PERSONALIZATION ROUNDUP - NOV IMGThanksgiving holds a special place in my heart since the holiday remains rooted in the spirit of family and community. To me, the holiday underscores just how much human connection remains an imperative in our larger technological pursuits. We often lose sight of the fact that a fundamental goal of technology is elevating the human experience. This month, we’ve seen the trend of the growing imperative that big data actually produces significant benefits to our everyday lives. It seems we’re beginning to understand the range — or some may say limits — of what increased big data utilization truly means and how we will use its insights to produce more meaningful experiences for all of us.

Why conversion rates tied to traffic rarely exceeds 3%,” MultiChannel Merchant: Often time it feels that throwing money after a good thing can quickly become an ineffective spray-and-pray strategy. This phenomena is definitely true when it comes to lead generation services like Google Adwords. This piece points out that though it’s easy to become enamored with increased volume traffic, it’s critical that marketers look at the quality of inbound traffic. In the end, more customers to your site means something only when they can be converted into happy customers.

Costco, Nordstrom refuse to ruin Thanksgiving,” Huffington Post: This story proves that sometimes it’s not all about the bottom line. While most retailers scramble to collect every morsel and crumb in the holiday commerce rush, Costco and Nordstrom decided to take a stand and let employees take the day to spend the holiday without the pressure of a work day. Despite the tumultuous job market, it’s great to see companies remembering to consider their employees’ lives and being a benefit to their lives rather than purely a profit generator.

How data mining can boost your bottom line,” CNN: While most readers of this round-up understand the power of big data, we still need to take a moment to recognize that the mid-market is only beginning to understand what big data is and how it works. This CNN article lays out in a step-by-step primer on how data mining can be a game changer for companies. Again, much of this information might seem rudimentary, but it goes to show just how far the technology has emerged from the statistical ivory tower to everyday use.

How many data scientists does the world really need?” CIO: It’s fascinating to observe the age of data science’s effect on society, especially when discussing job growth. One of the most interesting aspects of data science is the fact that when executed correctly, big data analysis augments existing roles while begetting new ones. This CIO piece examines why unlike past technological upheavals, big data emerges as one of the few innovations that fuels job growth by requiring more people to take advantage of the plethora of data that already exists. It appears that big data is akin to a tamable beast, and like any powerful animal, big data requires smart, level-headed individuals to draw peak performance.

Verizon unveils big box superstores in bid to reinvent wireless category,”AdAge: I’m a strong believer that customers simply don’t care about a company’s professed “omni-channel” integration or advances in big data. Customers only care about the results of a customer experience strategy versus the marketing wizardry behind the strategy itself. In that vein, Verizon Wireless will revamp stores in the hopes that customers will want to “hang out” and play with Verizon products. One of their key strategies is bridging the online and offline experience by introducing same-day delivery as well as in-store pickup.