• Big Data Weekly
  • Experfy Editor
  • MAY 02, 2014

Big Data Weekly: Big Data Week, the White House, and Brazil

As big data continues to shine in the industrial limelight, here are a few stories that showcase the widespread impact of this technology.


Big Data Week 2014 

As the 3rd Edition of Big Data Week is about to debut on May 5th, about 30 or more locations across the globe have started getting ready to host the conference with the largest volume of participants.  The conference will feature meet and greets, workshops and hackathons, and special events geared to showcase the technological, commercial and social impacts of big data technology. This summit is projected to attract approximately 30,000 data professionals from around the world.

This edition features the “The Connected Society” as the underlying theme—demonstrating the interrelationships of business data across the industrial map of smart devices and automated algorithms.

Kenneth Cukier, a co-author of the book Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, and data editor at The Economist, says “Big data has gone from a buzz word to a business reality.”

Co-founder of Big Data Week, Stewart Townsend says

“I founded Big Data Week to bring together communities of like-minded individuals who share passion for data. Over the past 18 months, the festival has expanded across four continents and the number of events has quadrupled,” The festival is produced by media140; a leading innovator in developing global communities through engaging events, exhibitions and experiences – bringing people together to form communities of interest in science, media and technology”.


White House Report on Big Data

In the White House blog, counselor John Podesta discussed some of the negative aspects of big data; specifically, the existing policies concerning permissions to collect data about private citizens. Here, Podesta highlighted the possible co-relationship between big data analytics and discriminatory pricing practices in housing, employment, or credit offers.

In January of this year, during his speech on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, President Obama called for a Big Data report.  As a response to the President’s call, the White House has recently published the Big Data and Privacy Report, a highly detailed, 79-page document expressing privacy concerns related to big data. The document also makes some policy recommendations regarding privacy laws.

This report, as a response to public outcry over privacy issues, has listed specific policy changes that need to be made, an example of which would be the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and national data breach legislation. On the other hand, former vice chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, Alan Charles Raul, establishes that existing laws already provide sufficient protection for people’s privacy.

Now legislative policy watchers are eagerly await to see if the report leads to a bigger legislative push.


City Makeover with Big Data

Bernie Baker of EMC recounts how “the digital economy has been a powerful agent of change” in South America. In his story, Baker refers to the post big data era transformation of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second largest city!

As this metropolis gears up to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic games, Rio is feverishly exploiting all available big data technologies and tools to facilitate real-time management and peaceful celebrations.  Rio successfully combined mobile, social, and big data to completely transform the city into a fitting destination for the two international events.

With the smart use of technology, the city ensures that problems related to public security, transportation, or healthcare are all taken care of well before the grand events. A good example of this concerted effort is the Rio Center of Operations, where, by converging large volumes of “live data” from traffic collection and security devices or the social media, the Center can instantly deploy resources to specific locations in times of emergency.

The Brazil Research and Development Center (BRDC) has decided to station a permanent team of data scientists who have already spent over a year and a half working on big data projects. The projects include research on natural resource, industry-oriented technology, and Rio government assignments.

With the fourth highest Internet usage statistics, and the second largest Facebook population, Brazil occupies an envious position on the global digital map. Brazil’s e-commerce revenue is estimated at $12 Billion annually. This nationwide adoption of digital technology has converted the country to a mobile-savvy nation that heavily depends on digital information and social engagement for social transformation.

The Harvard Innovation Lab

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The Harvard Innovation Lab


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