Tagged With big data

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I recently attended a press and analyst summit run by UK events company NetEvents. The event, held in San Jose this year, introduced me to a few companies I’d not come across before that offer interesting products and services. Here are five I think are worth keeping an eye on.

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Vizio recently got in trouble for collecting data on TV customers who opted out. This brings up an interesting question: Can my TV collect and share my data? Yep, the option is hidden in the settings of most smart TVs as "viewing information" or "internet-based advertising". If you don't want to be tracked, opt out.

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Knowledge is power. So if data equates to knowledge, having a lot of it will naturally allow us to make better decisions that will lead to wealth and success, right? Certainly many organisations are using big data to bolster revenue and bring about overall improvements. But big data isn't the silver bullet to business woes and you can still make bad decisions even with all the right information at your fingertips. We take a look at how big data can lead to bad decisions.

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Big data is not a new concept. It has been used in business for decades. The reason it's becoming a buzz word now is because companies are beginning to understand that if they capture all the data that is coming into their business, they can apply analytics and get significant value from it.

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Information is a valuable asset for businesses as it helps them make well-informed decisions. Fantastic! Data is being generated at an unprecedented rate and organisations are hording it like there's no tomorrow, creating mammoth data sets we call big data. But is big data really helping these companies or is it just complicating the decision-making process? We find out.

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The "Internet of Things" (IoT) is the new darling of the technology world thanks to our love of being tethered to our electronic devices. Watches, fridges and even dog collars are connected to the internet these days and these devices are generating an unrelenting wave of data. This has inevitably led to some privacy concerns over how the data is collected and used. How is one of the world's biggest cloud companies dealing with this IoT conundrum? We find out.

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Big data gets a lot of attention from media, industry and government. Companies and labs generate massive amounts of data associated with everything from weather to cell phone usage to medical records, and each data set may involve hundreds of variables. How does one begin to make sense of it all? The answer lies in "rubber sheet" geometry.

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With the Senate passing the Federal Government's data retention bill last week, there has been a great deal of discussion of "metadata", what it is and whether the government ought to have access to it. However, metadata is just the tip of the data iceberg. The debate about data retention is only just beginning, and the outcome could touch on many aspects of our behaviour and society at large.

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Apple announced numerous products yesterday (and upped the prices on others), but ResearchKit, the company's new medical research and health platform, is clearly the technology with the most potential to actually improve people's lives. Services like it are already at work around the globe, helping doctors and patients manage symptoms and improve health. Here's why it's important, and how it could actually change health care for the better.