Top Reads in Big Data: Week of Oct 29

Social Media Strategist, Information & Analytics Group

With the large Information On Demand conference (IOD) in the not-so-distant past, we are back on the regular beat, bringing you a weekly roundup of interesting, newsworthy and fun tidbits on big data-related topics. This post includes a few highlights from IOD - more to come next week.

"Big Data's big issue: Where are all the data scientists coming from?" by Mark Whitehorn, The Register, Nov. 2
The author, who is the chair of analytics at the University of Dundee in Scotland, talks about the types of skills needed to be a data scientist. He says two of his favorite descriptions of data scientists come from Twitter: “Yeah, so I'm actually a data scientist. I just do this barista thing in between gigs.” More cynically: “A data scientist is just an analyst who lives in California.”

RELATED: “Data Scientist: Bringing True Science into the Business Process,” by James Kobielus, and “It’s a Big Data World! What Skills Do You Need?” by yours truly

"One Hour Well Spent: my Big Data TweetChat with the #CXO Tribe," by Graeme Noseworthy, Analyzing Media, Nov. 1
Noseworthy summarizes a recent tweetchat on "Big Data & The Next Chapter of Marketing,” where participants pondered questions such as “How have new types of data, social media etc, changed the role of marketing?” “With today’s data deluge how do you explain marketers claim that they have ‘too little data’?” and “How can marketers align data to metrics for measuring marketing ROI?”

"Big Data Helps Save Big Cats," by Charlotte Davies, A Smarter Planet Blog, Nov. 1
With so much attention put on the consumer-marketing use cases for big data, finding an off-the-beaten path application is always refreshing. Here’s one well off that well-trodden path: thwarting the Asian black market trade of endangered tigers and leopards.

"6 Lies About Big Data," by Michael Healey, InformationWeek, Oct. 31 [Registration required to read the full article]
Have you heard one of the biggest obstacles to big data success is the lack of skilled talent to implement and analyze it? That’s a big fat lie, according to Healey. “Roll the clock back a few years and substitute the words ‘virtualization engineer’ or ‘Cobol programmer’ or even ‘webmaster’ for ‘big data specialist’ and you'll similarly find people predicting doom. Don't get sucked in again. You already have much of this talent within your organization; you just need to set it free.”

"Google’s Voice Search Craps All Over Siri, Thanks to Big Data," by Mike Wheatley, SiliconANGLE, Nov. 1
Google may stink at user interfaces (Okay, change “may stink” to “sucks”), but they sure know how to collect and use data. In the battle to out-perform rival Apple, Google is using the “more is better” approach, uses data from searches, text messages and even YouTube (a Google property) video transcripts to predict the next word that a speaker will say, based on the preceding words they’ve just spoken.

Just for fun

"Big Data: Running out of Metric System," by Andrew McAfee, Andrew McAfee's Blog, Oct. 31
Twenty years ago, were you thinking about yottabytes? Doubtful. Good thing the General Conference on Weights and Measures was, because the era of big data is leading us to that level. But … what comes after yotta?

News from Information On Demand 2012

IBM held its largest user conference last week in Las Vegas. Following are just a few of the more than 150 posts spawned by news and sessions at Information On Demand 2012.

"Healthcare a Major Theme as IBM Delivers Big Data Message at IOD 2012," by Gary MacFadden, Wikibon, Nov. 1
Big data and analytics were the two most discussed topics at IOD, according to social media data, and healthcare was one of the most referenced industries. MacFadden does a stellar job of summarizing several sessions that featured healthcare applications, technologies and use cases. "The biggest drivers for tackling healthcare data are the promise of improving patient outcomes and, in the process, lowering costs."

"IBM Makes Big Deal of Big Data," by Mark Smith, SmartDataCollective, Oct. 29
Smith, CEO and chief research officer at Ventana Research, recaps the major product announcements made during the conference, including the rollout of the new IBM PureData System for Analytics (which is the next generation Netezza appliance), IBM BigInsights (our Hadoop-based system for handling structured and unstructured data) and InfoSphere Data Explorer (which builds on the key technology from Vivisimo for data discovery and navigation).

RELATED: "Deepen the Business Value of Big Data: IOD Announcements," by James Kobielus, IBM IOD Blog, Oct. 22

IOD Dispatch: Big data horror stories from the Technical Unconference,” by Delaney Turner, IBM Software Blog, Oct. 26
The final day of the Information On Demand 2012 conference featured an “unconference” luncheon where the topics were driven on the spot by attendees. The discussion covered, as Turner says, "A crowdsourced collection of big data challenges and analytics opportunities.” was on the agenda for the Technical Unconference at. Here’s a sampling of what transpired." I recommend you read this for the selected quotes he gleaned from presenters and participants (on the IT side) who have experienced frustration with user demands. Eye openers.

Educational Video

What is IBM InfoSphere BigSheets?

In just over 3 minutes, Rafael Coss, manager of big data enablement at IBM, describes the spreadsheet-like data analysis tool that comes with InfoSphere BigInsights.


Leave a comment. What was your favorite item from the big data beat this week? Was it one of the above or something I missed entirely?

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