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Post Tagged with: Big data technologies

Identifying important information in Big Data to answer real world challenges

Identifying important information in Big Data to answer real world challenges

Over the past one year, knowingly or unknowingly, Big Data has become the biggest buzzword enterprises are finding hard to pass. Believe it or not, according to the current dependence on Big Data and its allied technologies, we can assume that Big Data is here to stay, and we all will have to use it to address our real world problems.

big-data

The way in which Big Data technologies have evolved in the real word enterprise goes on to show that even technologists and scientists who might have disparaged the word (Big Data) previously, will now be acknowledging it.

Like everything has loopholes, Big Data isn’t any different. Big Data problems are basically issues caused not because of the unavailability of data, but by the abundance of available data. There is so much influx of data that is rather impossible to know which piece of information is actually important and how different important information pieces can be put together for meaningful information.

Researching on a general way to understand complex systems and to answer the biggest question that Big Data can’t answer – ‘how to know what’s important in complex world?’ president and scientist of the New England Complex Systems Institute Yaneer Bar-Yam has devised a trick to identify patterns in largest scale of behavior. Bar-Yam has revealed his findings in the article titled “Beyond big data: Identifying important information for real world challenges”

According to Yaneer, to understand and address most social and biological challenges, it is important to frame a scientific inquiry with an idea to objectively conclude what is important or unimportant instead of amassing larger and larger sets of data.

Yaneer explains that the identified patterns of behavior determined from handful of information are the key to understanding a system and to inform how the behavior can be influenced in the future.

Yaneer Bar-Yam and his team have used the successful tested this approach by predicting various complex systems and real world challenges like market crashes, ethnic violence, food prices and many more biological and complex social systems.

Via: NECSI

IT Companies Should NOT Hesitate to Milk Big Data

IT Companies Should NOT Hesitate to Milk Big Data

Big Data is being utilized by businesses in every field to answer questions and predict the future with more reliability than the traditional methods that were used before big data analytics came along. It is surprising that IT isn’t utilizing big data as much as they should.

IT, like most other businesses, needs to predict the future in terms of surprise requirements, new opportunities and threats and worst case scenarios. A lot of these questions can be answered by using big data analysis. All parts of IT; operations, security, customer service, forecasting etc. can benefit by using big data.

IT has access to a lot of data in terms of logs, traces, emails, counters, feedback, polls etc. that it can use to solve critical problems related to predicting future scenarios.

Big data

The Usual Solution

The solution that IT has been using till now is to purchase packaged applications for their services and in case of a unique solution, they tend to integrate their own solutions to the applications with the help of their unique business know how.

The new idea is to use all the data collected, both internally and externally and apply big data analysis to it to move on to the next level.

It’s Already Started

A few IT companies have already started utilizing big data because they see the potential behind it. EMC IT is using big data to analyze their data and predict potential issues with their app delivery system.

Some companies are starting to use the huge amount of data they have collected for security. Already certain applications exist that analyze security data but by creating their own applications companies can come up with better solutions for their unique security requirement.

Companies can also use big data to forecast how much money they’d need to spend in the coming year on upgrading their capacity to store, compute and analyze data.

IT Always Leads the Way

It has been seen that the IT is always the one that takes on new technologies and systems and gains enough domain expertise in the area to help other branches of business later.

The data already exists and the tools for analysis of this data also exist. It’s just a matter of time before all IT companies start using big data in new and creative ways to solve unseen problems and predict the future. It is easy to get started and a lot of money is not required to get into big data. We are going to see a game changing utilization of data in the near future, just as soon as the IT sector wakes up and smells the data.

Apple’s Acquisition of Topsy Could be a Great Move

Apple’s Acquisition of Topsy Could be a Great Move

Apple has recently acquired Topsy Labs, a San Francisco based analytics firm, for $200 million. The Indian owned firm specializes in analyzing tweets and has an archive of over 400 billion tweets, starting from 2006 when Twitter was first launched. It also has a searchable database of all tweets ever sent, something that even Google doesn’t have, because of its partnership with Twitter.

topsyTopsy Labs was formed in 2007 by Vipul Ved Prakash, Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, Gary Iwatani and Justin Foutts. It collects and analyzes huge amount of data generated everyday on Twitter and allows its customers to make sense of all the noise. This buy could be a great move for Apple depending on how they use Topsy.

Apple hasn’t commented on what they intend to use Topsy for, but it is clear that with such a powerful tool, they have a lot of opportunities in front of them. Kristin Huguet, a spokesperson for Apple Inc, confirmed the acquisition but did not reveal Apple’s plans for Topsy.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Huguet said.

