Posted on August 4, 2016 by staff

Big Data without big insights ‘is a big waste of time’


“Big Data without big insights is just a big waste of time.”

That was the view of Garry Partington, chief executive and co-founder of Manchester-based RealityMine, which is a leading global provider of mobile market research technologies and consumer analytics.

The company is less than four years old but recently secured $17.25m of growth equity investment from Kennet Partners. RealityMine employs 85 people and has offices in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

It operates in 26 countries and processes around two terabytes of data every day.

Partington explained what they do at a Big Data and Internet of Things conference organised by law firm Weightmans in conjunction with BusinessCloud and sponsored by the University of Liverpool.

He told a packed audience at the Martin Luther King Building, in Liverpool: “We collect data on an opt-in  basis on consumer behaviour. We collect data from their mobile devices, laptops, PCs to build a picture of their web browsing.

“It’s about what drives them to make purchases. We then licence that data through analytics tools.

”Customers include Google, Fox Sports, ESPN and 40 different media outlets, who use the data to decide how, when and where to advertise.

“A good example is Fox won the right to the Super Bowl. We had data from over the last three years on how people were spending their time, what adverts they were listening to and which ones made them make a purchase decision.”

The tech entrepreneur tried to quantify how much data the RealityMine collects.

“Let’s look at the total amount of just the web URLs we’ve captured over the last few years,” he said.

“If we were to print them out at 50 URLs per page, we’d have a stack of paper 79,000 feet high. It’s a huge amount of data.

“Big Data without big insights is just a big waste of time because there’s no value in it. You’re wasting time, effort and money.

“Our big focus is taking that data, making smaller subsets of the data that you can draw inferences from and make them available to use in a nice fashion.”

Carl Wiper, one of the people tasked with making sure data is handled properly, said at the same conference that there needs be more awareness about the matter.