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Obama demands review of Big Data industry in light of privacy

Obama demands review of Big Data industry in light of privacy

President Obama in his recent speech at the Justice Department has urged the National Security Agency (NSA) to improvise on security of networks to protect important user information.Obama Big Data

In his address Obama showed concern over security, especially because of a year full of privacy upheavals, thanks to the prominent Edward Snowden leaks, which exposed facts about NSA tapping foreign fiber optic cables and cracking encryption protocols of famous tech companies. Obama opined that such leaks have made the task of national security difficult.

Big companies likes Google and Facebook, based on recent events of information theft, have already strengthened their security systems. Understanding the position, Obama has advised the NSA to review the current role of its security apparatus and to understand how widespread future Internet surveillance programs need to be.

US government has understood the complexities of Big Data analytics and has realized the benefits enterprises have reaped with data interpretation at such large magnitude. President has ordered a comprehensive review of Big Data analytics and privacy, for this, a group of government officials will be constituted who will work in tandem with President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and reach out to business leaders and privacy experts to understand how public and private sectors are facing the challenges imposed by Big Data.

The presidential working group will examine how private and public companies are collecting Big Data and how the collection of avalanche of data and its analysis for purposes besides intelligence and law enforcement is affecting privacy.

In his speech, Obama has guaranteed reforms in safeguarding the privacy of Americans by providing transparency and protecting personal information offline and online. Thus, prima-facie motive of reviewing the Big Data analytics and privacy is to comprehend how NSA can promote free flow of information consistently with both security and privacy, and to identify areas where reform in policies might be required to restrain Big Data technologies.

Big Data & LAPD: Predicting Crime before It Happens

Big Data & LAPD: Predicting Crime before It Happens

We are all aware that explosion in data (Big Data) gives us the ability to do a lot of different things. The potential things to do with Big Data are fantastic. Given the fact, the dynamic nature of data is fast changing the way we live our lives. When I was watching BBC’s video (placed below) titled The Age of Big Data, I was moved by the way police in Los Angeles is trying to predict crime even before it actually happens.

Big Data and LAPD

The initial segment of the video details a pilot project undertaken by the Los Angeles Police Department in collaboration with the University of California. The Foothill Division of the LAPD has been using a trial algorithm to predict crime that is about to occur in the division.

According to experts, in the last few years the world has seen more data than in all of human history, and with the same progress this avalanche of data is surely heading in the direction of becoming the greatest sources of power of this century. Thriving on this advantage of big data, officers in the LAPD are using predictive policing software dubbed the PredPol, which relies on the collection and analysis of Big Data to allow them to anticipate where crimes are likely to happen, well before they happen.

The PredPol basically works by collecting and analyzing crime data and then running it through an algorithm to generate maps. The maps inform (with bright red squares drawn on them) the police officers about where crime might take place. Police spends more time patrolling identified areas with crime risk and as presumed, prevent the crime from happening.

According to LAPD, predictive policing has assisted the department in reducing the crime rate in the Foothill Division station area.

The predictive policing software, which employs mathematics to study crime was started in University of California, Los Angeles some seven years back. UCLA mathematician and one of the postdocs on the predictive policing software project, George Mohler, has introduced an equation, which has transformed the work process. According to Mohler, mathematically speaking earthquakes and crime work in a similar way. So, if earthquake aftershocks can be predicted with mathematical model, after-crimes can also be predicted too. This Mohler concept works on the model that one crime sets tone for another crime in the area, so understanding the first the after crimes can be prevented.

Predictive policing software and Mohler’s equation can predict crimes such as robbery, car stealing etc., it can predict the areas but not who will commit the crime.

Hit the jump to see BBC’s video ‘The Age of Big Data’ to know about people mining the avalanche of big data.

01/14/20141 commentRead More
Are Businesses Already Expecting Healthy Big Data ROI?

Are Businesses Already Expecting Healthy Big Data ROI?

Businesses in the UK use big data to mostly support their sales and marketing campaigns, reveals Big Data Survey 2013 carried out by MBN Recruitment Solutions.

The survey maintains that more than 80% of the total survey respondents look forward to harness and leverage their data to be able to generate new revenue.

At the same time, over 95% people agree that more revenue generation is going to be the only purpose of businesses using big data in near future!

Use of Big Data Till Now and In Future

The first annual survey by MBN also exposes that over 71% of the total respondents have been using data analytics to foresee all major functions and aspects of future businesses doings around the world.

Are Businesses Already Expecting Healthy Big Data ROI

MBN non-executive chairperson, Paul Forrest concludes that companies use big data as they grow larger and need to stay competitive against potential competitors.

