Last month, we visited the news:rewired conference and gained some valuable insights into how news and journalism is developing. One of sessions, hosted by Leila Haddou from the Sunday Times shared a list of the great tools out there for the media industry and amongst them we found some goodies. Our favourite and henceforth our Tool of the Month has got to be OpenRefine.

One of the most tedious jobs in the creative industry has got to be data crunching tasks, especially when the data you’re working with is all over the place. Small errors like extra spaces, misspellings and varying abbreviations often go unnoticed in large datasets and you may be missing out on vital stats.

With OpenRefine, the tool can pick up these inconsistencies in the file, so you have a fully reliable dataset ready to crunch. OpenRefine can also transform the format of the data. So, if you were looking at a set of data in a list and you wanted it in table, OpenRefine can do that for you too. Data cleansing has never been so easy!

Firefly is excited to announce that it has begun work with UK-based data storage and analytics start-up, Acunu.

It has been suggested that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone. While the concept of monetising data existed when only 10% of the world’s information did, data-driven companies are now looking for solutions to manage much greater volumes, variety and velocities of data than ever before.

Acunu solves the problem of computing rich, low-latency analytics over large datasets incrementally, producing dynamic results in real-time. This allows Acunu customers to power applications, live dashboards, etc. triggered by events in real-time.

What’s more, Acunu is an example of British technological innovation within an emerging global industry. Founded in 2009 at Cambridge Technology Computer Lab, Tim Moreton and Tom Wilkie have successfully attracted European funding.

Acunu has a growing list of customers from start-up companies to global technology super-powers, all of whom are working with Acunu because it means that they have the ability to manage data through a scalable and cost-effective solution.

Over the coming months, the team here at Firefly is looking forward to telling this fascinating business profile story, with compelling case studies of how big data is being turned into huge commercial opportunities.

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