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  • MAY 05, 2014

Massachusetts May Lead the World in Big Data Growth: New 2014 Study Shows

IDC forecasts that the digital-data universe of social media, online transactions, and sensors will reach 40 zettabytes (ZB) by 2020, leading to a 50-fold growth in the volume of digital data since 2010.

While the concept of big data as an overriding business philosophy continues to fascinate thought leaders in the current global market, a specific “regional world of big data” on the US map attempts to establish its role in this highly competitive landscape.

Background of the Massachusetts Big Data Study

Sometime in the year 2012, Governor Deval Patrick launched the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative. The primary objective of this program was to establish the Commonwealth’s position as a leader in the ever-expanding global, big data sector.

A special project of this initiative, the 2013 Massachusetts Big Data Study was undertaken by the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership to provide an honest assessment of the big data ecosystem in the Commonwealth. The 2014 Massachusetts Big Data Report came out as the result of the study mentioned earlier.

The Report presents an appraisal of growth prospects in Massachusetts’ big data market, the presence of opportunities in the local big data sector, the availability of public data, and the position of the Commonwealth as a global leader in the fields of big data, open data, and analytics.

Methodology Used in the Study

This study combined several strategies such as a series of interviews with key individuals, a survey of local companies, an analysis of publicly available data, and a thorough review of extensive literature. The survey, originally sent to 403 companies via email, received 57 completed responses, representing an effective response rate of 14 percent.

The Big Data Study Report 

The report contains the following five sections: Section One provides a broad introduction; Section Two includes an analysis of the Massachusetts big data ecosystem;  Section Three establishes a framework for justifying the position of Massachusetts as a leader in the global map of big data industry;  Section Four discusses the growth prospects of the global, big data market—as well as that of the Massachusetts big data market; and Section Five provides a blueprint for future action items, related to the Massachusetts big data ecosystem.

Key Findings of the Study

Global big data industry statistics:

  1. The global big data market is projected to grow up to $48 billion by 2017, a big leap from $11.6 billion in 2012.
  2. The Massachusetts big data ecosystem, according to the date of the study, comprises about 500 companies.
  3. Approximately 125 big data companies in Massachusetts received VC funding of over $2.5 billion.
  4. Of the 485 surveyed companies—nearly 2/3 develop big data applications for verticals, and 1/3 develop big data analytics products.
  5. Healthcare, life sciences, and financial services are viewed as the most promising industry sectors for big data applications.
  6. This year (2014) will witness a substantially high demand for big data professionals in Massachusetts.
  7. The big data initiative in the Commonwealth has already won $20 Million in Federal grants.
  8. A state-wide research network consisting of ten leading universities and hospitals forms the key differentiator in Massachusetts’ big data ecosystem.
  9. Between 2008 and 2012, about 5250 patents were granted for big data innovations in Massachusetts.
  10. The Commonwealth state represents a high concentration of graduates from data science-related academic disciplines.

Six key areas of exploration

This study identifies six areas of exploration, which the Massachusetts data science community is currently pursuing to realize the full potential of the big data ecosystem.

  1. The need for competitive research proposals by local companies and universities to win Federal grants.
  2. The need for new data science academic programs in Massachusetts for the training of future industry workforce, and the creation of certification programs for the existing big data workforce.
  3. Collaborative projects by industry and academia or internships to promote local talent retention and proactive recruitment of big data professionals in Massachusetts companies.
  4. Increasing cross-sector collaboration between companies, university researchers, system vendors, and application developers for expanding the state’s big data ecosystem.
  5. Creating mass awareness of the uses of big data through promotional campaigns on websites, social media, and the digital press.
  6. With a specific mission to improve the quality of public life in Massachusetts, to facilitate the availability of state and local public data sets like health records, transportation, and education data for creating public-service applications.

You will find the full report here: The Massachusetts Big Data Report: A Foundation For Global Leadership (2014)


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