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Educating the Next Generation on Big Data

By   /  January 29, 2012  /  1 Comment

by Anjul Bhambhri

The 2.5 quintillion bytes of “Big Data” we produce every day is everywhere – in enterprises, SMBs, in the cloud, on desktops, on mobile phones, and more.  It’s also in every industry and touches all layers of a business, from the C-suite to entry-level. And the growth of this data isn’t slowing down. IDC predicts total data volume will reach 35,000 exabytes in 2020, compared to 1,200 exabytes in 2010, representing a 29 fold increase in the next ten years. The key to business success is having the skills and ability to capture, sift through, and analyze these vast amounts of data, presenting an enormous opportunity for companies to improve customer relationships, provide better services and generate insight to drive new business opportunities.

The Big Data Skills Need

Companies worldwide are realizing the enormous potential translating big data can provide, but business and governments alike are grappling with the challenge of making sense of this data deluge to turn it into better business decisions. In fact, Forrester estimates firms effectively utilize less than 5 percent of available data – and miss 95 percent of data rich with insightful information – mainly due to the lack of training and skills necessary for the type of information gathering and analysis needed to transform this big data. .

Recognizing this need, companies and educational institutions are charging full-speed ahead in the effort to teach big data skills. Analytics and data-handling degree programs have popped up at colleges and university across the country, including Northwestern, Yale and Fordham, and even globally. Also, companies such as IBM are offering online training courses through their Academic Initiative, BigDataUniversity and developerWorks. These educational opportunities will provide students with the analytics skills needed for their upcoming careers, current employees with the opportunity to advance their skills, and everyone with the tools to become the new species of data handler primed to tackle the data obstacle.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 24 percent increase in demand for professionals with management analysis skills over the next 8 years. By garnering the big data skills today, businesses will have the skilled employees they need to make better business decisions for the future.

About the author

Anjul Bhambhri has 23 years of experience in the database industry with engineering and management positions at IBM, Informix and Sybase. She is currently IBM’s Vice President of Big Data Products, overseeing product strategy and business partnerships. Previously at IBM, Anjul focused on application and data lifecycle management tools and spearheaded the development of XML capabilities in DB2 database server. In 2009, she received the YWCA of Silicon Valley’s “Tribute to Women in Technology” Award.

  • Derrick R Hyatt Esq. CISSP, CSSLP IBM/Oracle (Retired)

    The Big Data Skills Needed NoSQL equal No Real Security

    I’m doing research with a international concern focused on helping Enterprise and Govt-gs protect their most sensitive intellectual property and National Security Data.

    As a security professional NoSQL equals no real security. NoSQL is all about transactionality with no real data security policies except for access and limited hardening of the OS.

    The security model for NoSQL transactional architecture security must be anticipated or forward looking with preconceived conditions. Therefore one must understand what is going to happen with the new added attributes that are added to the record then added to the database and what privileges will be granted to he new attributes that are then added to the database and some type of security model must be defined with a meta data dictionary on the fly (in real time). This concept currently does not exist and visionary companies maybe giving thought to this new type of innovative technology but there appears that some NoSQL platform developers have started to work on adding some semblance of control around at least controlling the integrity of data. Therefore the first goal is to make NoSQL work and worry about authentication, input validation, data validation and role based access later. The visionaries will make sure that the OS where the data base runs should be based on trusted computing; hardened and locked down. That is at least the first step in the right direction and I would like to know if IBM has a slide presentation or documentation on future security initiatives pursuant to Big Data security and predictive security analysis.

    Best regards, Derrick Robert Hyatt Esq

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