The wave begins to crest…

What are the implications for the creation, management, and analysis of rich media content as the entrenchment of mobile access drives the world towards a haiku communications paradigm? Several items….

First, vastly higher volumes of data; User Generated Content (UGC) is already creating billions of transactional content snippets per day, each with a payload that needs to be categorized, cross-referenced, tracked, and subsequently processed for analytic manipulation.

Second, a more stringent need for analytic applications geared towards the peculiar nature of mobile computing. Because mobile devices generate dynamic IP addresses, the only consistent way to track the source of mobile data (which is needed not just for schematic purposes, but also for data syndication) is through the phone number, which carriers protect like the family jewels.

Third, a genuine and wide-spread need for data abstraction and simplification; we are rapidly approaching the point where petabytes of data are the operational baseline framework (some companies like eBay are already past this point). How do you interpret and manage that level of data? Tables, columns and rows are useless, the numbers by themselves are becoming so large they’re hard to grasp; the further this trend proceeds, the less likely business types will be able to get their arms around what they have.

So what we have at the moment are terabytes of content being generated by billions of users in increasingly smaller pieces, no particular emerging standard for categorization, and a level of complexity that limits understanding of the information to highly skilled data analysts. This is also no longer a problem that affects only large companies, even mid-range and smaller companies are being inundated with higher volumes of smaller data sets, and they literally have no way to interpret what they have.

The folks who have the highest need for actionable information (those with a bottom line responsibility such as sales and marketing), are forced to wait days (if they’re lucky) to get access to processed information from their analytics team (assuming they work for a company big enough to afford an analytics team). There also appears to be a significant gap between the results claimed by analytic (and by association, content management) vendors, and what those vendor’s customers see as results.

The core driver for both content management and analytics applications is therefore likely to be data visualization; the higher the volume of information, the more urgent the need for abstraction. This not only allows a better grasp, but it brings manipulation of the underlying information into the hands of people who are in the best position to benefit.

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