MAD Perspectives Blog

HBO Playing Catch UP

Peggy Dau - Monday, October 27, 2014

October is being hailed as a milestone month for TV due to the announcements from HBO and CBS regarding their direct-to-consume streaming services. It is generally agreed that the motivation was money (isn't' it always?) and a desire to align with the needs of their respective audiences. However, not much has been written about the need to stay relevant; or, the benefit of actually having a direct connection with their audience.

The evolution of televised content is storied. In fact, it's time for someone to tell the story of Cable and Pay TV (a la Ted Turner and John Malone), in the style of Mad Men regaling the exploits of ad men during advertising's golden age or AMC's lesser known, but equally compelling series, Halt & Catch Fire which dramatizes the birth of the personal computer revolution. The use of satellites to deliver content to cable head-ends forever changed our TV viewing experience. Thanks to HBO and Ted Turner, we were able to access premium movie content and 24 hour news in our homes. 

Even with HBO's creation of original content in its early days, it was primarily known for delivering marquee sports events (e.g., 1975's "Thrilla in Manila between Muhammad Ali" and Joe Frazier) and Hollywood movies. It's notable original content emerged during the 1990s with The Larry Sanders Show, then followed by Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sex and the City and so on to today's Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones. Broadcast networks were forced to take note when HBO garnered award nominations and ultimately began winning the lion's share of the annual awards for quality content.

HBO set the stage for quality drama and comedic series. They established a high standard for cable networks, many of which simply syndicated broadcast television content. Struggling USA Networks succeeded in a turnaround resulting from producing character-centric original programming such as Monk, Burn Notice and White collar. Other networks have subsequently followed suit, syndicating content for daytime hours while offering original programming during primetime.

However, it was Netflix who set the stage for the current upheaval. HBO will always be known for a Pay-TV business model enhanced by producing original content to attract subscribers. But, Netflix initiated the use of subscriber data to capitalize upon audience search and consumption patterns to produce content to fulfill their desires. This is the benefit of a streaming service. The direct connection to consumers that Netflix and Amazon has not only allowed fans to consumer content based on their schedule, they have also enabled the concept of binge viewing. No longer must an audience wait for the weekly broadcast of Homeland or The Good Wife. They can enjoy an entire season over a weekend, if they choose.

HBO and CBS will certainly appreciate bumps in their revenue streams, but they will also gain much greater insight into audience behavior. Their ability to capture and analyze fan reaction and resulting behavior will enhance their ability create content that viewers want to watch. Certainly, they have already been monitoring social networks to gain insight into the real-time emotions of their audience. Of course they seek superior original content that aligns with market trends for all things fantasy, sci-fi or vampire oriented (although don't we have enough blood suckers on-air already?). But, that is not enough.

Much of Netflix's success comes from their well-documented obsession with data. This is where HBO must play catch up, solely because they have been missing one important dimension of data - the insight that comes from having a direct streaming relationship with subscribers. Understanding how subscribers discover the content they wish to view and correlating that data based on previous content consumed, genre, actors, time of day, month or other demographics, deliver incremental value to content producers. Content strategies, scheduling, pricing, talent - they may all be impacted by the data collected. And, in return they may instigate further data. HBO is certainly not suffering from a lack of quality programming. To maintain relevance in a world where consumption patterns are changing dramatically, HBO must play catch up in offering a streaming option, if only to capture the relevant data.

What's your perspective?


Trends Proving True in 2014

Peggy Dau - Monday, July 14, 2014

I love this info graphic as it was created earlier this year and uses data to support its definition of the trends I've seen in 2014. I've been writing about them and their application for the media & entertainment and telco industries. It's a nice mid-year reminder that the trends are also the realities for clients as they invest to improve their storytelling capabilities.

What's your perspective?

Real-time Takes on New Meaning

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The sense of immediacy that occurs at live events is now pervasive online. We expect to find information immediately. We connect to our friends via social networks with an expectation of instant response. Brands and marketers have been focused on understanding the impact of real-time data for the past few years. The broadcast industry has also been ramping up its capabilities for real-time. Where once upon a time we could wait until the evening news to review the days events, that is now unacceptable.  Social media has forever changed this paradigm. Now, broadcasters are incorporating real-time capabilities across their operations, in the form of breaking news news incorporating user-generated content, real-time voting, real-time audience engagement or real-time advertising.

