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PMG Digital Made for Humans

SXSW Day 2 Recap

2 MINUTE READ | March 15, 2015

SXSW Day 2 Recap

Well, another day down at SXSW.

This Saturday was our second day at the Festival and brought a mixture of curious discussions, fascinating innovations, and a look at one of the coolest pieces of analytical technology I’ve ever seen.

Mobile: The Glue Between Online and Physical Retail

Capitalizing on the fresh announcement of the Apple Watch, this sessions focused on combining wearable technology with social media data to help bridge the gap between online and offline channels for retail. With the continued boom of online sales, and as offline sales continue to suffer across industries, brands are looking more and more to digital channels as a means of correcting anemic performance at their brick-and-mortar locations.

It turns out the many of pieces to the puzzle are there, no one’s been able to put them together yet. With social logins becoming ever more integrated in the operating systems of our mobile devices, and devices like our smartphones (and smart-watches!) become ever more omnipresent, it’s only a matter of time until someone solves that equation.

The Art and Science of Data-Driven Storytelling

In this packed session, James Ball (Special Projects Editor for The Guardian) discussed the process of utilizing data aggregation and visualization techniques to help discover stories that would normally elude us. The panel discussed the idea that, as a reporter trying to build a story out of miles and miles of data, you have two options: explore your data to look for a story, or ask a question.

The highlight for me was the shoutout to the Watson Personality Insights Service, which was absolutely incredible. The services utilizes the IBM Watson system to analyze text from nearly any source (social media, speech transcriptions, prose, etc.) and offer insights around emotional dimensions such as Openness, Conscientiousness, Introversion — as well as perceived needs and values of the “speaker.”

Overall Day 2 was a resounding success. We’d also like to highlight the SX Create showcase, and will be featuring a more in-depth look at that area in a later post.

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What will Day 3 hold? Check out our Day 3 Preview!

Posted by Jonathan Hunt

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