Big data is the term for 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. It has been the buzzword of the last couple years, and many businesses today want to “Get Started with Big Data”.
When I start discussing with clients what they want to do with big data, more often than not I get puzzled looks. It is important to have the preparedness to “get started with big data” by having:
- Pinpointed a line of business in the company to get started with the use cases
- Identified use cases that serves a true business needs within that line of business
- Verified that there’s indeed large amounts of meaningful data available to support the use cases
Above is the snapshot of the mindmap showing some sample use cases. You can download the original mindmap from the links at the original post.
This is an interesting analysis on adoption of smarter planet solutions by various industries. It leverages a mindmap to organize the challenges and advantages for industries in embracing the smarter systems.
Here’s the snapshot of the mindmap from the link:
Most renewable energy technologies have one problem in common: they do not generate power in a constant and reliable way matching the consumers demand. For example, solar panels only generate electricity with sun light during the day and wind turbines only operate when wind is blowing strong. Therefore, with these new sustainable but intermitting technologies, power needs to be stored for times when electricity is not generated.
One possibility to store electricity are batteries. However batteries are expensive, making it financially unattractive to store clean energy. But this fact does not prevent T-shaped people to think about ways how to solve the problem. As described in a Technology Review online article, a possible solution could be smart software that enables batteries for various types of functions, such as regulating voltage levels or trading energy. These different functions generate multiple sources of revenue, making a business case possible.
I find it fascinating how people connect different service systems to create innovative solutions. In this case, the service system of software is used to make the service systems of batteries and renewable energy more competitive. Ultimately, this interdisciplinary thinking could help to make clean energy a success and the world a better place.
Guest Editor (AH)
Shale-gas and -oil production. Powered by advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the production of domestic shale gas and oil has grown more than 50 percent annually since 2007. The shale boom could add as much as $690 billion a year to GDP and create up to 1.7 million jobs across the economy by 2020. The impact will extend to energy-intensive manufacturing industries and beyond. The United States now has the potential to reduce net energy imports to zero—but only if it can successfully address the associated environmental risks.
US trade competitiveness in knowledge-intensive goods. The United States is one of the few advanced economies running a trade deficit in knowledge-intensive industries. But changing factor costs, a rebound in demand, and currency shifts are creating an opening to increase US production and exports of knowledge-intensive goods, such as automobiles, commercial airliners, medical devices, and petrochemicals. By implementing five strategies to boost competitiveness in these sectors, we believe the United States could reduce the trade deficit in knowledge-intensive industries to its 2000 level or close it—which would add up to $590 billion in annual GDP by 2020 and create up to 1.8 million new jobs.
Big-data analytics as a productivity tool. Sectors across the economy can harness the deluge of data generated by transactions, medical and legal records, videos, and social technologies—not to mention the sensors, cameras, bar codes, and transmitters embedded in the world around us. Advances in computing and analytics can transform this sea of data into insights that create operational efficiencies. By 2020, the wider adoption of big-data analytics could increase annual GDP in retailing and manufacturing by up to $325 billion and save as much as $285 billion in the cost of health care and government services.
Increased investment in infrastructure, with a new emphasis on productivity. The backlog of maintenance and upgrades for US roads, highways, bridges, and transit and water systems is reaching critical levels. The United States must increase its annual infrastructure investment by one percentage point of GDP to erase this competitive disadvantage. By 2020, that could create up to 1.8 million jobs and boost annual GDP by up to $320 billion. The impact could grow to $600 billion annually by 2030 if the selection, delivery, and operation of infrastructure investments improve.
A more effective US system of talent development. The nation’s long-standing advantage in education and skills has been eroding, but today real improvements are within reach. At the postsecondary level, expanding industry-specific training and increasing the number of graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math could build a more competitive workforce. At the K–12 level, enhancing classroom instruction, turning around underperforming high schools, and introducing digital learning tools can boost student achievement. These initiatives could raise GDP by as much as $265 billion by 2020—and achieve a dramatic “liftoff” effect by 2030, adding as much as $1.7 trillion to annual GDP.
In my previous post, I talked about the ultra-efficient solar panel which is 50% efficient versus the current solar panel we have today which is only 20% efficient. Moving on from there, there are much bigger things, more innovative technologies, and more breathtaking breakthroughs which will be introduced to us this year.
MIT Technology Review presented a compilation of the top 10 breakthrough technologies of 2013. According to the editors, their definition of a breakthrough is simple. It is “an advance that gives people powerful new ways to use technology.”
Their compilation includes memory implants and prenatal DNA sequencing. How cool is that?
So before anything else, here’s MIT Technology Review’s top 10 breakthrough technologies of 2013.
Guest editor: Kristine Rowan