There was significant focus on real-time at the NAB show last week in Las Vegas. The adoption of IT solutions such as Cloud and Big Data are in one part due to content producer and broadcaster need for real-time solutions. These solutions will help them become more efficient and advance their capabilities for audience engagement. How is real-time related to these big trends?  Let's consider a few examples.

     - Avid announced its Avid Everywhere. Recognizing the demand and need for geographically dispersed teams, while taking advantage of the best talent available, Avid Everywhere provides new ProTools capabilities in the cloud enable connectivity and collaboration with remote team members in REAL-TIME or offline.

     -, a leader in Social TV technologies, showcased new products Story and Spots. While cloud-based Story was the "big story" with its ability to integrate real-time posts from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Vine into live broadcasts (think chat shows or talent contests), I found Spot to be quite interesting. Social Spots provides the audience with the ability to submit its pictures to be inserted into a pre-defined advertising spot. What may have been a anonymous ad now becomes immediate and relatable due to the real-time insertion of real people.

     - Decentrix, provider of Media Business Intelligence Solutions, introduced programmatic ad buying for broadcasters. Their solution not only collects static data from traditional sources, but aggregates and correlates data from real-time sources to define the true value of ad inventory.

     - AMD's FirePro workstation graphics cards provide performance enabling creative talent to develop and edit 4K content without typical latency concerns. Their technological focus on speed and responsiveness enables the next generation of ultra-high speed visualization environments.

These solutions impact the technology and business of broadcast. They improve operational efficiency of workflows. They invite greater audience engagement through audience participation or enhanced content development. They allow broadcasters to identify opportunities to capitalize upon their own assets. Isn't this what any business desires?

The focus on real-time is the result of the world we now live in where immediate access to information is the norm. The adoption of smartphones and the availability of content via 4G LTE networks has influenced our psyche. As a result, our expectations in the workplace or at home are for solutions that support our need for instant gratification. As an industry whose fortunes are intricately dependent on its audience, the ability to provide real-time content, whatever form it takes (news, advertising, engagement, dialogue, etc.) will continue to influence the creation and advancement of enabling solutions. I expect the discussion around real-time to become as dominant as those around cloud and big data.

What's your perspective?

Adopting Disruptive Technology? Manage Expectations!

Peggy Dau - Monday, March 17, 2014

In a world where new technologies are emerging every day, there is now an expectation for immediate success. However, that is simply not realistic. Innovators of the past benefited from the lack of social networks sharing speculation, much less leaking technical specifications, as to the purpose, benefit or proposed business model for new products or services. Today, the stock market turns on a dime if Twitter usage is not as hoped. One of the biggest challenges for management, sales and customer service, is managing expectations.'

The same is true when adopting new technologies or using new solutions. As I've attended conferences addressing the benefits, adoption and use of social media, cloud services and big data there is one common theme - manage expectations. This is a two way street. Both providers and adopters of these services must manage expectations as there are many examples of solution deployments that disappoint. In some cases it is the inability to translate numbers of followers into tangible leads, and subsequently revenue. In other situation its the failure to clearly understand new processes required to optimize a SaaS (software-as-a-service) offering.

As with the creation of any strategy or adoption of tactics, well defined desired outcomes are a critical part of success. When adoption social media, organizations often forget that this can be a multi-stage process. The Altimeter Group has been at the forefront in providing insight on business use of social media, providing a common sense framework for adopting, incorporating and formalizing social media into existing processes. Their reports, such as The State of Social Business 2013, helps businesses set realistic goals, identify required training or process improvements, and yes, manage expectations.

I listened to broadcasters, at the recent Broadcast & Video Exposition in London,  talk about their adoption of social media. In every case they talked about trial and error in their use social media. They spoke about how social networks such as Twitter had changed the nature of broadcast by becoming the "channel" for breaking news. As a result, networks now use Twitter to break news in real time. Their tweets direct followers to their online or scheduled broadcasts for more detailed information. At the same time their online destinations and live broadcasts invite viewers to follow them on Twitter and Facebook. They also utilize the social networks to raise awareness of special programs or ongoing series. 

