Some while back, an article from McKinsey and Co highlighted the importance of weak signals. Swirling in the torrent of big data are clues and pointers as to where you need to take the business. In themselves they are not evidence. But they might reveal a trend or situation that can now form the basis of a hypothesis which can in turn be methodically explored.
The question is whether the search for weak signals requires the creation of a Chief Listening Officer or whether everybody in the organisation needs to be trained in weak signal detection.
Possibly there is an emerging industry for service companies to identify weak signals and sell them; a kind of digital economy press cuttings service.
A new value adding role for the PR industry perhaps?