You have probably been hearing the term ‘big data’ these days, and you may be wondering what this term really means and why it’s so important.
There’s no question we are amassing an ever increasing amount of digital information. Every person in the world with a smartphone is adding to the growing mountain of accumulating bits of information. And, it’s not just people, sensing devices — like those monitoring traffic or seismic activity — are also playing a key role in the growth of data.
Jeff Jonas, an IBM Fellow and the Chief Scientist of the IBM Entity Analytics Group recently discussed big data and its implications in an interview with the Data Protection & Law Policy newsletter. The thoughts he shared with this newsletter are also available here.
Jonas believes that the explosive growth of data offers both challenges and great opportunity. The challenges include the management of massive amounts of data as well as dealing appropriately with privacy concerns and the security of information. The opportunities — to gain new insights in real time and solve seemingly impossible problems — are why big data is so important.
Jonas believes real time analysis is the key:
My personal interest and primary focus on big data these days is: how to make sense of data in real time, that is fast enough to do something about the transaction while the transaction is still happening. While you swipe that credit card, there are only a few seconds to decide whether that is you or maybe someone pretending to be you. If an unauthorized user is inside your network, and data starts getting pumped out, an organization needs sub-second “sense and respond” capabilities. End-of-day batch processes producing great answers is simply late!
Jeff Jonas came to IBM in 2005 when the company he founded in 1984 — Systems Research & Development (SRD) — was acquired by IBM. For more on his insights into how big data can uncover new insights, watch the short video below.