Big Data and the Internet of Things.
(This is the second of series of posts on Big data and the Internet of Things. Read the first post here.)
With a 18 fold increase expected in the next 5 years timeframe Data is the new class of economic asset, like currency or gold.With growing multiplicity of data sources, Big Data has the potential to be “humanity’s dashboard,” an intelligent tool that can help combat poverty, crime and pollution. Privacy advocates take a dim view, warning that Big Data is Big Brother, in corporate clothing.
What is Big Data? A meme and a marketing term, for sure, but also shorthand for advancing trends in technology that open the door to a new approach to understanding the world and making decisions. There is a lot more data, all the time, growing at 50 percent a year, or more than doubling every two years, estimates IDC. It’s not just more streams of data, but entirely new ones. For example, there are now countless digital sensors worldwide in industrial equipment, automobiles, electrical meters and shipping crates. They can measure and communicate location, movement, vibration, temperature, humidity, even chemical changes in the air.
Linking these communicating sensors to computing intelligence and gives rise to what is called the Internet of Things or the Industrial Internet. Improved access to information is also fueling the Big Data trend. For example, government data – employment figures and other information – has been steadily migrating onto the Web. In 2009, Washington opened the data doors further by starting Data.gov, a Web site that makes all kinds of government data accessible to the public.
Data is not only becoming more available but also more understandable to computers. Most of the Big Data surge is data in the wild – unruly stuff like words, images and video on the Web and those streams of sensor data. It is called unstructured data and is not typically grist for traditional databases. But the computer tools for gleaning knowledge and insights from the Internet era’s vast trove of unstructured data are fast gaining ground. At the forefront are the rapidly advancing techniques of artificial intelligence like natural-language processing, pattern recognition and machine learning.