Most survey respondents believe that right now there is too low ROI in leveraging big data. They, however, are expecting greater ROI prospects in future. Also, over 40% respondents think that the current initiatives will eventually fetch desired results for businesses. Forrest told that one of the biggest issues has been the importance of tools, but 72% respondents believe that tools are important only in the beginning and it is people who unlock the set value on a later stage.

Monetizing Big Data: What 2014 Might Have in Store

Monetizing Big Data: What 2014 Might Have in Store

Once we are able to invest in the big data technology after successfully analyzing it, the next move will be to monetize it to obtain its monetary equivalent. To know what is the scope of big data monetization on 2014 and beyond, read on!

‘Big Data’ is already a familiar term for most of us, especially those who are into some serious business. It has been a hot topic in the media almost throughout the year 2013.

Big Data - Return on Investment - What 2014 Has in Store

All small and big businesses, however, are still trying to augment their knowledge about what actually big data is and what they should be doing about it and how. And what seems to be adding to the complications are the challenges involved in the process of big data investment.

Majorly, businesses don’t know how to obtain value from data and have to go a long way to be able to define the much-awaited big data policy. Even more importantly, they’ll have to attain the required skills and then execute them in a nifty manner to make the most of the strategies they’re working on!

Big Data – Future and Monetary Equivalent

While we are already in the first phase of the grand big data revolution where we’ve seen big investments in the technology, the next important step would be to generate revenue through big data.

Having a lot in reserve, the year 2014 is ready to play an important role in this regard:

Revenue Generation

Though businesses are all for huge investments in big data, they still need to predict how quickly it can generate revenue. The need of an effective way to measure ROI over a specific period of time may prove to be one of the potential challenges!

But despite all these assessments, most business leaders are expecting big data to be highly helpful in making the right business decisions. However, they believe that it won’t be possible to predict time and money associated with a ROI target without a guiding hand. This may cause giant businesses to opt for big data-based solutions rather than directly using big data as the only solution in 2014. The ultimate goal would be to boost up overall revenue by saving on costly technologies and data consultants.

Big Data as a Marketing Investment 

While it is true that big data has been more of a technology investment till now, we’ll see it as a marketing investment in 2014 and further, and retail brands will lead the charge in that case.

The key will be to persuade people to ‘buy’ by making all the offers directly customer-oriented. Big companies have already begun to prepare for the shift by motivating their CMOs, technology officers and information executives to work in unison to derive the best results.

Utilization of Big Data-based Solutions

With big data-based solutions surfacing quickly, all businesses will have to go for data analytics sooner or later. Though Google analytics have already been used for the same purpose for years, the latest big data-based solutions will allow all small and big companies to access solutions and methods that can ‘practically improve revenue.’ Hopefully, the year 2014 will be big for both those starting-up and well-established businesses in terms of using big data to get the best results!

Oracle Launches 5th Gen Database Machine

Oracle Launches 5th Gen Database Machine

Oracle Exadata Database Machine X4, the 5th gen database machine form Oracle is a revolutionary step in the field of database management. Keep on reading to know what it has to offer!

Oracle Launches 5th Gen Database MachineOracle recently launched Exadata Database Machine X4. It has hi-tech hardware and software that can increase capacity, boost performance and maintain quality and efficiency of service for database operation.

The update focuses mainly on the optimization of Online Transaction Processing (OLTP). The machine is mainly aimed at providing businesses with a permanent solution for all major database challenges and has advantages like Data Warehousing and Database as a Service (DBaaS).

Oracle Exadata Database Machine X4 – Features

  • The machine is the 5th gen of Oracle Exadata that was launched in the year 2008.
  • It is a fifth gen machine featuring improvements that focus on improved performance as well as quality of service for OLTP, Database as a Service and Data Warehousing.
  • It uses high speed flash compression and larger physical flash in perfect combination to increase the capacity of flash memory that eventually accelerates the performance of OLTP-based work.
  • The latest Flash Caching algorithms help accelerate the performance of all workloads in Data Warehousing.
  • Many databases can be merged with help of the Database as a Service design because of extreme capacity and performance. This will help businesses improve on quickness and more importantly, reduce costs.
9 Recent Surveys About Big Data

9 Recent Surveys About Big Data

big data surveyBig Data is the big word right now and many surveys have been conducted to find out just how big is Big Data. Take a look at the highlights of 9 such surveys to find out where big data is headed.

1. CompTIA

CompTIA, the IT association, surveyed 500 businesses and found out that:

  • 42% of businesses admitted that they have some type of big data initiative going on.
  • 93% said that data was critical for their business.
  • 18% thought that their business was ready for big data.

