Policy news for September 2013






Considering my work in contributing to the EIF Digital world in 2030 report  and the impact of Big Data insights – we focus these newsletters on Data  with a Policy slant.

Data affects us all and it will continue to impact many policy matters in future.  I have been tracking Big Data trends on social media – especially Twitter. I then provide a perspective/edited view for policy matters

Tomorrow’s cities: How big data is changing the world

 Let’s start  with Smart cities. A trend which brings many other trends together.

Should happiness become a general measurement of city life? The Hedonometer project sets out to map happiness levels in cities across the US using data from Twitter.

Using 37 million geolocated tweets from more than 180,000 people in the US, the team from the Advanced Computing Centre at the University of Vermont rated words as either happy or sad.

“Cities looking to understand changes in the behaviour of their citizens, for example to locate ads for public health programmes, can look to social media for real-time information,” said Chris Danforth, one of the project leaders.

The article also provides some interesting data points for policy makets

In 2013 internet data, mostly user-contributed, will account for 1,000 exabytes. An exabyte is a unit of information equal to one quintillion bytes

Open weather data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has an annual estimated value of $10bn

Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data

90% of the data in the world today has been created in the past two years

Every minute 100,000 tweets are sent globally

Back in 2010 Google chief executive Eric Schmidt noted that the amount of data collected since the dawn of humanity until 2003 was the equivalent to the volume we now produce every two days.

In Norway, more than 40,000 bus stops are tweeting, allowing passengers to leave messages about their experiences, and in London the mayor’s office has just begun a project to tag trees so that people can learn about their history.

Supermarket chain Tesco is installing sensors across its stores to reduce heating and lighting costs.The records of the fridge systems in one store alone produce 70 million data points a year.

Vancouver is making sense of data using a 3D visualisation of the city

Computer-aided design company Autodesk has been working with San Francisco, Vancouver and

Bamberg, in southern Germany, to build 3D visualisations over which government can overlay data sets to see how a city is performing at any time.

Presenting data in new ways has had surprising consequences for example In Germany the model was used to show people what the impact of a new railway line would be.

 And finally the quote: “We are basically building a digital copy of our physical world and that is having profound consequences.”

 To Go from Big Data to Big Insight, Start with a Visual

The Harvard business review which asks if is data visualization actionable by looking at a large data set

How big? Massive: We are documenting every tweet, retweet, and click on every shortened URL from Twitter and Facebook that points back to New York Times content, and then combining that with the browsing logs of what those users do when they land at the Times.

 3 Inconvenient Truths About Big Data In Security Analysis

HD Moore at UNITED Security Conference predicts: “We’ll see a large breach from one of the analytics providers in the next 12 months”

 Big Data That’s Good for the Public

The DOPA project … funny sounding name but doing something very serious .. (from MIT sloan review)

 A program funded by the EU promises to semantically link open data like never before.

Facts: 900 million. Active sources: more than 100,000. Data sets: 30,000, with 200 million time-series and 1.5 billion fact values.

Link all these data sources together and what do you get? Timely, if not crucial, contextual information about markets, trends, competitors, products and consumer opinions.

This is the promise of DOPA, a project funded under the umbrella of the European Union’s Seventh Framework (a made-for-HBO series title if I’ve ever heard one) implemented to further European research and economic development.

DOPA’s goal is to semantically link massive amounts of open economic and financial data — quantitative, qualitative, structured, unstructured and polystructured (as in audio, video, images, free-form text, tables and XML files) — and make it available through a framework that standardizes data sets. Its hoped-for outcomes include a bevy of innovations based on new ways of looking at publicly available data.

 Big Data without good analytics can lead to bad decisions

Experts warn that the temptation to let the computers do it all, without the human element, can lead to trouble

 Clinical data analytics next big thing

Population health needs clinical analytics solutions, new report finds

The clinical data analytics market is about to get red hot. With the shift toward new payment models and the sheer amount of clinical data contained in electronic health records, more and more healthcare groups are looking to analytics solutions for population health management, according to a new report released Tuesday.

 Predictive Analytics: Harnessing the Power of Big Data

From a blog for the book - Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die – comes a range of areas affected by Big Data

 This learning process discovers and builds on insightful gems such as:

Early retirement decreases your life expectancy

Online daters more consistently rated as attractive receive less interest

Vegetarians miss fewer flights

Local crime increases after public sporting events

 This man thinks big data and privacy can co-exist, and here’s his plan

 Dr Alexander Dix – Berlin’s privacy chief proposes a compromise for Big Data and Privacy

 That is also something for the governments to support and finance — business models or research, for instance, to improve the tools for self-protection for the internet user, and possibly to develop a kind of European cloud model which is less [vulnerable] to detection by the intelligence services. There could also be acompetitive advantage for European businesses.

 From Malaysia(PULSATE Announces Big Data Collaboration with Dell, Intel and Revolution Analytics) to Peru(IBM Opens New Cloud Data Center in Peru to Meet Demand for Big Data Analytics) – there is emphasis on Big Data.

Impact on marketing and sales

Sales Of Public Data To Marketers Can Mean Big $$ For Governments

The Rise Of Big Data and Predictive Analytics in Marketing

Visualization: The Simple Way to Simplify Big Data

 And finally, the new jobs – always an interest for policy makers

Where Do Data Scientists Come From?

Data experts aren’t uniformly distributed around the globe. Prepare to be surprised at some of the best countries and cities for data expertise.

In growing field of big data, jobs go unfilled

 To conclude, also here is more about my course on Big Data and Algorithms for Smart cities – an effort to bring about education in algorithms and algorithm transparency