Web 2.0 Summit to focus on value, pitfalls of online data

Speakers at this year's conference include Steve Ballmer, Paul Otellini, Marc Benioff, Michael Dell and Dick Costolo

This year's Web 2.0 Summit will focus on the critical role that online data plays in the Internet economy and on how its use and misuse can make the difference between success and failure in markets like online gaming, Web advertising, search, social media and mobile.

The CEOs of Intel, Microsoft, eBay, Salesforce.com, Twitter and Dell, along with officials from Facebook, IBM, Google and LinkedIn, will be among the speakers at the conference, an influential and select gathering of 1,000 executives, entrepreneurs and investors.

O'Reilly Media's Web 2.0 Summit, which runs from Monday through Wednesday in San Francisco, will identify best practices for leveraging online data and pinpoint pitfalls and challenges related to its use, such as privacy concerns.

Susan Etlinger, an Altimeter Group analyst who plans to attend the conference, said organizers chose an important and timely topic to explore.

With the explosion of content posted in social media sites and services by individuals, businesses have to gather, analyze and act upon a massive amount of unstructured and public data about their companies, brands, products and industries.

Doing this effectively requires new technology tools, organizational techniques and analysis skills at multiple corporate levels, beyond the traditional data analysts, and business intelligence and data mining software.

"Social data is so ubiquitous that everyone in the organization needs to be able to 'speak data' in some way or another," Etlinger said in a phone interview. "This is one of the biggest issues for companies today."

PulsePoint Group, a communications management consulting company, has sent executives to every edition of Web 2.0 Summit, and the company is particularly enthusiastic about the focus on data this year, since its services cover the effective use of social media by corporations. PulsePoint will have four executives at the event and will also host a dinner.

"The exchange of innovative ideas with other business leaders is top of mind. Now is a time for great companies to step up to the plate and provide brands with the game-changing solutions they need to succeed today. It's these solutions that will later be reflected upon as the change agents that drove their tomorrows," PulsePoint said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Australian company Roamz will officially launch its eponymous mobile app at Web 2.0 Summit, and its CEO, Jonathan Barouch, will participate in a panel discussion.

Barouch feels that the data focus at this year's show ties in well with the Roamz application, which aggregates and filters social media content about places within the location of users, with the goal of helping them discover interesting spots.

"We decided earlier in the year that this would be a great forum for us to both meet global tech leaders and influencers as well as showcase the intelligent technology that we have built in Sydney, Australia. Web 2.0 Summit is a really unique forum where global tech leaders gather for three days to discuss trends and discuss what the future looks like," Barouch said via email.

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