Analytics & Data Techonomy Events

Data, Data Everywhere, But Not a Bit You Own

Who owns data? How should data privacy be defined and protected? And what is the potential for regulation to support or impede the growth of digital data businesses? Those were among the tough questions panelists at the Techonomy Policy 2015 event in Washington last week grappled with during a session headlined “Privacy Collides with Data in a Transparent World.” Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill offered a contrasting perspective to those of AT&Ts federal regulatory and chief privacy officer Robert Quinn and Microsoft’s deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez. And Brad Burnham, managing partner at Union Square Ventures, shared an investor’s point of view on data, which he said many view as “the asset that fuels the digital economy,” but fail to see what a huge liability it can be.   More

Analytics & Data Government Partner Insights

Washington Is Changing. Companies Have to Change with It

Digital technology transformed business models for the media, manufacturing, and sports industries. Now shifts in how Washington works require that companies adopt new, technology-driven government affairs strategies. Here are some of the signs of the transformation underway in Washington: a decrease in Congressional action; increased complexity in regulations; the growing relevance of social media; and the proliferation of information services and access to new information. For businesses of all sizes in all industries, there has never been a more critical moment to recognize these changes and act on them.   More

Analytics & Data Government

Let’s Use Data and Tech to Create a Government that Works

Breakthroughs in medicine, data science, online education, renewable energy, and satellite navigation have changed the world. From smartphones to PET scans, from pest-resistant seeds to asteroid landings, the list of extraordinary, ingenious, life-changing achievements is almost endless. But from a public policy perspective, the pace of improvement is harrowing. Governments around the world need to find mechanisms that simultaneously enable greater opportunity for their social entrepreneurs as well as better protection for citizens. The new structures will need to use data more wisely, make decisions more quickly, and regulate more fairly. They will also need to provide data to collaboratively achieve performance-measured outcomes, and better engage communities and civil society’s participation in the process.   More

Analytics & Data

Satellites, Helped by “the Crowd,” Aid Crises in Nepal and Elsewhere

DigitalGlobe's satellites take high definition photographs of areas hit hard by disaster like Nepal, and volunteers then help identify where roads are impassable, survivors' tarps are located, and determine where aid needs to be sent, and how. Other projects include identifying where farmers are starting dangerous and smoky fires in Indonesia in order to clear forest to plant palm oil trees. DigitalGlobe's Bert Turner spoke to Edie Lush of Techonomy partner Hub Culture during the WEF Latin America event in Mexico.   More

Analytics & Data Global Tech

How Tech Is Helping Relief Efforts in Nepal

As Nepal faces the aftermath of April’s devastating earthquake that claimed over 7,500 lives, technologies like drones, people finders, and crowdsourcing platforms are playing a role in disaster relief. Drones, so often associated with the violence of military warfare, are contributing to emergency-response efforts in Nepal by videoing and mapping the disaster zone. Using thermal sensors and ultra-zoom lenses, camera-equipped drones scan the wreckage and identify survivors. And soon, unmanned aerial vehicles might also be able to deliver critical medical supplies, food, and water to hard-to-reach areas.   More

Analytics & Data Bio & Life Sciences

How to Get and Protect Your Genetic Data

Maybe it was the Jolie effect. Or you want to find out if you’re carrying a silent genetic mutation that could be passed on to a child. Or perhaps you’re just really hoping you can blame your DNA for how awful cilantro tastes. Whatever the reason, you’re interested in finding out something about your genome. Now what? Though consumer genetic testing and personal genome sequencing are still nascent fields, every indication suggests that the public will have a virtually insatiable appetite for genetic data. And as scientists get better at establishing links between DNA and diseases or specific traits, that demand will only increase. But are we ready for this data?   More

Analytics & Data

How Smart Data Can Develop Socially Conscious Brands

“Big Data” and “Social Good” may be the yin and yang of tomorrow’s most successful brands. Both are recognized as important components of contemporary marketing strategy, yet they are not typically thought of as bedmates. That is changing. The growing expectation that brands make meaningful contributions to the world pressures marketers to find profitable ways to do good.   More

Analytics & Data

Did Crummy Weather Tech Force the Politicians’ Blizzard Error?

Could better technology have prevented today's shocking decision-making blunder by Governor Andrew Cuomo and other political officials about winter storm Juno that led to a total economic shutdown across the Northeast United States? Weather prediction technology in the United States is dangerously antiquated. And overly-timid U.S. governmental spending and political considerations are preventing the system from remaining state-of-the-art.   More

Analytics & Data Davos 2015

Davos 2015: GRI’s Michael Meehan on Why Data Disclosure Is Good for Business and Society

Global Reporting Initiative CEO Michael Meehan visits Hub Culture at the World Economic Forum Davos 2015. Meehan discusses how organizations view their obligation to collect and report data, and how they "communicate their commitment to important sustainability issues," such as human rights, labor conditions, and climate change.   More

