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Ooi Beng Chin 黄铭钧

Databases, Machine Learning and Systems

 
 
 

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What is so new about Big Data?  

2013-04-03 14:02:25|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Big Data has become a new buzz word for describing huge and complex datasets and systems that manage and process the data.  Is it new? Maybe not in terms of complexity and variety of data types and applications.  It is new in the sense that the data volume is getting bigger and people are more open to sharing of their data, and the data are created or arrive at a much faster rate or speed, and hence the three Vs (volume, variety, and velocity.) Take the medical data for example.  Many national agencies have been trying for years to have an integrated electronic medical record database so that a better and more cost effective health care could be provided.  It took years to implement due mainly to the non-technical implementation issues such as agreement of different stack holders on sharing and protection of data.  This seems to have made progress in the last few years. Today, doctors and medical scientists also appreciate that so much more could be done through predictive analysis so that illnesses or unwanted outcome could be prevented or "preempted". The data is complex, as it contains notes written by doctors, data collected at various stages of medical examinations and tests, etc.. The analysis is much more complex than simple data aggregation -- it could for example entail the study on interaction between multiple drugs on patients over a period of time and so on.  It was called "eXtreme" database by some colleagues a few years ago, and now, the term "Big Data" seems to have caught many people's attention, including non-IT people's, and created an awareness on how much data could be analyzed and exploited to deliver better outcome and drive the cost down. This is the fourth V -- value of the data -- that interests the users.

From database perspective, the complexity of the data surpases what can be supported by exsiting RDBMSs, and recent distributed processing platforms, and this provides an opportunity for re-designing the data processing platform.  Hopefully, this is not another case of "old wine in the new bottle".  Interestingly, this is a case where one could "coin a new term that moves the herd".

 

References:

1.  Bin Cui, Hong Mei, Beng Chin. Ooi: Big Data: The Driver for Innovation in Databases. National Science Review, Oxford University Press, , 2013.

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