While the hot weather is hanging on in NYC, this week marked the end of vacation for many as students went back to school and the mobile device announcement season kicked into high gear.  

Our contributors helped launch the beginning of the school year with some looks at how to put data to work for you, future trends in the digital asset management world and an explanation of just what semantic web technologies are and what they do (and a hint at how they will change the future of enterprise information management). 

If you're like me and you miss the syllabuses from schooldays, consider this yours for the week.

Putting Data to Work

Four Actionable Steps for Google Analytics Users

Bob Clary (@webucator): As an avid Google Analytics user, I sometimes find myself overwhelmed with all of the data! I could spend days and days trying to determine actionable steps to help improve my website and online marketing endeavors, but that's just not realistic. I'm sure it's the same for you. So I want to provide you with four actionable steps you can do right now within your Google Analytics account.

My, That's Big Data (Or Is It Just a Big Pile of Data?)

Virginia Backaitis:There’s a difference between a big pile of data and Big Data.

It’s hard to believe that this needs to be said. But try this. Ask someone what Big Data is and see if you don’t hear words like petabyte, exabyte, zettabyte, yottabyte and the like dominate their answers. Most common definitions of Big Data revolve around quantity and data/information storage. 

To Meet the Needs of the Customer 

Holiday Promotion Checklist: Seven Factors Your Deal Needs to Have

Diane Buzzeo: Last year, customers turned to e-Commerce retailers in record numbers for their holiday shopping -- outpacing forecasts with a 25 percent increase in online sales. According to eMarketer, 2011’s e-Commerce boost warranted a 2012 online shopping prediction of US$ 224 billion, up more than 15 percent from 2011. With the gifting season creeping closer, it’s time for e-Commerce retailers to get their holiday promotion strategies into shape. 

Customer Experience: A Cost Benefit Analysis of Simplicity

Gerry McGovern (@gerrymcgovern): 

Simplicity for the customer causes complexity for the organization.

When Manish Chandra was launching Poshmark, a shopping party app, one of the design decisions he faced related to the payment system. It was relatively easy to plug PayPal in. However, Chandra was focused on making everything really easy for the customer. So, instead of using PayPal, his developers spent two months developing a system where payments could be made in two clicks.

The result of Chandra's relentless pursuit of simplicity for the customer was a mobile app that has been a big hit.

Change is in the Air

The What and Why of Semantic Web Technologies

Lee Feigenbaum (@leefeigenbaum): In my first article on The Semantic Web and the Modern Enterprise, I introduced the vision of the Semantic Web. I also discussed how the progress made while working towards that vision provides a strong foundation to help enterprises better deal with their information management challenges. In this article, we’ll take a high-level look at what the core Semantic Web technologies are, why they’re different from conventional technology approaches and how they deliver tangible benefits for enterprise information management.

A Simple Plan: How Lenders Prepare for the Future

Deb Miller (@debsg360): Here is part two of last month’s article "A Simple Plan: Why Lenders Need Adaptive Case Management." In this installment we’ll focus on process improvement with case management to help lenders prepare for the future.

Digital Asset Management Industry Trends

Edward Smith (@damgeek): DAM user I’ve worked with in the past recently emailed asking for a few bullet points on DAM industry trends. He is planning to expand his DAM service in 2013 and wanted to know my thoughts for an upcoming presentation. After giving it some thought and responding, I realized that these bullet points would be useful for anyone involved in a DAM initiative and therefore would make a great CMSWire article. 

Big Differences in Mobile Support for the Social Enterprise

Tom Petrocelli (@tompetrocelli): If there is one feature that everyone can agree upon in the Social Enterprise market, it’s mobile computing. IT professionals think it’s an important part of the Social Enterprise landscape and vendors fervently concur. As always, the devil is in the details.

Although everyone agrees on the importance of providing for mobile endpoints, mobile platform support from social collaboration software vendors varies greatly.

Internal Audit Needs to Stop Assessing and Reporting on Controls

Norman Marks (@normanmarks): Love him or hate him (few are undecided), Tim Leech is a man of passion. He is passionate on the topics of internal audit and risk management, to name just two.

Back to School for SharePoint

Microsoft Goes Back to School and Gets Smart: SharePoint 2013 & Education Services 

Steven Pogrebivsky (@metavistech): Sometimes Microsoft gets a good idea and then doesn’t follow through on it. This is the case with SharePoint and support for education. There’s a long history here and Microsoft appeared to drop a major opportunity. But SharePoint 2013 and Office 365 may just change that.

Why SharePoint 2013 Isn't For You

Mark Miller (@eusp): There’s a lot of noise on the street since the announcement of SharePoint 2013. We’re headed towards the largest SharePoint conference of the year in Las Vegas this November and it’s only going to get louder. Where does that leave you, the end user of SharePoint? About where you were before the announcement came out, I would think. It should not affect you at all.

5 Things Not to Do with Your New SharePoint Intranet

Chris Wright (@scribbleagency): As many of those who have used Microsoft SharePoint will know, it is a bit of a "kitchen sink" product. It offers the typical enterprise a bit of everything -- a bit of workflow, lots of document management, social features, calendars, basic task management -- this list goes on. As a result it can be difficult to know what bits to use and how best to use them. Intranet projects can quickly become bloated and the final product is met with a resounding whimper by end users.

Video Blog: Importing Labels to SharePoint 2010

Mike Doane (@mikedoane): There are many positive features to using the Term Store taxonomy management feature within SharePoint 2010. Unfortunately, not everything that we need as information managers is one click away.  

SharePoint and Yammer May Eventually Make a Good Pair; Too Bad Google is Going for a Straight Flush

Stephen Fishman (@trivoca): About this time last year many of my articles focused on the weak competitive position of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendors. The rapidly shifting marketplace was predicted to force some to evolve and some to die through the introduction of strong products of cloud based offerings of Jive, Drupal, Salesforce, Google+ and eventually Facebook. When the cards fell, this introduction would eventually raise the stakes of the employee-experience/intranet space to spur a reinvention of the intranet from the ground up.

There's more insights in store for next week, so check back to see just what you should be doing with that big pile of data you've been collecting. 

Title image courtesy of Kuzma (Shutterstock)