Last month The Week ran the headline "What big data can tell us about the things we eat". It then went on to describe the differences between what, when, and where men and women consume food with the conclusion that "men are loafers who eat junk while women are ambitious calorie crunchers". The insights were drawn from a white paper published by GrubHub based on data harvested from its operations. Let me propose the following less misleading headline for The Week's story: "What big data can tell us about the food GrubHub's customers order from the takeout restaurants it represents"
As discussed in a previous post, when using big data to formulate conclusions about the world at large, one must always consider what and who is being left out. I had a dig around GrubHub's site and found a number of potential caveats to its position as an authoritative voice on the "gender wars" of America's eating preferences:
Image from Wikipedia
Annabel Kelly reports on the huge opportunities available to Western brands in China especially through e-commerce.
China is second only to the US for the size of its economy and imports. For some markets, however, China has overtaken the US. The Chinese car and light truck market is now bigger than the US market. What’s more, the Chinese – with their increased wealth and diminishing trust in local brands – have a fast growing appetite for Western products especially those that are consumed in public such as fashion, cosmetics, personal technology, food and drink, movies, and automotive. In 2013, for example, 60% of all vehicles purchased in China were not homegrown brands, an increase from the previous year.
Annabel recently attended a Q&A with Steve Hafner. Steve was a founder of Orbitz, sold it for $1.25billion and two weeks later created KAYAK. The travel site recently announced its acquisition by Priceline for $1.8billion! The event focused on the story of KAYAK and was hosted by the Stamford Innovation Center in Connecticut.
Top takeaways from Steve: