Culture is future » Financing and economic models


Forum d’Avignon Debate summary : Are ICC able to take advantage of Big Data ?

Paris, 2013, September 17.  Big Data unleashes all kind of fantasies, and with them the most divergent opinions, as many promises are possible. In terms of data mining, companies are accused of doing too much or not enough. If the customer data management has always been a major issue in terms of targeting and competitiveness for business, the "Big Bang Data" has changed the issues : the CRM giants of yesterday are not those of the Big Data today. Big Data control requires diverse skills, which would enhance the offer proposed to consumers, closer to their expectations thanks to an infinite customization and beyond that, an offer which would anticipate their desires.

Opened by Stéphane Mathelin Moreaux, Director of the Department of Professional Art and Anne Flamant, Director of film and audiovisual department, of Banque Neuflize OBC and Nicolas Seydoux, Chairman of the Forum of Avignon, the debate "Myth or Reality ? How the media and cultural industries can take advantage of Big Data?" moderated by Camille Neveux , News reporter Technology Journal du Dimanche has gathered Bruno Perrin, Fabrice Naftalski, Solenne Blanc, Cabinet EY Associates (formerly Ernst & Young), Nicolas de Cordes, vice president of marketing vision, Orange, and Thibaut Munier, Managing Director and co founder of 1000 Mercis group


Synthesis EY Study*


"Champions of Big Data are those who have experienced the fastest growth in recent years ... They are also those who invest the cultural and creative fields, such as Amazon , which forges links with Nintendo or The Walt Disney Company. For its part, Google partners with publishers, museums, libraries "says Bruno Perrin Associates EY .


2007-2012 Evolution financial performance and staff TMT major players vs New Players (Google - Amazon - Facebook - Apple)


(Fifth major players)


Market capitalization 

Net Cash 


Telecom operators 










New Players  





* * Figures EY from public data - Source EY for the Forum d'Avignon


The protection of personal data is the heart of cultural Big Data, as cultural data reflect the personality of any individual. According to Fabrice Naftalski , EY Law Firm : "The cultural is the “data privacy”. Still, the cultural factor is not specifically regulated by positive law (European Directive of 1995) and is not understood by the draft Regulation on the protection of personal data under discussion in Brussels (vote scheduled for March 2014). Furthermore, it is important that the law recognizes the heritage value of these data."

The new European regulatory framework for personal data is certainly better and the more ambitious rules in force comparing to the rest of the world. It could contribute to the development of Big Data players in Europe as it will enhance the level of security and of trust the European players will have to provide to individuals whom data are collected. Regarding the heritage aspects of Big Data, the question is the one the existing legal levers that help the development of data mining and frame the resulting distribution of wealth for all stakeholders. What about data ownership? What about the competition law when very few actors have the capacity to achieve the critical mass necessary to optimize the use of data?


Big Data & Culture. The web big players have based part of their success on their ability to treat the Big Data. But Big Data approach also generates new opportunities for Media and Cultural Industries ... provided that the market conditions required are created. “Historically, the analytical skills of Big Data are on the digital companies side, including startups. Traditional players must work several prerequisites to take the full potential of personal data. Beyond partnerships and acquisitions to create innovation, alliances between stakeholders in the digital cultural ecosystem must be establishedconcludes Solenne Blanc, cabinet EY .


"Big Data ... is like the discovery of DNA to the world explains Nicolas de Cordes, vice president of Marketing vision, Orange. The decoding of DNA and genetic manipulation opened new areas of innovation, but raised important social issues and usage control. Big Data allows access to data and then modifies the way how the world works. We must also learn how to manage this new technology, and address social issues to ensure a better world. "


The data analysis has always existed. What is new? The real-time analysis of data between the company and its customers provides multiplied opportunities for business and society. The vocation of their most interesting uses: to anticipate the close future of customers. This “present now” requires access to very personal information which should be empowered in an automatic real-time so as does Google for example. It requires guardrails to identify expectations, and to respond to them avoiding risks (identity theft, for example) and errors (the feeling of intrusion). It requires a constant trade-off between the anticipation of new services and business relationships and the respect of trust and security in customer data.



