IT Push to “Big Data” to Have “Big Impact” on Share Prices (USAToday.com)
Investors in IT should be prepared for another industry “renaissance,” with “Big Data” moving to the forefront, according to Mark Hurd, former Hewlett-Packard boss and current Oracle (ORCL) co-president. In Hurd’s view, Big Data means the scale or shear size of data will increase exponentially – driven by the rise of smart machines, including refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc. Big Data also means “unstructured data” (things like pictures, voicemails, or other data types) that will have to be dealt with, stored, manipulated, translated, etc. Together, these two facets of Big Data will drive the IT market in terms of employment opportunities, hardware needs, software requirements, you name it… So, according to Hurd, investors should look to data storage or manipulation companies for investment… However, don’t look too soon; The only major companies showing a profit YTD are ORCL (+20.8%), QCOM (+6.8%) and MFST (9.98%), while DELL (-34.5%), CSCO (-.55%), HPQ (-45.7% and INTC (-11.86%) have all taken a bath this year.
Personalized Styling Websites – Holiday Shopping Made Easy (NYTimes)
Personalized “styling” websites are arriving just in time for the holidays… And investors who invest today in this trend toward individualizing shopping to fit personal styles may have their stockings stuffed way before December – not with presents, but profits. Styling websites currently gather information about their customers through surveys and through tracking their browsing history – and once enough data has been gathered, a profile is “drawn” of individual buying habits. From that point companies can create individualized ads or even recommend product packages to appeal to the individual customer. Currently, this technology seems limited to apparel and celebrity-backed sites such as: Birchbox, Baublebar, ShoeDazzle, and BeachMint’s half-dozen sites backed by celebs such as Justin Timberlake, or the Olsen twins… Investment opportunities in companies using this technology are limited, but publicly traded e-tailer companies include: Blue Nile (NILE), Groupon (GRPN), and Amazon (AMZN). And aside from Amazon, volatility rules the day herein, so be careful with any investment.