The Opportunities for Apple

The most obvious use is to get feedback about their products and services and market their products in a better way. They could also analyze key players on social networks and use them to spread the word about their services.

dataTopsy has developed many state of the art systems to deal with such huge amount of data obtained from social networks. They have filed patents for many systems and methods for customizing filtering and predictive crawling of social media. Apple could use this technology to analyze the data that they have been collecting through their devices and app store.

They could use it to improve the search feature of Siri, providing users with better search results by analyzing what recommendations their friends made on Twitter. Twitter is the most used social media platform on smart phones and getting access to all of its data along with the ability to analyse it, is definitely a great opportunity.

Competing with Google

Google has been trying to make their search engine more personalized based on data gathered from social media. Now Apple has a very strong tool to do the same. Both companies are spending big money on acquisitions in order to maintain their edge in the rapidly changing world of information technology. Apple spent $496 million in their last fiscal year on acquisitions while Google spent a whopping $1.4 billion.

Is Big Data a Threat to Your Privacy?

Is Big Data a Threat to Your Privacy?

Big Data is growing bigger every day and along with it the concern over invasion of privacy is also growing. Tracking all the data generated by your mobile and other devices and your interactions on social media, is beneficial for advertisers to tailor their ads to suit you. But there’s more to the story than that. Companies have now begun to come up with very creative ways to use real time data.

Let’s look at some interesting examples.

Smart Rubbish Bins in London

An advertising firm in London came up with the idea to use strategically placed dustbins to track the wifi signal of phones of the people passing by. They could use the serial number of the phones to track the movement of every individual. They could then use this data to show advertisements on the screen of these bins, that are targeted at the person passing by.

smartbins

Now even dustbins are becoming smart!

The officials have asked Renew, the responsible ad firm, to take down the smart dustbins as there has been a lot of concern about the invasion of privacy of the people.

Police Cars in Australia get Number Plate Recognition Cameras

The Aussies have come up with another great use of Big Data by using number plate recognition cameras that can read multiple number plates simultaneously and also search their database to find out all the information about that driver. They can tell if a car is stolen or if you have unpaid parking tickets just by looking at your car’s number plate.

police car

The hand of the law gets longer.

Are Such Examples a Threat to Your Privacy?

When CCTV cameras first came on the scene, the public responded to them with an outrage similar to what we see now in terms of Big Data. But once people got used to the new technology and saw the benefits in solving crimes and catching miscreants swiftly, the fears of Big Brother always watching them subsided.

The truth is that people will allow collection of any data as long as it is collected with their permission and it is used to create value for them. Instead of shoving ads in people’s faces, companies should try to find other ways to use Big Data, not only to reduce costs for the company but also to provide quality to the customer.

One great example to highlight the creative use of Big Data is the potential for insurance companies. Today all natural or man made calamities generate a lot of data in the social media.

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Data about Hurricane Sandy

Insurance companies can use this data along with before and after images on Google Maps Street View, Flickr, Instagram etc. to find out how much destruction of property their clients have suffered.

torn houseThey can estimate the number and amount of claims that they will have to deal with. They can provide quick claim settlements to their customers which will be appreciated by all and people will readily agree to data collection if they are told of such rewards.

Great Opportunities

A Westpac survey showed that it only took 30 months for mobile usage to reach 1 Million as compared to 80 months it took for online usage to reach the 1 Million mark.

graphThis means that there are great opportunities available to use this rapidly growing Big Data but it will have to be done with care and while keeping the interests of the consumer in mind.

3 ways big data analytics is changing our lives

3 ways big data analytics is changing our lives

Big data has travelled a great deal from just being a buzzword only a year back. Service providers and analytics are fully engrossed in understanding the benefits which can be derived out of big data analytics. Since big data is everything we do every day to leave a digital trace, it can be analyzed to better our lives. Read on to know how big data analytics is changing our lives with each passing day.

big data changing livesWith the explosion of data in every form, from books to maps and from calls to apps, from advertisements to social network updates and from surveys to varying trends – we are leaving more and more digital traces with every digitalizing world. Since all this avalanche of data is touching our lives every day, it has become one of the mega trends that will impact (and is impacting) everyone in one way or the other.

Listed below are a few examples of how big data analytics is already changing our lives for good.

At home and office

There was a time when nothing was possible at home without human intervention, today we have small and seasoned manufactures developing devices that help us monitor every single thing at home, from elders to pets and from appliances to door locks, everything can be monitored from miles ways just by using a smartphone and an application.

