Seventhman Blog

  1. Can Big Data Save Our Planet?

    "big data save planet"March 23rd marked another historic event across the globe as countries participated in Earth Hour 2013.  What has this to do with my post today?  I am a big data enthusiast and my eyes are set on how big data will be the biggest driver in sustainability to date – that is, if security is combined with clean technology.  Imagine the vast potential on how big data can provide a solution that doesn’t only power businesses, the people.. but the entire world.  Can big data save the planet?  Definitely.  There must be a middle ground somewhere where security won’t be compromised in the name of cost.  We are getting closer each day in managing large streams of data in a safer environment that runs on projects utilizing a clean energy ecosystem.  It’s a tough challenge to take, but the initiative is growing.

    Big Data Saving Lives

    It’s not news that big data saves time and money.  But, what seemed like a hype can actually save lives.  Imagine a huge city that uses high volumes of information that help reduce fatalities on roads.  This is already happening in Edmonton.  In times of emergencies, people have been using social networks to reach out.. or unite for peace in major uprisings.  Thanks to big data, real-time data is more flexible, allowing a two-way street for both businesses and consumers.  Medical researchers have been using information that helped them aggregate data faster so they can come up with treatments against deadly diseases.  Big data is also harnessed in programs dedicated to collecting data about the environment for scientists around the world to help in economic and political decisions that will reduce negative effects against the planet’s rich bio-diversity… and the list goes on.

    Why the Long Wait?

    According to this recent survey on Big Data and the Public Sector, real-time big data can save the government at least ten percent each year.  Law enforcement can gain a lot when tools will help them develop models that can predict where crimes are likely to occur.  Insights from volumes of data can help connect the government with the public – making sure that its citizens voices are heard so that key services can be improved, which comes with a higher satisfaction rate.  But just like the vagueness of the term ‘cloud’ – big data is also wrapped in controversies where people are primarily concerned about their data falling into the wrong hands.  It’s already annoying how user data is used to target ads based on their online behavior.  No one wants to feel this vulnerable when we hear of security leaks and hacks every week.

    Big Data in a Changing World

    You don’t have to be big to make a huge difference in the world.  While ROI is still a major concern for those who are investing in big data solutions, the mere fact that it can save lives should make sense as to why it should be adapted.  Organizations should rethink how they perceive the relationship between business and IT.  The Web runs on data and for us to know what the world needs in terms of using data for the common good – one has to integrate efforts across political, technological and cultural perspectives in a transparent manner.  It’s not just about finding developers who can build the backbone for this data that matters, nor relying on data scientists to analyze data itself.. but, it’s all about finding new ways in exploring data that have never been tried before.

    It’s a long way.. and we’re surely getting there!

  2. Perceptions on Big Data: The Good and the Bad

    "big data trends"There have been many talks about Big Data lately and one can only wonder if there is a limit when it comes to the power of predictive data with all these analytics available.  Last time, I have blogged about creating big data initiatives for business success and yet, looking through the lens of an entrepreneur, there are still plenty of unexplored terrains where the topic is concerned.  Should we simply embrace the idea that big data is here to stay?  Is the trend reaching the peak of inflated expectations where matters of security is concerned?  At the end of the day, data gathered is not really the real business driver, but the insights and intelligence that rise from this.  It will always transcend beyond size.. to the impact these data will have, whether the raw volume of data is big or small.

    What You Should Know About Big Data

    With the influx of investors wanting to take a piece of the big data cake, it’s not a news anymore to find venture capitalists pouring millions of dollars into firms creating products whose goal is to manage this so-called big data.  Does big data mean big business?  It’s too soon to tell.  Right now, one thing is for sure: Businesses will always look for better ways to store, manage, analyze and integrate data to help them reach their goals.  With the advent of cloud computing, mobile technology and social media platforms – it’s all a matter of time when everyone gets more comfy with the idea that big data isn’t a hype, but a hope for those who are targeting global markets in a down-sized economy.

    Given this circumstance, you need to know that data these days can come from virtually anywhere.  The real value here is how you can capture what’s important and analyze it to drive efficiency to your business.  For this to happen, you will need to find the right person who knows how to work the tools of the trade, so s/he can come up with the right data, of filtering through the clutter.  This onslaught has surely paved the way to a renewed interest on predictive analytics, of finding value in an era of widespread data – to finding ways in solving big problems before it can happen in real-time.

    When Big Data Enters the Dark Side

    A couple of years back, big data is used by credit-rating companies in an effort to build a monster database about their clients.  Access to this rich customer data is like joining an elitist club.  Today, big data is more strategic.  Just take a look at Facebook who recently offered an IPO and is valued in the billions simply because it’s a big treasure cove of valuable data that will unlock the secrets of selling to a wider demographic.  I’d rather say ‘Welcome to the stalker economy’ and there’s no such thing as free.  People these days are willing to give out personal information in exchange of  free products.  Yes, technophiles may be excited about the potentials of big data, but it’s like appreciating carbon energy and its huge supply… until ice caps melt.  What we created as a gift may be our burden, and the cost may be higher this time.. where knowledge is concerned.

    We may argue for the customer’s sake as we use big data to drive a customer-centric business.  Yet, are we reaching the end of privacy?  Or more likely, will we risk our privacy to pay for the price of big data?  Knowledge do come with power and this time, it’s not really about the data we will gather.. but how we put it into use.  The risk may be higher and this time, there’s no turning back.

    Are you ready to walk the fine line between what’s right according to the data you’ve examined… and what you feel is right?