1 hr 13 mins
- Scott Kirsner
- Sam Madden
- Sandy Pentland
- Willard Simmons
- Rama Ramakrishnan
Our world is drowning in data! Recently, everyone working on information technology issues is talking about or expressing worry about the rather ill-defined topic of "Big Data."
Every company in every industry is collecting an increasing amount of data: data about its customers; data about its products, data about its processes. Every human with a job or a car a bank account has data about their particulars stored in multiple databases. Anyone with an electronic device (mobile phone, laptop, scanner, camera) is creating a trail of data about their activities. On any given day, an individual moving through the world and initiating any kind of transaction (e.g. purchasing groceries, driving on a toll road, withdrawing money from an ATM), is generating data that is being collected somewhere. Corporate participation and investments in social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LnkedIn), has added to the data we're generating and collecting. Individual participation at these same web sites generates even more data. And finally, an increasing number of sensors in the world, all collecting and broadcasting data in real time, are responsible for even more data that can be used to help make decisions. There is so much data in the world, that we're now looking to services that can store is and back it up elsewhere -- somewhere in "the cloud." And now we need to worry about how secure this data is!
While many companies appear to be focused on collection, storage and the security of this data, some companies (led by online social media and search firms such as Google, Amazon and Facebook) are capitalizing on this data to develop extremely accurate profiles of their customers, in order to provide each individual with services that would be most useful to that person. These are the firms that currently have some of the leading researchers who can interpret, analyze and make decisions on this data. Today, as we continue to face a mountain of data, we are realizing that there is a great shortage of skilled mathematicians, computer scientists, programmers, business analysts and decision makers that know what's relevant to collect, how to interpret this data from multiple sources, and how to make sense of any of it.
This panel brings together researchers and start-up companies in Big Data to explore the following questions:
- What types of problems are most frequently being considered when the topic of "Big Data" comes up? In what industries?
- How does an organization pull together a team of statisticians, experts in machine learning, analysts and decision makers to determine what data is relevant to your organization?'
- Is it just the data? What about the connections?
- How does one know that correlations in data and the conclusions/interpretations that may result really make sense?
- What are examples of an organization's strategy around "Big Data" that the panelists could share?
- Do discussions about where to store and how to access this data (e.g. cloud vs. in-house) often cloud users' discussions about what to do with this data?