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Data Curation Insights - Interview with James Cheney

The second interview of the Data Curation Insights-series is now available on our website.
Edward Curry, BIG-member and member of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), arranged an interview with James Cheney, a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the laboratory for foundation of Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh.
After a few words about James career and his background at the University of Edinburgh, the interview gives some insights into James work and the role of big data (curation) for his institution.
James specifically talks about curation projects he and his colleagues interacted with, mainly in biomedical data and elborates on the uses and value of the curated data in those projects.
Edward Curry wanted to know about the processes and technologies which were involved in  James' data curation projects. The design of those processes and the performance of the technologies were of special interest to him.
 
During the Interview, James not only talks about the influence big data has on data curation but also explains the technical demand of curation and curation technologies in the big data context..
The last part of the interview is dedicated to James’ view on the influence of big data in future data curation and which data curation technologies will actually be able to cope with big data in the future.
You want to read the full Interview ? Visit our  website !!  
 
Interested in data curation news? Follow  Edward Curry @EdwardACurry on Twitter.
The next interview will be published soon! Don't miss it an follow us on twitter  @BIG_FP7 
 
 

Smart Ways To Deal With Big Data

BIG-project member Siemens recently published an article on smart ways to deal with big data.
The article was released shortly before the Christmas Holidays in the December edition of urbanDNA, a magazine for the metropolitan world.The article briefly introduces the BIG project, the work done in BIG and highlights smart ways of  urban applications of big data.
The article is available in the December Issue (No.3) of urbanDNA.
You find further information in big data and the BIG project on our website.

The BIG project at Big Data World Congress, Munich, 3-4 December 2013

The BIG project had a strong presence at BIG Data World Congress in Munich in early December. There was a strategically-positioned stand  in the exhibition hall. We met a number of delegates from many industrial sectors and countries, especially in the “speed dating” session where we perfected the BIG project’s elevator pitch in the quick-fire conversations! Project flyers and stickers were available in many places for people who wanted to learn about the project after the conference. The two day event was closed by a presentation from the BIG project’s director Josema Cavanillas, introducing the aims of the project and the outputs of our research.
 
The event featured case studies and panels on every aspect of Big Data technologies including governance, unstructured data, real-time analytics and much more. Attendees came from a wide range of organisations, including some big players in sectors such as manufacturing and telecoms. One exciting potential avenue of collaboration may be for BIG to work with the USA’s NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) as they are also developing cross-sector consensus requirements and roadmaps for Big Data.
 
Many speakers talked about how adopting Big Data could revolutionise the ways businesses operate, driving efficiency and faster product development. It is recognised by most if not all senior level executives as one of the key IT trends of the next few years - but this comes with the caveat that Big Data initiatives need to be aligned to clear outcomes and business processes in order to have a chance of success. The structure of organisations may need to be adapted to enable technical and business expertise to work together more closely to enable value to be derived from data. Even then, the pace of industry change may be such that organisations will look to form partnerships with start-ups and universities so as to drive innovation. The BIG project’s Public Private Forum could be a key enabler for these communities.
Europe-specific issues were highlighted in several talks. There was criticism of the apparent risk aversion of technology companies and their customers and the lack of a widespread start-up culture (apart from a few isolated exemplars). There are differences between Europe and the US in terms of data protection, the EU’s tougher legislation possibly being a barrier to innovation for some firms (on the other hand, the US’s relatively lax laws may have implications for privacy and the ethics of extensive data collection by businesses).
 

BIG at ICT 2013, November 7-9, Vilnius

ICT 2013 was held in Vilnius, Lithuania from November 7th to the 9th. Nearly 5,000 delegates attended in order to discover the latest innovations and trends in ICT, and to gather information about the European Commission’s priorities for its Horizon 2020 research programme. The conference was supplemented by an extensive exhibition and three unique “villages” showcasing cutting-edge local and international technology companies.
 
A common thread running through the event was the potential societal impact of a data-driven economy. This includes issues such as privacy, surveillance and data protection, as well as positive aspects like improving healthcare, empowering all groups of society and tackling climate change.
 
The EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, gave a forceful keynote speech describing Big Data as a new “asset class”, as important a pillar of the economy as human resources or financial capital. The effect on productivity, public sector transparency, research and the environment could be transformative. Europe’s cultural and legislative advantages should be used to tackle challenges such as ICT education, the skills gap, barriers to market entry for SMEs and a lack of leadership in the technology sector.
 
