Apparently there’s BIG money in BIG data research


We already know that many businesses are either investing in BIG data management strategies or actively working on developing new methods for doing so, but did you know that some organizations are also handing out grant money? That’s right, the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have recently awarded around $15 million in grants to several research teams who are working with BIG data. Of course all the teams receiving awards were university based research groups, but that could change as well. The point is, there’s big money at stake from institutions that need solutions in BIG data, and virtually any research groups that are able to help make forward progress might be eligible to receive significant compensation for their efforts.

Outside of grant money being thrown down by foundations, many larger businesses (across all fields) are really the big spenders when it comes to BIG data research. Collectively, they are contributing massive sums to their respective programs; some might say that this will have no effect in the long run, but that’s really a short-sided take on things. One of the most often overlooked realities is the impact any sector experiences from individually mandated research. For example, if several major companies are investing significant amounts of capital in BIG data studies, chances are, we will see new technologies hitting the markets in a period of years or months.


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Naturally, the tendency is to think “but these businesses aren’t collaborating, aren’t we losing valuable insights because of that?” While it’s true that larger scale collaborative projects tend to yield somewhat more accessible solutions, they don’t really promote any type of competitive growth. In other words, while they are achieving results, perhaps many individual concepts are “falling by the wayside” that might otherwise be useful.

Think of it as “idea bottlenecking”; instead of companies competing through research to develop a better approach to BIG data management, they use only the most immediately accessible ideas in tandem with those from other groups. What’s the problem with that, you ask? Well, often times, you can’t devise definitive solutions without being able to access multiple ways of approaching a problem. Does this imply that collaboration isn’t the way to go when it comes to researching BIG data? Absolutely not; it’s imperative that organizations band together to create better BIG data management solutions, but not if it comes at the cost of diversity.

Given that there’s been quite a push to fund these types of research initiatives, it’s really a good idea for businesses with extended tech or IT capabilities to apply themselves in this regard. Having said that; only about 1/3 of all companies are actively devoting any portion of their annual budgets to BIG data (even though most all organizations agree that it’s vitally important). Basically, the potential exists to turn BIG data into a major industry unto itself. Perhaps the only thing that’s stopping this from occurring is the lack of a few breakthroughs in the technology itself.

This is why all businesses who stand poised to benefit from a shift in BIG data technology need to plan on finding new ways to leverage the technology ahead of any major shifts. For instance, IT professionals who have certifications in BIG data are likely to find themselves in high demand once we have some definitive approaches to BIG data available to us all. Speaking of which, if you’re employed in the IT sector and haven’t been certified in cloud computing, IaaS or BIG data, now’s the perfect time to do so!


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Regardless of how large or widespread the use BIG data management will become after this “research revolution” dissipates, you can bet that all the major organizations are going to deploy the technology. There are simply too many potential applications for the use of BIG data management (deep customer analytics, trend spotting, leveraging the packaging and sale of the tech to clients, etc…). If fact, it’s probably safe to assume that at this point, we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what we can do with BIG data. Moreover, if history can teach us anything, it’s that every time a new form of groundbreaking technology is delivered, entire industries tend to spring up around it. In other words, the rise of BIG data will likely herald the formation of several new sectors which are driven by profits. To make a long story short, it’s a good time to be in BIG data.

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