Data-Driven Discovery Is the Future of Advertising
For several weeks leading up to yesterday's election the forecasters were at odds. While traditional polls and pundits predicted an election that was "too close to call," as noted today by Daniel Honan, Nate Silver of the 538 Blog and other quants like the Princeton Election Consortium who use statistical analysis, data modeling and algorithms to predict political outcomes insisted President Obama would easily win reelection.
It's John Henry vs. the Steam Engine for the Big Data age. And following yesterday's election, which Silver correctly predicted in all 50 states, it seems clear that the machines (albeit machines made very smart by very smart humans) are winning. The gut instincts and subjective analysis of traditional experts are simply no match for the clear and valuable insights to be gleaned from big data, sliced and diced by machines programmed by great mathematical minds to ingest and process huge quantities of information.
This phenomenon is happening everywhere, not just in polling and politics. In fact, it’s making its way into the ultimate creative and instinct-driven field, Advertising. At sparks & honey, we have developed a proprietary Culture Mapping platform that allows us to absorb, aggregate and analyze a vast amount of data, leading to valuable consumer and marketing insights that drive everything from product development and strategic planning to marketing communications and branded content. Using algorithms and statistical models developed in-house, we’re combining deep industry expertise with hard-core data science to build a better way for brands to stay in sync with culture and connect with their customers.
And it’s here where we think the most impactful innovations will be born. At the intersection of human intuition and big data lies a world of opportunity awaiting those willing to blaze a fresh path. The pioneers of the next decade will fashion new ways of marrying the incontrovertible value of data with the empathy and understanding that only comes from being human. We look forward to being a part of this new future.
sparks & honey is a next generation agency that helps brands synchronize with culture.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.