Lights, Camera, Data

Henry Rodrigues our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 7/25/2019 10:23 AM
Whilst Data continues to play a huge role in all aspects of life; developing businesses, schools, health care etc., one industry has already seen a massive impact from the Big Data revolution. The film industry, and its television counterpart, were among the first see to the potential of how Data can transform the way they work. 

Beyond profit, access to new types of Data is allowing companies to consider what audiences will be most interested in at specific times, utilising current viewing habits, what topics are the most popular on social media, and even the news so they can create something that tailors to everyone’s different interests.

The Streaming Revolution


Netflix’s popularity is down to more than the variety of movies and series it has to offer. Its pioneering use of recommendation systems, originating when it was purely a DVD rental service, means that it always knows what its subscribers want to watch, when they want to watch it, and on what device. Their ability to tailor bespoke recommendations, down to which poster people see, has created an entirely different approach to how viewers chose and engagement with entertainment. 

Netflix’s Data collection means that it knows its audiences very well, something they can utilise as part of their marketing. By contrast, even a behemoth like Disney can struggle to compete. Following the success of 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney Chairman, Bob Iger admitted ‘we don’t have any idea who went to see Star Wars in the cinemas’. Whist this may have not been too much of a problem at the time, given the film’s $2 Billion box office, the diminishing returns of the films that have followed suggests that better insight as to why the film was a success may have been beneficial. It’s no wonder, therefore, that Disney are launching their own streaming service later this year. 

Beyond Box Office


In the majority of businesses these days, Data is used to decipher consumer buying habits, web traffic and social media interactions, as well as to monitor supply chains, costs and sales. This is no different for the movie industry, particularly when examining what makes a move work. By using Data Science, producers can determine which actors, directors, release dates and even running times are likely to make a movie profitable. For example, history may dictate that the summer is likely to be the most profitable time of year. Whilst this may be true for June, where average profit is $100m, ten times that of January, November and December are the second and third most profitable months.  

Beyond assessing profitability, however, Hollywood is using technology to try and re-establish a relationship between creators and audiences. Newly emerging tools are empowering studios to convert massive quantities of movie-goer reactions into meaningful actionable insights. With Big Data analytics, movie executives have gained an insight into audience’s perspectives and this is dramatically altering the way in which movies are made, marketed and distributed. Companies like IBM are looking at new ways of tracking sentiment analysis that will have a massive impact on the creative process. However, whether or not the industry’s leading writers and directors will want to work within these parameters is yet to be seen. 

#DataDrivenAds


Data’s impact on the movie industry goes beyond the insights it offers on audience perceptions. When it comes to marketing a movie, the Data & Analytics space offers a number of opportunities. Studios are beginning to realise that, in order to drive the small-screen generation to the big screen, they need to come to their territory. To promote ‘The Dark Tower’ in Singapore, Sony ran a series of targeted mobile adverts that allowed users to choose a character to engage with. A follow up campaign then targeted users who had engaged with relevant messaging and details of showtimes at their nearest cinemas, using the mobility of their devices to their advantage. Furthermore, for the release of ‘Ready Player One’, Facebook offered an augmented reality experience for those who engaged with the film’s poster in public. 

However, sometimes, the most effective marketing technique remains word-of-mouth. Netflix’s ‘Bird Box’ received little critical praise and minimal attention initially upon release. However, once users started posting memes about the movie onto their social media feeds, viewing figures picked up exponentially. This allowed Netflix to reassess their marketing efforts and respond to public sentiment, creating a strategy that fed off the zeitgeist and was significantly more effective. 

Data has transformed the movie industry. If you’d like to work with Data & Analytics to transform another, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

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How Can Your Career In Big Data Help You To Accelerate Change?

Data & Analytics is fast becoming a core business function across a range of different industries. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced by humans every day, and it has been predicted that 463 exabytes of data will be generated each day by humans as of 2025. That’s quite a lot of data for organisations to break down. Within Gartner’s top 10 Data & Analytics trends for 2021, there is a specific focus on using data to drive change. In fact, business leaders are beginning to understand the importance of using data and analytics to accelerate digital business initiatives. Instead of being a secondary focus — completed by a separate team — Data & Analytics is shifting to a core function. Yet, due to the complexities of data sets, business leaders could end up missing opportunities to benefit from the wealth of information they have at their fingertips. The opportunity to make such an impact across the discipline is increasingly appealing for Data Engineers and Architects. Here are a just a selection of the benefits that your role in accelerating organisational change could create. Noting the impact In a business world that has (particularly in recent times) experienced continued disruption, creating impact in your industry has never been more important. Leaders of organisations of a range of sizes are looking to data specialists to help them make that long-lasting impression. What is significant here is that organisations need to build-up and make use of their teams to better position them to gather, collate, present and share information – and it needs to be achieved seamlessly too. Business leaders, therefore, need to express the specific aim and objective they are using data for within the organisation and how it’s intended to relate to the broader overarching business plans. Building resilience Key learnings from the past year have taught senior leaders around the globe that being prepared for any potential future disruption is a critical part of an organisation’s strategic plans. Data Engineers play a core role here. Using data to build resilience, instead of just reducing resistance or limiting the challenges it presents, will ensure organisations are well-placed to move into a post-pandemic world that makes use of the abundance of data available to them. Big Data and pulling apart and understanding these large scale and complex data sets will offer a new angle with which to inform resilience-building processes.  Alignment matters An organisation’s ability to collect, organise, analyse and react to data will be the thing that sets them apart from their competitors, in what we expect to become an increasingly competitive market. Business leaders must ensure that their teams are part of the data-driven culture and mindset that an organisation adopts. As this data is used to inform how an organisation interacts with its consumers, operates its processes or reaches new markets, it is incredibly important to ensure that your Data Engineers (and citizen developers) are equipped and aligned with the organisation’s visions. Change is a continuous process, particularly for the business community. Yet, there are some changes that are unpredictable, disruptive and mean that many pre-prepared plans may face a quick exit from discussions. Data professionals have an opportunity to drive the need for change, brought about by the impacts of the pandemic, in a positive and forward-thinking way. In understanding impact, resilience and alignment, this can be truly achieved. Data is an incredibly important tool, so using this in the right way is absolutely critical. If you’re in the world of Data & Analytics and looking to take a step up or find the next member of your team, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.