Every content or social media strategist emphasizes the "trial and error" nature of social media, not in terms of actually using the networks, but in determining the content that will drive engagement. While data can be collected to identify key topics of interest to an audience, the manner in which those topics are discussed often influences the level of engagement. Understanding that the use of social media is an evolution not a miracle cure is critical to managing expectations. Understanding that social media is part of a greater content strategy is critical to managing expectations.  Understanding that policy and training will help employees understand how and when to use social media is critical to managing expectations. Get it? 

Whether you are in the broadcast & media, financial services, manufacturing, high tech, pharmaceutical or other industry, you must consider the impact of ANY new solute. Whether it is social media, cloud, big data analytics or other disrupting solutions consider how the technology will impact people and process. Share proposed goals, benefits, concerns, training and anticipated changes.  In short - manage expectations! Success will come more easily!

What's your perspective?

Don't Discount the Importance of Connectivity

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, March 04, 2014

For the past several years telecommunications providers have expressed concern about being perceived as "just a pipe" that provides no value beyond being a conduit for internet access. They have considered, created and offered value-added services that would differentiate their services, beyond mere bandwidth, to consumers and enterprise. But the bottom line is that that connectivity is increasing valuable.

Let's look at just a few recent announcements.  First and perhaps most public, is the Comcast - Netflix Agreement, whereby Netflix is paying a fee to Comcast to ensure reliable delivery of their content to consumers. Given the apparently impending death of net neutrality, recent streaming quality concerns and the continued success of the Netflix series, House of Cards, Netflix struck a deal focused on last mile delivery of the content to consumers. We, the consumer, demand access and uninterrupted consumption without understanding or thinking about how that content is transmitted across internet backbone and local internet service provider (ISP) networks. Connectivity is taken for granted and we are frustrated when there are issues. Netflix struck a deal with a variety of implications, but one of which was ensuring connectivity for its consumers.

Now, consider the announcement out of Mobile World Congress last week regarding Vodafone's testing, in Germany, of live LTE Broadcast technology from Ericsson, Samsung & Qualcomm. "LTE Broadcast can stream popular content demanded by multiple subscribers to multiple devices at the same time. A more efficient use of network capacity than transferring multiple data streams separately, it puts no additional load on the network, enabling smartphone users in device-dense locations to watch TV channels in high-quality."(WSJ) As we become an increasingly mobile society, we expect connectivity to watch ANY content on our smartphones and/or tablets. Studies from industry watchers such as ComScore, Nielsen, Gartner and others consistently point to the increased consumption of content on our mobile devices. Network providers and content owners are responding to that anticipated demand in pursuing and testing services to provide the necessary connectivity.

And finally, behind the scenes, content producers are evaluating cloud services to capture, manage and distribute content. For example, post-production houses who take raw content and manipulate it into the finished product we see on screen, are using cloud based workflow solutions to ingest, render, edit, review and distribute content. The critical bottleneck is often connectivity. While the post house may contract for substantial bandwidth to ensure its receipt and upload of content. Editors and managers who must review and approve content may be in offsite locations with limited bandwidth availability. This impacts their ability to download, review and send comments or approvals. Again, bandwidth and connectivity are of paramount importance.

Let's not diminish the role of ISPs, rather let's recognize the valuable role they play as we increasingly demand access to video content in home and on our mobile devices.

What's your perspective?

Social Data Influencing Strategy

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Communication Service Providers have been collecting data about their subscribers forever. In fact, there are many regulations surrounding the data that they collect. Subscriber privacy is paramount and the privacy concerns of this industry extend to email service providers, search companies and social networks. That said, CSP use of BIG DATA is persistent and strategic. The challenge for these CSPs today is to integrate social data with big data derived from their business and operational support systems. These systems provide information about subscribers and about the network itself.

Like other industries pursuing big data initiatives, the first step is in defining how the data will be used. For CSPs the goal is focused on improving the customer experience which is why the correlation of social data is so critical. Subscribers are using the CSP networks to access social networks and are posting thoughts and opinions to those networks. I have posted my frustrations with AT&T mobile coverage several times - all related to visiting a specific neighborhood north of Boston. While AT&T has not been able to resolve the coverage issue, they have responded to each tweet acknowledging the problem.

While this issue is directly related to the network, other subscriber concerns could be related to content, fees, download speeds or apps. Secondarily a concern about these issues may be related to quality, accessibility, cost or network performance. While the CSP collects petabytes of structured data that reveals trends based on batch queries, actionable intelligence comes from the contextual awareness provided by unstructured data pulled from online destinations such as forums, blogs or social networks. 

