Big Data Innovation, Issue 19

Where we look at how Spark has been the foundation of Uber's success


Hello and welcome to issue 19 of Big Data Innovation.

Whenever I look back to issue one of the magazine, one thing is clear: it was written for a niche audience. It was created with the idea that only a select few would understand the content, simply because it was not a well known subject.

At the time, I remember being forced to describe data and analytics in the most basic ways to the non-initiated, the most common example being ‘you know those adverts you see everywhere after you have been on a website?’. It vastly over simplified the subject, but if I had gone into the complex and often scary description, it would have been impossible to convey the possibilities, opportunities and complexities of it.

Now when I look at where we stand, the basic knowledge of data and analytics has increased drastically. I still can’t describe the deep complexities inherent in the practices, but it goes beyond the simple ‘it shows you certain adverts.’

The reasons for this increase in knowledge have not always been positive though.

One of the main educators has been the seriousness of having data stolen, something which is having with alarming regularity and being reported frequently in the media. We have seen with the TalkTalk hack of a few weeks ago, that even those who have been hacked previously do not always learn from their mistakes, but hopefully following this latest hack more companies will learn.

The prevalence of data in our society today makes these kind of attacks more common, but as companies have made billions of dollars from data, they also need to protect it. If people’s data is consistently stolen, the public will be less willing to share it and will put pressure on governments to take drastic action. This could lead to a limiting of current data collection methods and potentially destroy the progress made.

The more data that is stolen and the more people a effected, the more likely it is that the public reaction will be overwhelmingly negative. The only way to stop this potential future is to improve security and elevate its importance within companies. Until that happens, the hacks will continue and the public distrust will only increase. 

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