Small Data Forum Podcast

Small Data Forum Podcast
By Thomas Stoeckle (strategic business development, LexisNexis BIS; co-chair Measurement Commission, Institute for PR)
About this podcast
How do you make Big Data less intimidating, more actionable and thus more valuable, in particular for marketing and communications professionals? That is the question at the heart of the Small Data Forum, an initiative by LexisNexis Business Insight Solutions to listen, learn, share and educate ourselves and others who grapple with the challenges of the information avalanche. Industry thought-leaders Neville Hobson, Sam Knowles and host Thomas Stoeckle discuss current industry themes and news topics in the wider context of data and society.

Thomas Stoeckle leads strategic business development at LexisNexis Business Insight Solutions (BIS).
A marketing communications researcher and business leader with 25 years+ experience, he believes passionately in story-telling through robust data evidence and compelling visualization.
Originally from Germany, Thomas has been living and working in London for more than 16 years, working with clients all over the globe. In a fast-changing world, he enjoys nothing more than working with partners and clients finding and building better solutions for their communications challenges.
Forever a digital Neanderthal among digital natives, he is keenly aware that today's challenges demand fluency in the three languages of business, technology, and of course humans.
Thomas is also co-chair of the Institute for Public Relations Measurement Commission.

For nearly 30 years, Neville Hobson has been a voice of experience and influence about digital technologies and human behaviours, disruptive change in workplaces and marketplaces, and relevant trends to pay close attention to.
He helps organizations leverage his business and communication experiences, knowledge and subject-matter expertise that embraces social, digital and cognitive technologies. He helps clients understand the rise of artificial intelligence and its impact in workplaces and marketplaces; digital communication and engagement strategy and development; and how to leverage social media for stakeholder nurturing and development.
Neville is a pioneering podcaster, co-presenting the communication industry's first and most enduring podcast, "For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report," from 2005-2015.