These CSPs provide a range of services include voice, data and TV. Imagine the volume of internal subscriber data these services represent. Diving into the online data is a challenge, but one that CSPs and other companies must pursue. A recent comment from Charter Communications CEO indicated his surprise at subscriber interest in internet connectivity being more important than access to TV.  If this CEO had been reading industry analyst reports he might not have been so surprised. But more importantly, if he had been paying attention to external, unstructured data from online sources, he would have insight to validate internal data analysis.

Correlating the internal data with the external data is where CSP's will find opportunities to differentiate their offers, define new revenue opportunities or accelerate understanding of customer concerns. 

What's your perspective?

Digital Marketing Just Got Smarter

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The mantra for any marketer is attract-acquire-retain. With twenty years of large scale internet advertising and marketing behind us, we are still trying to figure out the best use of content and channel to convert window shoppers into actual customers. As new marketing technologies and platforms emerge to help businesses manage and optimize their shrinking marketing budgets, these same businesses are challenged to figure out which tools can help them manage websites, manage digital assets, optimize content and its use, validate context, measure reach, and analyze the ever increasing volume of data.

The good news for marketers is an expectation of increased digital marketing budgets. Gartner’s 2013 marketing spend survey indicated planned increases in 2013 to marketing spend on e-commerce experience, social marketing, content creation & management and mobile marketing. Perhaps more interesting is the rise of what Gartner calls the Chief Marketing Technologist. This is acknowledgement that marketing has become more science than fluff. The accessibility to and the analysis of data from internal and external sources is changing the face of marketing.

Web content management, marketing automation, social media monitoring, inbound marketing platforms – they’ve all emerged and become increasingly sophisticated to address a company’s need to make fast, smart decisions about what content to create, where to place it and how to respond to customer needs – now clearly and eagerly shared via social networks. The choice of technology is overwhelming, with solutions from small niche solutions to large integrated marketing platforms.

And now there is a new player, but are they really new? Yes, that’s Hewlett-Packard the IT behemoth best known for printers, PCs, servers and various enterprise solutions. They announced the HP Digital Marketing Hub last week.  It's based on the rather amazing assets that HP acquired via Autonomy, in 2011.When combined with HP’s existing technologies for real-time big data analytics, the HP Digital Marketing Hub provides marketers with a unique capability to create a personalized customer experience. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a former HP employee. While we all agree that HP overpaid in its acquisition of Autonomy, they did actually acquire some very smart technology that delivers actionable data to marketing teams.

Marketing craves any data related to a customer’s interaction with a vendor. These volumes of structured data are found in CRM, customer support, trade show and other databases. However, unstructured data derived from online and social interactions, is equally if not more important. This unstructured data provides context to the structured data, revealing sentiment, influence, velocity and preference. When combined, marketers can make intelligent decisions about what channel (web, mobile), what content (banner ad, microsite, webinar) or what device (PC, tablet, smartphone) should be used to improve conversion rates. 

HP’s Digital Marketing Hub which integrates and exchanges data from HP Teamsite (content management), HP MediaBin (digital asset management), HP Optimost (multichannel analytics), HP Explore (multichannel discovery) with data from partners (e.g., BlueKai, Kenshoo, ExactTarget). The data analytics capabilities of HP IDOL and HP Vertica to determine how to best engage with customers. The Digital Marketing Hub uncovers the behavior, attributes and positioning of customers, using customer specific data, to make recommendations for marketers to best target and engage with them. The ability to combine structured and unstructured data, provide real-time analysis and tangible recommendations requires heavy lifting and is, of course, technology dependent. This is why HP is in this space. They "get" technology, own the required intellectual property, deliver the relevant infrastructure in the cloud and know how to apply solutions to solve customer challenges. It's interesting, HP has never been know for it's marketing prowess, yet they may actually have the integrated marketing solution that will provide game changing insight.

Marketing has always been data driven. However, the challenge has always been what to do with all that data. It’s not enough to generate reports. It’s about what, how, when where and why to use content to attract, acquire and retain customers. The HP Digital Marketing Hub addresses some of the biggest problems facing marketers - analyzing all that data, figuring out where, when & how to engage, and converting browsers into shoppers. To paraphrase HP's catch phrase, it will be interesting to see how the HP Digital Marketing Hub creates better outcomes for businesses.