2. EMA and 9Sight Consulting

259 businesses and professionals were surveyed in this end user research. They found that:

  • 68% of the companies have at least 2 projects in their big data initiative.
  • 34% companies are using big data implementations in production.
  • 39% companies identified speeding operational time for analytics to be the number one driver for big data initiatives. Other drivers included competitive advantage with data use in business solutions (34%) and business requirements for higher levels of advanced analytics (31%).

3. Tech Pro Research

Tech Pro Research surveyed 144 businesses about the financial side of big data.

  • 54% have no interest in implementing big data initiatives. 8% have implemented some form of big data initiative, 12% are implementing and 26% are planning on implementation.
  • 82% of those who have implemented big data initiatives report seeing some form of payoff while only 4% believe they haven’t seen any benefits.

4. Gartner

They surveyed 720 members of the Gartner Research Circle.

  • 64% of companies are investing or planning to invest in big data.
  • But less than 8% have already deployed some form of initiative.

5. TEKsystems

They surveyed more than 2000 IT professionals and 1500 IT leaders. They found in their report:

  • 90% of IT leaders and 84% of IT professionals believe in big data as a good investment for time and money.
  • 14% of IT leaders said that big data is regularly applied in their businesses.
  • 66% of IT leaders and 53% of IT professionals said that their data is stored in disparate systems.
  • 60% of IT leaders said that their is no accountability for data quality.
  • At least 50% of IT leaders were not sure about the validity of their data.
  • 81% of IT leaders accepted that they do not have the adequate manpower with the right skill sets to implement big data initiatives.

6. Bain

Bain studied 400 large companies and found good results about big data.

  • They found that the companies that have big data analytics capabilities were outperforming their competition.
  • They were twice as likely to have better quarterly financial performance.
  • Five times more likely to make faster decisions.
  • Three times as likely to execute decisions.
  • And twice as likely to use data in their decision making process.

7. BCG

BCG surveyed 10,000 consumers in 20 countries worldwide. They found that:

  • 75% of consumers are concerned about privacy of their data.
  • The young generation is just as concerned about privacy as older generations.
  • Consumers will allow use of data as long as they trust the business with their data.

8. IBM

IBM studied 900 businesses from around the world. They found that the companies that were outperforming their peers were:

  • 166% more likely to make decisions based on data.
  • 2.2 times more likely to have a clear path for big data analytics in their organization.
  • driven by growth as the main source of value from data analytics.
  • measuring the impact of investment in analytics.

9. Forbes Market Insights

Rocket Fuel sponsored this study by Forbes Market Insights of 211 senior marketers.

  • The marketers that used big data at least half of the time in their campaigns said they exceeded their goals 3 out of 5 times.
  • Those who used data less than half of the time achieved similar results only 1 out of 3 times.
  • 92% of companies who used big data, exceeded their goals and only 5% fell short.

From such surveys it is clear that it is still early days for big data. Those who have taken the initiative have found dividends in big data while some still remain skeptical. Information taken from the article on Forbes.

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.

data

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.

Korea opens first big data analytics centre

Korea opens first big data analytics centre

To bring its technology sector at par with the global technology giants, South Korea has set up country’s first big data analytics center. The big data analytics centre will enable researchers and businesses to refine and analyze big data for their projects.

South Korea’s ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning have worked in collaboration with National Information Society Agency (NIA) to open ‘Korea Big Data Centre’ (KBiG), the country’s first big data analytics centre in the NIA building.

Big_Data_center south koreaThe Ministry of Science informed that the Korea Big Data Centre is set up to promote data analytics in government and private sector with the intention to transform Korea into a data driven creative economy.

The new centre will allow all kinds of researchers, businesses and hospitals etc., to process and analyze the avalanche of data for their products.

The aim of the center is to bring the Korean industry at par with the global technology giants like Google and Amazon, who have gone ahead by 3-5 years by properly enrooting their big data.

Korea Big Data Centre is primarily created for small and medium size businesses, universities and citizens who wish to analyze their big data to find answers to their research or business issues.

Until the opening of KBiG, universities, research institutes and businesses in Korea were paralyzed when it came to securing and analyzing big data. They had to rely on limited IT infrastructure, they could create by themselves. Korea Big Data Centre will now provided the much needed shared service that everyone will benefit from.

According to an official from the Ministry of Science, the new centre is expected to be a “test bed” for big data analytics to foster research at universities. This, he says, is a basic solution for everyone to use the services in order to analyze big data.

Via: FutureGov

11/27/20131 commentRead More