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News & Insights

News & Insights



Public Data

The explosion of data-driven reporting, recent data privacy legislation, and the unfortunate loss of one of the Internet’s leading lights have brought the definition of “public” data back to the forefront of discussions about the information industry. At this late date in the game, it is astounding that there is

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Is Big Data Good Data?

Taking information at face value is a risky proposition, as Gary Hoover (formerly of Hoover’s and four other companies launched over the course of his career to date), pointed out last week in a Fundamentals of Business Research presentation, part of the University of Texas’s Information Institute‘s “Boiling The Ocean:

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Workforce as a Service (WaaS)

The idea of harnessing work as a utility (i.e, like flicking a switch to turn on labor “power”) is gaining traction. Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins recently included it in her list of technology trends to watch (one of the few surprises in that presentation) and Gary Swart, CEO of

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The Not-So-Hidden Life of Data Consumers

Businesses based on selling data on a subscription basis are in a truly turbulent period right now. Competition from open source databases and low-cost API databases is starting to emerge and firms with killer workflow integration software are also hungrily eyeing B2B database publishers’ steady revenue streams. Adding to the

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Is “The Crowd” Social?

Some analyses of crowdsourcing have described it as a form of “social” network. But is crowdsourcing really social? Can paid work be social? Government, nonprofit, and even some commercial firms use volunteers for crowdsourced tasks. Volunteer-based crowdsourcing is inherently more social than the semi-anonymous piecework of commercial crowdsourcing, because the

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Social Media & SMBs

Over 12.8 million small businesses have a Facebook page in addition to, or instead of, a company web site. Some 38% of these pages are abandoned* and recent moves to start charging small businesses for previously free promotional services may lead to an accelerated move away from the social media

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The Future of Data Content

Last week’s outstanding DataContent conference featured presentations from dozens of companies that are defining the future of online information services. What was so amazing to me was the extent to which the trends identified in past conferences became reality a just few short years later. Here’s a quick look at

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Data as Currency

The idea that you, as an individual person or as a company, should be able to control information about yourself on the Internet has been around since the commercialization of the Web, but it does seem to be gaining more mindshare recently. The New York Times’ small business blog recently

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Creative Destruction

Products and services in all markets almost universally, sooner or later, reach a market penetration plateau. Once this limit is reached, there are only a few options when it comes to gaining market share: slow incremental growth at a significant cost; the acquisition of competing brands; and, the creation of

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Buy v. Build

The issue of deciding when to buy goods or services rather than handle work in-house is an old one. Adam Smith addressed the problem 250 years ago in The Wealth of Nations, when he wrote that one should never attempt to make what will cost “more to make than to

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