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Finding Wisdom in Big Data

October 1, 2012 - 0 Comments

Big Data is a topic these days that seems to be, well, how do I say it, BIG.  Everywhere we turn there is someone discussing or explaining the topic.  It’s hard not to see blogs and articles that discuss the opportunities that lie ahead along with the challenges of data volume, variety and velocity. To put it into perspective, we’re watching data traffic grow exponentially right before our very eyes.  But it isn’t about the data; it’s about the path to wisdom it provides.

To hear how big data is impacting all of us, join us virtually in a very special webcast from New York City Tuesday, Oct. 2nd called the “Human Face of Big Data – Mission Control”.  I’ll be one of several speakers and I encourage each of you to sign up for the live broadcast that kicks off at 9am ET.  Join the conversation on Twitter at #datainmotion and @FaceOfBigData.

“Data in motion”

At the event in New York, I’ll be talking about “data in motion” and its impact on wisdom. Data in motion comes in real time from a variety of sources, including the rapidly growing number of sensors, and is evaluated in meaningful ways that lead to knowledge and wisdom. The value of data is often dictated by time or its velocity – being at its highest value as it is created.

Consider these data points on data:

  •  In 2003, there were 500 million connected devices1
  •  By 2015, that number will reach 25 billion1
  •  By 2020, it will be 50 billion1
  •  In 2011, global IP networks carried 1 exabyte of data2
  •  In 2016, networks will carry 3.6 exabytes of daily data 2

Sources: 1Cisco Chief Futurist, IBSG 2012

                2 Cisco VNI 2012

Is all this buzz warranted? Historically, big data has been almost exclusively about volume. (Of course, what was considered a data deluge 10 years ago is but a drop in the ocean today.) Now, the compounding effect of data is causing a “data deluge” that needs to be mined and managed. It’s about taking the bits and bytes of data we capture and transforming it into information that provides us with real knowledge. This knowledge can be the difference between success and failure in an economy that will give an edge to those individuals and organizations that are able to capture, process and convert this knowledge to wisdom.

Wisdom, gleaned from various sources of meaningful data, will be foundational to organizations in every industry.  It will play a critical role in helping organizations make better decisions that lead to improved outcomes.

Welcome to a sensor world

Sensors are the new Internet inhabitants that will change the face of our understanding of the world.  These sensors will be simple, extremely smart, deliver significant value, and device agnostic.  We will be able to access them virtually anywhere via the cloud, and all will generate significant amounts of data.

Not all bits are created equal

CIOs and CTOs face many challenges.  One of today’s biggest is managing and extracting value from the massive amounts of data in their networks. So far, analytics has been seen as the answer, on the principle that you need to “find the needle in a haystack.”  However, these analytics are most frequently applied to ‘data at rest’ or static data. New data in motion (video, M2M/Internet of Things) requires real-time, predictive analytics to provide actionable insights at the right place and at the right time.

Next steps

We are early in the early stages of evolution for data in motion and the impact it will have on all of us.  But it is clear that the more knowledge we have, based on meaningful information, pulled from a variety of data sources, the more wisdom we can gain and apply.  It will profoundly change the world.
Remember, join me on the Web Oct. 2nd as I discuss the future of data with thought leaders in the field.

Hope to see you there …virtually of course!


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