Big Data

Stories and content around Big and Open Data, first curated and created by Sanjana Hattotuwa for ICCM 2013, Nairobi, Kenya.

Articles and other content published on the web around Big Data, with a particular emphasis on rights, humanitarian aid and conflict prevention. Curated by Sanjana Hattotuwa, ICT4Peace Foundation.

Critics of big data have overlooked the speed factor

Velocity, not volume is increasingly what determines the hardware and software needs of data-processing organisations

THE DIGITAL UNIVERSE IN 2020: Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East

Content for this paper is excerpted directly from the IDC iView "Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East," December 2012, sponsored by EMC. The multimedia content can be viewed at

CIA Chief Tech Officer: Big Data Is The Future And We Own It

On Wednesday, the CIA's chief technology officer detailed the Agency's vision for collecting and analyzing all of the information people put on the Internet. Read more:

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

A revelatory exploration of the hottest trend in technology and the dramatic impact it will have on the economy, science, and society at large. Which paint color is most likely to tell you that a used car is in good shape? How can officials identify the most dangerous New York City manholes before they explode? And how did Google searches predict the spread of the H1N1 flu outbreak? The key to answering these questions, and many more, is big data. “Big data” refers to our burgeoning ability to crunch vast collections of information, analyze it instantly, and draw sometimes profoundly surprising conclusions from it. This emerging science can translate myriad phenomena—from the price of airline tickets to the text of millions of books—into searchable form, and uses our increasing computing power to unearth epiphanies that we never could have seen before. A revolution on par with the Internet or perhaps even the printing press, big data will change the way we think about business, health, politics, education, and innovation in the years to come. It also poses fresh threats, from the inevitable end of privacy as we know it to the prospect of being penalized for things we haven’t even done yet, based on big data’s ability to predict our future behavior.

Visualizing the Universe of Big Data

Our friends at have put together a fantastic new infographic leveraging data from Wikibon’s Big Data Vendor Revenue and Market Forecast, 2012 – 2017 report. It provides a compelling view of the Big Data universe and illustrates the real revenue vendors are deriving from Big Data. They range from the mega-planets (if you’ll go with me on this analogy) IBM, HP and EMC to the smaller but powerful emerging planets like Hortonworks, 10gen and DataStax.

The Economist’s Data Editor: Big data may be too hyped, but here’s how it will change the world

Is there too much hype around ‘big data’? Kenneth Cukier thinks so, and yet he remains passionate about what we can achieve with it.

In Media, Big Data Is Booming but Big Results Are Lacking

We’ve seen huge advances in our ability to generate, collect and store an explosion of data points: 90 percent of the world’s data has been accumulated in the last two years alone. We’re generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily, and every serious company is dutifully logging and contextualizing every impression, every click and every purchase with excruciating detail.

Careful: Your big data analytics may be polluted by data scientist bias

True believers may be guilty of hype, but there’s no denying that big data presents opportunities for businesses of every stripe. That potential is vulnerable to pollution from data bias, and so calls for preventative processes.

Artist collects DNA from discarded hair and nails, 3D-prints owner's face

An artist is collecting stray DNA from the streets of New York City, and using it to conjure up 3D-printed versions of its original "donor".

Big data - From WikiPedia

Big data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. The challenges include capture, curation, storage,[3] search, sharing, transfer, analysis,[4] and visualization. The trend to larger data sets is due to the additional information derivable from analysis of a single large set of related data, as compared to separate smaller sets with the same total amount of data, allowing correlations to be found to "spot business trends, determine quality of research, prevent diseases, link legal citations, combat crime, and determine real-time roadway traffic conditions.

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