Real world big data use cases

Here are some real-life examples of how big data is used today:

  • The FBI is combining data from social media, CCTV cameras, phone calls and texts to track down criminals and predict the next terrorist attack.
  • Supermarkets are combining their loyalty card data with social media information to detect and leverage changing buying patterns. For example, it is easy for retailers to predict that a woman is pregnant simply based on the changing buying patterns. This allows them to target pregnant women with promotions for baby related goods.
  • Facebook is using face recognition tools to compare the photos you have up-loaded with those of others to find potential friends of yours.
  • Politicians are using social media analytics to determine where they have to campaign the hardest to win the next election.
  • Video analytics and sensor data of Baseball or Football games is used to improve performance of players and teams. For example, you can now buy a baseball with over 200 sensors in it that will give you detailed feedback on how to improve your game.
  • Artists like Lady Gaga are using data of our listening preferences and sequences to determine the most popular playlist for her live gigs.
  • Google’s self-driving car is analyzing a gigantic amount of data from sensor and cameras in real time to stay on the road safely.
  • The GPS information on where our phone is and how fast it is moving is now used to provide live traffic up-dates.
  • Companies are using sentiment analysis of Facebook and Twitter posts to determine and predict sales volume and brand equity.
  • A hospital unit that looks after premature and sick babies is generating a live steam of every heartbeat. It then analyses the data to identify patterns. Based on the analysis the system can now detect infections 24hrs before the baby would show any visible symptoms, which allows early intervention and treatment.

How to automate your twitter strategy

We all need to be social today. But when to find the time? Everyday we split our time up between making our clients happy and living life with our family and friends there is not much room for something else. That’s why I developed a strategy that utilises technology to automate my “social life”. This strategy is how you get and keep  over 2000 followers at lightning speed.

This is based on the twitter recomendation from my fellow IBMer Michelle (follow her @MCooke2013) with addtional hacks I found out in my last 2 Month.

Getting Started

  1. Start by looking at what others are doing.
  2. Create your account on

Note: Do not create an account name with IBM in it eg. @IBMMichelle. Review IBM Social Media Guidelines for other guidance.

  1. Update your profile to include #hashtags relevant to the business line you support or the industries you are engaged in so that you come up in search results when others are looking for new people to follow, eg. #IBM, #Tivoli
  2. Make sure you include: “All tweets and opinions are my own” as per IBM Social Media Guidelines.
  3. Personalize your account with a picture – people relate to people.
  4. Tweet and retweet! Try to tweet a minimum of once per day.
  5. Look for interesting articles online. Many offer Tweet buttons that make it easy.
  6. Tell everyone you’re on Twitter, don’t be shy! Put it in your online profiles and your email closing.
  7. Be topical with the news of the day. eg. Earnings report, and add your comment or spin on it.

Build your following

  1. Follow as many people as you can. Go to some of the sites that you think your customers would visit such as @ITWorldca. Then see who they are following and who is following them.
  2. Read through the profiles of people to target the audience for your messaging. Pick appropriate people and follow them.
  3. Follow back your followers or you risk them unfollowing you. If you do not follow someone back it’s like saying “I am ok blasting messages at you, but I don’t really care what you have to say in return.” You can only direct message those whom you follow.
  4. Twitter has a cap of 2000 people until you get your following up to within 10 percent of that number, then you can exceed it, so you’ll need to analyze your followers.

Automate your following

  1. Sign up with and download the Tweepi v2 select all Extension for google chrome.
  2. Now use the built following strategy and use the ‘follow followers’ feature, put in the name of an account that post similar topics like you, click start following.
  3. Now you see a list of people that mentioned this account, klick the tweepi select all extension.
  4. Repeat for every page until you reach your 2000 follower max limit or there are no more people to follow.
  5. Then redo this process.
  6. You can automate this with an autoklicker.

Analyze your followers

  1. Use to analyse your followers.
  2. Unfollow followers who do not reciprocate and those who are no longer following you.
  3. Follow more people on Twitter until you reach your cap of 2000 set by Twitter.
  4. Repeat often (but not daily – Twitter will put your account on hold) – Michelle recommends weekly.
  5. Remember to follow back those who have followed you or risk losing them.
  6. Do this by using the “automating your following” strategy.

Other tips and tools

  1. Schedule your Tweets with
  2. Shorten your urls with within Hootsuite, or, or SNIP, or IBMurl for IBM Intranet sites.
  3. Make it easier for others to Tweet with  by providing “Click to tweet icons” and messages in event and other marketing promotion emails and powerpoints so your messages can take flight; and by promoting your Tweets in Lotus Notes by pasting a Twitter icon box into your note.
  4. Add Twitter to your email signature easily here:
  5. Track your Twitter influence with free sites such as and

Weekly Big Data News

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    In today’s multi-channel market place, it’s mandatory that businesses determine how and where customers buy different products or services, then shift accordingly. To remain agile, businesses need to utilize insight to manage and adjust their strategy as customers channel hop.Companies with an intimate knowledge of customer behavior and preferences by channel win as they can employ insight to interact real-time with the right channel, the right offerings and the right message. Derek Martin, Director of Sales, Financial Services at Velti, joined #cxo Twitter chat as we discussed juggling multichannels.

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  • Recap of IBM Twitterchat: Enterprise Challenges of Incorporating Hadoop

    Hadoop is fundamental to the future of big data. Users are adopting Hadoop for strategic roles in their current data warehousing architectures, such as extract/transform/load (ETL), data staging and preprocessing of unstructured content. Hadoop is also a key technology in next-generation massively parallel data warehouses in the cloud, which will complement today’s data warehousing technologies and complement low-latency stream-computing platforms.

  • To get Big Data buy-in, IT should let go of proof of concept
    If your company is currently experimenting with Big Data in an attempt to prove some sort of concept–interrupt this right away. If you’re going to prove something–it better be value.

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10 Big Data Implementation Best Practices

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Using Predictive Analytics to Improve Decision Making and Business Outcomes

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Recap of IBM Twitterchat: Mobile Data – Taking Your Big Data on the Road

Smartphones and other mobile gadgets have become integral to every aspect of modern life. So it’s no surprise that enterprises everywhere are starting to tap into them as a rich source of data for deep analysis in Hadoop, NoSQL and other big-data platforms. By the same token, mobile devices are increasingly being used to access online services powered by big data.

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Big Data News January 18, 2013

  • No Holy Grail: Moving Beyond the Data Warehouse

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  • Survey Fatigue

    Survey fatigue is a problem across organizations. People rapidly lose interest in completing them, and many customers get frustrated when they don’t see their survey input create change. Given this, are surveys really needed? That’s what we explored in a recent #cxo Twitter chat.

  • Threat prediction and prevention solution framework from IBM

    Threat prediction and prevention solution framework from IBM can help intelligence and homeland security agencies uncover security threats and take action prior to the execution of malicious and damaging activity. Read this brochure to learn the key components of the solution and how you can uncover and respond to nonobvious patterns and relationships.

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