Jan 13, 2013

From Big Baloney to Big Opportunity in Big Data

In early 2012 Big-Data was a most hyped concept in the tech industry with a lot of technocratic pundits wondering what the need for any big data was in the first place. Now it is becoming more than evident that big0-data is but starting.

The amount of data we create as a planet is growing exponentially. Data is bubbling forth from many sources including cameras, sensors, signals, blogs, social media, tweets, browsing trails we leave behind, and google searches we conduct. Include into these mix e-commerce transactions, product complaints via emails and texts, medical records, DNA details, drug contradictions, GPS locations of various smart devices and vehicles and we seem to be just scratching the surface.

The world has yet seen nothing of what big data informatics can actually yield. Proactive companies are already starting to invest into the new 360 degree informatics - analytics that mash-up external and enterprise data in an efficient manner.
Predictive analytics allows you to know the weather before you start your day, or before you head for the hills for a skiing holiday. Our GPS traffic tells us the traffic 10 to 50 miles ahead and provides actionable predictive solutions by providing alternative routes when traffic is very heavy, it also provides alternative routes when the information consumer takes a wrong turn for example. It is now routine to know what time the next train will arrive that we don’t event think of it as predictive analytics.

Take it one step further and we can today predict the next hotspot for a battle in Afghanistan simply by analyzing social, text and behavioral patterns to an accuracy where the nascent algorithms could predict altercations up to 24 hours ahead of it happening in 46% of cases.
Google Now, shows us the first glimpe on the predictive power of NOW.

Two things to remember

First start seeing patterns - as we move forward and merge human genome data, with weather, health, chemical contaminations, where each person lives we will certainly be able to predict the impact of genome, lifestyle, disease and life expectancy.

Second big data is the biggest data sets you require to meet your analytics reach. For an enterprise it could be 20 to a 100 terabytes. For Google it could be 20 to 100 Exabyte’s and for the NSA it could be a few Yotabytes
All individuals need not start thinking Yotabytes of data management right now. Focus on your needs only.
Within a few years, expect to be able to do Google-like searches to learn what diseases those with similar genetics have had and what medications worked for them. Eventually, when researchers combine the medical records of a hundred million people with their genome data, work habits, and other information, such as weather and pollution data based on where they live, they will all but certainly be able to determine the correlation between genome, disease and lifestyle.

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