Today’s post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGal on Twitter and a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media maven. 

I am by no means a Big Data expert.

That’s why I’m excited to learn more about Big Data at TMRE via the ‘Data Analytics and BIG Data’ sessions.  Depending on who you speak with, the definition for Big Data differs. From petabytes and exabytes of data to simply more data than an organization can currently handle with the tools commonly used to capture and process it.  As a ‘numbers geek’ the topic of Big Data fascinates me!

You know what else fascinates me? The Olympics.  I sit mesmerized for 16 days watching stories of triumph, defeat, and overcoming adversity to achieve Olympic glory.  Yep, I was one of those kids who climbed up on couch pillows, envisioning they were an Olympic podium to receive my gold medal. When I got older I competed (not on THAT level!) in synchronized swimming…and if you don’t believe that’s a sport, try holding your breath for up to three minutes while underwater, upside down and treading water with your hands for a start.

As a research and analytics-focused person, what I think is especially notable about this Olympics is the data. Now, there are some big numbers, such as 10,500 Olympic athletes and 4200 Paralympic athletes, 302 medal events, some 60,000 meals a day cooked for athletes, and so on. And then there are some BIG numbers:

  • -For the first time ever in the United States, NBC is offering every moment of competition live via, which equates to around 3,500 hours of coverage.  Many of you reading this work in media research and know that’s a lot of video storage bytes!
  • -There were an estimated 1billion people tuning in to watch the opening ceremonies worldwide, and a documented 40.7 million people tuning in on NBC, making it the most-watched opening ceremony for a summer or winter Olympics ever.
  • -To keep London secure, there are close to 2,000 security cameras and 37,000 civilian and military personnel working on security,-Mobile carriers such as Vodafone were expecting a ‘significant increase’ to the 45 terabytes of data, 90 million calls and 155 million texts they handle daily.
  • -Let’s not forget social media ‘ we’ve already seen television analysis of what is trending on Twitter regarding the Games (the Queen skydiving!).  There were a documented 9.66 million mentions of the opening ceremony last Friday.

‘and those are just a few!

Data from the Games will be analyzed not only by NBC and the IOC, but also governing bodies of the various sports such as FIFA, US Swimming, etc. The data analyzed will not only update the record books, show us how folks are ingesting the coverage (mobile? TV? Live? DVR-ed?), show us what sports are trending, but will also inform the organizing committees and media planning for Sochi and Rio.

If this whets your appetite for more Big Data discussions, I look forward to seeing you at some of the TMRE Big Data sessions.  To hold you over until then, someone is looking out for us numbers-junkies of the Olympics at this Olympics data blog!

More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie manages the market research team at Diversified Business Communications. She has worked with companies large and small and in industries such as software, fragrance, finance, and entertainment to help them move the business forward through actionable insights derived from market research. She is passionate about bringing the’Voice of the Customer’ inside the organization. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

If you’d like to join Katie at TMRE 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG and save 15% off the standard rate! For more about this year’s program, download the agenda.