There's been a lot of talk/press already around Yahoo's new CEO, Scott Thompson, and his thoughts on big data at Yahoo. Here are a few examples that have already been written since yesterday:
Yahoo's New CEO Has Data Focus
Can Yahoo's New CEO Thompson Harness Big Data Analytics?
The Key To Yahoo's Long Term Health? Data, Says New CEO
Rest assured though, Yahoo has some of the best big data geniuses around. A company like Yahoo has to have some smart data guys when you're bringing in over 700 million monthly unique visitors to your properties each month. Ever heard of Hadoop? "The most well known technology used for Big Data is Hadoop. Hadoop is
used by Yahoo, eBay, LinkedIn and Facebook. Google uses a proprietary
version of Hadoop" And Hortonworks, a big data company that spun out from Yahoo this past summer expects that "Half the worlds data will be on Hadoop in 5 years"
So if Mr Thompson is looking to monetize "big data", he seems to have come to the right place.
On the web analytics side, Yahoo is in fact already tapping into its big data and leveraging it
via it's Yahoo! Web Analytics platform. Clients (advertisers,
publishers, agencies, etc) of Yahoo Web Analytics get to take advantage
of demographic metrics such as age, gender, and online interests when
they add Yahoo Web Analytics script to their web site's pages.
These types of metrics are only available thanks to Yahoo's massive
audience reach (where 80% of the US population is touched). The
millions of visitors who traverse across Yahoo's #1 trafficked pages or
sign up for Yahoo products (fantasy sports, mail, instant messenger,
finance portfolios, etc) provide extremely valuable data that Yahoo can
aggregate up anonymously and provide insights to their clients.
With these metrics in hand, advertising clients can drive more
targeted audience campaigns and publishers can develop more targeted
audience content across their pages. The result is more visitor traffic
(clicks and impressions) on ads and more engagement on web sites
leading to improved conversion numbers.
And a happy client means more spend back to Yahoo.