Pete's Posts Blog

The ConFab: Big data is here

Sponsors and delegates arrived today in sunny Las Vegas, for the 8th annual "The ConFab," our conference and networking event that features planned meetings between conference sessions. Everything is set up and we’re ready to go, comfortably ensconced in The Encore at The Wynn. The conference and meals will be in the Bach and Beethoven rooms on the second floor (very nice!) and we have a networking reception event tonight at Brahms on the first floor, which has an indoor area and an outdoor patio near the pool area.

I ran into some colleagues almost as soon as I arrived, and we had a nice lunch at the Society Café (crab salad for me). After we all compared our smart phones (one iphone, two Androids and one Windows phone), we talked about how the semiconductor industry has changed over the years. One interesting tidbit was that a member of our group had heard that over 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years (I found out later that this factoid comes from IBM in a report on so-called "big data").

What is big data? According to IBM, every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals to name a few. Big data is any type of data – structured and unstructured data such as text, sensor data, audio, video, click streams, log files and more. New insights are found when analyzing these data types together.

The concept of big data isn’t that new – in fact it’s one of the trendy buzz works in business-to-business media today, and was a focal point of this year’s American Business Media’s annual conference. In a presentation titled “Building the Big Data-Driven Media Company of the Future,” Frank Cutitta, CEO, The Center for Global Branding discussed how an "integrated database can help companies streamline their customers’ experience, uncover new product opportunities and execute a successful lead generation program. But most importantly, it can give b-to-b media companies a chance to target customers based on their preferences." Yes, people are working on that at PennWell, but I digress.

Just imagine what this will mean for the semiconductor industry. Massive amounts of data are already being generated, and the future of many businesses will hinge on how quickly that data is collected and analyzed. Cha-ching! IBM says volume, velocity and variety will be key: Enterprises are awash with ever-growing data of all types, easily amassing terabytes—even petabytes—of information. "How do you turn 12 terabytes of Tweets created each day into improved product sentiment analysis?" they ask.

That’s just one of the thoughts from The ConFab this year. More than 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the last two years. Mind-boggling!!

Another thought – if you’re not here, you’re really missing out!


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