Archive for the ‘crowdsourcing’ Category
So just how big IS big data?
This is your opportunity to find out, and, to contribute.
IBM’s Institute for Business Value is conducting a study on big data, and we’d like to hear from you.
The idea behind the study is simple: To develop a fact-based analysis of big data activities in the global marketplace.
Through this research, IBM hopes to help the marketplace better understand some key tenets behind the big data movement: To gain an organizational view of big data and organizations’ primary objectives for investments in this burgeoning area. To understand better the drivers and leaders of big data activities. To understand the current and planned state of big data activities, and patterns that suggest best practices of big data implementations.
The survey is slated to run through June 29, 2012, and takes approximately 10-15 minutes per respondent.
All responses will be viewed in the aggregate, and individual responses will not be disclosed beyond the survey analysis team without expression permission of the respondent.
The audience for the survey: Global business executives, management and analysts, as well as IT professionals, across all levels of the organizational hierarchy (from C-suite to data analysts).
Once the fielding is completed, the survey results will be analyzed by a wide team of subject matter experts from within IBM, along with a team of faculty from a globally recognized university.
This data will be combined with interviews and case studies to develop a final reporting of findings and big data benchmarks to be published in October of this year.
So, in short, this is your opportunity to be part of the benchmarks that will define the big data era, one that you can use to compare with your own organization.
All participants will receive a copy of the final study, and will also be eligible to download the IBM e-book entitled “Understanding Big Data.”
Here’s the link if you’d like to be part of this exciting big data discovery!
Well, that day of the year has finally arrived.
That day where we all slink into our offices after four nice, long, official holidays where (mostly, we hope) people stay away from their computers and mobile phones and tablets and God knows whatever other else connected devices just long enough to make it feel like you got some real rest (even though many of you were probably dealing with unrelated, but similarly frustrating, realities —you know, like screaming kids and antagonizing in-laws).
And all you could do was think about how nice it would be to come back into the nice peaceful and quiet office on Monday so you could get back to…shopping.
Yes, boys and girls, cyber Monday has arrived.
But judging from the results of the IBM Coremetrics Benchmark Black Friday e-retailing analysis, you really need not worry about coming into the office anymore just so you can get yourself an extra slurp of broadband.
This is 2011, yo, all you gotta do is break out that iPad and you’ll be standing in front of Macys women’s wear or Best Buy’s electronics section in seconds!
But while you’re out there figuring out your Cyber Monday strategy, I’m going to hit the highlights reel for the weekend in e-shopping.
E-Retail Shopping: Hit ‘Em Early and Often
U.S shoppers apparently took great advantage of early sales this holiday, driving a 39.3 percent year-over-year increase in online Thanksgiving day spending while setting the stage for 24.3 percent online growth on Black Friday compared to the same period last year.
Here’s a quick snapshop of the other key trends:
- Consumer spending increases. The aggressive shopping we witnessed on Thanksgiving Day this year carried over into Black Friday, with online sales increasing 24.3 percent annually.
- Mobile Bargain Hunting. Black Friday also saw the arrival of the mobile deal seeker who embraced their devices as a research tool for both in-store and online bargains. Mobile traffic increased to 14.3 percent (compared to 5.6 percent last year).
- Mobile Sales On the Getgo. Sales on mobile devices surged to 9.8 percent (a tripling from last year’s 3.2 percent).
- Apple’s One Stop Shop. Mobile shopping was led by Apple, with the iPhone and iPad ranking one and two for consumers shopping on mobile devices (5.4 percent and 4.8 percent respectively). Together, the iPhone and iPad accounted for 10.2 percent of all online retail. Apparently, it ain’t easy bein’ an Android on Black Friday.
- The iPad Factor. Shoppers using the iPad led to more retail purchases more often per visit than other mobile devices, leading one to wonder about the real estate to deal closing ratio. The bigger the device, the larger the average order value? Possibly, but this number can’t lie: Conversion rates for the iPad were 4.6 percent, compared to 2.8 for all other mobile devices. The iPad was this weekend’s e-shopping mobile king.
- Social Influence. Shoppers referred from Social Networks generated 0.53 percent of all online sales on Black Friday, with Facebook leading the pack and accounting for a full 75 percent of all social network traffic.
- Social Media Chit Chat. Boosted by a 110 percent increase in discussion volume compared to 2010, top discussion topics on social media sites immediately before Friday showed a focus on the part of consumers to share tips on how to avoid the rush. Topics included out-of-stock concerns, waiting times and parking, and a spike in positive sentiment around Cyber Monday sales.
