Big Data: Endless Possibilities

Big data promises a lot—”endless possibilities,” pundits say. It also opens many questions around privacy and security of data, especially in healthcare. Researchers, however, say that “57% of consumers are willing to share additional personal information in return for better service.” For me, I don’t want just the possibilities of big data, but ACTUAL change. I don’t want another app for my phone, another car sensor or any new fancy gadgets or smart meters; what I’d really like to see is big data making a tangible impact on real world challenges like the Ebola epidemic—big data for social good, not for profit.

Now that the Ebola virus is sitting in our backyard, the entire country is on high alert—and rightfully so, as it’s no longer a disease that’s plaguing people continents away, in little known countries. WHO indicates that there are 9216 Ebola cases with 4555 deaths. My first thought when I look at these statistics is: where is big data in the Ebola equation and how can we get help?

Each of us can find a way to get involved and The Big Data for Social Good Challenge, a global hackathon where developers create innovative solutions using Hadoop  is a great starting place.  Read the full blog here: