Strata-Hadoop World Summit Recap

A few weeks ago, I stopped by Strata-Hadoop World in San Jose, a meeting of thousands of data scientists, programmers and developers celebrating the infinite possibilities of Big Data. But, at the risk of sounding glib and out of place, don’t use that phrase. The term Big Data is quickly reaching tired cliché status, almost on par with “Cloud.”


The term “Big Data” connotes millions or billions of pieces of data that are difficult or impossible for traditional processing tools, like your laptop computer, to handle.

The cutting edge of distributed data storage and computing is not in just processing those “Big” data sets, but doing so at incredible speeds and in the collation of unstructured data. Apache Hadoop itself is the idea of using huge fields of computers, all working on pieces of a processing project. Wrangling all those processors makes huge computational jobs easier and faster.

One presenter talked about querying and aggregating billions of lines of a table in less than 5 seconds. He did so passingly, and then got to the good stuff.

He’s right, the most interesting problems aren’t in tables. Think about it. Most of the world doesn’t exist in the neat structure of CSV and Excel files. It’s in legal documents, or architectural plans or large images. This event is about discovering new ways of using the combined processing power of thousands of commodity computers to store and compute peta-bytes that type of data: images, videos, audio and TIFF files.

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Stay Organized and Save Time with the Walker Sands Marketing Campaign Brief

In the fast paced world of business, it’s easy to find yourself wading through multiple campaigns at once. With demand higher than it’s ever been, the expectation is to be seen in multiple places at once. However, rather than feeling overwhelmed with work, take a few deep breaths and download the Walker Sands Marketing Campaign Brief. With our step by step guide to breaking down key messages and reaching your target audiences, you’ll be on your way to marketing euphoria. Think of it as your go to resource for keeping calm and organizing everything from tactics to assets that align with your brand and message.

Marketing Campaign Template

By identifying a primary objective for each campaign, the template will help you maintain organization and focus each step of the way. Additionally, it will serve as a spring board to all the other assets and avenues to a successful campaign.

We know that start and end dates as well as specific restrictions based on geography and language are key to keeping you on track and maintaining the focus of your campaign, which is why we’ve also included sections to take specific parameters into consideration.

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Walker Sands at SXSW: Our Favorite Moments and Key Takeaways

Last month, over 30,000 people attended South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive to check out the latest and greatest technology from some of the world’s top brands. Walker Sands was among that crowd, with boots on the ground to explore the booming tech industry and apply it to our work in B2B tech PR. Featuring countless panels, keynotes and exhibitors, this year’s SXSW offered a variety of valuable lessons and exposure to some emerging trends. But what did we find the most impressive and memorable? Aiming to ensure our clients keep pace with the rapidly evolving tech industry, we’ve outlined the following takeaways.

Virtual Reality – If SXSW taught me anything, it’s that virtual reality is definitely not going away. Nowhere near a new technology, VR has existed in one way or another for decades. But with the arrival of consumer-facing virtual reality hardware, like Oculus Rift and Sony’s Playstation VR, we’re closer to critical mass than ever before.

Image Source: Walker Sands Instagram

Account Executive Kaitlin Mansour paints walls via a virtual reality experience at SXSW 2016.

This was reflected at South By. Nearly every sponsored event, from Samsung to McDonald’s, boasted VR experiences for anyone with a badge. We rode a virtual rollercoaster and painted bleak white walls with virtual paint guns. Definitely fun experiences – but will virtual reality ever effectively make its way into the enterprise and affect real change on the way we work?  Only time will tell, but if SXSW is any indicator, consumers are ready for the next crop of innovative, immersive, collaboration solutions.

-Kaitlin Mansour, Account Executive

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Friday Five: 4/4 – 4/8

Friday Five Header

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of this week’s industry news:

U.S. schools may be testing Adidas’ fitness tracker in K-12 gym classes –  Mashable

Gym class for K-12 students has come a long way since the one-size-fits-all Presidential Fitness Challenge. In 2015, Adidas announced that it’s working toward new health initiatives for students. However, the company recently revealed the product behind these plans by highlighting a new heart-rate monitor called Zone. The Zone tracker allows teachers to track student performance and create workout goals based on the individual’s fitness level. The device was designed in partnership with Interactive Health Technologies and will complement the existing Spirit program, software that works with wearable tracking software.

‘Behemoth’ black hole discovered in far-off galaxy –  USA Today

According to a report published Wednesday, astronomers discovered a black hole weighing more than 17 billion suns using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii. This “bottomless pit of gravity” created by a collapsed star surprised astronomers because, unlike other black holes typically found in the center of large galaxies, this was found in a remote area. While this isn’t the largest black hole discovery, the observation could indicate that these monstrous objects are more common than thought.

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MarTech Recap Part 1: Bridging the Marketing – Sales Divide

We can decide that marketing and sales are friends, but declaring that they are won’t make it so.

I recently attended the MarTech conference in San Francisco. Most sessions discussed how to make marketing programs more efficient and smarter. About half addressed the elephant in the room at some point: what happens after a marketing program is deemed a success and leads passed over to sales.

Here at Walker Sands, we have a more direct and understanding relationship with our sales team than most organizations. Still, the divide is palpable, even among clients that have the foresight to integrate sales and marketing. I’m in the middle of Scott Brinker’s latest book, Hacking Marketing and in the very first section he emphasizes that change for the sake of change won’t fly on the sales side, which thrives on routine. Quite a departure for marketers who are encouraged to embrace agile and constantly innovate.

How can sales and marketing meet in the middle and better understand what the other is going through? Here are tips from two experts from the brand side who have been successfully able to bridge (or at least minimize) the marketing-sales divide:

Provide Salespeople with Leads – and Help Them Nurture

Mark Roberts, CMO, ShoreTel

Mark’s goal as CMO is to implement and communicate ShoreTel’s combined mission and tagline of making interactions simple. The team also applied this lesson internally in working with the sales team, and emphasized that marketing’s role doesn’t end once an MQL is magically transformed into an SQL. By following through, ShoreTel was able to increase the proportion of leads that became contact-ready.

Key takeaway: Follow up with sales. Use insights gleaned from marketing to provide context.

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