Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Yeshim Deniz, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Drilling the Data Wells of the Future

Human-generated Big Data could make us rich

Human-generated content is comprised of all the files and e-mails that we create every day, all the presentations, word processing documents, spreadsheets, audio files and other documents our employers ask us to produce hour-by-hour. These are the files that take up the vast majority of digital storage space in most organizations - they are kept for significant amounts of time and have huge amounts of metadata associated with them. Human-generated content is huge, and its metadata is even bigger. Metadata is the information about a file: who might have created it, what type of file it is, what folder it is stored in, who has been reading it and who has access to it. The content and metadata together make up human-generated Big Data.

The problem is that most of us, meaning organizations and governments, are not yet equipped with the tools to exploit human-generated Big Data. The conclusion of a recent survey of over 1,000 Internet experts and other Internet users, published by the Pew Research Centre and the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University, is that the world may not be ready to properly handle and understand Big Data.[1] These experts have come to the conclusion that the huge quantities of data, which they term "digital exhaust," which will be created by the year 2020 could very well enhance productivity, improve organizational transparency and expand the frontier of the "knowable future." However, they are concerned about whose hands this information is in and whether government or corporations will use this information wisely.

The survey found that "...human and machine analysis of Big Data could improve social, political and economic intelligence by 2020. The rise of what is known as Big Data will facilitate things like real-time forecasting of events; the development of ‘inferential software' that assesses data patterns to project outcomes; and the creation of algorithms for advanced correlations that enable new understanding of the world."

Of those surveyed, 39% of the Internet experts asked agreed with the counterargument to Big Data's benefits, which posited that "Human and machine analysis of Big Data will cause more problems than it solves by 2020. The existence of huge data sets for analysis will engender false confidence in our predictive powers and will lead many to make significant and hurtful mistakes. Moreover, analysis of Big Data will be misused by powerful people and institutions with selfish agendas who manipulate findings to make the case for what they want."

As one of the study's participants, entrepreneur Bryan Trogdon put it: "Big Data is the new oil," observing that, "...the companies, governments, and organizations that are able to mine this resource will have an enormous advantage over those that don't. With speed, agility, and innovation determining the winners and losers, Big Data allows us to move from a mindset of ‘measure twice, cut once' to one of ‘place small bets fast.'"[2]

Jeff Jarvis, professor and blogger, said: "Media and regulators are demonizing Big Data and its supposed threat to privacy. Such moral panics have occurred often thanks to changes in technology. But the moral of the story remains: there is value to be found in this data, value in our newfound ability to share. Google's founders have urged government regulators not to require them to quickly delete searches because, in their patterns and anomalies, they have found the ability to track the outbreak of the flu before health officials could and they believe that by similarly tracking a pandemic, millions of lives could be saved. Demonizing data, big or small, is demonising knowledge, and that is never wise."[3]

Sean Mead, director of analytics at Mead, Mead & Clark, Interbrand said: "Large, publicly available data sets, easier tools, wider distribution of analytics skills, and early stage artificial intelligence software will lead to a burst of economic activity and increased productivity comparable to that of the Internet and PC revolutions of the mid to late 1990s. Social movements will arise to free up access to large data repositories, to restrict the development and use of AIs, and to ‘liberate' AIs."[4]

These are very interesting arguments and they do begin to get to the heart of the matter - which is that our data sets have grown beyond our ability to analyze and process them without sophisticated automation. We simply have to rely on technology to analyze and cope with this enormous wave of content and metadata.

Analyzing human-generated Big Data has enormous potential. More than potential, harnessing the power of metadata has become essential to manage and protect human-generated content. File shares, emails, and intranets have made it so easy for end users to save and share files that organizations now have more human-generated content than they can sustainably manage and protect using small data thinking. Many organizations face real problems because questions that could be answered 15 years ago on smaller, more static data sets can no longer be answered. These questions include: Where does critical data reside, who accesses it, and who should have access to it? As a consequence, IDC estimates that only half the data that should be protected is protected.

The problem is compounded with cloud-based file sharing, as these services create yet another growing store of human-generated content requiring management and protection - one that lies outside corporate infrastructure with different controls and management processes.

David Weinberger of Harvard University's Berkman Center said: "We are just beginning to understand the range of problems Big Data can solve, even though it means acknowledging that we're less unpredictable, free, madcap creatures than we'd like to think. If harnessing the power of human generated big data can make data protection and management less unpredictable, free, and madcap, organizations will be grateful.

References

  1. http://www.elon.edu/e-web/predictions/expertsurveys/2012survey/future_Big_Data_2020.xhtml
  2. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Future-of-Big-Data/Overview.aspx
  3. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Future-of-Big-Data/Overview.aspx
  4. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Future-of-Big-Data/Overview.aspx

More Stories By Rob Sobers

Rob Sobers is a designer, web developer, and technical marketing manager for Varonis, where he oversees the company's online marketing strategy. He writes a popular blog on software and security at accidentalhacker.com and is co-author of the book "Learn Ruby the Hard Way", which has been used by thousands of students to learn the Ruby programming language. Rob is a 12-year technology industry veteran and, prior to joining Varonis, held positions in software engineering, design, and professional services.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.