How to start small with Big Data

Posted on Aug 31 2016 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on How to start small with Big Data

It seems you can’t read anything marketing related these days without encountering at least one mention of ‘Big Data’, the latest ‘it’ thing that helps businesses to build a single view of the customer for better business efficiency and greater sales and marketing success. But the smaller business can often be overwhelmed or put off investing in data analysis – after all, the thought of having to fund massive data warehouses with enough hardware and bandwidth to cater for zetabytes of data and the teams of analysts needed to interpret all of the information produced is enough to give any SME owner palpitations. Sometimes it’s less about the resources needed to make use of Big Data and more about where to begin – with data available in large quantities, how do you know that you’re working with the right data and how do you turn the insight generated into actions that will have a positive impact on the business? The good news is that it’s possible to start small with Big Data, working in an incremental way to slowly build up how you use customer data and insight to develop your customer centric sales and marketing activity that will have a positive effect on your business.

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Guest Blog: The new Government and Brexit: what does it mean for the Internet industry?

Posted on Jul 27 2016 by Guest | Comments Off on Guest Blog: The new Government and Brexit: what does it mean for the Internet industry?
Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

It has been a busy month since the UK voted to leave the European Union, with a new Prime Minister, a turbulent opposition and a host of new ministers getting to grips with their new portfolios. Amongst all this upheaval ISPA has been working with members to update them on the fast moving developments as well as continuing our core work representing the industry on key policy areas, meeting MPs to discuss rural broadband and the Universal Service Obligation, lobbying on aspects of the Investigatory Powers Bill, plus working on issues as diverse as broadband advertising, age-verification, ISP cyber-security and more.

So with all this in mind, we’ve asked Nicholas Lansman, ISPA Secretary General, to set out who the sector needs to know in the new Government, the status of some key pieces of legislation and the impact of Brexit on the sector. Read on…

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Digital Economy Bill: More empty promises from DCMS

Posted on Jul 07 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Digital Economy Bill: More empty promises from DCMS

The Digital Economy Bill – first outlined by the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament –  has now been introduced to Parliament and it has made for some fairly interesting reading. However the concerns that we raised back in May haven’t been assuaged.

“Universal” Service Obligation

Let’s take the Universal Service Obligation (USO) for starters. The Bill Overview Factsheet says:

“What are we going to do?

  • Empower consumers and provide better connectivity so that everyone has access to broadband wherever they live”.
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Update 2 – Could new data protection rules mean the end of SMEs?

Posted on Jul 05 2016 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Update 2 – Could new data protection rules mean the end of SMEs?

Yesterday Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, Minister for Data Protection, gave a speech at the Privacy Laws & Business 29th International Conference held at St. John’s College in Cambridge outlining the UK Government’s perspective on the EU data protection package.

In essence, she outlined that any country outside of the EU – including the UK – wanting or needing to either share data with EU Member States or handle EU citizens’ data will need to gain an ‘adequacy status’ to do so. This ‘adequacy status’ is essentially an approval from the EU that the applicant country has data protection policies and practices in place that are equal to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) due to enter into force on the 25th May 2018.

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Poll: How do you feel about the IPB?

Posted on Jul 04 2016 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: How do you feel about the IPB?

We’ve made our feelings on the Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB) abundantly clear – both in terms of the impact on communications providers who will bear the brunt when it comes to Internet Connection Records (ICRs) and our belief that the Bill contravenes the basic human right to privacy.

As the Bill makes its way through the House of Lords we continue to believe that more could be done to engage with and obtain the views of the communications industry, which is why we’re asking what you think. Let us know what concerns you have – if any – by leaving us a comment below or taking part in our poll.


 

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Brexit: what needs to happen now that our government’s gone AWOL?

Posted on Jun 29 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Brexit: what needs to happen now that our government’s gone AWOL?

Shock, awe, disgust, celebration. Whatever your reaction, nobody ever expected that we’d be left with no leadership and no plan of action. With David Cameron’s resignation, George Osborne and Theresa May keeping a very low profile and Boris Johnson off playing cricket, one may be forgiven for thinking our government has gone AWOL in the wake of last week’s Referendum vote. In any case, there is no firm plan and we’re all left scratching our heads as to what Brexit actually means for our country, our personal lives and the industry that we represent.

Since businesses are keeping the country ticking over while the politicians scrabble around to decide who’s in charge and what needs to be done, we thought we’d seize the opportunity to remind Whitehall what needs to be considered so that the connectivity industry can depart from the EU as painlessly as possible.

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Update: Could new data protection rules mean the end of SMEs

Posted on May 26 2016 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Update: Could new data protection rules mean the end of SMEs

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – the new data protection law that applies to every organisation that handles the data of European citizens – has now entered the two year grace period for businesses to comply. This means that all firms from one-man-bands to multinational corporations are working against the clock to ensure that they’re compliant with the new rules by Friday 25th May 2018. As we discussed in our previous post, failure to adhere to the rules laid out by the GDPR could be extremely costly – with bankruptcy a very real threat.

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The Queen’s Speech – connectivity comes front & centre

Posted on May 24 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on The Queen’s Speech – connectivity comes front & centre

The State Opening of Parliament took place last Wednesday, with the Queen setting out the Government’s legislative programme for the coming year to both the Houses of Parliament and Lords. And while the news cycle has been kept busy with coverage of this most traditional of British events, was anything said to interest us comms industry types?

In essence – yes. The announcement of the Digital Economy Bill was enough for those in the communications industry to sit up and pay attention and its aims are worthy of applause. The desire to provide Internet parity across the nation, protect innocents from the seedier side of the Web and taking steps to increase consumer choice and competition are all commendable inclusions – however – it’s the lack of thinking around the ‘detail’ or the reality of implementation which means that the politicos have gone and shot themselves in the foot. Again.

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Could new data protection rules mean the end of SMEs?

Posted on May 03 2016 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Could new data protection rules mean the end of SMEs?

Data Protection. Whatever your views on it, it’s about to take up a whole lot more of your time, even if you’re a sole trader.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the new legislation to come from Brussels which is designed to create consistent data protection laws that apply to every European citizen and which aims to “strengthen consumer protection and enhance trust and confidence in how personal data is used and managed”. This new law replaces 1995’s Data Protection Directive (from which the Data Protection Act was born) and covers how personal data is gathered, stored, shared, processed and used.

The GDPR has been four years in the making and, although it’s not due to be formally published until this summer and then enforced in 2018, it’s already bringing the subject of data protection into the boardroom for the simple reason that a DP breach poses such a massive financial risk that even the largest company could see its operating profit disappear.

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What is Big Data and why is it important?

Posted on Mar 08 2016 by Matthew Mills | Comments Off on What is Big Data and why is it important?
Categories : Business, Data retention
Matt

Matt Mills, Head of IT

Big Data is the latest industry buzzword to describe large volumes of structured and unstructured data that can be difficult to process and analyse but could potentially be used by organisations to improve their efficiency and make more informed decisions.

That leads us to the next question – what is structured and unstructured data? Structured data is more easily organised into a database, it generally fits neatly into set fields. Unstructured data however is information that is not organised or easily interpreted by traditional data models and processes. It’s usually text heavy or uses a variety of formats (e.g. images, text, video) and is much harder to analyse.

Gartner describes Big Data as “high volume, high velocity, and/or high variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimization”.

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