A packed programme of Networking Sessions provided attendees with many opportunities to learn about applications for Big Data technologies. For example, genomic research being led by Valencia University depends on cloud infrastructures and scalable data mining tools to ensure that the right, not just more data is analysed. Other speakers showed how Big Data underpins the success of open data, drives new job creation and speeds up innovation.
 
The BIG project co-hosted a Networking Session with NESSI (a high-profile pan-European platform to promote innovation in software and services). The theme of the session was research into data value towards Horizon 2020. Data could be the driving force behind economic growth and European competitiveness globally, but work and collaboration are needed to fully understand the potential. Large companies such as Atos, Siemens, SAP and Thales are committed to a joint initiative for data value, recognising that industrial co-operation can drive progress. NESSI launched the Big Data Value Manifesto - a call to action for organisations to shape the future of Big Data.
 
Nuria de Lama from Atos highlighted the outputs of the BIG project, namely the sector requisites, technical white papers and a consolidated roadmap.

eHealth Interview with Marco Viceconti

Sonja Zillner (Siemens) and John Domingue (STI) conducted an Interview with Marco Viceconti- a ‘Sector Visionary’ within the eHealth sector. Marco’s main work over the last few years has been leading the VPH Institute (Virtual Physiological Human) which has been the large initiative within the eHealth unit as well. The overall goal of this work has been on combining data and computational models from across Europe to instantiate a complete in silico model of the human biological system from the whole body level down to the cell level.

During the interview, the most interesting concepts were:  

  • a k-anonymity membrane - where on one side we have specific patient data which must be controlled and on the other anonymised versions which can be used for research. Sometimes one needs to pass data back to a specific patient because of analysis carried out in research. Having a two way membrane would be useful.
  • a eHealth data value chain - at the moment health data which is passed around is 100% observational (e.g. blood pressure or heart rate) being able to smoothly combine this with data resulting from computational models would be of great benefit.

You can watch the whole interview via the standard interface, as a small version or  with a large video window with the ability to jump to specific segments. 

The interview is also available as an audio-only mp3 file

For further information about our project or information about big data and the Health sector, please visit our website.

BIG will be at the ICT 2013 in Vilnius

This week (6th-8th November) sees the ICT 2013 event in Vilnius. Over 4,000 people, including researchers, politicians and industrial representatives will attend to discuss the issues and vision for the future of ICT research in Europe. The conference is a key part of the European Commission’s Digital Agenda.
 
The market for Big Data technologies is projected to grow enormously over the next few years, and for that reason there is a dedicated programme of Big Data networking sessions at ICT 2013. There are six sessions to cover topics such as the impact of Big Data on the economy, the healthcare sector and Open Data.
 
The BIG project will be co-hosting a session with NESSI (the Networked European Software and Services Initiative) called “Data Value Research and Innovation in Horizon2020: Getting Europe to the forefront”. We will be discussing how to achieve a Data Value PPP (Public-Private Partnership) and presenting the results of strategic research done by the BIG project.
 
The speakers, who are representing both the BIG and NESSI projects, are: Stephan Fischer (SAP), Nuria de Lama (ATOS), Catherine Simon (Thales) and Michael May (Siemens). The session will be of interest to anyone wanting to learn about the roadmap for Big Data to drive growth in Europe, with a strong focus on industrial participation.
 
The session is on Thursday 7th November and runs from 14.50 to 15.35, in room H1C. If you’re at ICT 2013 come and say hello!
 
More information on the event  and the joint BIG & NESSI session are available on the website.
 
Blog post written by Helen Lippell (Press Association)

Interview with Andreas Ribbrock Team Lead Big Data Analytics and Senior Architect at Teradata GmbH

Big Data Analysis Interview with Andreas Ribbrock, Team Lead Big Data Analytics and Senior Architect at Teradata GmbH, is online now:

In his interview Andreas talked about three classes of technologies required for Big Data: storage (advocating distributed file systems as a competitive way to handle these); query frameworks which can translate from user queries to a set of different query engines (calling it a 'discovery platform'); and a platform which can handle the delivery of the right results to the right personnel in the right time frame.

Andreas also stressed that integration is key as Big Data can not be solved by any single technology but requires a suite of technologies to be tightly integrated. In general, any architecture/framework for Big Data must be open and adaptable as new technologies/components are plugged in. Fabric computing where components are virtualized and allow data flow at high speeds was a possible approach to solve this.

