Getting Up To Speed With Big Data

By Nayantara BhatBig data enthusiasts gathered in Hong Kong on May 11 for a seminar hosted by ad technology firm Vpon Big Data Group. Through an afternoon of lectures and panel discussions, Vpon illustrated the potential of big data and the challenges of elevating it to mainstream usage.
“As a solution provider, you have to have a good idea of your data’s nature,” says Vpon Chief Operating Officer Arthur Chan. The company initially approached social lending platform WeLend to offer big data analytics, but since Vpon didn’t have data on loan takers and providers, the partnership was short-lived.

But data use isn’t just about attracting and understanding users, says WeLend Head of Marketing and Product Emily Chow – it’s possible to use data creatively even outside of marketing.

Audience intelligence platform AlikeAudience CEO Bosco Lam has a suggestion for those hoping to try these out-of-the-box solutions.

“Think about how your data is being used in your daily life,” Lam says. “Then you can think about how to control it or find a better use for it.”

An example of Vpon’s work with big data and ad technology is its tie-up with Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). Analyzing travel data and travelers’ preferences helped JNTO to attract new visitors and encourage people to revisit. Users of Japan-related apps and devices that had visited Japan in the past year were targeted in the campaign, keeping the experience fresh in the minds of recent tourists.

But in Hong Kong, Cyberport Chief Public Mission Officer Dr Toa Charm says awareness of big data and the ways to make use of it are gray areas. He attributes this to a lingering complacency about money-making dating back to before big data analytics existed.

“Hong Kong people have too many ways to make money,” he says. Because of this, businesses in the city have been slow to explore the possibilities of big data. Charm advocates the importance of educating the business side on tech solutions, saying that middle managers may not understand the importance of data-driven solutions.

Despite the slow growth of Hong Kong’s adoption of big data technology, the seminar was intended to provide clarity on what Vpon termed an ‘unprecedented data explosion’. It finished with a look into the intersection of big data and artificial intelligence, and explored the challenges of keeping up with the rapidly changing industry.

www.vpon.com

About The Author
Nayantara is a reporter at Jumpstart in Hong Kong. She studied journalism at The University of Hong Kong and is passionate about innovation, social enterprise, and alternative finance. She’s a hobbyist photographer and is currently on the lookout for the best burger in Hong Kong.
nayantara@jumpstartmag.com

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