"Mapping the TV Genome" at Bluefin Labs and Big Data’s Big Stats

Big Data is now a $64 billion business, says McKinsey Global Institute. Among the start-ups in the fray: Bluefin Labs, which analyzes what we say in social media about TV.

Tom Thai of Bluefin Labs, which is “mapping the TV genome” through “social TV analytics.”

Image courtesy of Bluefin Labs.

Some new stats from a recent Boston Globe story on “big data,” also known as analytics, also known here at MIT Sloan Management Review as the New Intelligent Enterprise, and all meaning the ways that companies are using the huge amounts of information they’re generating:

  • The data and analytics marketplace is now worth $64 billion, according to a McKinsey Global Institute estimate.
  • “Venture capital firms invested almost $1 billion in data companies from 2008 through 2010, according to 451 Research.”
  • “Ninety percent of the data stored on hard drives, on Internet servers, or in big databases has been collected in just the past two years, according to IBM."
  • Software engineers who understand analytics algorithms are in huge demand, and “65% percent of data professionals expect a deficit in expertise in the field over the next five years, according to a report from EMC Corp.”

That’s all from the Globe story “Mass. firms see riches, jobs in charting oceans of data.” The story says that Massachusetts, with 100 companies that focus on analytics, is “fast becoming a hub” for this kind of work.

One start-up in the field is Bluefin Labs Inc., which says at its website that it’s in the business of “social TV analytics” and “mapping the TV genome.”

The Cambridge company had its research origins in the MIT Media Lab and “is trying to make sense of a big chunk of social media-generated data by analyzing 3 billion online comments about television every month,” writes the Globe. “For instance, Bluefin used social media comments to gauge viewer attitudes toward Republicans presidential candidates during a recent debate. 'Literally, on our screens, we can see those comments in social media in real time,' said Tom Thai, Bluefin’s vice president of business development. ”

MIT SMR’s own contribution to the conversation includes the 2011 Special Report Analytics: The Widening Divide, which examines how companies are achieving competitive advantage through a better understanding of their data. The report can be read online or downloaded as a PDF.