At the Epicenter of Big Data Research


I am wiped out as I am on the plane home from my most recent experience at MIT.  This week the topic was Big Data.  Big Data is a big topic around the water cooler these days, so I thought it would be important to learn more about it.  The title of the course was Big Data: Making Complex Things Simpler.  This was a 2 day Executive Education course designed to brief managers and executives on this exploding field.

First of all, if you are interested in this topic I highly recommend making the investment of time and money to attend a future offering.  Professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Sandy Pentland, leading researchers in Big Data present a well-crafted curriculum that connects a great deal of their research around how Big Data now provides the technology framework to do, very quickly, what researchers have done for years – create hypotheses, design experiments and analyze results.  Because of Big Data technologies, organizations can become more data-driven in their operations and/or product development.  Key issues including data privacy and data ownership are discussed as well, but this landscape is changing very rapidly, so it was challenging to go into too much depth.

If you are looking to better understand Big Data technologies, this is not the course to take.  However, if you are looking to spend a few days better understanding the ramifications of Big Data and how they impact organizations, I highly recommend making the investment.  The participants in the class contributed greatly to the discourse, which I appreciated as well. Plus, it was a great place to network and find out what is happening in other industries related to Big Data.

The New iPad Is Here…The New iPad is Here!

At last, the new iPad has arrived.  This post will capture my very early impressions.  I will have more to say after I have gotten to work with it a bit more.

First, the setup was smooth and was done using a backup I had stored in the iCloud.  That was really neat, and it saved a lot of time — I was done in less than 5 minutes.  I was up and running in just a few minutes.  After the initial setup was done, I went back in and changed some sync preferences since this iPad had a little more space so I could carry some movies with me now.

The display is absolutely amazing.  The HD clarity is a big improvement over the iPad 2.  The dictation feature seems to work well also.  The device itself looks almost identical to the predecessor.  If I had to say anything, it might be a tad heavier, but if it is actually it can’t be by much.

More to come later as I use the device a little more.  At this point, I say “well done, Apple!”