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Tag Archives: big data

IBM is betting on what we’re betting on

As someone old enough to remember the 1984 Apple ad that assailed IBM as big brother, I am willing to bet Big Blue will pull through and to be amused by Apple collaborating with IBM. The areas IBM is betting heavily on include data analytics, cloud computing and corporate mobile and social computing. At a […]

Building the big data eco system

Yesterday, Sriganesh Lokanathan and I spent the day at the inaugural event of a business analytics group, pulled together by the Sri Lanka Ministry of Higher Education and the School of Information and Business Analytics at Deakin University. Seven Sri Lankan universities were represented by faculty as were several Sri Lankan IT firms. When the […]

A better way to define rural

Nalaka Gunawardene asks good questions. So I paid attention when he tweeted: Where does urban end & rural begin in #lka? Not silly admin demarcations, but in REAL terms? What decides: Tele-density? Purchasing power? — Nalaka Gunawardene (@NalakaG) July 5, 2014 Based on the ongoing work using mobile transaction generated data (big data), we can […]

Why big data?

Every time I hear people agonizing over the possible ill effects of big data, I think of Dhaka, a city that is being choked by traffic. We all know that the solutions to transport management are among the most difficult to implement. We know that, in fact, there are no perfect solutions. Public transport is […]

Big data and the delivery of government services

The IDRC Asia Office was kind enough to permit publication of a part of a concept paper I wrote for them. Here is an excerpt: At present, the principal methods for understanding users or demand are quantitative research (representative-sample surveys) and qualitative research. The former is used primarily for understanding “what” questions and the latter […]

Predicting energy consumption using telecom and electricity Big Data

As part of electricity work LIRNEasia has made recommendations on the importance of DSM in Sri Lanka. Effective DSM is not possible without smart meters and that was an important part of the message, when we were invited by the Colombo Electricity Board (CEB) to share our research with their senior management. So it was with […]

Some reflections on the analytical challenges in Big Data

The work that we have been doing using mobile network big data over the last year, has been challenging on many fronts. I’ve spent some time reflecting on some of the analytical challenges that are faced in the Big Data paradigm and the common fallacies that I sometimes find in the broader discussion I see […]

Can mobile meta data replace costly traffic studies?

Today was the first public airing of our big data for development research results. It was a small amount of time, so we focused on a limited set of issues. So we showed that anonymized data sets can easily substitute for costly traffic studies. Slides.

Discrimination and big data

Issue of discrimination coming up in big data policy review. The value of big data is in understanding the consumer. But with understanding comes the ability to discriminate. Not all discrimination is bad. But some may be. So that will be the next phase: President Barack Obama requested the review in January, when he called […]

Thinking about big data

The recent kerfuffle about Google flu trends showed all kinds of critics of big data come out of the woodwork. This is normal for anything new. I am sure there was an outpouring to hostility to the motor car when the first accident occurred. What I found useful was the cooling of the hype associated […]

Agriculture big data: Where it exists in datafied form, concerns re what can be done with it

US agriculture was early to use ICTs to improve efficiency. I recall sharing stories of information-savvy farmers with my classes in Ohio in the early 1990s. Now data is available of soil and weather conditions at a micro-level and farmers are beginning to be concerned that this big data when combined with other data could […]

More on the failure of Google flu trends

The Financial Times carried a good discussion on the failure of the Google Flu Trends model to predict. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional […]

Big data in developing v developed countries

Yesterday I listened sporadically to a live streamed conference on Big Data. Sporadic was not intentional. I am in Dili, Timor Leste, where most connectivity is via satellite with latencies in the 700ms range. Anyway, the focus was not on big data per se. They talked about all sorts of things, mostly open data (in […]

Does Sri Lanka have slums?

As part of our big data work, I have been looking at the 2012 Sri Lanka census preliminary results based on five percent of the responses. The picture that emerges is a far cry from the slums described in this Economist summary of research on slums: Yet the MIT paper, which offers simple statistics about […]

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