Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Governor Patrick, MIT and Intel Announce Massachusetts Big Data Initiatives

(photo credit: Bob Zurek)
Today is a milestone for our Big Data Cluster with announcements by Governor Patrick, MIT CSAIL, and Intel that will further position the state at the epicenter of the global big data revolution. Following are highlights from today's announcements and ongoing activities of the MassTLC Big Data Cluster.

Citing the job growth potential outlined in MassTLC's recent report, Big Data and Analytics: A Major Opportunity for Massachusetts, Governor Patrick announced the "Massachusetts Big Data Initiative" which includes:

  • Creation of a Big Data Consortium and the designation of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke as a major public-private resource for Big Data;
  • A Big Data research and development matching grant program, to be administered through the Mass Tech Collaborative;
  • A Big Data internship program modeled after the Life Sciences and Clean Energy internship programs, also to be administered through the Mass Tech Collaborative;
  • A Big Data initiative through the Governor's Innovation Council to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government services; 
  • Support for Hack/Reduce, an innovative non-profit community "hackspace" where people working with Big Data can share infrastructure resources and knowledge.

MIT President Susan Hochfield and Daniela Rus, director for MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), announced a major new initiative called bigdata@CSAIL to tackle the challenges of "big data" -- data collections that are too big, growing too fast, or are too complex for existing information technology systems to handle. Sam Madden, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT will lead the "bigdata@CSAIL" initiative.
View the bigdata@csail video

Intel Corporation announced that it is establishing the new Intel Science and Technology Center (ISTC) for Big Data at MIT's CSAIL. Intel CTO Justin Rattner added to the case for big data in Massachusetts when he announced that "Intel chose MIT's CSAIL to host its new big data center after a competition involving 155 colleges and universities across the US." He continued that "CSAIL is one of the top places in the world that brings together people who build computational platforms like databases and networks and people who work on algorithms and machine learning techniques with people who have expertise in specific domains such as finance, medicine and security. These are the skills we need for taming big data."

Since convening our first Big Data Summit in early 2011 (see WSJ highlights), MassTLC has been an advocate and catalyst for the big data ecosystem here in Massachusetts. In January of this year we identified 120 companies in the Boston area currently engaged in Big Data technologies including a growing number of startups. We also noted that global companies such as EMC, Google, IBM, and Oracle are making significant investments in Massachusetts big data research and development.

MassTLC's research revealed that Massachusetts Big Data technology vendors today employ about 12,000 workers, and that local industries such as healthcare, financial services, life sciences/computational biology, consumer products, and on-line media are estimated to employ another 58,000 big data-related workers, often referred to as data scientists or data-savvy managers. Growth in both big data technology companies and in related fields using data analytics could add 50,000 additional jobs by 2018, bringing the state total to as many as 120,000, making it one of the state's key economic drivers.  

Moving into 2012, MassTLC's Big Data Cluster has already brought together over 400 executives at a variety of special forums and seminars. The Council's big data research team also ran an executive Big Data survey, interviews, and forecasting roundtable with C-level executives, investors, and policy leaders. The Council will be releasing key findings from this research in the coming weeks.

As we look into the findings, it is clear that Big Data will require new technological, analytical and design skills, thus posing an important challenge for the state.  In the coming months, MassTLC will conduct additional research to ascertain key opportunities to leverage Massachusetts' cluster of educational institutions to address this potential skills gap. The Council's Talent Skills Analysis research is expected to be completed this fall.

Read the Boston Globe coverage of today’s announcements.

For further information on the Big Data Cluster and the Big Data Report, contact Sara Fraim, Director of Programs, at sara@masstlc.org. For information on membership, contact Amy Black, VP of Membership, at amy@masstlc.org.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Growing Revenue through Website Analytics


Following MassTLC's marketing analytics summit in April, our audience shouted for further discussion on website analytics and how to use website data to grow revenues.  A great group convened to learn from experts and share what they are doing, the tools they are using and strategies for success.  Justin Rondeau from WhichTestWon.com kicked off the morning with fun landing page A/B tests demonstrating which were most effective and why. He reviewed case studies on PPC landing pages, single step vs. multi-step forms, MVT testing, optional vs. required fields, and more. It's definitely worth checking out landing page examples on their website.

