3 minute read

Gathering up my odds and ends as I headed for the car this morning, I couldn’t help noticing what today constitutes the basics I simply wouldn’t leave home without. There’s my phone, with a banknote firmly folded in a cover pouch along with a couple of business cards. Keys for the car? Well, today these have been replaced with a keyless fob system and the only keys I still carry are to my home and my PO Box. The ubiquitous MasterCard and Visa also have been slipped into this same pouch on my iPhone, but there’s still some loose change I will grab. As for my watch well, it is still low-tech as I like my watches complicated, and in all reality today’s watches have become an item of jewelry for many folks. However, wearable technology is inevitable and beginning to appear, but I’m more likely to want something I can wear other than a watch!

However, what this illustrates is that the items we won’t leave home without either generate data or are the catalysts for data generation in the near term. With increased presence of communication in our cars – your car can become a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot with new technology General Motors is introducing with its 2015 models. In case you missed it, according to CBS News MoneyWatch, “We will see 4G LTE technology expand across new car offerings over the next couple years,” predicts senior analyst, Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book. “Eventually every driver will want it, and every manufacturer will supply it.” With Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications in plan, there doesn’t seem to be any limit to the type or amount of data that will shortly be pouring from our cars. Of course, our lowly debit and credit cards are already generating data but who is this helping? The variety, velocity and indeed volume are well understood, but what makes sense? Of course, Big Data is the coverall label being applied to this, but can even Big Data keep up?

“Big data isn’t new. What is new is the availability and power of the tools for collecting, storing and analyzing data. For business owners wary of blindly adopting trends before they are proven, it is important to note that big data already has a stellar track record and many methods and applications for big data analysis have been around for decades,” wrote Brian Honigman in the November 4, 2014, Wall Street Journal article Debunking Big Data Myths. “The reason that big data seems new is that until recently the necessary frameworks and computing power to make big data feasible were prohibitively complicated and expensive.” Everyman, it seems will benefit even if it’s simply to prompt us to stop by our favorite bagel shop that we have passed by the last couple of mornings.

Clearly, much of the data being generated is simply noise to many enterprises and borders on being nothing more than a nuisance. If data is coming out of everything and from everywhere, who does it really benefit? Obviously, with cars generating data the logical recipients will include insurance companies, perhaps toll ways, bridges, and even parking meters, and possibly, law enforcement agencies, but increasingly, it will prove valuable to city architects and those responsible for infrastructure and even residential planners. The appearance of a megamall may not simply happen by happenstance in the future. What really may stand out at future gatherings of IT professionals could be discussions over Small Data (localized and very, very, transaction oriented) given everyone will be fully immersed in Big Data.

What the team at WebAction has been working on since inception is based on the realization that among the noise and the nuisance of voluminous data are meaningful gems, and while not all data is equal or should necessarily be saved / stored, inserting clever “screening” between capture and store will more readily expedite a richer consumer experience. Imagine walking past the bagel shop, yet again, but now we get a tweet (or even a FaceBook update from a friend), “Hey, we miss you! Try our new Tofu Bagel!” Our new sensory-aware phone then sharing taste and smell sensations digitally from the Bagel store’s chef via existing networking technologies including the Internet.

NonStop Technical Boot Camp 2014

Next week I will be participating in presenting Big Data and WebAction as a pre-conference session that will be part of the 2014 NonStop Technical Boot Camp. Come look for me and the rest of the WebAction team – while I cannot promise any shared sensory awareness, I can give you a lot more data on why Big Data is every bit as important to the NonStop community as it is to any other platform. It will be on Sunday, November 16, and I look forward to seeing all those planning an early arrival to the Boot Camp!

WebAction at Boot Camp