Experts Debate Big Data's Next Phase of Growth
Are smarter machines or smarter humans the key to super-charging big data's value? Panelists at the AlwaysOn Silicon Valley Innovation Summit discussed this.MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—With the growth of big data comes the challenge of analyzing and accessing the right information from among the huge stores of data today's systems can collect. Companies typically employ data scientists to help in the effort, but a panelist here at the AlwaysOn Silicon Valley Innovation Summit said future growth is tied to smarter systems and less human involvement. "The problem I see with Hadoop [systems that manage big data] is that it's like bragging on an episode of [the TV show] 'Hoarders' how much you've saved," said Arijit Sengupta, CEO of BeyondCore, which offers an automated system (BeyondCore for Office) for analyzing big data. "The speed of hoarding is getting faster, but the problem is that a human being is asking the questions and that's the slow part." Sengupta compared the current state of big data systems to the early days of Google when the search giant had people categorizing Web search results. "It didn't scale; the same thing is happening now with big data," he said. Stefan Groschupf, CEO of Datameer, which offers a big data analytics solution, agreed that advances need to be made, but he emphasized the need to give greater access to big data. "What we see with our banking and retail customers is that they are trying to get away from having data scientists locked in the basement, but instead to democratize the decisions," he said. "The human brain is still the best at decision-making."
Sengupta disagreed: "If humans make the decisions, we've lost the battle."