We are very excited to bring you the first installment in the “Data in Action” data innovator profile series.
Today’s interview is with Rob Bailey, CEO of DataSift.
Romi Mahajan: When you think of “data”, what does the word conjure?
Rob Bailey: The word conjures meaningless information that must be processed and analyzed to be converted into insights.
How do you most optimally use data in the overall prosecution of your job?
At DataSift, we process the data and augment it with additional data (sentiment, gender analysis, etc) of all kinds to make it more meaningful.
Big Data has become all the rage. So has social data. How do you meld the two into a meaningful whole?
We do it by processing it in real time with our unique infrastructure and map social data to other data types to make it more meaningful.
What role does DataSift play in the overall world of data? Where do you plan to take the company going forward?
We process massive volumes of data in real time and map it to other data sets to make it meaningful. Going forward we will continue to analyze additional new data sets around customer information and news to make it more useful to our customers.
There is a very rich discussion about the relative merits of data that sits behind a paywall of sorts and data that is freely available. Where do you stand on that? Should all social data be available free of charge?
You get what you pay for. Processing Social Data requires massive volumes of data requires a world-class infrastructure and platform to make it more valuable. In our experience, companies are willing to pay for this.
Project the future for me- are Twitter and Facebook still the platforms of choice for expression in 2015? 2017?
They will continue to be the most important sources of data about Social, given the massive size of their user bases. We are seeing the emergence of other important Social networks, especially outside of the US.
Is there a data overload infecting the business world? If so, what is the best way to deal with it?
This has always been true. Infrastructure and platforms have usually trailed the explosion of volume. Its incumbent for data suppliers and other technology companies to build services that help their customer not only manage and consume this data, but to also derive insights from it more quickly.
Do you believe the next big job is that of “Data Consultant? “ In other words, data scientists are important but what about business-trained folks that help you translate data into meaningful action?
Ideally companies will need data consultants that combine a deep understanding of working with large data sets with a business approach that culls useful insights from this data.
Rob Bailey is the CEO of DataSift, the world’s most powerful platform for real time Social Data. DataSift provides social media monitoring companies, news organizations, brand management teams and financial services organizations with powerful tools to generate insights from sources like Twitter and Facebook.
Rob was previously an executive at SimpleGeo (acquired by UrbanAirship), Yahoo!, eScene (acquired by Inktomi) and USWebCKS (acquired by Whitman Hart). Rob is an advisor to SoftTechVC, Admarvel (Acquired by Opera), Urban Airship, Nuzzel (Jonathan Abrams), 500 Start-Ups, and Akkadian Ventures. Rob has a BA from Brown University and MBA from MIT Sloan.
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