Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Why The Big Data Chicken Crossed The Road

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“The organizations that are going to be the most competitive are going to be the ones that make the most sense of what they learned as fast as they learn it.”

Does that line sound familiar?

That was the voice of Jeff Jonas, chief scientist with IBM’s Entity Analytics group.  Perhaps you saw him in this IBM TV commercial:

As Jonas asks in the spot, how would you know when to cross the road if you had to use a picture of the intersection taken five minutes before?

In a blogger briefing this afternoon centering on the topic of “Big Data” here at Information on Demand, Jonas explained that organizations must increasingly make sense of data as it’s happening, while it’s happening.

Jonas and several other scientists, researchers, IBM staffers, and even a customer (from Visa) elaborated on this phenomenon during the subsequent hour.

Jonas went on to explain that “new physics is happening with big data. Errors in data actually turn out to be positive. I’m seeing how systems get faster with more data.”

Companies are using Hadoop, as well as IBM’s BigSheets/BigInsights add-ons, to scale their analytics investigations into the real-time stream to solve new problems as they happen.

Which, of course, when you’re trying to make sense of real-time information (think air traffic control, or even street traffic control), could be the thing that allows you to cross the road based on that 5 minute ago snapshot.

Does your head hurt yet?

IBM emerging technology evangelist, David Barnes, explained that he’s partnering with his colleagues in the Big Data realm to bring Hadoop to the line of business professional, driving Big Data analytics down into the lap of the small fry front line businessperson (another common theme of IOD 2010, driving analytical capability deeper into the organization where decisions can be acted on information by those most inclined to do so due to their proximity to the customer).

As a social media marketer, I salivate at the mere prospect: You mean I can hone in what people are saying as they say it, or even after the fact, amidst a data set of 1.2 million Tweets?

Uh, yeah. Bring it on!

And Barnes wasn’t all talk, he had the demo to prove it:

That’s one example of the power of big data.

IBM’s Tom Deutch explained there are other powerful use cases that are emerging, but that more organizations need to take Hadoop out of the lab and into production in order that they be able to put theory into practice and take Big Data for a test drive to address very real business problems.

So if you have to ask why the Big Data chicken crossed the road…well, the answer will likely only come with a few revolutions of your Big Data analysis, but I’m confident that ultimately the answer is he wanted to get to the other side.

Now, and not five minutes ago.  : )

Written by turbotodd

October 26, 2010 at 10:36 pm

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