The Next Episode: Dr. Dre Meets Big Data

Posted on: May 22nd, 2013 by Colleen Quinn No Comments

Fight on!

As a USC alum, it’s odd that I cringe when other well-meaning Trojans shriek the school’s battle cry.  But, last week, instead of hearing the bombast of a marching band in my head at the thought of ‘SC’s fight song, I was feelin’ a little more hip-hop. I had a kindred spirit in Dr. Dre.

That’s cuz (as Dre would say) famed hip-hop star Dr. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine announced a $70 million donation to the university to create a new academy for music, focusing on the intersection of art, technology, business and innovation. The curriculum will include Computer Science. Entrepreneurship. Art. Marketing. Analytics.

Couldn’t we all stand to find these intersections a bit more clearly?

This is the challenge for the media and entertainment industry of today – the need to find that intersection of “gut” and “insight.”  I’m sure this is the bane of any long-standing creative industry in today’s data driven climate. That’s because it’s hard to dispute the collective wisdom of creative powerhouses who’ve been at their trades for decades. But, no one is arguing that there needs to be a wholesale switch. Rather, just some more appreciation for the intersection.

In the handful of years I’ve been working in analytics – which were preceded by MANY handfuls of years working in production, post-production, and digital media – I’ve seen a real ramp-up in the role of analytics at traditional and digital media companies alike.  But, the truth is, there are still factions.  Whether I’m talking to a content creator, distributor, publisher or MSO, there are often camps: the analytics-are-overrated camp  vs. the analytics-are-our-future camp.  Those two camps are starting to meet in the middle – and it’s about time.

At the risk of sounding overly prophetic, there is beauty in the intersection of art and science.  And, that, I think, is the promise of big data analytics across the content value chain. When creative companies can integrate what they know about their audiences, their content, their channels and their marketing, they can unleash the value of the intersection of art and science.  Any successful analytics framework demands a detailed understanding of the art of both.

So, for all of you aspiring data artisans out there, take heart! Dr. Dre has got your back on this on this one. Fight on!

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