Computer Magazine Explores New Opportunities and Challenges in Big Data Field
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 27 June 2013 – Big data has the power to change the world, from allowing faster medical diagnoses to coming up with cures for major diseases and from studying consumer purchasing decisions to better understanding human behavior and intention. Computer, IEEE Computer Society's flagship publication, this month delves deeper into these and other applications of this powerful technology with its Big Data: New Opportunities and New Challenges issue.
In the issue, guest editors Katina Michael of the University of Wollongong and Keith Miller of the University of Missouri-St. Louis describe several high-profile big data projects, such as the Human Brain Project and the US BRAIN Initiative to construct a supercomputer simulation of the brain to unlock the mysteries of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Those projects build on the success of the Human Genome Project, the 2003 effort that opened the door for extensive research into the genetic origins of disease and is a testament to the potential of big data. Michael and Miller note that big data can also be studied to help solve scientific problems in areas ranging from climatology to geophysics to nanotechnology.
Yet big data also represents some logistical—and ethical—challenges. For example, the increased use of video by companies and law enforcement for surveillance and investigation is creating a glut of data that is expensive to store and time-consuming to process. Corporations are using big data to learn more about their workforce, increase productivity, and introduce revolutionary business processes. However, these improvements come at a cost: continuously measuring employees' performance against industry benchmarks introduces a level of oversight that can quash the human spirit.
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 and 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.
In the special issue of Computer:
- Jess Hemerly, a public policy and government relations analyst at Google, provides an overview of public policy considerations for a data-driven future;
- Paul Tallon addresses the need for big data governance and the cost of big data to organizations;
- Jeremy Pitt and his coauthors write on the need to understand big data within the context of collective awareness;
- Marcus Wigan and Roger Clarke explore the consequences of big data, including legality, data quality, disparate data meanings, and process quality; and
- Carolyn McGregor provides a case study on how big data is used to save premature babies.
The special issue or a full-year subscription to Computer can be purchased through Qmags.
IEEE Computer Society is also holding a one-day summit on big data on 29 October at the Computer History Museum in the Silicon Valley. Rock Stars of Big Data features executives from GE, Google, IBM, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Netflix, and others, who will share how they have used big data to achieve goals within their organizations. The first 50 registrants will receive a free e-book. To register, visit www.computer.org/Big-Data.
About IEEE Computer Society
IEEE Computer Society is the world's leading computing membership organization and the trusted information and career-development source for a global workforce of technology leaders including: professors, researchers, software engineers, IT professionals, employers, and students. The unmatched source for technology information, inspiration, and collaboration, the IEEE Computer Society is the source that computing professionals trust to provide high-quality, state-of-the-art information on an on-demand basis. The Computer Society provides a wide range of forums for top minds to come together, including technical conferences, publications, and a comprehensive digital library, unique training webinars,professional training, and the TechLeader Training Partner Program to help organizations increase their staff's technical knowledge and expertise. To find out more about the community for technology leaders, visit http://www.computer.org.