Before this week’s readings, I wasn’t really sure what “big data” was or what that term even meant. Now I think I get it and I’ve learned it’s kind of a bid deal!
As defined in The Digital Universe: Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East, big data
“is a new generation of technologies and architectures, designed to economically extract value from very large volumes of a wide variety of data enabling high-velocity capture, discovery, and/or analysis.”
Big data can extract value from large untapped pools if data in the digital universe and virtually any industry can benefit from utilizing this information. Some factoids concerning bid data and the digital universe that really stood out to me include:
- From now until 2020, the digital universe will about double every two years
- Only about 20% of the digital universe is protected
- Only 3% of current useful data is tagged and even less is actually analyzed
Beyond the fact that the majority of industries are missing the boat on utilizing big data, we have to consider security concerns. Currently, there is a lack of standards among e-commerce sites, take into consideration customers’ openness, the sophistication of phishers, and the tenacity of hackers, and that equates to some serious risks. There is a huge need for standardization. And while by 2020, we’ll be storing less data, our digital shadows will grow and require more protection. What do you think is the biggest risk/threat to the digital universe when it comes to big data?
As part of the 11% of the country who works in the healthcare industry, I was immediately drawn to the study involving healthcare in the United States in Big Data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. The organization I work for is constantly trying to combat the rising cost of healthcare while providing quality, affordable, and necessary care to patients. It’s a tough challenge, but one that cannot be ignored. Again, some factoids that really grabbed my attention:
- Utilizing big data could capture $300 billion annually in new value (wow!)
- The U.S. spends more per person on healthcare than any other country in the world without obvious evidence of better outcomes (again, wow!)
I was glad to see that my employer seems to already be focusing on some of the main pools for utilizing big data. There is a strong push for electronic medical records (EMR), which we are already using. This helps not only to streamline care between providers but also cut down on any unnecessary procedures or testing. Cutting down on unnecessary procedures will ultimately help keep costs down for patients and for the healthcare industry as a whole. We also utilize remote patient monitoring. This is especially helpful for patients with chronic illnesses, such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, or high blood pressure or cholesterol. While a patient’s doctor’s office visits aren’t replaced by remote monitoring, healthcare providers can get daily updates on a patient’s condition, if necessary. With chronic health conditions, constant monitoring is essential in keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital. Which, in turn, is another way to keep costs down. While I was drawn to the healthcare study, which of the five domains were you most intrigued by and why?
We also learned this week, that while big data can essentially help any industry, some sectors are set to have greater gains than others. These include computer and electronic products, finance and insurance, and government. I also find it interesting that there will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take the most advantage of big data. How do you think this shortage could be helped? How can we gain more IT personnel with the appropriate training and skills to help better manage industry big data?
As I mentioned earlier, a need for standardization is essential, but other issues that need to be addressed within the digital universe are privacy and security policies, structure workflows, and access to the data.
As we look toward 2020 and beyond, big data will continue to be a big deal, one that hopefully more industries will utilize.