Analytics & Data Partner Insights

How Tech Is Transforming Customer Experience

Business is being reshaped by mobile, social, cloud, and big data, and so are customer expectations. Retailing, financial services, communications, travel, and customer service and technical support are feeling the effects most. They are all industries with particularly high customer engagement. Everything from client devices and applications to IT infrastructure and applications have altered how people learn about, evaluate, and buy things.   More

Analytics & Data Techonomy Events

Jaron Lanier Says Transparency Is the Path to a Sustainable Techonomy

“Automation should not be an enemy of employment. It never was before. The only difference between now and the past is that now we’re pretending that people who do the real work are actually not,” said Jaron Lanier, explaining why he is concerned that the current high-tech economy is not on a sustainable path. In a talk at Techonomy 2014 in Half Moon Bay last week, the author, virtual reality guru, and tech consultant advocated for building a democratic and sustainable technologized economy.   More

Analytics & Data Global Tech

How the People Are Taking Over the World

The tool that we most use is data itself. We start to think of ourselves as data vessels. We are data. A new philosophy (dataism) is emerging that says people become the data they use and the companies that make filters also become part of one big, non-linear, complex adaptive dataset. One day it will be self-organizing thanks to new mathematical approaches we will pluck out of machine learning.   More

Analytics & Data Media & Marketing

How Data Is Failing Marketers

For decades, data has promised to revolutionize business, allowing marketers to become more customer-centric, develop more personal campaigns, and create more efficient processes. In the early 1990s, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers predicted the impact of data and the Internet, outlining the end of mass marketing and the dawning of a “one-to-one” age. But this glorious future remains a fantasy. Instead, companies spend less time than ever interacting directly with customers. Rather than offering an easy means of communicating with customers, data has encouraged us to chase quick wins and marginal gains in revenue.   More

Analytics & Data Manufacturing

Manufacturers Struggle to Turn Data Into Insight

Let’s tone down the hype about the Industrial Internet of Things. While the concept shows promise—building smart machines that use sensors and Internet connectivity to improve performance and catch problems—the far more pressing opportunity is learning to make better use of the mountains of data that factories already generate each year, data that manufacturers today often discard after a production run or store unexamined.   More

Analytics & Data Cities Techonomy Events

The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance

What is citizenship in the digital age? Policy experts Susan Crawford of Harvard University and Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution discuss themes from Crawford’s new book about civic engagement, innovation, and the role of tech and the Internet for Detroit and other major cities.   More

Analytics & Data Cities Government

How Open Data Is Transforming City Life

Start a business. Manage your power use. Find cheap rents, or avoid crime-ridden neighborhoods. Cities and their citizens worldwide are discovering the power of “open data”—public data and information available from government and other sources that can help solve civic problems and create new business opportunities. By opening up data about transportation, education, health care, and more, municipal governments are helping app developers, civil society organizations, and others to find innovative ways to tackle urban problems.   More

Analytics & Data Cities

Wisely Harnesses Spending for a Local Business Guide

Like most people, you probably read online product and service reviews with a healthy grain of salt. But if users doubt the credibility of online recommendations, how can sites that curate them earn consumers’ trust and loyalty? Michigan-based Wisely set out to do precisely that when it created a new kind of local discovery app that gathers real transaction data from customers, such as how much they spend at a restaurant, instead of subjective information like customer reviews. We spoke with Wisely co-founder and CEO Mike Vichich about what Wisely does for small businesses, and why building an “awesome” Michigan starts in Detroit.   More

Analytics & Data Security & Privacy

Is Fighting Evil with Google a Good Thing?

Google's code of conduct famously instructs its staff, board members, and contractors, "Don't be evil." Those who fail to follow the code are subject to disciplinary action and termination. Can the company extend the code to Gmail users? It already has. CBS News reports this week that Google informed the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a Gmail account holder in Texas "was allegedly sending explicit images of a young girl to a friend."   More

Analytics & Data Healthcare

Why Quantified Self Gear Will Go to Your Head

With your FitBit on your waistband and your smartwatch on your wrist, you might be wondering where else you can attach your quantified-self tools. Your ear is being considered as a worthy candidate. Steven LeBoeuf, president of Valencell, a wearable biometrics company, tells Technology Review that the ear is the next frontier for tracking heart rate, temperature, respiration rate, energy expenditure, oxygen consumption, calories burned, and other biological and physiological signals.   More

Analytics & Data Bio & Life Sciences

Who Owns Your Genetic Data? Hint: It’s Probably Not You

As we move closer to an era when a sequence of every human genome is the norm, an important question looms: who will own this data? It seems intuitive to many of us that each person owns his or her genetic data and therefore should control access. But the reality is more complex. The concept of data ownership is so contentious in part because of its nature. Data moves, it morphs, and most of us can’t even say where it lives. (“The cloud” is not an answer.) For people who grew up thinking that possession is nine-tenths of the law, data is too slippery to fit into the usual framework.   More