All across the Internet, we see little memes popping up, and then petering out. A savvy Internet user might be able to use her intuition to spot the memes that have staying power, but identifying these memes in isolation, while perhaps interesting, is not very useful.
"What makes it useful and what makes it actionable," says Terry Young, founder and CEO of sparks & honey, a data-driven advertising newsroom, "is when you cluster multiple things that look similar together and you begin to analyze the patterns and you begin to quantify it."
In other words, when you are trying to spot a future trend you need to find an organizing principle that surounds it. Macrotrends, as Young explains in the video below, are like living, dynamic organisms. At sparks & honey, Young's team uses data analysis to track the subtle movements of 60 macrotrends. "We use those clusters in order to build content and build relevance for a brand," he says.
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