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'Tis the season to question the mobile-first mentality

In this week's Searchlight, Web entrepreneurs ponder the point of a mobile-first mentality. Plus big data tips and tech in politics.

If your mobile device seemed to be acting a little sluggish this week, it wasn't just the lingering tryptophan in your system playing tricks. Now that Cyber Monday has become Cyber Week (which surely will soon beget Cyber Fortnight), the online crush of holiday shoppers has now made its presence felt on mobile retail sites. The (gasp!) 18-second average loading time actually sent some mobile shoppers scurrying to their clunky old laptops to make purchases via traditional websites. Not a good thing for customers, and certainly not a good thing for retailers when one considers that four out of five smartphone owners use the device to shop. The lessons here for the next cyber-season: Remember the mantra, "Mobile first and test, test, test!" Unless of course you're swayed by the new "mobile later" movement we lighted upon and bring to you in this week's Searchlight. In addition, read about Google's latest creepy/cool endeavor to read our minds, tips for data wranglers and more. No "door busting" or slow processing here -- just click the links and go!

  • Everyone has heard the call to action for customer satisfaction: Build your mobility strategy now! Mobile first! Actually, hold that thought, says blogger and social network entrepreneur Vabhu Norby. And he's not alone.
  • We're not entirely comfortable with Google's quest to uncover our "hidden needs" -- those things we want to know but don't look up on Google -- but we have to admit we're intrigued. In fact, if it can help find car keys in the morning, Godspeed.
  • So much data, so little time. The more data becomes available, the higher the demand on analysts, business intelligence pros and other information wranglers. Here are some tips on knowing when it's time to expand your data team.
  • Speaking of dealing with overwhelming amounts of data -- for those who want to deal with overwhelming amounts of data for a living, CIO blogger Isaac Sacolick suggests three ways budding data scientists can differentiate themselves.
  • There's been plenty said about how uber tech-savvy teams helped keep President Obama in the White House. Now stats guru Nate Silver opines on how a dearth of such IT talent connected to the GOP is a threat to its viability.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Karen Goulart, Features Writer.

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