What’s your perspective?

Media. An Industry Drowning in Data

Peggy Dau - Thursday, September 19, 2013

I've just returned from the International Broadcaster Convention in Amsterdam. This event serves the community of professionals creating, managing and delivering entertainment and news content around the globe. Like other industries, broadcast and media companies are talking about big data. And, like other industries they are figuring out what big data means for them. Data serves a variety of purposes in this industry. There is data everywhere - it describes content, subscribers create it, technologies generate it, store it and analyze it. But who or what recommends what to do with it?

As i spoke with vendors and consultants, the topic of big data arose many times. Everyone agreed that the term "big data" was overused due to its adoption by just about every vendor. But big data does not mean the same thing to everyone. For content creators, its about associating the right metadata to ensure efficient workflow, editing, distribution and monetization. For storage companies it is about their ability to physically store both data and content efficiently and effectively, which means they must implement and provide storage management solutions. TV service providers and OTT vendors use data to enable content discovery and to exploit the needs of their subscribers. Advertisers depend on it when making media buys. The Second Screen is providing real-time audience data that is driving ratings and extending the story arc. These are just a few examples of data use within the industry - there are many, many more. 

With these examples in mind, it is evident that big data is a big deal for media and entertainment. There are many tools and platforms to capture and analyze the data. The challenge remains in how to use the data to initiate actions that benefit the organization. A key element of data capture is understanding why the data is needed. This can help in the filtering and analysis of data from one or many sources. Once the data has been aggregated the challenge is to interpret or translate the data into defined actions. Of course, those actions should be aligned with the original intent in collecting the data.

How is your organization using all the data it is collecting? Has it helped you identify new business opportunities? Or has it revealed new product innovation? How about subscriber insight for developing new content (think Netflix!)? Data is a source of validation, discovery, insight and most importantly, competitive differentiation. Consider your goals and then think about what big data can do to help you achieve them. It requires more than tools to collect it, or store it, or analyze it, or report it. It is criitical to define purpose of the data, collect the right data and translate that data into a tactical set of actions to achieve the goal. 

Don't drown in all the data! 

What's your perspective?

TV's Perfect Storm

Peggy Dau - Monday, September 09, 2013

There is a growing conversation surrounding the value of social intelligence. Altimeter defines social intelligence as "insight derived from social data that organizations could use confidently, at scale, and in conjunction with other data sources to make strategic decision". It is the natural progression from social media marketing, social media monitoring and social media analytics. This intelligence reveals audience segments along with contextual understanding of customer likes and dislikes - providing brands with tangible actions to pursue. In short, it validates the investment in social media for companies.

When considering social intelligence related to the TV industry, it is no wonder that Social TV and Second Screen apps are attracting a lot of attention. This is an industry in a constant state of change. Today this change is relevant to cord cutting, an increasing OTT audience, network battles with distributors – as well as a back-office technology evolution away from proprietary products. Today, the incorporation of social data into business planning is marketing centric. It is centered on defining the right message for a specified audience via an agreed upon channel. In the not too distant future it will be used to influence product development, mergers & acquisition, innovation and public policy.

The back-end of the myriad of Social TV and Second Screen platforms or apps is firmly entrenched in the cloud, providing a combination of both flexibility and stability for digital strategy teams. Cloud-based solutions provide ease of access to content, social networks, content management systems and historical and real-time data while reducing infrastructure costs even as providing scalability to address peaks in audience engagement.

The early impact of Social TV has focused on content discovery and audience engagement. The interesting side benefit (or perhaps this was the goal all along) is the volume of data that allows content producers to enhance their storytelling while improving the ROI to advertisers. Studies show that second screen ads running simultaneously with TV commercials improve audience recall of the brand. Additionally, the data can reveal key insights as to audience likes and dislikes that will help in the ad targeting.

It is the volume of real-time data that is the essential value of Social TV. Understanding the reaction, intention, sentiment and action of an audience provides producers, distribution channels and brands with clarity and insight that will be used to shape future programming and business models. It is easy to understand why Twitter is being hailed as the early winner in TV-related real-time data, even if Facebook allegedly has 5X the volume of data. With Twitter’s open broadcast model (meaning all tweets are public), plus its acquisition of Trendrr, Twitter has the capability to provide immediate feedback as to trending topics. However, their model currently does not allow a program to curate, manage and fundamentally brand the social conversation. This is the benefit of second screen platforms such as GetGlue, IntoNow, Zeebox and others.

