Lunchtime Links: Is Your Data Actionable, Or Just Big?

Why knowing exactly what to do with your big data is more important than having it in the first place. Also: The decline of snark.

You know you have a lot of data, but what does it mean if you can’t do anything with it? That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Once disdained as sentimental, maudlin, mawkish, and when exhibited in public, embarrassing, sweetness is back.

Don’t think big. Think actionable. In a new blog post on SocialFish, Jamie Notter pokes a hole in the move toward big data, suggesting that while “big data” is certainly important, it doesn’t mean much if you don’t know what to do with it. “When do the data that you are analyzing give you something that can spur action? And is that action any more likely to generate a positive result than simply guessing (without the data)? I’m scared to hear associations truly answer that question,” he writes. “I have no doubt that some will have great answers, but I doubt it would be anywhere near a majority.” Want to try and answer Jamie’s question?

Edit photos on the fly: Looking to carry around an old friend from your desktop days on your phone? The new version of Photoshop for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android has you covered. The $5 app gives you many of the tools that the main app has, including filters, fills, and selection tools. But that said, maybe you’re more into Snapseed? The photo-editing market on mobile is pretty competitive these days.

Is snark on its way out? One of the things that has most defined the era of social media is our appeal to “snark,” the sassy, the cynical, the darkly humorous. But, culturally, are we moving away from that? Harvard Business Review contributor Grant McCracken argues, conversely, that the past five years have been a victory for “sweetness” in the wider culture—especially in terms of brand voicing. “Once disdained as sentimental, maudlin, mawkish, and when exhibited in public, embarrassing, sweetness is back. Sweetness is big. Sweetness, against all odds, and quite against character, is having a celebrity moment,” he explains. Is snark on its way out—and should your association’s brand voice avoid it?

Embrace the crowd: Do you need to put more of your audience’s input into your event planning? Holly Krenek, a strategist writing on, argues as such. “Event attendees have shown an affinity for being a part of the event process and often just having their voice heard by participating in a conference poll, design contest, video creation, or speaking session is enough of an incentive to keep them engaged,” she explains. If you do it correctly, your audience may even do some of the promotion work for you.

How do you get your attendees involved in your event’s planning? Let us know in the comments.

(Martin Poole/Photodisc/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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