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Computer Explores Opportunities and Challenges of Big Data

IEEE Computer Society, producer of Rock Stars of Big Data, has been covering advances in the field of Big Data in its conferences and publications since the term was coined in 2003. But this month, Computer, the organization’s flagship publication, is delving deeper into the subject with a special issue.

In the Big Data: Opportunities and Challenges issue, guest editors Katina Michael of the University of Wollongong and Keith W. Miller of the University of Missouri-St. Louis have organized a series of articles exploring various aspects, from legal and policy issues to how big data can be used to spur innovation and solve societal problems.

The guest editors note that although data mining in one form or another has occurred since people started to maintain records in the modern era, the volume of diversity of data requires ever-increasing processing speeds, yet must be stored economically and fed back into business-process life cycles in a timely manner.

Jess Hemerly, a public policy and government relations analyst at Google, provides an overview of public policy considerations for a data-driven future. In the accompanying podcast, Hemerly emphasizes the need to tread carefully in the regulation of data flows so as not to adversely impact innovation stemming from the data sciences. You can listen to the podcast here.

Paul Tallon addresses the need for big data governance and the cost of big data to organizations. In his accompanying podcast, he discusses how projection models can help individuals responsible for data handling plan for and understand big data storage issues.

Jeremy Pitt and his coauthors write on the need to understand big data within the context of collective awareness, as a smart grid infrastructure can have a positive impact on societal transformation toward sustainability. His accompanying podcast details how integrating social and sensor networks can transform big data into a higher form of collective awareness that can motivate users to self-organize and create innovative solutions.

Marcus Wigan and Roger Clarke explore the consequences of big data, including legality, data quality, disparate data meanings, and process quality. Their accompanying podcast discussed how businesses and governments use big data, often without regard to the legality. Listen to it here.

The issue also includes a case study by Carolyn McGregor on the hopes of big data in the health informatics space. Listen to this podcast on how big data is being used to save premature babies.

We hope you will register for Rock Stars of Big Data to hear from industry experts on how you can take advantage of big data in your organization. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy these cutting-edge articles from Computer magazine.

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