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Small Data Forum Podcast

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Small Data Forum Podcast

Thomas Stoeckle (strategic business development, LexisNexis BIS; co-chair Measurement Commission, Institute for PR)

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How do you make Big Data less intimidating, more actionable and thus more valuable, in particular for marketing and communications professionals? That is the question at the heart of the Small Data Forum, an initiative by LexisNexis Business Insight Solutions to listen, learn, share and educate ourselves and others who grapple with the challenges of the information avalanche. Industry thought-leaders Neville Hobson, Sam Knowles and host Thomas Stoeckle discuss current industry themes and new ...
 
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Recorded just a week after Facebook’s rebranding announcement, this latest episode of the SmallDataForum podcast is less about “Greeks bearing gifts”, and more about the Greek and other connotations of Meta, the new company brand bringing together all of Facebook’s apps and technologies for the leap into the metaverse – although this wouldn’t be th…
 
It’s been a long time coming, this in-person get-together of the three SmallDataForagers (I assume that’s what you call someone moderating a forum?) to celebrate our Golden Jubilee. 1,955 days, in fact, since our fateful first encounter in the now sadly defunct Hospital Club in Soho. And nearly 650 days since our last Olivelli feast, just before Ch…
 
In the third of our new (but growing) series of Small Data Podcast interviews with data mavens, Sam is joined by media analyst Ian Whittaker. Ian is the current City AM Analyst of the Year – a gong he scooped for the second time in 2021. He has more than 20 years on the clock, assessing the financial performance of media and tech stocks. Ian’s unde…
 
As Thomas is making his usual round of introductions for this, the forty-ninth episode of the Small Data Forum podcast, he comments on Sam’s status as a published author. “Published author you too!” booms Sam, celebrating Thomas’ first-ever, peer-reviewed, academic article, written with his doctoral supervisor – and recent SDF interview guest – Dar…
 
Like (slow) buses, you wait for years for interviews to turn up on the SmallDataForum podcast, and two turn up within but five months of each other. With Thomas taking the first plunge with his doctoral supervisor, Darren Lilleker, back in March, it was Sam’s turns to become inquisitor with Anne Hardy, Chief Information Security Officer at US-Frenc…
 
Two Englishmen and a German talk about football… With SDF episode no. 48 being recorded sandwiched between the 1966 World Cup win (20,187 days ago, assuming Sam’s calculation is correct) and the 2021 final of the Euros (2.5 days ahead at the time of recording), we couldn’t possibly avoid the topic. It was by no means the only topic though, and we s…
 
During the Matrix Churchill affair – a conflict of interest and bit of political skulduggery so tepid compared with what’s happened in the intervening 20 years – the Tory MP Alan Clark conceded that he had been “economical with the actualité” in answer to Parliamentary questions. Lying about arms export licences to Iraq seems almost innocent compar…
 
“It is beyond moronic.” Yes, this might well have been a quote by Gary Neville, Alan Shearer or some other righteously outraged standard bearer of the purity of – in particular – the original English version of European soccerball, in response to the announcement of that ill-fated, short-lived ‘thought’ experiment in the commercial optimisation of …
 
From our very own version of Numberwang, to utilitarianism, the precautionary principle, the Plague of Athens 430 BC, to Gartner’s latest tech trends, the SmallDataForum serves up another mixed bag of goodies and smarties. I kick off by offering a selection of ciphers for our very own SmallDataForum Numberwang from 1 (Health Secretary Matt Hancock’…
 
After almost five years and 44 episodes of the SmallDataForum with the same old (though always fresh and sparkly) line-up of Neville, Sam and Thomas, we’re introducing one-on-one interviews as a new format, and an extension to the show. In the first interview of this new series, Thomas talks with Darren Lilleker, professor of political communicatio…
 
Thomas greets the first episode of the Small Data Forum to be “AT” – 1AT, indeed; the first recorded After Trump – with some cheer. That said, this month’s often-passionate look at the uses and abuses of data big and small in politics, business, and public life doesn’t give us much cause for optimism that all that much has changed. In our VUCA worl…
 
"The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim." (Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd, p. 64) What would Monsieur le Professe…
 
“Are you trying to tell me I’m insane?” asks Ingrid Bergman’s character Paula of her husband Gregory (Charles Boyer) in George Cukor’s 1944 film noir classic, Gaslight. To which he responds “Now, perhaps you will understand why I cannot let you meet people.” An emotional manipulation which makes the target doubt their own memory, perception or judg…
 
By any reckoning, 2020 will go down as a year to be forgotten. For the havoc and carnage wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic, right across the globe. For the most divided and divisive U.S. presidential election in living memory. And for the cocksure cockups of the giant brain of Prime Minister Johnson’s martinet, Demonic Cummings, and the confedera…
 