Manufacturers have devised sensors to automate lighting and your appliances at home or in offices. You can turn on the lights or the air conditioner even before you walk into the office or home. You don’t have to stand up and turn of the light or walk to the washing machine to switch it on, a smartphone with dedicated app can do it for you from the comfort of your bed.

While driving or shopping

Auto manufacturers like Ford are using big data analytics to make their future vehicles more environmental friendly. In addition, there are companies and third-party developers who have developed applications to allow smartphones to send out location information, information about how fast you’re are driving, combined with the information of real time traffic to give you the best routes to avoid traffic, or give you information of the nearby gas station, restaurant, bank etc.

While shopping, the loyalty card of the store is combined with your purchase history and social media data to offer you discount coupons and personalized offers based on your loyalty to the store. This is really making shopping more fun, economical and very personalized.

Hospitals, healthcare and fitness

Doctors are maintaining record of patients to keep track of their medical history, for better, quicker and more pin point treatment. While, pediatric units in hospitals are live steaming heartbeats of premature and sick babies in the womb. Combining the information with historically data and based on analysis, doctors are now able to detect infections in babies even before they are born.

Fitness and healthcare have become the biggest market for electronic companies. Most manufacturers, including Nike have are coming out with fitness bands, smartwatches and pedometers etc to collect daily data of a person’s physical routine, calories, sleep patterns and heart rate etc., which is then sent wirelessly to smartphone, doctors and insurance companies to devise  better and more customized healthcare programs.

Ford’s new green future driven by big data

Ford’s new green future driven by big data

Ford considers big data analytics as the next frontier of innovation and productivity. It has been using big data – in and out of vehicles, to design new age eco-friendly vehicles that will help the environment appreciably.  Talking about green automobile innovations, there is hardly any manufacturer that can come close to what Ford has delivered to the environmentally conscious world in the past few years. There are many outlining things Ford has done differently to get to the pinnacle, but one thing that stands apart from the rest is use of big data to its advantage. Ford Logo Ford has invested a great deal in big data technologies and analytics. This investment has permitted the automaker’s scientists and researchers to understand realistic fuel economy targets and green routing services. In addition to learning about the availability of rare raw materials that go into the making of in-car batteries and powertrains. Ford took the decision of investing in big data on the recommendation of the company’s Research and Innovation Center, which came into existence towards the end of 1990s. The Center began providing small insight based on the information extracted from the avalanche of data. But with time, the group has begun providing broad information on climate science findings and weather trends etc. that can influence Ford’s decision making about developing new products and services. The information derived from diagnosis of big data is helping Ford achieve new standards in green automobile technology. In spite of heavy investments in big data technologies, Ford has not been able to streamline and sort all the data. This data is still stored in different pockets, which makes most information exist in isolation. Ford however is working on ways to find solutions to this. Ford’s new vehicles are producing gigabytes of data each hour. The automaker is working on ways to seek permission from vehicle owners to collect all this data in cloud data centers to analyze it and use the information to add useful green services to its vehicles. Ford also hopes to use the data collected from its fleet to help automate green routing system so that the vehicles can automatically optimize their speeds to create least impact on the environment. Ford scientists, computer modelers, mathematicians and other researchers have determined from big data analyses that Ford, in particular, is better investing and creating vehicles based on alternative engines like hybrid, all-electric, plug-in electric etc.

Jut raises $20 million Series B funding to ride on top of big data arena

Jut raises $20 million Series B funding to ride on top of big data arena

Jut, a San Francisco-based Stealth mode platform developer for enterprise software to handle big data is slated to be a new entrant in the big data industry. To make its way, Jut has secured $20 million in a Series B funding.

Jut is developing big data software for enterprises, in a round led by Accel Partners with LightSpeed Venture Partners and Wing, Jut has raised funds to expand its engineering team and to have the first version of its product hit the market.Jut big data VC funding

Jut, with the funding, hopes to provide technology to enterprises by which they will be able to deal with the avalanche of data – called big data. In event, Jut articulates a vision to ride on top of the big data arena.

It is believed, and Apurva Dave, vice President of Marketing at Jut professes, by 2016 big data will cost over $200 million in IT spending. This bulk spending will not only be on the infrastructure to store and maintain big data, but it will be a spending on acquiring services and products that will help derive meaning from this mammoth data.

Jut will provide enterprises with big data infrastructure that will help them store, analyze and derive meaningful insight from big data.

The funded capital will be utilized by Jut to expand its engineering team. The capital will also be used in order to bring the first version of its product to the market. Jut is developing a development-based company with open-source culture, which thrives on the concept of data-based decision making to provide answers to the hardest question of big data.