- Surgical Shopping Goes Mobile: Mobile shoppers demonstrated a laser focus that surpassed that of other online shoppers with a 41.3 percent bounce rate on mobile devices versus online shopping rates of 33.1 percent.
This data came from findings of the IBM Coremetrics fourth annual Black Friday Benchmark, which tracks more than a million transactions a day, analyzing terabytes of raw data from 500 retailers nationwide.
With this data, IBM helps retailers better understand and respond to their customers — across the organization — improving sourcing, inventory management, marketing, sales, and services programs.
You can get more background on the study here.
Consider this: In 2006, 247 million people became infected with malaria.
Nearly 1 million deaths are caused by malaria each year and 85 percent of those are children, who die from the disease at a rate of one every 30 seconds.
In fact, malaria is the leading cause of death in Africa for those under age five.
According to the World Health Organization, malaria is both a disease of poverty and a cause of poverty; survivors are often subject to impaired learning, school absences, lost work and increased economic distress. Where prevalent, the disease can account for 40 percent of all public health costs.
There is no reliable cure or vaccine for the prevention and treatment of all forms of malaria — particularly the drug-resistant strains caused by Plasmodium falciparum, which kills more people than any other parasite and is of particular interest to the researchers.
Crowdsourcing A Cure For Malaria
IBM’s Watson computing system broke new ground earlier this year when it defeated two celebrated human competitors on the “Jeopardy!” game show.
Now, The Scripps Research Institute is hoping to do something equally novel but more critical to human health with part of the prize money from that tournament: Find a cure for drug-resistant malaria.
And it’s asking for the public’s help.
Scripps Research and IBM are encouraging anyone in the world with a personal computer to join World Community Grid (WCG), a sort of “supercomputer of the people” that will crunch numbers and perform simulations for “GO Fight Against Malaria”—the project that Scripps Research and IBM have launched.
World Community Grid is fed by spare computing power from the nearly 2 million PCs that have been volunteered so far by 575,000 people in more than 80 countries.
Now that’s crowdsourcing!
Breaking It Down Into Wee Bits
WCG gives each PC small computing assignments to perform when the devices aren’t otherwise being used by its owners, then sends the results to scientists seeking a faster way to cure disease, find renewable energy materials, create clean water techniques, or develop healthier food staples.
Or, in this case, perform simulations for the fight against malaria.
Scripps Research, which has already used World Community Grid to discover two promising new inhibitors of HIV to advance the treatment of multi-drug-resistant AIDS, is now taking on the malaria project as well.
By tapping into World Community Grid — which turned seven years old just this past week — Scripps Research scientists hope to compress 100 years of computations normally necessary for the effort into just one year.
The scientists will use this resource to more quickly evaluate millions of compounds that may advance the development of drugs to cure mutant, drug-resistant strains of malaria.
Data from the experiments will then be made available to the public.
Elementary, My Dear Watson
Earlier this year, scientists for seven World Community Grid projects received half the $1 million first-place prize from the “Jeopardy!” game show tournament that saw IBM’s Watson computing system compete successfully against two former human champions.
Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, was built by a team of IBM scientists who set out to overcome a longstanding scientific challenge—building a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence.
“Working on malaria started as a hobby that I advanced during nights and weekends for a couple years, when I wasn’t working on FightAIDS@Home,” said Alex L. Perryman, Ph.D., a research associate in Scripps Research Professor Arthur Olson’s lab. “With persistence and a lot of help from IBM and from fellow Scripps Research scientists, we are now ready to launch the largest computational research project ever performed against drug-resistant malaria.”
The team at Scripps Research successfully proposed a project whose design and development would benefit from the winnings. Perryman, who describes the malaria project in more detail here, explained that “Without the funding provided by some of the money that Watson won on “Jeopardy!,” this Global Online Fight Against Malaria project would not have been possible.”
Background: World Community Grid
World Community Grid is one of IBM’s exciting philanthropic initiatives. Founded in 2004 and running on Berkeley Open Infrastructre for Network Computing (BOINC) software, it provides computational power available to scientists who might not otherwise be able to afford the high speed computing they require for timely research.
To date, 19 research projects have been hosted on World Community Grid, spinning off 30 peer-reviewed papers.
Nine of the projects it has hosted have generated particularly promising results that are being further researched, or followed up with a second phase on World Community Grid.
If it were a physical supercomputer, World Community Grid would be one of the world’s 15 fastest such machines.
Go here to learn more and to participate in this important new research effort and help the global fight against malaria.