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Making The Data Revolution Real

 January 27, 2015  /  Comments Off on Making The Data Revolution Real

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The buzz surrounding the mythical term “big data” has existed for years now. Once only understood by a relative few and reserved for more technical briefings, it has now entered into the mainstream vernacular and more importantly, big data is likewise being employed to achieve all-encompassing results which would have been thought to be impossible only a short while ago. Still, we should recall that big data is finding its way into real-world applications as opposed to merely remaining in the realm of statistics and analyses. So, what are some of the changes that we have seen and what do these say for the future of big data? Let’s take a closer look.

Making The Data Revolution Real

A New Physicality

As hinted at previously, big data is now taking on a form that can be understood and implemented by those who are working in very real physical fields. A perfect example of this synergy can be seen in the recent #ScienceAfrica undertaking. Collaborators were encouraged to pitch ideas which incorporate big data; the ultimate goal being to lay the groundwork for practical improvements alongside overall scientific advancement in Africa. Due to the many variables that are naturally involved in such a region-wide undertaking, the use of big data is all but essential. The final result were two winners which shared a large cash prize. Mary Olushoga identified the need for African women to be more involved within business development while an organisation known as TreND are developing data processes and analytical models to understand genomic data across the continent.

Utilising the Data?

One of the quandaries which is still be examined is how this massive amount of data is to be used. According to some analysts, there are two main areas to consider. First, demand-driven data will be disseminated to the relevant parties. Then, supply-driven techniques can be used to correctly target the end user (such as in the case of public works and entrepreneurs). However, some factors need to be considered. For example, independent agencies may need to be created to tackle such a task. This should be broad as opposed to local in scale. Addressing any lack of coordination and providing the proper incentives are also important metrics. Big data needs to be coordinated with the latest technologies such as mobile phones and social media. Finally, this information should be made freely available and easy to access.

More Than Just Talk

Many now refer to a so-called “data revolution”. This can be defined as the high-level coordination of activists and academics with the purpose of collecting massive amounts of information and utilising it in ways which can produce viable results.

Still, it is often the case that challenges will arise as a result of collating “old” and “new” data. Both groups need to be used together in order to understand the “big picture”. Some examples could be how many disabled children are not in school across the United Kingdom or how the field of m-commerce can be better used to track and appreciate the needs of the consumer. So, it is clear that the interpretation of big data has profound commercial as well as economic and social implications.

Big Data is no longer reserved for the overlords of the Internet and computing alone. On the contrary, it is likely to soon shape our very global existence. While barriers still exist and there are questions revolving around how this information should be used, it is no secret that the revolution shows no signs of slowing down. It will indeed be interesting to see what the future may hold.

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  • Published: 2 years ago on January 27, 2015
  • Last Modified: January 28, 2015 @ 5:24 am
  • Filed Under: Technology

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