Sam Knowles is Founder & MD of Insight Agents, a corporate and brand storytelling business. He has almost 30 years' experience helping organisations communicate better, clearer, simpler.
Data and statistics are the foundation of the stories Sam helps companies to build; evidence-based, data-driven, insight-rich narrative. But only the foundation, before the tools and techniques of story take over.
With a PhD in experimental psychology, Sam has just written an intensely-practical guide to his craft called "Narrative By Numbers: How To Tell Stories With Data And Statistics". It will be published in early 2018.
Latest episodes
Nov. 5, 2017
"Trust, but verify" is a phrase that was used often by Ronald Reagan. It is more than a little ironic that this is originally a Russian proverb (Doveryai, no proveryai). Trust is also what links the various topics in episode 13 of our podcast. From Chinese citizen scores to alleged irregularities in the UK referendum and the US presidential election, the implications of GDPR and the prospects of blockchain: trust is the glue that should hold together the fabric of such interactions, in private as well as public contexts. Continue reading -> https://www.smalldataforum.com/
Oct. 12, 2017
September was PR Measurement Month, and October is conference season. Not just in UK politics, but also for a number of trade bodies in communications, PR and media monitoring. From AMEC and the PRCA, to FIBEP, ICCO, PRSA – there are plenty of awards and some reflections on where we've come from, where we are, and where we are likely to be going. Fake news remains the centre of attention. Tuesday's New York Times ran the story How Russia Harvested American Rage to Reshape US Politics.  As an issue that affects the democratic process in Western societies, this continues to have the mainstream media in its thrall. It has, as Sam puts it, "upset the liberal apple cart." Continue reading -> https://www.smalldataforum.com/
Sept. 14, 2017
Thomas Stoeckle, Neville Hobson and Sam Knowles in conversation on the history and function of PR, business and Big Data (and the ten Vs of Big Data), SNCR research initiative and survey into fake news, and more.
July 24, 2017
Amid congressional hearings and FBI investigations in the US about whether and how Russia interfered with the US Presidential Elections, discussions continue about the efficacy and ethics of micro-targeting voters. In our latest and 10th edition of the SmallDataForum podcast, Neville, Sam and I reflect on the outcome of the recent general elections in the UK.
June 21, 2017
In the latest episode of the #SmallDataForum podcast, Sam Knowles, Thomas Stoeckle, and  Neville Hobson, subject the latest piece of Big News to their usual scrutiny. There’s lively debate about old vs new media, with the right-wing traditional media (particularly the press) apparently little more than an echo chamber of vitriol, as well as the fleet-footed use of social channels and influencers to target younger voters. The very younger voters who were largely ignored in 2016’s two seismic polls and whom traditional media finds harder and harder to touch.
May 25, 2017
SDF episode 9 discusses the challenges and opportunities of accelerating progress in the areas of machine learning and AI (which for us means augmented, rather than 'just' artificial intelligence). When it comes to permanent change driven by technological advancement, the genie is out of the bottle and it is too late to resist change. We need to get better at understanding it and living with it.  Another key subject are the big social media platforms and their roles as pure technological intermediaries, as opposed to taking on the responsibilities of publishers. This is a complex and controversial field, with a broad range of opinions. Robert Thompson, CEO of News Corp. and former editor of The Times, published a strongly worded editorial in the Times on 10th April where he claimed that "the two most powerful news publishers in human history have created an ecosystem that is dysfunctional and socially destructive". He calls for Authenticated Authenticity – verified provenance, accuracy, reality – as an asset of increasing value.  Our general, rather broad advice is to question everything. More specifically, seek out sources with a proven track record that you can trust, with authors that link to things they state – to allow verification
March 31, 2017
A topic that’s dominated our conversation in recent episodes of The Small Data Forum podcast is fake news and related issues. In episode 7, hosted by Thomas Stoeckle in conversation with regulars Neville Hobson and Sam Knowles, we consider world wide web inventor Tim Berner-Lee’s call to action on what he sees as three big challenges for the web: Loss of control of personal data; Spread of misinformation; and Questionable political advertising. The second one in particular – spread of misinformation – offers another perspective on the fake news topic, part of the so-called post-Truth world, that speaks to a key aspect of this contemporary phenomenon: the dissemination of falsehoods and how can we address that. Thomas asks: Is it time for a new or updated Cluetrain manifesto? Cue lively discussion.
Feb. 13, 2017
In their first SDF podcast of 2017, Neville, Sam and Thomas enjoy a wide-ranging conversation that looks at the issues of loss of trust in institutions, fake news and post-truth from the perspective of machine learning, psychology and personality mapping, political marketing, neurosciences, understanding audiences through better data, and ultimately how to tell more compelling stories with better data.
Dec. 14, 2016
In episode 5 of the Small Data Forum podcast series hosted by LexisNexis – our Christmas and year-end edition – Neville Hobson, Sam Knowles and I reflect on fake news and their distribution networks, the alleged gaming of Google search rankings, the promise of augmented intelligence and broad questions of how civil societies deal with the emerging and evolving challenges. Do we need more regulation? And who will regulate the regulators?   In the last few weeks, there has been significant attention in mainstream and social media on how Google search rankings are being influenced by right wing propaganda (link) how the production of fake news has become a business model (link) how professional journalism is struggling with the phenomenon of fake news (link). Even Pope Francis joined the debate by denouncing the slander and defamation through fake news as sin (link).  The debate following the surprising outcome of the US Presidential Elections has shifted from highlighting the shortcomings of political polling, to a thorough examination of the circumstances and conditions that led to the election of Donald Trump. The media researcher and data journalism expert Jonathan Albright tested his hypothesis of a fake news ecosystem by crawling and indexing more than 300 websites known to be associated with fake news. He analysed more than 1.3m URLs and found what he described as a "micro propaganda machine".   Whilst it is possible to identify both 'left-wing', and 'right-wing' media ecosystems, the core of the matter is not about politics, but about trust in facts and accurate information. It is about the responsibility of stakeholders, including the large social networks such as Google, Facebook and YouTube. But how will such a responsibility be defined? How will it express itself? Can the claim of algorithmic neutrality still be upheld, or should it be replaced with algorithmic accountability? Is this a question of morality and ethics, or rather one of regulation and the application of the Rule of Law? How do we weigh the risks of policing and censoring the internet against the dangers of a manipulated anarchic swamp of bigotry and hatred? Listen to Neville, Sam and myself debating the various aspects of the current debate.  
Dec. 2, 2016
Recent expressions of democratic political will – the UK referendum on EU membership, the US presidential elections – have surprised most observers and commentators. Both outcomes, i.e. Brexit and Trump, were not what most of the polling data indicated. This episode of the Small Data Forum is asking whether we should and could have seen this coming. Together with Sam Knowles of Insight Agents and Neville Hobson of IBM Social Consulting, I'm looking at some of the mechanisms at play: the psychology of predictions, the new phenomenon of fake news, echo chamber effects in the way people consume and share information, the way data was analysed and interpreted. Were the wrong questions asked? Are there better, more reliable ways of asking questions in order to get to more robust and reliable answers? And would those answers lead to more accurate predictions of outcomes? As academics, professional communicators, political commentators and others are trying to put the recent developments in context, to understand the future of our information economy and ecology, the Small Data Forum will continue to highlight and explore some of the big and small issues that big and small data both raise, and address.