In this Information Age, data has become one of the most valuable assets in society. Data is defined as pieces of information collected to be examined and considered, and used to help decision-making; or information in an electronic form that can be stored and used by a computer.
The Global Big Data market is expected to reach $118.52 billion by 2022, growing at an impressive rate of 26.0% from 2015 to 2022, which includes the aggregated value of data in different products and services. The main factors driving this trend upwards are growth in consumer data, superior information security, and enhanced business efficiencies.
The data market is vast and full of opportunities, especially for those developing and curating technology. The total number of data workers in the 28 EU countries is estimated at 6.1 million, a figure that could almost double by the year 2020 if growth keeps on at this pace. On top of this, the number of organisations producing and supplying data-related products and services could reach almost 350,000 in 2020, when the number of data users could be more than 1.3 million.
Data is a concept society is still trying to grasp, and the questions around its uses are numerous and complex — concerning data ownership, privacy and surveillance, among others. Data requires careful and ethical management, as once information is made available online, it rarely gets deleted, making it difficult to measure the consequences of misuse.
“You can’t make a data set disappear. Once you post it, and people download it, it exists on hard drives all over the world,” says researcher Adam Harvey, whose project Megapixels documented the details of dozens of data sets and how they are being used, to the FT.
It is important to note that data in itself has no beneficial or damaging features. What defines it are the applications and purposes which it serves. As disruptive technologies continue to evolve and digitisation becomes more widespread, the uses of data become increasingly more diverse.
A PwC study has identified the top eight disruptive technologies of today, which are the flagships of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and can dramatically change the way we do business: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Drones, 3D Printing and Robotics.
These are the core technologies that will matter most for business, across every industry, over the years to come. A stronger way to harness those technologies would be combining them to yield powerful applications that are even more beneficial and efficient.
Each one of these technologies interacts with data in different ways: they have diverse functions. Ultimately, harnessing data is a fundamental part of this new wave of technology.
Internet of Things (IoT) collects data
In an Internet of Things (IoT) system, computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people are all interrelated with the use of unique identifiers (UIDs), and with which they can collect and transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
IoT technology is used in the consumer, enterprise, industrial, and government market segments, each of which produce massive amounts of data, generally of the unstructured variety, requiring data technologies for management and processing.
This is where Artificial Intelligence enters the scene…
Artificial Intelligence (AI) processes and analyses data
With the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms, we enhance the ability of big data analytics and IoT platforms to provide value to each of these market segments. AI algorithms can be trained to manage and process data according to certain standards. This feature turns raw data into meaningful information, which is then useful for decision-making purposes.
Blockchain stores and distributes data
In the blockchain realm, data and decentralisation enjoy a powerful relationship. Data can be fed into blockchain networks securely and privately, avoiding centralised storage. Blockchain can be used as the foundation for decentralised data storage providers.
Because of the architecture of blockchain networks, data stored on them is immutable and cannot be forged, making it a highly secure technology for preventing fraud.
The “essential eight” technologies are evolving rapidly, becoming increasingly more sophisticated and equally complex, also prompting questions around legislation and ethical uses of data. The scenario leaves plenty of room for further research and discussion about how technology can help drive society forward without compromising rights and principles.
Cassiopeia Services is a key partner and the official PR/Media representative of the World Ethical Data Forum (WEDF), a leading global organisation that embraces the full spectrum of interrelated issues around the use and future of data.
We are working with WEDF on its next Global Forum set to take place in London in 2020. Dates, venue and keynote speakers will be announced in due course.
For more information about how to get involved, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org