World Telecom & Information Society Day 2017
Theme: Big Data for Big Impact
The theme for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2017 (WTISD-17), “Big Data for Big Impact,” focuses on the power of Big Data for development and aims to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context. The insight brought on by advanced analysis can strongly complement the evidence-based nature of decision-making that can be leveraged at national, regional and international levels to drive success towards attaining all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.
The theme for WTISD-17 is in line with ITU‘s work highlighting the technological developments that have facilitated the emergence of Big Data, developing standards related to Big Data and identifying sources and uses of Big Data, including use of Big Data technologies for developing and monitoring improvements in information societies.
Activities undertaken by the ITU Membership will contribute towards building political momentum to embrace Big Data and leverage insights to identify new opportunities to creatively address sustainable development challenges.
There was a time when people said, “No news is good news.” But today information is a powerful tool even to control public unrest by gagging it at the regional level, as is being witnessed by us during the present days of unrest. People have become dependable on information generation in the electronic media the world over. A user can have all the latest information that he needs on his finger tips: electronic newspaper, yellow pages, telephone directories, stock exchange prices etc. Access to information as a basic right can stimulate the world’s economy to the benefit of all. The business community has come to understand information as a valuable commodity required for planning, directing, controlling decision-making, motivating, forecasting and so on to ensure positive and gainful operation.
A report by the OCED estimates that more than half of the GDP in rich countries is now knowledge based, including industries such as Telecommunications, Education, Television, Computers, Software and Pharmaceuticals. A typical American car today has more computing power than the lunar-landing craft had in 1969. If the computer is the most important thing that man invented since the wheel, software is the fuel that sets the wheels of the machine running.
In 1960 a transatlantic cable could carry only 138 conversations simultaneously. To-day a fibre-optic cable carries over 150 million. The development from telegraph to mobile phone has covered a period of about one and a half century from 1840. No communication medium has grown faster than the internet, which already connected more than 300 million users worldwide in 2000, half of which were American, that is the so called “Information Revolution.”
Anybody with a prescribed mobile phone can Tele-shop, Tele-bank, Tele-learn 24 hours a day.
The trend towards business mergers that began in 1980’s has created several giant media firms. The six biggest span the world in a wide range of media, with internet in areas such as book publishing, the music industry and TV networks. In this connection Viacom, Broadcasting, Book publishing, Vivendi Universal, Bertelmann, News Corporation, AOL Time Warner, Walt Disney are on the forefront.
Google is enrolled as a global leader in the technology centre. Its search engine is the world’s most important with some 200 million searches a day. Its base information includes some 4 billion web pages. It can search in 97 languages and its non US audience is bigger than US.
What Is Big Data?
For organizations of all sizes, data management has shifted from an important competency to a critical differentiator that can determine market winners and has-beens. Fortune 1000 companies and government bodies are starting to benefit from the innovations of the web pioneers. These organizations are defining new initiatives and re-evaluating existing strategies to examine how they can transform their businesses using Big Data. In the process, they are learning that Big Data is not a single technology, technique or initiative. Rather, it is a trend across many areas of business and technology.
Big Data refers to technologies and initiatives that involve data that is too diverse, fast-changing or massive for conventional technologies, skills and infra- structure to address efficiently. Said differently, the volume, velocity or variety of data is too great.
But today, new technologies make it possible to realize value from Big Data. For example, retailers can track user web clicks to identify behavioral trends that improve campaigns, pricing and stock age. Utilities can capture household energy usage levels to predict outages and to incent more efficient energy consumption. Governments and even Google can detect and track the emergence of disease outbreaks via social media signals. Oil and gas companies can take the output of sensors in their drilling equipment to make more efficient and safer drilling decisions.
‘Big Data’ describes data sets so large and complex they are impractical to manage with traditional software tools.
Specifically, Big Data relates to data creation, storage, retrieval and analysis that is remarkable in terms of volume, velocity, and variety:
- Volume:A typical PC might have had 10 gigabytes of storage in 2000. Today, Facebook ingests 500 terabytes of new data every day; a Boeing 737 will generate 240 terabytes of flight data during a single flight across the US; the proliferation of smart phones, the data they create and consume; sensors embedded into everyday objects will soon result in billions of new, constantly-updated data feeds containing environmental, location, and other information, including video.
- Velocity:Click streams and ad impressions capture user behavior at millions of events per second; high-frequency stock trading algorithms reflect market changes within microseconds; machine to machine processes exchange data between billions of devices; infrastructure and sensors generate massive log data in real-time; on-line gaming systems support millions of concurrent users, each producing multiple inputs per second.
- Variety:Big Data isn’t just numbers, dates, and strings. Big Data is also geospatial data, 3D data, audio and video, and unstructured text, including log files and social media. Traditional database systems were designed to address smaller volumes of structured data, fewer updates or a predictable, consistent data structure. Traditional database systems are also designed to operate on a single server, making increased capacity expensive and finite. As applications have evolved to serve large volumes of users, and as application development practices have become agile, the traditional use of the relational database has become a liability for many companies rather than an enabling factor in their business. Big Data databases, such as MongoDB, solve these problems and provide companies with the means to create tremendous business value.
Thus we can infer that these trends in telecommunications have paved the way to the sustainable development in our times. I wish the two day conference on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD-2017) organized jointly by Computer Science & Engineering Department (CSED-NIT) and the Institution of Engineers J&K State Centre (IEI J&KSC) a great success. Thank you.
Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili FIE (Chairman IEI J&KSC Srinagar)