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Continuing Conversation: Rick Smolan and the human face of big data

As more devices, people and things become connected to the Internet, an unprecedented amount of data will be generated: data which can become a powerful tool for solving some of the greatest challenges facing our planet.

Carlos Dominguez and photojournalist Rick Smolan

Carlos Dominguez and photojournalist Rick Smolan

I spoke with well-known photojournalist Rick Smolan about how we can turn data into wisdom, and the importance of capturing data in real time. Rick has worked at Time, Life and National Geographic and is the creator of the popular Day in the Life book series. In his most ambitious project to date, he tackled the subject of big data in the Human Face of Big Data project.

I talked with Rick about what his project is discovering, and the first part of our conversation was published in the blog Is there a human face behind big data?

Cisco co-sponsored the project because we believe we’re entering an era of the “Internet of Everything” which will bring data as well as people, processes and things together to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before.

In today’s blog, we continue the conversation by focusing on how big data can improve our communities and the world.

Q:  Rick, your project’s premise is that real-time visualization of data streaming in from satellites, billions of sensors, RFID tags, GPS-enabled cameras and smart phones, is beginning to enable us to sense, measure and understand aspects of our existence in ways never possible.  Your recently published book The Human Face of Big Data has some wonderful examples on harnessing data to improve the world – do you have a favorite?    Read More »

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Looking Beyond the Mobile Phone

Why the Network Will Drive the Next Wave of Mobility

Forty years ago, the first phone call was placed on a handheld mobile phone. The call was placed by Martin Cooper at Motorola’s Communications Systems Division, who phoned a competitor at Bell Labs—and launched a new era. The brick-like prototype he used weighed two pounds and cost nearly $4,000.

Reflecting on the first mobile phone call also gives us a great opportunity to think about where mobile communication will take us in the years to come. In a few short decades, cell phones have evolved from a clunky appliance used mainly by high-powered businesspeople, into a key part of everyday life. Read More »

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Cisco Sizzle – March Edition

Welcome to the Cisco Sizzle! Each month, we’re rounding up the best of the best froCisco_Sizzle_Finalm across our social media channels for your reading pleasure. From the most read blog posts to the top engaging content on Facebook or LinkedIn, catch up on things you might have missed, or on the articles you just want to see again, all in one place.

Let’s take a look back at the top content from March…

Tomorrow Starts Here
Explore how the Internet of Everything will change the way we work, live, play and learn.

Connected World Technology Report
Calling all IT professionals! Over two thirds of the IT managers agree that Big Data will be a strategic priority for their companies in 2013 and over the next five years as well. Do you agree? Is Big Data a strategic priority for your company?

Cisco on Fortune’s Most Admired
Once again, Cisco is honored to be on Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” List. Fortune tells us that the Most Admired list is the “definitive report card on corporate reputations.” Congratulations to our employees, and thanks to Fortune for the honor!

Understanding the Different Types of Wireless Routers
If your small business has grown and your workforce has become more m734216_10151813220863032_619814475_nobile, you may be considering adding wireless to your network. Cisco explains the basics so you can identify which wireless router best fits your needs.

TeleWork Week
If you telecommuted for a week, how much time do you think you would save?

Network Madness
Don’t worry network managers; we’ve got you covered. Find out about Cisco’s solutions to Network Madness.

Check out the Cisco Storify feed for even more great content!

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Dynamic Care: Managing the Patient’s Experience by the Minute

Wherever you go and whatever you do in the 21st century, you generate a data trail. Your credit and debit cards, mobile phone, laptop computer, tablet — not to mention retailers, banks, hospitals, hotel systems, and activity on social networks, blogs,  and email — all generate data.

Yet, we are currently connecting less than 1 percent of the things, people, and machines that could be online, communicating and collaborating. As we create the Internet of Everything (IoE), the amount of data will rise exponentially, created by your car, clothes, medicines, food, e-books, and presence on video surveillance systems.

The mountain of data collected about people and things has led to a growing industry dealing with high-volume, high-variety, high-velocity, virtual data sets (“the 4Vs”, according to Gartner) — often called “Big Data.” The growth of Big Data is an inevitable reality of a digitally connected world. Read More »

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Big Data is Just the Beginning: Cisco Connected World Technology Report

This week, the third and final chapter of the most recent Cisco Connected World Technology Report was released. This global survey asked 1,800 IT professionals in 18 countries across a broad range of industries to share their views on the potential challenges of Big Data and beyond. In a previous post , I discussed the evolution of Big Data and the importance of extracting value out of Data in Motion to create new  applications that matter here and now, in real-time. ( Beyond Big Data : Mastering Data in Motion for Positive Business Impact)

Just as the Internet of Everything is bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable, the same is true of Big Data — the ability to turn information into actions will create key advantages for businesses, individuals, and countries. This latest CCWTR report provides crucial insight into how IT professionals view this sea change.

Two in three of the survey respondents indicated that Big Data will continue to be a strategic priority for their company in 2013 and for the next five years. Globally, IT professionals believe that Big Data will not only help improve decision making in their own companies but that it will also increase the global competitiveness of their countries.  Countries such as China, Mexico, and India saw the strongest correlation between Big Data and national competitive advantages (over 80% of respondents agreed).

Data Security and RisksBigData&Beyond

Some of the most interesting findings are about the challenges that IT professionals associate with Big Data. More than one in four respondents globally said that data security and risk management are a major concern. Protecting Big Data is a big challenge. Data resides everywhere; it is in the cloud, in mobile devices, and in social networks. Data comes from disparate sources in different shapes and forms. Multi-perimeter protection is key but securing data and protecting users’ privacy goes beyond the traditional IT view. Big Data brokers buy data sets from stores where you shop and can sell it to anybody.  Sensitive data is protected, but much of your information can be bought and sold without any input or permission from you. While making the data anonymous can protect an individual’s privacy,
re-identification examples show the risks of open data and crowdsourcing.

Better IT Policies

Another particularly interesting finding in the survey is the importance of better policies and improved security to help companies manage the increased traffic related to Big Data but also mobility and video. Only 41% surveyed reported that they were ready for the surge in network traffic. Over 27% say they will need better policies and security measures, and 20% said they will need more bandwidth. These results confirm that bigger pipes alone are not sufficient to handle the data deluge coming from a variety of sources at a high velocity. An intelligent information infrastructure provides a better way to collect, manage, and extract value from data. It is not about transporting the data as quickly as possible from the point of creation to a point of analysis but rather deciding “on the spot” , what to do with the data.

The Key “Takeaway”

Organizations need to expand their view of data beyond traditional storage and analysis in order to develop new systems of engagement that leverage “data in motion,” enabling them to gain real-time insights and create better experiences for their users.

Read more about the report and take a look at the results as they apply to your own country. As usual we welcome your comments!

Data in Motion -- A Definition

Data in Motion represents the continuous interactions between connected elements such as people, process, and things. Data from new devices, sensors, and cameras is at maximum value while still in motion. During these interactions, the intelligent network provides secure unique insights in real-time. Value can be extracted and acted upon as events occur to create advantage here and now or even to predict the future. Organizations can make better decisions, provide enhanced experiences, and achieve competitive advantage. A recent Cisco IBSG white paper details the actual value of these connections in some key industries covering a number of use cases. 

 

Potential and Challenges of Data from Cisco Data Center

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