Big Data CliffsNotes?

I studied English and Economics in school – but I must confess, sometimes I didn’t do all the reading. Sometimes I’d skimp on Joyce and Friedman. Fast forward 25 years, and I’ve learned to do the homework – but aren’t we all looking for a shortcut? For those who want to get Big Smart on Big Data, I’d thoroughly recommend you read Ms. Jean Yan’s excellent “Big Data, Bigger Opportunities” whitepaper. It’s well researched, written, and sourced. But, for those of you that want your data by the cup, here are the CliffsNotes:

BD’s Daddy:
BD ain’t new. Doug Laney with META Group – now part of Gartner – coined the BD term in 2001.

Five “V”s: A lot of folks define BD through the three “V”s – volume, velocity, and variety. Add in two more: veracity – integrity/provenance – and value – usefulness.

Data Explosion: TechAmerica tells us that 80-90 percent of all existing data was generated in the past two years. The New York Times has generated three billion words since inception – Twitter users generate eight billion words every day.

Search Surge: Google Trends show U.S. search interest in BD was up 90 percent between 2011 and March 2013.

Gartner Gauge: Gartner says government is the hot spot for BD. Gartner predicts worldwide IT spending associated with BD will hit $56 billion by 2016 – that’s not just government.

Prez Profile: The White House formed a BD Steering Committee in 2010 – it identified 17 Federal BD case studies.

No Cake Walk: Speed bumps on the BD highway. Challenges include: talent – accent on data scientists – leadership, capacities – that’s tech – and, not to be left out, our old friend, budget.

Risky Business: And, speaking of old friends, here comes cyber security to rain on the BD parade. Yes, security is, and should be, a significant concern. Riding shot gun, we’ve got the look-before-you-leap factor. We need to be cautious not to attribute cause-and-effect just because data trend in the same direction.

And, now for the big finish. A big thank you to Ms. Jean Yan for the whitepaper. A big hand for the teams at the White House – NITRD – GAO, GSA, and OPM for their respective BD projects. MeriTalk hosts our own Big Data Exchange to bring together BD leaders from across government. We welcome govies on November 6th. And, if you’re really interested in making your brain bigger, check out additional BD research reading.

Steve O'Keeffe
About Steve O'Keeffe
The most connected executive in the government technology community – O'Keeffe is an accomplished entrepreneur and tech-policy expert, with 30 years’ experience as an innovator at the crossroads of government and industry. He founded MeriTalk, O'Keeffe & Company, 300Brand, among other entities. O'Keeffe is a fixture on the Hill, in both the House and Senate, testifying on IT, budget, government workforce, and the requirement to modernize government IT to enhance outcomes for the American people and government employees. He is a champion for change, simplification, transparency, and clear communication of IT value without jargon. A committed philanthropist, O'Keeffe has served for 15 years on the USO-Metro Board of Directors – Vice Chairman of the Board and Chair of the Annual Awards Dinner. He started his career as a journalist – O'Keeffe has contributed to The Economist, Government Executive, Signal Magazine, The Washington Post, and, of course, MeriTalk.