The Reliability Of Sleep Trackers For Sleep Data

One in three of us regularly suffer from poor sleep. By this we mean not entering the correct stages of the sleep cycle often enough. During the optimum eight hours of slumber, we should be getting per night, the body should enter three different stages of sleep on a cyclical rotation: light, deep and rapid eye movement (REM). The most important stage of this being deep sleep, of which a healthy adult should be entering for around one to two hours.  Unfortunately, it is often the case, for a vast number of reasons, that many adults struggle to wake up feeling refreshed. From absorbing too much blue light from screens before bed, poor dietary habits or increased levels of stress, there are many factors into why good sleep eludes nearly a third of us daily. Over the past year especially, as a direct result of the pandemic, our sleepless nights have become increasingly worse. It seems anxiety related to COVID-19 has spiked our inability to get good rest. What are the dangers of persistent low-quality sleep? Continual restless nights can have profound effects on both our bodies and our minds. It can place immense stress on the immune system, increasing the risk of becoming seriously ill. Other life-threatening diseases also linked with poor sleep include obesity, heart disease and diabetes.  Our mental state can also be incredibly damaged by consistent poor sleep. Not only does our ability to concentrate reduce, but our susceptibility to mental ill-health, such as depression, increases too.  It is no surprise then that, as a global population, our obsession with the amount of sleep we get per night has skyrocketed in the past few years, consequently seeing the boom of sleep tracking technology. From wearable tech such as the Fitbit and Apple Watches, to other bedside devices and bed sensors, the market for sleep trackers is estimated to reach $62bn in 2021 alone. But is this technology a reliable source of data for our sleep patterns? The problems with sleep trackers Wearable technology can only go so far when it comes to measuring our quality of sleep. Watches especially can usually measure aspects of our body such as heart rate and movement – all of which can be used as indicators of restfulness. However, their consistent accuracy is questionable. According to research, sleep trackers are 78 per cent accurate when it comes to identifying whether we are awake or asleep, which is a pretty good statistic for developing technology, however, this drops dramatically to 38 per cent when estimating how long it takes for users to fall asleep. For true accuracy, sleep should be measured through brainwave activity, eye movement, muscle tension, movement and breathing – all of which can only be looked at through a medical polysomnogram.  Additionally, much like many other sources of technology, sleep trackers have become a troublesome culprit for obsessive behaviour. In 2017, scientists coined the term Orthosomnia, the recognition of a real problem many were, and still are, having with become obsessive, to the point of mental ill-health, around tracking sleep. As stated by neurologist, Guy Leschziner; “If you have a device that is telling you, rightly or wrongly, that your sleep is really bad then that is going to increase your anxiety and may well drive more chronic insomnia." However, sleep trackers aren’t all bad. While not a tool to be used for sleep disorder diagnosis, they can be useful gadgets to help rethink our sleep habits to aim for a better night’s sleep.  The positives of sleep trackers While questions around the accuracy of this technology are prominent, trackers, overall, are pretty good when it comes to recording total sleep time. If used as a guide rather than an aid, sleep trackers can help users get into better sleep habits which in turn will undoubtedly improve their quality of sleep.  If the data is showing that users are only achieving five hours of sleep per night, and they are going to bed very late and rising early, then users may be encouraged to practice better sleep hygiene. From removing any blue light from the bedroom space, to taking an hour before bed to engage in less stimulating activities, such as reading, and practicing methods such as mindfulness or meditation to induce relaxation.  Sleep data from trackers can also be a useful tool to begin conversations with health professionals. Someone who regularly finds themselves groggy in the morning, with the notion that their sleep is badly disturbed, may find solace in sleep tracking data and it may give them the confidence to seek relevant help. While this sort of technology and its data will not be the end point for a diagnosis, it may give both the user and their doctor insight into any potential problems or issues they may be having with sleep.  Ultimately, those using sleep trackers shouldn’t be losing sleep over the data they present. Instead, ensure you are taking the analysis provided with a pinch of salt, and explore this in tandem with how you feel in yourself to assess whether you need to make changes to your sleep routine or seek help for a potential sleep disorder. Data is an incredibly important too, but using this in the right way is absolutely critical. If you're looking for a new role to get you out of bed in the morning or to build up your dream data team, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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