Gee Wiz Technology and Big Data

Fiction moves rapidly to business reality

As it is summer, I thought I would reflect on two books that I recently read. One light read, “The Lost Throne” by Chris Kuzenski written in 2008 with a Dan Brown theme.  The part that was interesting was the discussion of technology.  A gee whiz moment in the book was the 3 oz printer that easily fit in a laptop case, or going to an internet café to read an important encrypted email. The other was the ability of the government to search numerous databases to find out individual’s occupation in other countries and find their location via cell phone. Numerous times in the novel items needed to written down or photo copied. There are 25 to 30 pages of story line development on implementation of these technologies or lack thereof.    

In less than 5 years all of these “gee whiz moments” can be handled with a cellphone. The speed that technology is evolving is shortening the times to make critical decisions and how a business is adapting to this change.   

While at the same time the advancement in technologies is providing a whole other field of Big Data.  Pat defined this back in her Blog on May 11th.  Back in February I picked up a copy of “Big Data” by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier. While the recently leaked program by Snowden from NSA is theoretically discussed in the book, several  other benefits of Big Data are present.  For example the predictive ability through scanning website, social media, street light outages, and other data points provide linkages to potential increases in crime. Currently the City of Atlanta is implementing such a program to determine where to deploy officers.   

Another crowd sourcing use has been using Google Trends in identifying the flu outbreaks  This past year it was not as accurate, demonstrating the results need to be continuously verified.  Researchers changed the algorithm and regained its accuracy.  While another trend is to capture comments on a disease such as on Lyme Disease   Both of these examples show the power big data, but now is the time to begin applying it to your business. 

This provides an opportunity to capture data or use existing datasets to identify potential customers, market positioning and identify


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