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By Werner Kruck
You may think of Twitter and Facebook as a way to catch up on the latest gossip, but social media often becomes a critical lifeline and communications channel after a natural disaster. In addition to using it to locate loved ones, friends and emergency resources, people affected by a natural disaster often turn to social media to contact their insurance company for information and to start the claims process. Homeowners insurance companies must prepare for the reality that today’s policyholders will use any means available to connect with them, including posting a question or comment on the company’s Facebook page or Twitter account. Continue Reading »
By Larry Bowden
When people talk about “social” adoption, the conversation usually doesn’t shift to government. But maybe it should.
Today a growing number of cities and counties are embracing social technologies to create “Smart Communities.” According to the World Foundation for Smart Communities, these are communities that make a “conscious effort to use information technology to transform life and work within a region in significant and fundamental, rather than incremental, ways. This transformation is beneficial to the community and attracts local participation and cooperation among community groups, government, business and education.”
At its core, a Smarter Community has the ability to deliver exceptional “citizen experiences” and services – something the City of Windsor, and the County of Essex, Ontario, are doing right now. Continue Reading »
By Gary Swale and Sandy Carter
Small businesses can no longer ignore the impact of going social.
In fact, more than 6.1 million South Africans are on Facebook with 100,000 new members registering each month, generating 800 million updates every day.
While large corporations all over the world are leading their countries forward with rapid innovation and expansion, small businesses are playing a vital role in grassroots economic development. Small businesses provide a platform for wider employment and economic opportunity at the local level and, like the small stores and vendors supporting the large anchor store in a mall, the local support larger corporations need to function.
South Africa’s small businesses are no different. Continue Reading »
By Harriet Fryman
Big Data and analytics are to the IT industry what action hero movies are to the motion picture business. Each is hugely popular, lucrative and has its own subcultures. In fact, organizations that are not thinking of how to leverage Big Data and analytics today could be left in the dust tomorrow by organizational heroes that do take action.
IDC published a recent report that forecasts the Big Data market will reach $16.9 billion by 2015, up from $3.2 billion in 2010, seven times the estimated growth rate for the overall information technology marketplace. Organizations in all industries are under increased pressure to extract new insights and optimize business processes from this data explosion, and transform this overload of information from a threat into an opportunity.
Ultimately, it comes down to being an “action hero” inside of your organization – someone who leverages the power of analytics on Big Data and leads the way for their organization’s success. Continue Reading »
By Graham Kittle
Today as more and more companies embrace Social Business they are quickly learning that social networks are more than the new water cooler where people congregate to talk about their weekend, share pictures of the kids and reviews of movies. These networks have the potential to be something far more powerful, a business’s new “production line” that is based around knowledge. However, instead of turning steel into aeroplanes we are turning ideas into innovation.
This picture of employees lined up on a production line, working together to develop the next great idea came to mind when I was reading a post by my colleague Jonathan Ferrar. The article, titled “The Hunt for Talent: How Social and Analytics are Reinventing the Art of HR” focuses on the never ending search to find the best of what looks to be a shrinking pool of talent.
As Jonathan states in the article, success today requires human resource leaders to trade in some outdated hiring practices in favor of new social business capabilities that have the power to quickly and easily identify the right people for the right jobs at precisely the right time to create the 21st Century Workforce. Continue Reading »
By Mitzie Hunter
Like many city-dwellers worldwide, residents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) have reached an impasse. Our congestion problems are getting worse and worse, and we now have some of the longest commuting times in North America. Congestion is not only taking a toll on our economy and our environment, but also on our health and our quality of life.
IBM’s Social Sentiment Index research pulled tens of thousands of tweets about traffic from five major cities across Canada. The exercise homed in on what our residents feel is most important—not surprisingly, Toronto’s commuters were the most active to vent their opinions. Toronto had 10,000 tweets about traffic over an 11-month period, 40 percent of which were explicitly negative. By contrast, only 20 percent of tweets in Halifax were negative. Continue Reading »
Technorati Tags: Analytics, Big Data, Crowd Sourcing, IBM Smarter Planet, IBM Smarter Transportation, IBM Social Sentiment Index, innovation, smarter analytics, smarter traffic, social media, social sentiment, Toronto
By Ari Sheinkin
Imagine an office full of static and noise. You hear YouTube blaring over bad speakers, competing with a dozen mobile calls and an in-person conference that’s interrupted by constant knocking on the door. And in this mayhem, you’re listening for one voice: the one whisper from one client talking about their experience or preference or plan.
Much of the data deluge comes from consumers via searches, clickstreams, mobile phones, and comments on Facebook and Twitter. Combine that with data about in-store traffic, conversations with call centers, and updates from suppliers, and today’s marketers confront a blitz of data waiting to be analyzed and acted upon to boost business. Better insights enable companies, from retailers to banks, to literally design offers and services tailored to what consumers are telling them. Continue Reading »
By Erick Brethenoux
CMOs would do well to heed Ernest Hemingway’s time-tested advice: “When people talk, listen completely.”
For some time, brand strategists have been underscoring the importance of listening as a strategic mainstay for brands seeking to delve into social media.
To this day, I believe that thoughtful, inquisitive listening – to public commentary like tweets, posts and the range of online data that we, as individuals, share as a way of expressing ourselves – is one of the smartest investments a marketer can make.
The sky is the limit in terms of the kind of data marketers can listen to today. From online reviews that consumers post and contributions to forums, to creative self-expression on Pintrest and, of course, succinct yet expressive tweets – all of these are Big Data insights that, together, form a true narrative of what makes customers tick. Continue Reading »
By Charaka Kithulegoda
It’s estimated that there are more smartphones on the planet than humans. By 2016, more than 10 billion smartphones will be in use around the global. And Canadians are leading that growth, with more than half of Canadian smartphone users banking from their mobile device – and that number grows even higher when looking at those between 18 – 34 years of age.
Our customers expect to be able to connect with their friends and family, browse and shop and of course, bank from their mobile devices. As the mobile marketplace continues to grow and expand, mobile banking is not just a convenient option for our clients, but a must have. So how do we provide our customers with easy access to their money at any time, wherever they are? Continue Reading »
By Craig Hayman
Since IBM launched its Smarter Commerce initiative two years ago, we’ve seen companies across industries transform the way they buy, market, and sell products and services.
Why? Because they’re learning that the consumer – and we’re all consumers – is increasingly in charge.
The term “Chief Executive Customer” comes to mind. More and more customers are using social networks, mobile devices, Web sites and influencers to make their buying decisions. There’s a digital explosion out there, and there’s no turning back. This is a $130 billion-plus market opportunity. Continue Reading »