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Big Data, Big Value

How valuable is big data? It’s an important question for developers, who need to be able to respond to ever-shifting markets quickly so they are not left behind. But big data is a curious field, still rife with possibilities and controversies. In a recent blog post on the Wall Street Journal, it is revealed that 90 percent of surveyed executives are interested in big data applications, but have no plans to implement them within the next year. Whether this is a failure of big data developers to provide relevant solutions or a failure of imagination from business leaders is difficult to say. However, big data guru Hilary Mason is betting that demand is sufficient to support her big data newsletter, which will cost $35,000 for an annual subscription. Yes, a newsletter: she deems news and research about big data sufficiently valuable to charge such a hefty fee for the privilege of keeping on the cutting edge.

Mason may very well be right. As detailed in a Washington Post article, the state of Indiana is gearing up to invest heavily in big data solutions to improve public health—to the tune of about $9.1 million. As part of this project, the state has contracted software vendor SAP to investigate Indiana’s unusually high infant mortality rate. The hope is that big data can be used to examine the many factors that could attribute to the state’s infant mortality rate, identify the leading causes, and determine the state’s best course of action. Although no information regarding the cost of this specific partnership has been released, it represents part of a significant investment for Indiana. Similarly, although no specifics have been revealed regarding how SAP plans to investigate the matter, such a project will undoubtedly require new ways of approaching data and drawing conclusions.

The future of big data remains unclear, but it’s obvious that it will be decided by those who find new ways to apply it. Are you working on an exciting big data application? Share it with us in the comments or on Twitter @syncfusion.


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