In terms of impact two key drivers are the ability for Big Data to allow companies to personalise their communication with clients and also how user communication channels will change. On the one hand, one can integrate channels for energy consumption, phone use, banking. On the other, users may prefer their own channels (which produce a lot of data) and impose these on enterprises in specific markets. e.g. traditional banks may soon become obsolete as their functionality is taken by PayPal (a TeraData customer), Amazon and Google.

He ended the interview with the phrase: Big Data is Big Fun!

BIG at LSWT2013 - From Big Data to Smart Data - A Summary

The 5th Leipziger Semantic Web Tag (LSWT2013) was organized as a meeting point for german as well as international Linked Data experts.
Under the motto: From Big Data to Smart Data sophisticated methods that enable handling large amounts of data have been presented on September 23th in Leipzig.
The keynote was held by Hans Uszkoreit, scientific director at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). By being introduced  to Text Analytics and Big Data issues the participants of the LSWT 2013 discussed the intelligent usage of huge amounts of data in the web.
 
Presentations on industrial and scientific solutions showed working solutions to big data concerns. Companies like Empolis, Brox and Ontos presented Linked Data and Semantic Web solutions capable of handling terabytes of data. However, also traditional approaches, like Datameer’s Data Analytics Solution based on Hadoop pointed out that big data could be handled nowadays without bigger problems.
 
Furthermore, problems detecting topics in massive data streams (Topic/S), document collections (WisARD) or corpora at information service providers (Wolters Kluwer) were tackled. Even the ethical issue of robots replacing journalists by the help of semantic data has been examined by Alexander Siebert from Retresco.
 
In conclusion, the analysis of textual information in large amounts of data is an interesting and so far not yet fully solved area of work. Further Information are available from the website.
 
 Further information on topics related to data analysis, data curation, data storage, data acquisition and data usage can be found in our technical whitepaper available from our project website.

BIG @ BITKOM Healthcare Analytics Conference

90% of all existing data in the world was generated within the last 2 years.  Within the following years, one of the major topics within the IT industry will be the efficient use, analysis and exploitation of data especially within the healthcare sector which has many data sources, too. The BITKOM service community organizes events to address these issues. 

BIG member Sonja Zillner from Siemens attended the BITKOM healthcare analytics conference on September 19th, 2013 to join the discussion about data analytics, data security and privacy with respect to big data in the health care sector. During the conference it was demonstrated how established big data technologies can be applied within the healthcare sector. Leading companies such as IBM, Oracle, Charité, T-systems, Accenture and Unabhängiges Datenschutzzentrum Schleswig-Holstein were present to discuss these topics. Presentations and the discussion afterwards showed that a strong effort is needed for making health data  available. Sonja Zillner pointed out that first big data applications in the healthcare sector can be identified,however are mainly operating in structured data. Thus, until now  the potential of unstructured data in big data application in the healthcare sector is not fully exploited yet.

The BITKOM community will organize further events to discuss analytic tools and to address the challenges and changes that arise for clinics and health insurance companies when making use of healthcare analytics. Further events will follow soon. For information visit BITKOM’s website

To get further information about big data and the healthcare sector have a look at our deliverables  or join us on our website. You are welcome to visit our BIG LinkedIn group to join the discussion around big data and healthcare.

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BIG Partner AGT International and Crowd Control Management

The Urban Shield Safe City solution of AGT International, a partner in the BIG project, has been featured  on Big Data Startups as part of a crowd control management solution in the city of Enschede.

The system has been deployed during the Dutch radio station 3FM event, an annual benefit project that collects money for charity. According to Big Data Startups, over 6 days around 500,000 visitors came to the centre of Enschede. The objective was to support the police and other first responders with safety and security solutions during the event and to showcase the city’s leading and innovative approach towards meeting these requirements.

The image above shows the Urban Shield system that “provides a real-time situational awareness overview of a complete area within a city. This system is based on a Geographical Information System and uses GPS to show the real-time location of all first responders in an area. All police officers, fire department, city security and private security guards who are part of the system are shown on a map. Based upon a situation that is noticed via the cameras on the street or via Twitcident the closest first responder can be alerted and he or she can take immediate action” AGT Press Release.

Further information are available at: AGT International and Big Data Startups

 

 

 

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by Dr. Radut