s past decisions, recent life events, and available offerings.
by Stefanie Barker