Big Data And Collaboration: Will The Two Ever Meet?

Filed Under Innovation

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Dana Rasmussen

April 23, 2014

The digital universe is changing rapidly.

Already, there are more than two zettabytes of data (that’s two billion terabytes); and, that number is estimated to grow more than ten times each year by 2020.

Where Does the Data Come From?

So. Where exactly does all of this data come from? Much of it is taken from social networking sites, user interaction on media outlets, the blogosphere, review networks, and government data sources. Some say big data is such a powerful force that we are entering into an age where there are no more secrets; a world where every piece of digital information is not only known, but analyzed, and — when warranted — reacted to.

While there’s an overabundance of information out there, there is also a shortage of programs and people that truly know how to capture it and what to do with it. But that’s where crowdsourcing comes in.

Benefits of Working Together

Crowdsourcing, by its very nature, pools together the efforts of large groups of people — even millions of people — so that information regarding a particular topic can amalgamate with some semblance of order. Successful crowdsourcing projects have been completed in various fields, including science, medicine, and business innovation.

Big data and crowdsourcing are different sides of the same coin, although they don’t typically meet anywhere in between. However, experts think that to better reap the advantages of the stories data unveils, big data and collaboration need to meet.

In late 2013, the US government announced that greater financial investment would be poured into data management projects. Officials called for those in the field to pull together and share data.

Currently, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, along with Amazon Web Services, is working to make NASA’s database available for users in the research and education fields through the use of a cloud platform.

Users will be able to explore data sets, analyze information, run modeling algorithms, share information, and collaborate on projects with other members of the research community.

In the private sector, IBM and Skillsoft have teamed up to “leverage the power of big data in enterprise learning. The underlying goal is to continue developing enhanced, adaptive learning experiences for users focused on data-driven outcomes in education.

The partnership between the two entities pairs IBM’s customer experience analytics and big data with the content interaction data available from Skillsoft’s learning tools. This means that new learning experiences are possible on an individual level.

These recent collaborations suggest that working together opens up an entirely new world of endless possibilities in the realm of big data. What do you think could happen? Tell us about it in the comments!

Dana Rasmussen is a professional writer with more than 10 years of experience. She contributes to the world of Big Data on a daily basis. Follow her @dana_rasm, visit her website, or add her on Google+.

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  • Douglas Karr

    I believe there are already some examples. Foursquare, for instance, collects anecdotal data through short questions once a user checks in – increasing the quality of its data in real-time.