While you were watching the 100m at London 2012 come and go in a flash, did you ever consider what happens online during that time - all day, every day? Specifically, within 9.63 seconds 16.660 tweets are composed, 110.000 Facebook posts are uploaded, 28 million emails are sent, and 255.000 product images are displayed by Criteo. So what connects this remarkable feat of human achievement with the online environment? Well in some ways it is quite simple, big data!
Sir Tim Berners Lee was a fitting part of the Olympics opening in what was an amazing representation of societal and cultural developments in British history. We are now at a stage where the online revolution is an integral part of our daily lives. As Usain Bolt ran the second quickest time in history, people clamoured for an internet connection to share their thoughts through online forums, Facebook and Twitter. This need for online is only going to grow exponentially as Usain Bolt and his adversaries train harder to improve their times.
Looking at BBC’s coverage of the event, it was data that glued it together. The BBC covered every event with extreme sophistication. The latest technologies and techniques were employed to ensure that the viewer felt an integral part of each sport. But consider this, if you take the Olympics branding and cultural melee of the whole event away for a moment, the factor that connected the event was statistics. The medal tables unified countries – it was a constant race to achieve more and subsequently be placed above rivals. Just think of the doping scandal and the recalibration that was required when the Woman’s shot putter was relieved of her medal. And then there was the analytics surrounding these achievements, with intricate economics employed to assess whether the levels of funding in developing our athletes were justified.
Taking it another way, the Olympics were only made possible by the advertisers and sponsors that supported the event with a wealth of data. In much the same way that individuals were keen to find the most up-to-date information in real-time to ‘stay ahead of the games’, advertising spend online enabled publishers to monetise this content. But it wasn’t just that. The effectiveness of online advertising also increased significantly by an ability to respond to consumer needs in real-time with relevant products, thereby enhancing the whole process.
Every 9.63 seconds, Criteo presents 255,000 images from over 3,000 advertisers. As a result, if there is a sudden interest in Usain Bolt’s trainers or Beats headphones (as used by the swimmers) retailers can respond. Makes you think next time you sit for 10 seconds!
by Michael Steckler, managing director Northern Europe and Benelux, Criteo