Next, Bethany Brannon, Director of Interactive Marketing and Media from Sophos and Brian Thopsey, Senior Analyst from Iron Mountain presented case studies on how they are monetizing website data to help drive revenue. Next, the group split into two for deep dive discussions on the topic.  Bethany lead a discussion on the business side of website analytics - getting started, setting a strategy and a team, and justifying a program.  Brian lead the technical discussion focused on tools, systems, conversion rates and ROI.

Thanks to our speakers, IBM for hosting us and to our cluster sponsors Holland-Mark, HubSpot, PegaSystems, Salesforce and ZoomInfo.

It was a morning well spent and the group recommends we meet again to discuss lead generation, lead scoring and lead nurturing.  MassTLC members, if you would like to participate in planning the next session, please email Christine@masstlc.org.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New "Boston Innovation Center" Breaks Ground


Mayor Menino celebrated the groundbreaking of "Boston's Public Innovation Center" as a complement to MassChallenge and the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Boston's Innovation District. The facility will be a one-story, 12,000 square foot building with 9,000 square feet of modular meeting and even space, and a 3,000 square foot restaurant and test kitchen. The Center will be outfitted with vital assets to innovation companies, including video studios, hi0tech conference rooms, and modular meeting and gathering spaces.

Tim Rowe, founder of Cambridge Innovation Center, will curate vibrant programming for the center, including training and mentorship for entrepreneurs, networking and relationship building activities, spaces to test new concepts, and opportunities to showcase innovative businesses and ideas. At the groundbreaking he noted that job growth comes from new startups, that startups required three elements: an idea, talent, and capital, and that the hard part was in bringing the three elements together. Describing the facility as "Microsoft NERD-like" he expressed excitement for using the space to catalyze new start-ups.

MassTLC shares this excitement and looks forward to the opening of the center in six short months.

Help name the center by visiting http://WhereWillYouGather.org or tweet @IDGather.

Marketing Analytics Summit Draws a Terrific Crowd in Burlington – presentations available, follow-on session scheduled and video to follow on Wednesday

Mark Jeffery giving his Keynote Presentation
The keynote was entertaining, the opening case studies insightful and the break-out sessions educational, but some of the best feedback from the day was how great of a crowd there was at MassTLC’s Marketing Analytics summit on Thursday. Marketing teams from leading companies across the region arrived to discuss marketing data and how people are using it to move the needle. Mark Jeffery, Author of AMA’s best marketing book of 2011: Data Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know kicked-off the morning showing the marketing divide between high and low performing organizations and how they spend their marketing dollars. He discussed the 10 essential, classic marketing metrics and the 5 new age metrics. Take a look at Mark’s presentation here.

L-R: Dan Malone, Rick Jensen & Jeanne Hopkins
Next, Dan Malone, Sr. Web Analytics director at Vistaprint, Rick Jensen, SVP Marketing and Sales at Constant Contact and Jeanne Hopkins, VP of Marketing presented on how they are looking at data to move leads through the funnel. All three presentations can be found here: Vistaprint, Constant Contact or HubSpot .

Following the case studies, the group split for sessions on social media analytics, website analytics, marketing automation analytics, mobile app measurement and VP sessions discussing executive dashboards and executive buy-in.

Crowd during the Case Study Presentations
Guest Posts
I would like to point you to a few guest posts for more information. Alan Belniak, Director of Social Media at PTC and co-chair of MassTLC's social media community provided an overview of the social media analytics session here. Alan's insights as a practitioner don't get any better - thanks Alan! Also, Jeff Vocell of Trendslide, a new start-up that launched at the summit, gave a good overview of the day which can be found on his blog.

Thanks to Our Sponsors and Partners 
Thanks to our event sponsors; TimeTrade, HubSpot, Holland-Mark and Trendslide, to our event partner; AMA, a big thanks to KnowledgeVision for videotaping the day and a shout out to Kibits who helped coordinate the collaboration tool for use before, during and after the event. We hope you were able to participate in the Kibits and found it useful.

Upcoming Video
We are very excited to have had KnowledgeVision video tape the morning. The complete video will be available within the next few days. Stay tuned!

Next Session 
Lastly, we are hosting a follow-on website analytics session on May 18th for a deeper dive on using website data to drive revenue. Great speakers to be announced soon! Non-members that attended the session are asked to email Jennifer@masstlc.org for complimentary access to the event.


We hope to see you all again in May!
Christine