While the future of Social TV is still fuzzy the opportunity is still compelling. Thanks to the adoption of smartphones and tablets – and a natural predilection for multi-tasking, audiences are comfortable with a comfy lean-back entertainment experience that also allows them to easily seek and find complementary content related to the program they are watching. In fact, from an information finding perspective it is irrelevant if the content being watched is live or on-demand. However, from a community engagement point of view, live viewing is a requirement for enjoying real-time interaction with like-minded fans.

Social TV and Second Screen are creating the perfect storm, where social, mobile, big data and cloud are coming together to allow a new type of TV viewing experience that will change the face of content consumption forever. The question remains as to whether the second screen platforms provide a relevant service and business model for content producers, or if the pervasive social networks such as Twitter or Facebook are the best option for attaining both critical mass and the all important audience data. And, if this is the case – does this represent an incremental revenue model for Twitter and Facebook? Social Intelligence is the key and whichever platform can provide the best, most relevant insight - in additional to augmenting the storytelling process, will be the winner.

What’s your perspective?

No Cure for Data Addicts

Peggy Dau - Monday, August 19, 2013

Addiction. It has a negative connotation, yet every industry has the same addiction. We live in a data driven society where every action must be justified by numbers that support investment, change, penalty, promotion, success, failure - you get the picture. When was the last time you your day did not rationalize a business activity  without dependent numbers? It's no wonder that big data is enjoying such growth. With a mentality reinforced by friends, colleagues, management, wall street and even the federal government, we seek numbers to support every decision we make. But, do these numbers really provide the "fix" we crave?

It's Monday, so that means we are measuring box office success of the latest movies. Just in case you missed it, "The Butler" was considered a success, coming out of its opening weekend with revenue of $25M, against a cost of $30M.  On the other hand, "Jobs" is considered weak on opening weekend earnings of $6.7M against a budget of $12.7M.  At the same time Trendrr, the television engagement tracking service, shares that NBC Sports investment in Premier League Soccer is a success - at least for this week - taking the number one and two spots as related to social volume. What do these numbers say to you? Do they influence your desire to see these movies or programs?  Probably not, but, they validate investment in actual production, acquisition of rights or advertising.

Why do we collect the data and analyze the numbers? Because they are an attainable metric that shows progress against stated or unstated goals. There is a lot of attention being paid to social media measurement or the ROI of social media. The original measures of success - numbers of followers, tweets or likes, do not provide a tangible return on investment. But they do provide an indication of consumer interest. The thing to remember about numbers, is that they are only accurate in retrospect. You cannot reveal a number until an action or many actions have occurred. The bigger question is if these numbers can be a predictor of future success or failure.

The financial services industry has been using sophisticated data-based models for years in its attempt to improve investor return. Technologists are using and modifying equally sophisticated algorithms to monitor and measure social media activity - also with an eye toward predicting the best channels through which businesses can engage their customers and ultimately increase revenue. In all cases, the next wave of investment is to bring context to all of these numbers. I've written about the importance of context in social media monitoring, and filtering of "dirty" data. Natural language processing continues to advance with an understanding that prescriptive analytics is the next phase of big data investment.

For all the attention to customer data, there is also an increasing number of internal data available to businesses. Whether this is related to supply chain, sales, research & development, content management or financials, this is the data upon which the business relies for ongoing performance. Social technologies do exist behind the firewall and changing the ways corporations connect and collaborate across geographies, business units and other corporate silos. The McKinsey Global Institute has already stated that there is $1 Trillion in value that corporations can create through the use of social technologies. The question is how businesses define what that value looks like and how they create it.

Context will be increasingly important as big data, cloud, mobile and social all come together to provide data and numbers like never before. What does this mean for business? It means smarter, yet more complex content management systems, technologies to capture, integrate and analyze data from an increasing volume of sources and devices (think big data + social media monitoring + machine-to-machine) and the emergence of  consultants to help business make sense of all the data. Rather than seek rehab to overcome this addiction to numbers, we will continue to feed our addiction through creation of tools and processes to attain even more data.

What's your perspective?