Big Data offers new applications, opportunity in mobile revolution

Data analytics and trend-casting, prized by campaigns, sought after in broader data economy

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
David Seawright

RALEIGH — A new report out from the Department of Commerce this week says data analytics are a potential primary driver for the state’s economy. As an industry, big data is the management of the mass of information stored as technology becomes more mobile and more integrated into daily life. Researchers call mobile technology a fourth revolution behind steam, water, electricity and computers. The report “N.C. in the Next Tech Tsumani” explores economic opportunity in the data economy. It is a challenge facing a lot of companies as they move out of the election-driven business of collecting and analyzing data and work to repurpose for consumer application. Both the report and those working in the field say data analytics hold the key to finding consumers, voters, or anyone companies and campaigns want to reach.”Analytics are two-fold. Look at your data to put your ads in front of the right people and those people are more apt to see it and act upon it,” said Dave Seawright, director of product innovation Deep Root Analytics. “But efficiency is important too, knowing the most cost-efficient ways to employ your data, how to talk to your core consumer and make the most out of your data. For every company and campaign I’ve ever worked on, the budget is the budget, there is only so much money. So data and analytics is used to get the most possible out of your dollar.”Analyzing and storing that data is also the key to the state’s economic future, according to the report, developed by Commerce’s N.C. Board of Science, Technology & Innovation. It offers insight into the use of data across N.C. industries, including agriculture, energy and biosciences. Researchers say that the state is well-positioned to bring in more big tech industry. Last year N.C. was ranked by Forbes as ninth in the nation for available venture capital startup money.”The data economy can generate new, high-paying jobs in all industries, in all jobs, and in all areas of the state,” said Anthony M. Copeland, North Carolina’s secretary of Commerce. “We must ensure we have the educational and economic ecosystems in place to support these new jobs because diverse industries like manufacturing, agriculture and health care all will require more sophisticated data skills from their employees.”The report recommended that the state make data a top priority in economic development efforts, promote data research centers, and grow an education pipeline of data education and literacy in the university system.”Although North Carolina has tremendous data assets, we need to focus our efforts on connecting and branding them,” says Scott Doron, the report’s project leader.From here the initiative will form of a public/private working group to implement the recommendations.