Jun 262012
Big data takes our online, shopping and social media use it is the business challenge for our time

One of the connected world’s weaknesses is its fragmented as various silos of data appear in the different social and cloud services.

Bringing those sources together in a way that’s useful and relevant is one big opportunity for entrepreneurs.

Sydney company Roamz is one of the businesses looking at this opportunity by bringing together a user’s Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare feeds to figure what interesting stuff is happening locally.

Roamz’s CEO and founder Jonathan Barouch has a vision to “cut out the noise” from social media services by “curating and cleaning the data”.

The idea of curation isn’t new in the online world, this is probably one of the biggest challenges for everyone on the web as we find ourselves swamped with data. To date, much of the idea of ‘curation’ has been around news sources where services like Google News try to deliver relevant current affairs to the user’s desktop.

Social media sites are particularly in need of curation, particularly given your friends in Nevada are much help when you’re looking for a good coffee shop in Melbourne.

This is the problem Roamz seeks to solve and we’re seeing this with various other services, not least the social media platforms themselves as Facebook tries to extend its reach and Google attempts to integrate their local services with the Zagat restaurant review system and Google+.

Some would dismiss these services as “first world problems”, after all who cares about twittering hipsters trying to find a single origin, fair trade soy latte in Broadmeadows?

There’s a point in that view, although there is a much bigger problem for businesses in this fragmented data world in harnessing and validating various sources of market intelligence.

For businesses that get this right, they’ll be able to target advertising and marketing much more effectively while being able being able to tap into what their customers think and want.

It’s no accident therefore that one of Roamz’s major investors is consumer communications giant Salmat, who can deliver great value to their corporate customers through supplying this data and market intelligence.

The next IT buzzphrase is “Big Data” where businesses deal with this flood of information that is swamping all of us, by being able to understand customers and their behaviour things become far more efficient and cost effective.

Bringing data together and making sense of the results is the big challenge of our times, those who can solve the problem will be among the next generation of business leaders.

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