“Donald Trump has absolutely nothing to say. He has no agenda. He has no plan. He has no ideals or hopes or purpose”, according to a post-debate analysis by Jill Filipovic in the Guardian on 23rd October. One side of the partisan divide agrees vigorously. Watching the unedited 38 minutes of Trump’s 60 Minutes interview with veteran CBS journalist L…
 
As if proof was needed that new Netflix edu-docu The Social Dilemma is highly Marmite among (social) media cognoscenti, the SmallDataForum verdict is very much a score draw, from Sam’s firm thumbs-down to my approval and on to Neville’s not-seen-it-yet. I share Sam’s take that there’s not much new to learn – certainly for topic obsessives like us –…
 
We haven’t quite “sent it packing” yet, however once COVID-19 has finally been “wrestled to the ground” – mid next year, perhaps; or, maybe never – clearly we will “bounce back stronger than ever before”, according to the strictly non-hyperbolic musings of Prime Minister Demonic Goings Boris Johnson. Aftermath of World War I? World War II? Bibble b…
 
For understandable reasons, the last four, regular monthly episodes of the Small Data Forum podcast have been focused – almost to the point of obsession – on coronavirus. From the uncertain first fumblings of life under lockdown, through escalating mortality and morbidity, and on to a fundamental lack of trust in the competence of blustering, blond…
 
As the world appears to become “curiouser and curiouser”, we could all do with some instructions as to how to make more sense of what is happening, connect dots, draw conclusions and make good – if not better – decisions. Thankfully, SmallDataForum co-founder and regular co-presenter Sam Knowles has written the book that has those instructions, and…
 
Apparently 2020 is what you get when you put together 1918, 1929 and 1968. With just over 40% done, it’s a bit early to say. Or is it? Pandemic – tick. Global recession – about to hit. Political turbulence and social unrest – we’re only getting started. At least 1968 was followed by the year of moon landing, and Woodstock. Fifty years and a bit on,…
 
It is said that French mathematician Blaise Pascal, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, and Winston Churchill all said: “I would have written you a shorter letter, I just didn’t have the time.” They may all have originated that sentiment, some may have quoted others, or all the attributions could be faulty. How to know? How to sift through the unmediated anna…
 
For all the disruption that the lockdown has brought to the nation (if not the world), for the cast of the SmallDataForum, little has changed in the way we work: most of our 34 episodes were recorded “in the Zoom where it happens” (with a bit of Whereby here and there). Sam is still delivering training on data storytelling and insightful thinking, …
 
“If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequence”. This little known sociological formula from the late 1920s, known as the Thomas Theorem after husband-and-wife research team William and Dorothy Thomas (I wish I could claim a level of ownership but no), helps us understand how and why the perception and interpretation of event…
 
According to the Sunday Times, the pending General Election will be “the battle of the Svengalis” (paywall) – between Dominic Cummings and Seamus Milne. Unsurprisingly, Brexit limbo and #GE2019 was THE theme for the SmallDataForum as we recorded episode 30 on All Hallows Day 2019, otherwise known as #NoBrexitDay. And since the PM whisperer has so m…
 
When Rome teetered on the brink of democratic collapse in the first century BCE, as it prepared – unknowingly – to move from a form of notional democracy to imperial rule, three men came together to save the ever-expanding city state and advance their political careers. Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus – the swashbuckler, the strategist, and the finance…
 
In England’s distant past, long before the spread of wealth and the explosive growth of the middle classes, holidays were a rarity. Overseas holidays were unheard of, except for those gilded few who’d grown fat on the Empire and took a ‘grand tour’ of Europe for months at a time, or else went off to add new lands to said Empire.The closest most wor…
 
So this is the episode when the three stooges of the SmallDataForum were meant to reflect wistfully on what was Great Britain exiting Greater Europe. The irony of recording this on April Fool’s Day wasn’t lost on us. Brexit Fool’s day is every day, these days. Our resident classicist Sam even managed to squeeze in Juvenal’s Satire VI, and even thou…
 
"We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.“ So the famous US Supreme Court Justice and ‘crusader for social justice’ and breaker-upper of Gilded Age monopolies, Louis D. Brandeis is said to have said, perhaps sometimes in the early 1930s. Today, perhaps the best-kn…
 
It’s our Silver Jubilee – 25 times SmallDataForum, and so much has happened since our first episode less than a fortnight before the EU Referendum. And yet here we are, Brexit still front and center and no one’s none the wiser. When we started, our aim was to reflect on communicators’ needs to increase the value of data, to understand data and its …
 
The SmallDataForum celebrated its third Christmas with a highly calorific and somewhat alcoholic Italian lunch, followed by post-prandial musings about high- and low-lights of 2018, and some crystal ball gazing for 2019. Our regular followers / listeners – or just about anybody with any interest in tech and communication – won’t be surprised by a l…
 
