social-networking-625x450I’m excited to present a CloudBeat 2011 breakout session focused on what we’re calling the new social layer. The session will explore the knowledge generated by structured and unstructured data, which helps us know what customers, and the world at large, think about our enterprises and their services and products.

The panel includes the following passionate practitioners and analysts in the area of social analytics (bios available here):

Anjul Bhambhri, VP of Big Data Products, IBM
Greg Merkle, VP of Product Strategy & Design, Dow Jones & Company
Ben Kepes, Diversity Limited
Kris Duggan, CEO, Badgeville

I will play the role of the moderator, with an opinion.

Big data is changing how we approach our work and think about our products and services. I think, however, that the data is about to get away from us — unless we can grab “bigger” tools and change our thinking.

I’ve had the chance to cover some of these issues (and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Anjul Bhambrhri and Greg Merkle). These discussions often refer to a recent McKinsey study that says the following:

By 2018, the United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.

If we are to take advantage of this new social layer, we need to find new tools and practices that mix together the data, technology and unmatched ability of humans to ask questions. As Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee note in their recent book, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy:

In particular, softer skills like leadership, team building, and creativity will be increasingly important. They are the areas least likely to be automated and most in demand in a dynamic, entrepreneurial economy. Conversely, college graduates who seek the traditional type of job, where someone else tells them what to do each day, will find themselves increasingly in competition with machines, which excel at following detailed instructions.

This panel includes the people who can spur our thinking about how best to align current capabilities with new tools and practices that build on, rather than are smothered by, this new social analytics layer. I’m very much looking forward your thoughts on helping us set our direction during the panel.

Are you ready for this new social layer? Have you taken on new tools, skills, practices, or all three in your efforts to make use of this data?

Terri GriffithTerri Griffith, Ph.D., is a professor of management at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business and the author of The Plugged-In Manager: Get in Tune with Your People, Technology, and Organization to Thrive. Visit

CloudBeat 2011CloudBeat 2011 takes place Nov 30 – Dec 1 at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City, CA. Unlike any other cloud events, we’ll be focusing on 12 case studies where we’ll dissect the most disruptive instances of enterprise adoption of the cloud. Speakers include: Aaron Levie, Co-Founder & CEO of; Amit Singh VP of Enterprise at Google; Adrian Cockcroft, Director of Cloud Architecture at Netflix; Byron Sebastian, Senior VP of Platforms at Salesforce; Lew Tucker, VP & CTO of Cloud Computing at Cisco, and many more. Join 500 executives for two days packed with actionable lessons and networking opportunities as we define the key processes and architectures that companies must put in place in order to survive and prosper. Register here. Spaces are limited!


VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member