“Big Data covers for Orange, explains Nicolas de Cordes, three strategic dimensions, all based on the principle of respect for privacy, which is based either on the customer consent regarding the use of its data, or insuring the anonymity of the data and their aggregation under a statistical form :

-          The improvement of services, the network productivity, to be an efficient company and to strengthen the brand promise. With the control of personal data, marketing is changing too, it sells relational.

-          Allowing our customers to use their own data: “the Small data”. For the moment, one project is in its experimental stage with the FING (Fondation Internet Nouvelle Generation in Paris); it gathers for a range of clients who have given their explicit consent, the providers information from a client (eg, La Poste, Société Générale, Google ) to permit their use in accordance with their needs,

-          Making anonymous data statistics available - under control - for external partners. Such as :

  • The PACA region to view tourist flows. The data is anonymized in real time (validation from CNIL) to know where move the tourists, including foreigners;
  • Universities from all over the world, to which Orange has provided five months of anonymous statistical information on mobile communications of Côte d'Ivoire in order to design applications helping economic development (management of transport lines to relieve high flow areas), health development (following epidemics) or social development (distribution of ethnic communities to improve knowledge of the Ivorian society) ...


Strict governance. This approach can be possible only if the privacy of individuals is strictly respected. “Orange has created a data governance board, with a clear goal, said Nicolas de Cordes, the one to ensure the accurate governance to protect privacy and personal data, in accordance with the Group's strategy, promoting the controlled development of new business opportunities on data networks”. This committee balances the tension that can exist between commercial stakes and the respect of upright uses of personal data, and if necessary, it arbitrates. It includes members of the operational departments and COMEX’s members.


How to better understand the cultural preference of your client?This is the issue of the recommendation and customization facilitated with the use of personal data in the context of a large and competitive supply according to Thibaut Munier, CEO of the 1000Mercis group whose added value is to help companies or brands to be “more relevant” in their communication towards their customers: "The Big Data players like 1000 Mercis aim to build the brands vision knowing “the properties of their clients”.” For a long time, customer relationship has been perceived as unilateral, from brand to consumers. With the database, we can reconstruct the "seller memory" and, for instance, remembering interactions. Implemented marketing actions try to turn the seller "smart" in order to propose the right supply to the right customer.


A significant need for pedagogy towards businesses and consumers. If the main players of the Big Data were pioneers in terms of techniques, it is now up to each company to renew the management of customer relationships with new uses of personal data. It is gratifying that the CNIL in France have identified a framework to protect the consumer without preventing the development of an industry and a know-how now recognized abroad. "The consumer power is more important than we think. He is aware of what is asked from him, and he wishes to exchange a service that meets his expectations. Too many non-target requests are lived as an intrusive experience and penalize the transformation rate of a brand. It is a risk that the brands must measure accurately" insists Thibaut Munier.


For the consumer, the starting point is his consent: What data do I agree to give? For what kind of uses? What kind of value creation is in exchange? Their expectations will evolve with experiences, new services which they know to have (GPS) through the use of their personal data.


The aim of the recommendation, or "serendipity", a term introduced in 1754 by Horace Walpole to designate the "unexpected discoveries made by chance and thanks to intelligence”. On the Internet, users seeking information or a specific item, sometimes discover "by chance" other information or articles of interest. The objective is to propose in real-time personalized products, mix between surprise and expectations of customers. "Mathematicians now have the spotlight, remarks Thibaut Munier, but be careful not to let them alone, there is a real need for a horizontal approach to content, creativity and project managements."


In our cultural data, there are also our values. "If we cannot forget the business behind the Big Data,  concludes Nicolas Seydoux, chairman of the Forum d'Avignon, the role of the Forum is to remind that that culture is the essence of the human species. The use of personal data leads to different perceptions in different countries. And one of the most sensitive countries, for historical reasons, is Germany. As we know, our data are used by the U.S. secret services. Economic activity yes, but we must pay attention to values, to respect our values. A pure economic use can be dangerous."


*To follow in November 2013: the full study Cabinet EY on "Personal Data and cultural behavior: between the necessary protection and exploitation in the service of new economic balances" available in its entirety for the annual meetings of November 21st to 23rd, 2013 and on Forum d'Avignon and EY websites.


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