The explosive growth of data emerging from social media, mobile applications and other sources is creating new challenges in terms of how to harness and obtain value from it.
The federal government’s recently announced $200 Million Big Data Research and Development Initiative is prompting new and higher profile attention from industry on how to better address the explosion of big data.
The latest example is the decision by TechAmerica Foundation, announced late last week, to create an expert commission on the big data issues.
“Big Data is one of the biggest issues that the technology industry has to tackle in the near term and we want to bring together the leading thinkers on the issue to provide the path forward,” said Jennifer Kerber, President of the TechAmerica Foundation.
Kerber cited the fact that more than 90% of the data that has ever existed was created in the past two years, according to a report in Fortune Magazine. Yet, the notion of what actually constitutes big data from the ongoing flood of information, and what new opportunities are emerging around big data, remains vague and not well understood, she said.
With the world’s data doubling every 18 months, the real question is how to make intelligent decisions based on that data, and that’s a question that is critical for government and industry to answer, she said.
The government of course has been dealing with big data issues for many years and has a variety of major initiatives already underway.
But the explosive growth of data emerging from social media, mobile applications, machine sensors and other sources is creating new challenges in terms of how to harness and obtain value from it.
Kerber said the new commission will seek to explore what capabilities are required to succeed with big data; how to use big data to make intelligent decisions; how will agencies effectively govern and secure huge volumes of information, while protecting privacy and civil liberties; and what value will it really deliver to the U.S. Government and U.S. citizens.
The TechAmerica Foundation said it is currently accepting applications for commissioners.