“The ever-present function of propaganda in modern life is in large measure attributable to the social disorganization which has been precipitated by the rapid advent of technological changes.” This is not the latest comment on the perpetual missteps, mishaps and misuse of Facebook, but a quote from Harold D. Lasswell, eminent media scholar and cre…
 
The latest episode of the Small Data Forum podcast sees the founding trio of Neville, Thomas, and Sam striding confidently into our early 20s. Who knew that the fledgling born at an event in Covent Garden’s fashionable London in May 2016 – pre-Brexit, pre-Trump, pre-Cambridge Analytica farce – would endure to its twenty-second episode. We start our…
 
Our latest podcast ended up being a tad longer than planned – clearly a sign of a lively, engaged discussion. In talking about various aspects of the attention economy, we managed to hold each other’s attention for a good 45 minutes. Many ‘attention economists’ these days quote Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon and his observation that a wealth of infor…
 
"If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" A modern version of this 18th century thought experiment by the philosopher and cleric George Berkeley might read: "If the EU fines a big tech firm billions of dollars, and no one has the power to enforce it, has it actually happened?" A recent opinion piece on Ad…
 
Data, data everywhere, but ethics in short supply. The latest episode of the Small Data Forum podcast follows the classic narrative arc of a three-act story. Beginning, middle, and end. The set-up, the confrontation, and the resolution. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. And although our wide-ranging discussion did run the risk of leaving all three co-…
 
The SmallDataForum convened in late March, and as for our big story, we had several candidates and angles on the same theme of the use and abuse of data. Sam is now a newly published author of a book about how to tell powerful and purposeful stories with data, Narrative by Numbers. A very timely (and equally timeless) topic and title. A recently pu…
 
Yet again, the Three SDF Podcasteers Neville Hobson, Sam Knowles and Thomas Stoeckle tackle a range of related themes, from trust in society to clarity in corporate messages, global attitudes towards news, and Silicon Valley's growing number of critical voices. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer finds China and the US poles apart, with the US in last…
 
Our Christmas episode was recorded under the auspices of Janus, the god of all things related to time. Now into the month named after him, the SmallDataForum reviews its predictions and looks at the year ahead: Will Europe ‘take back control’, or will commercial pressures curb big tech's enthusiasm? Will 2018 be the breakthrough year for chatbots a…
 
As the Small Data Forum progresses through its early teenage years – our latest podcast is episode 14 already – regular co-hosts Thomas Stoeckle, Neville Hobson, and Sam Knowles are taking the opportunity to look forward by looking back. Patients of our own medicine, you might say, we’re using the year end and what we’ve observed and learned in 201…
 
"Trust, but verify" is a phrase that was used often by Ronald Reagan. It is more than a little ironic that this is originally a Russian proverb (Doveryai, no proveryai). Trust is also what links the various topics in episode 13 of our podcast. From Chinese citizen scores to alleged irregularities in the UK referendum and the US presidential electio…
 
September was PR Measurement Month, and October is conference season. Not just in UK politics, but also for a number of trade bodies in communications, PR and media monitoring. From AMEC and the PRCA, to FIBEP, ICCO, PRSA – there are plenty of awards and some reflections on where we've come from, where we are, and where we are likely to be going. F…
 
Amid congressional hearings and FBI investigations in the US about whether and how Russia interfered with the US Presidential Elections, discussions continue about the efficacy and ethics of micro-targeting voters. In our latest and 10th edition of the SmallDataForum podcast, Neville, Sam and I reflect on the outcome of the recent general elections…
 
In the latest episode of the #SmallDataForum podcast, Sam Knowles, Thomas Stoeckle, and Neville Hobson, subject the latest piece of Big News to their usual scrutiny. There’s lively debate about old vs new media, with the right-wing traditional media (particularly the press) apparently little more than an echo chamber of vitriol, as well as the flee…
 
SDF episode 9 discusses the challenges and opportunities of accelerating progress in the areas of machine learning and AI (which for us means augmented, rather than 'just' artificial intelligence). When it comes to permanent change driven by technological advancement, the genie is out of the bottle and it is too late to resist change. We need to ge…
 
A topic that’s dominated our conversation in recent episodes of The Small Data Forum podcast is fake news and related issues. In episode 7, hosted by Thomas Stoeckle in conversation with regulars Neville Hobson and Sam Knowles, we consider world wide web inventor Tim Berner-Lee’s call to action on what he sees as three big challenges for the web: L…
 
In their first SDF podcast of 2017, Neville, Sam and Thomas enjoy a wide-ranging conversation that looks at the issues of loss of trust in institutions, fake news and post-truth from the perspective of machine learning, psychology and personality mapping, political marketing, neurosciences, understanding audiences through better data, and ultimatel…
 
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