Archive for October, 2012

Big Data in Law: Cloud Challenge, Analytics Opportunity

31 October 2012 –  The legal profession may have begun on Mount Sinai, where Moses delivered The Ten Commandments. But today, it’s heading into the cloud, where the privacy and security of big data are dramatically changing the legal landscape—especially internationally.

A good illustration came recently, when European Union regulators ordered Google to bolster its privacy policy. The EU put the search giant on notice, saying it must alter the way it discloses and uses personal information collected over the Internet. It also voiced concern that Google may be gathering more data than it really needs.

These days, such stories are as numerous as iPhones on the subway. From Google to Facebook, the Internet pantheon is under siege from regulators worldwide, who fear that what little remains of personal privacy may soon be gone.

For more from Forbes magazine click here.… Read more

Big data: Why it’s really an architecture challenge

31 October 2012 – What’s missing from all the conversations about big data is a focus on the infrastructure necessary to support it — and in particular its use in real time.  For many companies, big data means opening up access to the data warehouses they have always maintained. Data warehousing has been and continues to be a critical component of enterprise-class organisations. Such systems provide the aggregation of data from across the organisation and enable it to be sliced and diced into consumable chunks allowing business analysts to provide insights into business conditions. A properly designed architecture focused on scalability is paramount.

It is this form of the data — parsed and processed into actionable information — that will be integrated back into the datacentre, into applications and infrastructure, to serve as input to the myriad systems and processes making near real-time decisions. But data warehouses were not designed for the volume of integration and access required by such models — nor are the various business-intelligence systems that assist in processing the data.

What’s missing from all the conversations … Read more

Etude IBM IBV 2012 : Entreprises et Big Data, le chemin vers l’avantage concurrentiel [with English translation]

19 octobre 2012 – Le terme Big Data est omniprésent et pourtant il engendre encore la confusion dans les cercles professionnels ce, à l’échelle mondiale. Que l’on parle de gigantesques volumes de données, de réseaux sociaux, de données en temps réel ou d’analytique, la plus grande part de la confusion autour du Big Data est due à sa définition elle-même.

Cette année, IBM s’est associé avec l’Université d’Oxford afin d’aider les entreprises à aller au-delà de la médiatisation autour du Big Data et ainsi leur permettre de bénéficier d’une vision plus profonde de la manière dont leurs pairs définissent et envisagent le Big Data dans leurs stratégies d’amélioration de performance. Basé sur une enquête mondiale auprès de 1 100 entreprises et professionnels de l’informatique dans 95 pays, le nouveau rapport révèle des résultats quelque peu surprenants.

L’enquête a révélé que les plus grands efforts consacrés par les entreprises au Big Data sont axés sur l’amélioration de l’expérience client. Mais en dépit de ce fort accent mis sur le client, moins de la moitié de ces efforts sont actuellement consacrés à … Read more

Take a walk through a Google data center

18 October 2012 –  Google, notoriously tight-lipped about the secrets locked away in its data centers, yesterday offered a rare glimpse inside those warehouses where information is processed for the company’s vast network of web services.  A newly launched site, Google Data Centers, lets users learn about eight centers located around the world, even offering 360-degree Street View images of the company’s endless server racks and labyrinthian cooling systems in the Lenoir, NC, center.
The company constructs its own facilities, is careful to regulate temperatures through environmentally friendly means (such as recycled water), and even attempts to select sites based on their naturally occurring resources.
But the company hasn’t let its guard down completely. Users who take the virtual tour of Lenoir will get a delightful geeky treat: a life-sized “Star Wars” stormtrooper can be seen standing guard at the end of a row of computers, as if to warn visitors that there’s a powerful force (ha!) watching them while they explore.
From the networking room to the cooling towers outside of the facility, you can explore the different areas … Read more

“What big data can learn from total football” [from 451 Research]

12 October 2012 –  There is no such thing as big data,  according to Matt Aslett, leading analyst for The 451 Group. Data is not getting bigger, there is simply more of it.  Aslett has coined the term “total data,” to describe a broader approach to data management, managing the storage and processing of big data to deliver the necessary business intelligence.

Total data involves processing any data that might be applicable to the query at hand, whether that data is structured or unstructured, and whether it resides in the data warehouse, a distributed Hadoop file system, archived systems, or any operational data source – SQL or NoSQL – and whether it is on-premises or in the cloud.

The term “total data” is inspired by total football – a football tactic that emerged in the early 1970s and enabled Ajax of Amsterdam to dominate European football in the early part of the decade.

For more click here.… Read more

A visualization of ocean movements

8 October 2012 –  As we have pointed out in previous posts, we are at the point of an “industrial revolution of data” with vast amounts of digital information being created, stored and analyzed.  The rise of “big data” has led in turn to an increased demand for tools to both analyze and visualize the information.   We are always looking for great example.  We found one with a NASA project.

A team of data visualizers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre has put together an incredible animation of sea surface currents around the world.

The visualization was put together using data from Nasa’s ECC02 model.   The model maps ocean and sea ice data across the world, at impressive resolutions that can resolve ocean eddies and narrow-current systems that don’t show up in coarser models. These currents tend to be the main drivers of heat, salinity and carbon transport in the oceans.

The patterns under the ocean represent the bathymetry of the depths below the surface, exaggerated 40x. The topography of the land has been exaggerated 20x. The model simulates flow … Read more

Clueless About Cloud? Why It Doesn’t Matter

5 October 2012 –   Incredibly, only 16% of people can explain what cloud computing is, a recent survey said. Most believed it was about drugs, pillows, the weather, or toilet paper.   But just because people don’t understand the cloud, it doesn’t mean they aren’t using it. The fact is that many use cloud computing without knowing.

In other words, that lack of knowledge isn’t as big a problem as it might seem.  Of the more than 1,000 Americans surveyed, more than half initially reported that they’d never used it. However, further questioning revealed that 95% of those surveyed do actually use popular cloud services like Gmail, iTunes, or Amazon.

Although consumers may lag in their understanding of the cloud, many large corporations have no trouble seeing the advantages, and are embracing it.

For more click here.… Read more

A Big Data Road Map for Government

3 October 2012 – No entity produces, gathers and stores more data than the American government. So the challenges and opportunities of so-called Big Data loom large for the many agencies and departments of the United States government.

The Obama administration acknowledged that reality last spring when it announced a major research initiative in Big Data computing in government, with funding commitments that totaled $200 million.  Research is one step, but to really harness the Big Data opportunity there needs to be a proliferation of useful projects across government. The goal, of course, is to find insights and make better decisions using data from traditional databases as well as from the fast-growing new sources of digital data, including the Web, biological and industrial sensors, video, e-mail and social network communications.
A road map for rolling out Big Data projects in government is being released on Wednesday, “Demystifying Big Data: A Practical Guide to Transforming the Business of Government.” The report was produced by the TechAmerica Foundation, a nonprofit education organization, in consultation with technology experts in the White House, Internal … Read more