http://www.ensighten.com - by Travis WrightEnsighten loves Big Data and helping enterprise businesses collect, own, and act on the data that each business has. To continually help out, we are curating some of the best articles on Big Data and Marketing Analytics and will be bringing them to your attention a couple times per month.And daily, we are also curating a Flipboard magazine on Big Data Management to help surface over 170+ articles of Big Data thought leadership for you! Without further ado, here are December 2013’s top 8 Big Data posts!1. Nine Levers That Enable Organizations to Create Value from Data and AnalyticsThe goal of virtually every (marketing) organization is to make better business decisions. The IBM Institute of Business Value surveyed 900 business and IT executives from 70 countries and identified nine levers (of differentiation) that together enable organizations to create value from an ever-growing volume of data from a variety of sources. The chief value organizations get from big data and analytics is revenue generation. Other key findings can be found in the image below: [link]2. What's the role of data scientists on online advertising?Advertising's not what it used to be. Data means the industry is less about the chain-smoking, Martini-swilling folk in Mad Men and more about spreadsheets. What does this mean for advertisers? The most significant change is that it has democratized online advertising; businesses of all sizes can use new technology and get hold of valuable campaign data – and this can all take place with their marketing budget going much further. Display advertising is now a realistic prospect for many businesses that were wholly reliant on search. [link] 3. Data Marketers Know What You Bought Last SummerIf you've ever wondered just how much marketing companies know about you, whether it's your education or income or purchase preferences, today you can see for yourself. With the beta launch of AboutTheData.com, marketing technology company Acxiom is giving you a glimpse of the online profile your shopping habits have created for you — the one digital marketers use to sell things to you. [link] 4. Five Ways Cities Are Using Big DataCities across the world, large and small, are utilizing big data sets — like traffic statistics, energy consumption rates and GPS mapping — to launch projects to help their respective communities. We rounded up a few of our favorites below. Emphasis here on the word few — projects like these are popping up nearly every day in different cities. And as more information becomes public, the potential for these increases significantly. Any cool ones we missed? Share your favorites with us in the comments below. And check out Code for America to see which projects are happening in cities near you. [link] 5. What should you expect from a data scientist?Interesting insights are just the start. To compete in a big-data world, you need data scientists who can create large-scale business value. They are the highly educated experts who operate at the frontier of analytics, where data sets are so large and the data so messy that less-skilled analysts using traditional tools cannot make sense of them. Their initial aim was simply to prove the value of data mining and discovery. Companies want more than that now. They’re increasingly seeking competent data scientists, and they expect large-scale business value from them. [link]6. Beyond the hype, the 6 core skills of a good Data ScientistThe data scientist is neither unicorn nor trumped-up BI analyst, and came down from the ivory tower a while ago. In short, it's a very real profession. So now you've ascertained that "data scientist" is a legitimate job, and that there's an awful lot of technical buzzwords that go with it. How do you filter the wheat from the chaff when looking at candidates? It really boils down to these 6 core skills: [link][click here for larger image]7. 2013 in review: Big data, bigger expectations?It’s fair to say that big data has experienced more than its share of hype over the past year. According to Gartner’s 2013 Hype Cycle for Storage Technologies, big data is approaching its peak of inflated expectations, which means that it will soon be headed for the inevitable plunge into the trough of disillusionment. Back to basics? As developments in 2013 have shown, achieving big data ‘nirvana’ will require some adjustments along the way. To avoid falling into your own trough of disillusionment, here’s some advice for the coming year:Make sure your big data expectations are properly set, based on the current state of solutions in the market.If embarking on a real-time analytics journey, recognize there will be many performance hurdles in front of you, in both hardware and software.As part of your own big-data project, build in a prolonged period of experimentation. This should include independently testing the individual parts of the big-data stack.Lastly, I recommend getting involved in community big-data discussions, like those listed in big-data.meetup.com. [link]8. Five Preconditions to Adhere to When Developing a Big Data StrategyThere is a good chance that your organisations will not exist anymore in 10-15 years from now, if you do not start developing a big data strategy now or in the coming years. However, developing a big data strategy is not easy. A big data strategy requires a data-driven, information-centric culture instead of a culture where decisions are based on raw estimates or gut feeling. There are many things that you need to take into account when developing a big data strategy, while at the same time you need to understand a completely new way of working. One of the things you have to take care of is how to deal with the data you have or need to have. Here are five pre-conditions on how to deal with your data that you should take into account when developing your big data strategy. [link]That's it for the month of December. We are keeping an eye on the best posts in January 2014 and will be posting them at the end of the month!If you love Marketing Agility, make sure to check out Agility 2014! It's Ensighten's yearly user conference where we teach attendees the 3 Pillars of Marketing Agility. Join us at Agility 2014, Feb 5-7, 2014 in San Francisco!