But more means messier. Do policy-makers know how to use this scale of data-driven decision-making in an effective way for their citizens and ensure their privacy?

Enormous data production

90 % of the world’s data have been created the last two years. Every minute more than 100 million new emails are created, 72 hours of new video are uploaded to YouTube and Google processes more than 2 million search queries.

Nowadays, almost everyone walks around with a small computer in their pocket, uses the internet on a daily basis and shares photos and information with their friends, family and network. The digital exhaust we leave behind every day contribute to an enormous data production, and at the same time leaves electronic traces that contains great amounts of personal information.

No limitations to analyzing data

Until recently, traditional technology and analyses techniques have not been able to handle this amounts and types of data. But with recent developments, new technology lets us collect, store and process data in new ways. There seems to be no limitations, neither to the data production nor storing and analyzing.

Big Data has become a buzzword and its use varies from mapping a drivers sitting position to identify car thieves, using Google searches to predict the outbreaks of the H1N1 flu, to data-mining Twitter to predict the price of rice in Asia and mobile phone top-ops to describe unemployment in Asia.

New possibilities in data processing

The notion of Big Data is kind of misleading, argues Robindra Prabhu, a project manager at the Norwegian Board of Technology. “The new development is not necessarily that there are so much more data. It’s rather that data is available to us in a new way. The digitalization of society gives us access to both ‘traditional’, structured data – like the content of a database or register – and unstructured data, for example the content in a text, pictures and videos. Information designed to be read by humans is now also readable by machines. And this development makes a whole new world of data gathering and analysis available. Big Data is exciting not just because of the amount and variety of data out there, but that we can process data about so much more than before.”

Read the complete article by project manager Marianne Barland in volTA Magazine.


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